Friday, February 3, 2023

February 2023 General Meeting - Saturday 18 February

      

Guest Speaker:
John Ramsland


Join us in Gordon Library Meeting Room 1, at 2 pm on Saturday 18 February 2023, when John Ramsland presents...
Peter Finch – Australia’s Player King

Our guest speaker will be Em. Prof. John Ramsland, OAM, FACE, Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Newcastle.

John’s latest research examines the actor’s troubled formative years at Mosman and Greenwich Point, followed by his rapid rise to fame in radio drama, on stage and in feature films, and his later career as an international star.

About John Ramsland

John was born in Manly in 1942 and educated at Manly Boys High School, Bathurst Teachers College, and the Universities of New England, Sydney and Newcastle. He is the author of many historical books, book chapters, journal articles, conference papers and press features. In 2003, he became Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Newcastle after serving there as Dean of the Faculty of Education, and later, Dean of the Faculty of Arts.

John’s latest book is Rendezvous With Death – Anzac Stories of the Great War.

As always, please keep an eye on our website in case of any last-minute changes.

The venue is Gordon Library Meeting Room No. 1, in the Old Gordon Public School, which adjoins the Gordon Library, 799 Pacific Highway, Gordon (corner Pacific Highway and Park Avenue).

It’s just a 5-minute walk from Gordon Station.

For a map and parking information, see our Contact page.

Friday, January 6, 2023

January 2023 General Meeting - Saturday 21 January

     

Guest Speaker:
Jeff FitzGerald


Join us in Gordon Library Meeting Room 1, at 2 pm on Saturday 21st January 2023, when Jeff FitzGerald presents...
Postcards - Moments in Time and Windows into History

Our guest speaker will be Jeff FitzGerald, Vice-President of the New South Wales Postcard Collectors Society.

Jeff has been collecting historic postcards since 1982, when quite by chance he stumbled across a bundle in an antique shop in Tokyo. His extensive collection reveals our social history, consisting of ‘postcard moments in time’ depicting a wide range of aspects such as socialising, working, recreation, rural life and industry; as well as depictions of Aboriginal people and what this tells us about mainstream Australia of the time. They also contain the work of noted artists who illustrated postcards in the early 1900s, including May Gibbs, Norman Lindsay, Ida Rentoul Outhwaite and more.

As always, please keep an eye on our website in case of any last-minute changes.

The venue is Gordon Library Meeting Room No. 1, in the Old Gordon Public School, which adjoins the Gordon Library, 799 Pacific Highway, Gordon (corner Pacific Highway and Park Avenue).

It’s just a 5-minute walk from Gordon Station.

For a map and parking information, see our Contact page.

Monday, November 7, 2022

November 2022 General Meeting - Saturday 19th November

    

Guest Speaker:
David Hunt


Join us in Gordon Library Meeting Room 1, at 2 pm on Saturday 19th November 2022, when David Hunt presents...
Girt Nation - The Unauthorised History of Australia, Volume 3

Another rollicking ride with author David Hunt, as he speaks about Girt Nation, the third volume in his prize-winning 'Unauthorised History of Australia' series. The series examines the federation of the Australian colonies into the revered nation we are today; and the key political, social and economic reforms of late nineteenth century Australia.

David unashamedly tramples tall poppies of the past in charting Australia’s transformation from aspiration to nation – an epic tale of charlatans and costermongers, of bush bards (and even bushier beards!), of workers, and of women who just weren’t going to take it anymore!

Thrill as Jandamarra leads the Bunuba against Western Australia... gasp as Essendon trainer Carl von Ledebur injects his charges with crushed dog and goat testicles... weep as Scott Morrison’s communist great-great-aunt Mary Gilmore holds a hose in New Australia... and marvel at how Labor, a party that spent a quarter of a century infighting over how to spell its own name, ever rose to power!

Girt Nation also introduces Alfred Deakin - the Liberal necromancer whose dead advisors made Australia a better place to live in; Sir Henry Parkes - Australia's greatest lothario; Banjo Paterson - the jihadist who called on God and the Prophet to drive the Australian infidels from the Sudan; the Crutchy Push - Australia's most infamous all-amputee street gang against the conventionally limbed; Catherine Helen Spence - the feminist polymath who envisaged a utopian future of free contraceptives, easy divorce and immigration restrictions ‘to prevent the Chinese coming to destroy all we have struggled for’... plus a cast of Australian women who made Australia a better place for everyone!

