Skip to content

Peter Carey

Dr Peter Carey, who is currently an Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Humanities (Fakultas Ilmu Budaya/FIB) at the University of Indonesia (Universitas Indonesia), is the co-founder of the Cambodia Trust, a UK registered charity with the vision of equal rights for disabled people in an inclusive barrier-free society. He was its initial Project Director and then Research & Development Director for Indonesia (2008-12). Dr Carey was Laithwaite Fellow and Tutor in Modern History at the University of Oxford’s Trinity College from 1979 until his retirement in 2008.

Born in Burma in 1948, Dr Carey returned to England at age seven and was educated in the UK. He graduated from Trinity College, Oxford with First Class Honours in Modern History in 1969 before pursuing graduate studies on an English Speaking Union (ESU) scholarship at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York (1969-70). After completing his graduate studies at Leiden and Oxford (1970-75), he was elected first to a Prize Fellowship (1974-79) at Magdalen and then a tutorial Fellowship at his old college, Trinity,beginning a long and fruitful career in which he specialised in the modern history and politics of Indonesia, East Timor, and Burma.

Dr Carey co-founded the Cambodia Trust (CT) on 7 November 1989. He was a member of its Board of Trustees from December 1989 to 2008, serving as Chair (1990-1996) and Deputy Chair (2004-2008) during that time. He resigned from the Board in August 2008 to take up the post of Country Director in Indonesia. Dr Carey was involved with the establishment of CT in Cambodia in 1990-1992, visiting the country annually from 1989 to 1997 in the process. He also pioneered CT’s presence in Timor-Leste, acting as CT Country Director from October 2003 to September 2004. He also established the Association for The Raising Up of the Disabled of Timor (ASSERT) and the National Centre for Physical Rehabilitation in Becora, Dili.

In addition to his work with the CT, Dr Carey co-founded the Dharma School, a Brighton-based UK charity registered in 1992 that runs the first Buddhist primary school in Europe. Today, over 70 children aged 4 to 11 attend it. He also served as a member of the OXFAM Asia Committee from 1986 to 1991 and was for more than two decades a team leader (1984-2008) on the Asia-Pacific panel of the annual Oxford Analytica-International Herald Tribune conferences. Dr Carey is currently an Asia-Pacific Board Member and Senior Contributor of the Oxford Analytica Daily Brief, a business consultancy service based in Oxford with international corporate clients.

Dr Carey was awarded the Independence Medal by the Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste in 2005 and made a Grand Officer in the Order of Prince Henry the Navigator (Ordem do Infante Dom Henrique) for his work in Timor-Leste (2006). This honour is the highest civilian honour accorded by the Portuguese Government to non-Portuguese citizens. He also received a Beacon Prize for Leadership, an award sometimes described as ‘the Nobel Peace Prize for charity work’ in October 2008 by the Beacon Fellowship Charitable Trust (London). Dr Carey was awarded a Membership of the Honourable Order of the British Empire (MBE) designation on 12 June 2010, the fifth rank of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire order of chivalry, for services to the disabled of Southeast Asia and the Jury’s Special Prize for Personal Philanthropy at the BNP Paribas Awards in June 2011. The awarding jury asked that the prize money worth €50,000 for CT be allocated to support research into levels of disability in the Indonesian society and the planning for the second phase of the CT’s Indonesia programme with the Ministry of Health.

Research areas
• Indonesia, Burma, East Timor
• Modern history and politics of East Timor

Selected publications
• ‘The Power of Prophecy: Prince Dipanagara and the End of an Old Order in Java, 1785-1855’ (Leiden: KITLV Press, 2007) (Indonesian translation and expanded edition: ‘Kuasa Ramalan: Pangeran Diponegoro dan akhir tatanan lama di Jawa, 1785-1855’ (Jakarta: KPG-Gramedia, 2012)
• [with Amrit Gomperts and Arnoud Haag] ‘The Sage who divided Java in 1052: Maclaine Pont’s excavation of Mpu Bharada’s hermitage-cemetery at Lĕmah Tulis in 1925’, Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde (Leiden), 128, 1 (forthcoming, June 2012)
• [with Amrit Gomperts and Arnoud Haag] ‘Mapping Majapahit: Wardenaar’s Archaeological Survey at Trowulan in 1815’, Indonesia (Ithaca, NY) no.93 (April 2012)
• ‘Sexuality and Power: Towards an intimate history of the consolidation of Dutch rule in early 19th century Java’, IIAS Newsletter No.54 (Summer 2010) (Leiden), pp.12-13
• ‘The British in Java, 1811-1816: A Javanese Account’ (London: British Academy, 1992)
• ‘Babad Dipanagara: An Account of the Outbreak of the Java War, 1825-30’ (Kuala Lumpur: Art Printers, 1981)