Saturday 31 August


10am - 11am
Toby Riddle
Yahoo Creek: an Australian mystery
Tohby Riddle shares the research behind his book Yahoo Creek - an historical account of our enduring national mystery – the yahoo or yowie. Using a series of fascinating newspaper clippings from the 1800’s and early 1900’s, luminous illustrations, and featuring contributions from Ngiyampaa Elder Peter Williams, Yahoo Creek explores the mystery of Colonial-era yahoo encounters long the Great Dividing range, and also raises questions about history, myth and truth and the place of traditional Aboriginal knowledge in Australia’s culture. Who has not heard, from the earliest settlement of the colony, the [Aboriginal people] speaking of some unearthly animal or inhuman creature…namely the Yahoo-Devil Devil, or the Hairy Man of the Wood? Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, 16 November 1876
Bookings Essential: 

11.30am - 12.30pm
Julie McIntyre
The Hunter Valley and how Australia became a wine country
Remember Ben Ean Moselle? Dr Julie McIntyre talks how this wine and others like it symbolised a changing nation from the 1950s to the 1980s. Julie McIntyre is a Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Newcastle, author of two award winning books on wine history and enjoys a glass of "research". She is writing a new history of Australia for an American publisher.
Bookings Essential:

Ed Tonks
History of the Fernleigh Track
Focusing on the railway and mining history over the time the 15 km long Fernleigh Track was a rail line, this illustrated talk will add much to your experience when you next cycle or walk the Fernleigh Track - one of Lake Macquarie and Newcastle's historical and recreational gems. Closing in 1991 , this was the last 19th century colliery railway to close in the Newcastle-Lake Macquarie area.
Bookings Essential:

Kate Forsyth
Masterclass: Bringing History to Life with Kate Forsyth
Learn how to bring history alive in your creative writing with bestselling author, Kate Forsyth. In this intensive workshop, you will discover how to research the past and then weave it into a vivid and compelling narrative that does not feel weighed down by undigested facts. Learn what lovers of historical fiction want from their stories and how to balance actual history with your fictive story.
Bookings Essential:

Robin Gerster
TRAVELS IN ATOMIC SUNSHINE: Australia and the occupation of Japan
Drawing intensively on diary entries, papers and personal interviews with Australian soldiers, Robin Gerster paints an intricate portrait of moral and cultural disorientation felt by Aussie “conquerors” as they come to terms with not only an enemy decimated by atomic horror but also their own inherent prejudices.
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Lucas Jordan in conversation Scott Bevan
Stealth raiders: a distinctly Australian phenomenon
The untold story of a few daring men who terrorized German soldiers in World War 1 Who were the Australian infantrymen who made audacious, unauthorised stealth attacks of on the German front line in 1918? What made Australian soldiers take on this independent and personal type of warfare? Using their firsthand accounts, as well as official archives and private records, Lucas Jordan pieced their stories together. In his book Stealth Raiders: a few daring men in 1918 Lucas Jordan argues that bush skills, and the bush ethos central to Australian civil society – with its emphasis on resourcefulness and initiative – made stealth raids a distinctively Australian phenomenon. Lucas Jordan grew up in Burekup in Western Australia and studied his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Western Australia, majoring in history and political science. Lucas completed a Bachelor of Education at the University of Queensland followed by a Masters in Aboriginal Studies at the University of Notre Dame. This led to more than a decade of teaching and research in the Kimberley, Cape York and central Australia, and ingrained in him a deep respect for the Australian bush and its people.
Bookings Essential:

Ben Pobjie
Mad Dogs and Thunderbolts
Known for his satirical writing and uproariously honest books on Australia’s history, Ben Pobjie turns his satirical eye to bushrangers to set the record straight. In Mad Dogs and Thunderbolts Ben Pobjie celebrates the derring-do and revolutionary passion of the wild colonial boys and girls who raided our towns and stole our hearts, all while wearing sensible head-gear.
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