Yes, you'll meet a colourful cast of characters from the formative period of Australia’s nationhood, and guess what - books will be available to purchase! $20 for Girt and True Girt; $25 for Girt Nation; and $15 for Hunt's kids' picture books.

Find out more, if you dare, at David Hunt’s website...

As always, please keep an eye on our website in case of any last-minute changes.

The venue is Gordon Library Meeting Room No. 1, in the Old Gordon Public School, which adjoins the Gordon Library, 799 Pacific Highway, Gordon (corner Pacific Highway and Park Avenue).

It’s just a 5-minute walk from Gordon Station.

For a map and parking information, see our Contact page.

Saturday, October 1, 2022

AGM - Saturday 15th October 2022

    

AGM, with Guest Speaker:
Patrick Dodd


Join us in Gordon Library Meeting Room 1, at 2 pm on Saturday 15th October 2022. This meeting will start with our AGM at 2 pm, after which Patrick Dodd presents...
“The Holtermann Collection”

In 1951, Keast Burke, editor of Australasian Photo Review, enquired with the Mitchell Library about Bernhardt Holtermann, a name associated with several nineteenth century panoramas he’d seen in the Library. It transpired that Holtermann’s daughter-in-law, Mary Holtermann, lived in Chatswood. Recovered from her garden shed later that year were 3500 glass plate negatives in cedar boxes and smaller ones in lacquered tins, all wonderfully undisturbed for nearly 80 years.

The negatives were donated to the Mitchell Library in 1952 by Bernhardt Holtermann's grandson, Bernhard, and became known as the Holtermann Collection. The find proved to be the most important photographic documentation of goldfields life in Australia, and was included on the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World register in May 2013.

Join us for what is sure to be a very informed talk from Ku-ring-gai Historical Society member Patrick Dodd. Patrick is the Founder and President of the Macquarie Society in Australia; and a Volunteer Guide at the Australian National Maritime Museum on HM Bark Endeavour. He is also a Volunteer Guide and Public Speaker at the State Library of NSW on History and Heritage tours.

As always, please keep an eye on our website in case of any last-minute changes.

The venue is Gordon Library Meeting Room No. 1, in the Old Gordon Public School, which adjoins the Gordon Library, 799 Pacific Highway, Gordon (corner Pacific Highway and Park Avenue).

It’s just a 5-minute walk from Gordon Station.

For a map and parking information, see our Contact page.

Friday, September 2, 2022

September 2022 General Meeting - Saturday 17th September

   

Guest Speaker:
Ian Burnet


Join us in Gordon Library Meeting Room 1, at 2 pm on Saturday 17th September 2022, when Ian Burnet presents...
“The Tasman Map”

Our September guest speaker is author, historian and voyager Ian Burnet, who will present The Tasman Map - the Dutch East India Company and the first Dutch discoveries of Australia.

Every visitor who passes through the vestibule of the Mitchell Library stops to admire the magnificent marble mosaic of the Tasman Map, which fills the entire vestibule floor.

This story of the first Dutch voyages to discover Australia is set against the background of the struggle of the newly formed Dutch Republic to gain its independence from the Kingdom of Spain, and the struggle of the Dutch East India Company for trade supremacy in the East Indies against its Portuguese, Spanish and English rivals.

From 1606 to 1644, based on sixteen separate discoveries, the first map of Australia took shape. The Tasman Map shows a recognizable outline of the north, west and south coasts of Australia, that was not to change for another 125 years until James Cook charted the east coast in 1770.

In 1925 and 1933 the Mitchell Library acquired the Tasman Huydecoper Journal and the Tasman Bonaparte Map. The fascinating story of how the library managed to acquire these treasures of Dutch exploration and cartography brings new recognition to these icons of both Dutch and Australian history!

About Ian Burnet

Ian grew up in South Gippsland and graduated with a degree in Geology and Geophysics from the University of Melbourne. He first went to work in Indonesia in 1968 as a young geologist and became fascinated by the diverse cultures and rich history of the archipelago. Ian has organised many sailing voyages around the Spice Islands for those interested in exploring the eastern archipelago, sailing in a traditional Indonesian wooden schooner.

He has spent thirty years living, working and travelling in Indonesia and is fascinated by the diverse history and culture of the archipelago. This is reflected in his books Spice Islands; East Indies; Archipelago - A Journey Across Indonesia; Where Australia Collides with Asia; The Tasman Map - The Biography of a Map; and his latest, Joseph Conrad’s Eastern Voyages.

