• living conditions for Bruneian people under Japanese military occupation,

  • events surrounding the successful landing of Australian troops on Muara beach in June 1945,

  • the reception Australian troops received from local Bruneians as they traveled to Bandar town centre,

  • personal stories from those who witnessed the events between Dec 1941 and June 1945.

A multi-lingual oral history project sharing stories through the memories of survivors who witnessed

the tumultuous events of WWII in Brunei Darussalam (Dec 1941 - June 1945).



  1. Create a multimedia project depicting a key moment in Bruneian and Australian history.

  2. Create the non-linear media for (1).

  3. Create the linear media for (1).

  4. Create the sound design including, sound FX, music, atmospheric sound design for (1).

  5. Create a computational signals system whereby audience members can interact with the media.

digital Portfolio

Janet Marles ©

WWII historians tend to overlook Brunei Darussalam because there were other sites on the island of Borneo with more intense fighting and POW horrors. However, this does not mean that during almost four years of occupation under the Japanese military the locals were not affected by the war.

Kisah-Kisah dalam Kenangan / Stories through Memories is bringing these stories to light, including:​​

  • A son who witnessed his father’s imprisonment and persecution by the Japanese occupiers, and grew up to become the Bruneian Ambassador to Japan.
  • A boy who, with his father, helped the Sultan of Brunei and his family escape from the Japanese occupiers.
  • An Iban head-man, better known as Borneo’s head-hunters, whose family used tradition blowpipe and machete to take the heads of Japanese soldiers.
  • A Chinese girl whose family escaped from Taiwan only to be occupied again in Brunei.
  • A Bruneian teenager who joined to fight with the Japanese army.

Kisah-Kisah Dalam Kenangan Stories Through Memories

​​Kisah-Kisah dalam Kenangan / Stories through Memories explores the experiences of those who witnessed World War II in Brunei Darussalam, particularly the last weeks of fighting between Japanese occupying forces, Bruneian locals and the Australian Armed Forces.

On 10 June 1945 Australian troops stormed ashore Labuan Island, Muara Beach and the Brunei Peninsular in what was to be a successful operation to defeat the Japanese military who had occupied Brunei since 16 December 1941 when 10,000 Japanese troops arrived in Kuala Belait.

The Brunei liberation campaign of 1945 is unusual in Australian military operations because Australia was the only nation in this campaign. Neither the US Military nor our Commonwealth partners were present with the Australian forces during this operation in Brunei Darussalam. This unique aspect of Australian War history has not been researched adequately and its story has little penetration in Australian public awareness. 

Research  outcomes:

This ongoing practice-based research creates a new interactive multimedia installation of Brunei Darussalam's and Australia's close connections during the last weeks of the Second World War.

Audiences will be encouraged to explore through their interactions with the media and in so doing will experience, in an empathetic way, this shared Bruneian Australian story.


  1. Historical research of the era and locations.

  2. Historical research of military operations and maneuvers.

  3. Collation and reproduction of images, text, artifacts, and stories from the period.

  4. Conduct interviews with Historians, Journalists, and WWII survivors.

  5. Create high quality panoramic images of the landing site at Muara Beach.

  6. Create still and video images for embedded media.

  7. Create audio design for embedded media.

  8. Create computational interactive architecture for accessing multimedia assets.

  9. Create computational signals system for user interaction.

  10. Create computational infrastructure to frame the entire interactive multimedia project.