25 – Writing the Biography of Alfred Deakin Judith Brett – 1 session from 10.00 to 11.45 on Tuesday 6 August
Judith will talk about her recently published biography of Alfred Deakin The enigmatic Mr. Deakin which won the National Biography Award. Deakin was three times Australian Prime Minister in the first decade of the Commonwealth. Before that he was a member of the Victorian Parliament and for a time Chief Secretary. He was responsible for the establishment of the irrigation colony of Mildura and for legislation regulating working hours and conditions. In 1890 as Victoria’s financial crisis escalated he resigned from the ministry and dedicated himself to the cause of federation. As Attorney General and Prime Minister in the Commonwealth he faced unstable parliaments and minority governments. Despite this, with courtesy and willingness to compromise, his governments achieved a great deal. Some of this, such as the immigration restrictions of White Australia and the protection of manufacturing, we no longer agree with. But he also laid the foundation for Australia’s defence force, established the High Court and took an independent approach to foreign policy within an imperial framework. Deakin was born in Melbourne in 1856 and lived there all his life. His childhood homes were in Fitzroy and South Yarra, and after he married he and his wife Pattie also lived in South Yarra where they raised three daughters. My biography interweaves his public life in politics with his family life and also his private intellectual and spiritual life recorded in notebooks and diaries. I will discuss why Deakin matters, the challenges in writing his biography, and what lessons he holds for politicians today.
35 - Continuation of “Dunera” Incident: Experience of an Old New Australian Christian Fletcher – 1 session from 10.00 to 11.45 on Tuesday 10 September
John Fletcher after release in Australia built a new family and business here in Australia. In 1955 he enabled his son Chris Fletcher to migrate from communist East Germany to settle in Australia - this is Chris’s story.
40 - Adventures in Northern Australia Ian Sullivan - 3 weekly sessions from 10.00 to 11.45 on Tuesdays 8 to 22 October
1. Mount Isa: features and experiences in a large mining town. Views of the town and mine and the annual rodeo. 2. Cape York: views from a 7 day bus trip from Cairns to Cape York. Description of exploration, racial and the foreign influences, Gold rush and cattle driving. 3. Torres Strait: pictures and description of adventures, tragedies around 1900.
47 - A forgotten heroine: the wartime experience of Dr Helen Sexton, an Australian in Paris 1914-1918 Hannah Steel - 1 session from 12.00 to 1.45 on Tuesday 26 November
This presentation is a biography of the career of Dr Helen Sexton, a little known but important historical figure. She campaigned for women’s rights to study medicine at the University of Melbourne and was in the first female cohort, as well as pioneering surgical positions for women in Melbourne. In WWI, rejected from service in the RAMC, she travelled to France and established and ran a hospital in Paris under the aegis of the French Military who gave her the rank of Major and awarded her a Military medal.
71 – Japan: off the beaten track Ian Singleton and Elspeth Ferguson – 1 session from 12.00 to 1.45 on Thursday 7 November
There is far more to Japan than the popular tourist route of Tokyo Hakone Takayama Kyoto Hiroshima. Ian and Elspeth have been regular visitors to Japan, and in this presentation, apart from a brief visit to Tokyo and longer in Kyoto they will take you on a journey away from the main tourist hot spots and visit such delightful places as Kagoshima (to enjoy a sand bath), Kumamoto, Nagasaki, Matsue, Nagano, Obuse (final home of Hokusai, the famous print artist) and the delights of the Kiso Road and famous untouched Edo period villages.