A review of The Tasman Map states “Ian Burnet in this stunning volume brings alive the many voyages of discovery that linked the exploration and Dutch conquest of Indonesia to a growing awareness on the part of the Dutch of the great, but as yet unknown, land to the south”.

Ian's website is www.ianburnetbooks.com

Join us in person for what is sure to be a fascinating presentation on Saturday 17th September!

As always, please keep an eye on our website in case of any last-minute changes.

The venue is Gordon Library Meeting Room No. 1, in the Old Gordon Public School, which adjoins the Gordon Library, 799 Pacific Highway, Gordon (corner Pacific Highway and Park Avenue).

It’s just a 5-minute walk from Gordon Station.

For a map and parking information, see our Contact page.

Saturday, August 6, 2022

August 2022 General Meeting - Saturday 20th August

    

Guest Speaker:
David Rosenberg


Join us in Gordon Library Meeting Room 1, at 2 pm on Saturday 20th August 2022, when David Rosenberg presents...
“Pine Gap: The Inside Story of the NSA in Australia”

Our August guest speaker is author and US spy, David Rosenberg.

In 1966, Australia and the US signed a treaty that allowed the establishment of a jointly-run satellite tracking station, just south of Alice Springs. For more than fifty years it has operated in a shroud of secrecy, and been the target of much public and political controversy.

The intelligence collection mission at Pine Gap, and the partnership between Australia and the United States, has made Pine Gap the most important satellite ground site in the Intelligence Community.

David Rosenberg – a US high-tech spy who worked at Pine Gap for 18 years – was the first to speak out to give an insider’s account of what happens behind those locked gates in the middle of the Australian desert. When he left in 2008, he was the United States government’s longest serving technical liaison officer in Australia.

In his book, and in his presentation, David details his career with an American intelligence agency during a tumultuous period in history that covered the terms of three American Presidents, four Australian Prime Ministers, the end of the Cold War, a peace treaty between Israel and Jordan, two wars in Iraq and genocide in Rwanda, as well as the ‘War Against Terror’ and the emergence of North Korea as a nuclear-armed nation.

Join us in person on Saturday 20th August for this top secret presentation!

As always, please keep an eye on our website in case of any last-minute changes.

The venue is Gordon Library Meeting Room No. 1, in the Old Gordon Public School, which adjoins the Gordon Library, 799 Pacific Highway, Gordon (corner Pacific Highway and Park Avenue).

It’s just a 5-minute walk from Gordon Station.

For a map and parking information, see our Contact page.

Saturday, July 2, 2022

July 2022 General Meeting - Saturday 16th July

   

Guest Speaker:
Ian Thompson


Join us in Gordon Library Meeting Room 1, at 2 pm on Saturday 16th July 2022, when Ian Thompson presents...
“More Iconic Australian Inventions”

Every day, throughout the world, over a billion people rely heavily on Australian inventions. Every time they drive a car, fly, eat or communicate, there’s a good chance it’s due to Aussies!

We all know some of the great and iconic inventions by Australians – the Victa lawnmower, the Hills Hoist, the wine cask bladder, Vegemite... but our guest speaker, Ian Thompson, knows a whole lot more!

Ian will take us through the people and science behind some more iconic inventions and innovations, from colonial to contemporary times – so if you missed Ian’s first talk, catch up with this one – there’s so much more than the Hills Hoist and the Victa!

About Ian Thompson

After graduating in Chemistry in 1969, Ian worked in Sydney as an Industrial Research Chemist for over 20 years, concentrating on developing products to control insect pests that affect crops, farm animals and pets.

For the past 25 years, and before retirement in 2008, Ian then worked as a Research Scientist in the area of Urban Entomology, developing products for controlling insect pests and other critters that invade the home - in particular, those that can carry disease, such as mosquitoes, cockroaches, houseflies and the like.

During the past 10 years of this research Ian became involved in the drafting of patents for urban pest control - and he now has six to his name!

Ian regularly presents to Sydney U3A, Probus and other volunteer organisations. His leisure interests include photography and bushwalking.

As always, please keep an eye on our website in case of any last-minute changes.

The venue is Gordon Library Meeting Room No. 1, in the Old Gordon Public School, which adjoins the Gordon Library, 799 Pacific Highway, Gordon (corner Pacific Highway and Park Avenue).

It’s just a 5-minute walk from Gordon Station.

For a map and parking information, see our Contact page.