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WORDS ON THE WAVES WRITERS FESTIVAL | June 5th - 6th 2022

History Contested Panel Session | 10:00am - 11:00am Sunday | Ocean Beach Surf Livesaving Club
Literary Cruise | 10:00am - 12:00pm Monday | Departing Patonga along the Hawkesbury

"Australia has shaped the Pacific, and the Pacific has shaped Australia"

Panel: As with 2021, to round out the 2022 festival, we will be putting words and ideas afloat in a memorable literary cruise up the Hawkesbury River. We will be joined by cruise host and historian, Ian Hoskins, alongside lauded local poet Robert Adamson, and literary wordsmith Delia Falconer.

Cruise: Map the making (and remaking) of Australian identity through the history books with three eminent writers. In Gudyarra, Stephen Gapps reveals the complexity of Frontier conflict and the little-known Wiradyuri war of resistance. In Australia & The Pacific, Ian Hoskins reassesses our relationship with the region, from deep time to now. And in Making Australian History, Anna Clark tussles with history-making itself.


THE IDEA OF AUSTRALIA AND THE PACIFIC | May 3rd, 2022

11:30 - 12:30pm | State Library of Queensland | Ian Hoskins in conversation with Julianne Schultz as a Part of the Brisbane Writer's Festival.

“Australia’s deep past and its modern history are intrinsically linked to the Pacific.”

So begins award-winning historian Ian Hoskins’ latest book, Australia & the Pacific. Ian Hoskins and Julianne Schultz will discuss our ties with our near neighbours, our fraught colonial history, from blackbirding to the White Australia policy through to our political present.


MAPPING THE PACIFIC CONFERENCE | March 2nd, 2022

11:30 -12:30pm | State Library of New South Wales | The conference will also be streamed online if you are unable to join us in person.

"…to be formed on Norfolk Island": how a Pacific paradise helped the survival of the penal colony of NSW.

The small sea mount of Norfolk Island played a pivotal but largely unappreciated role in the early history of Britain’s occupation of Australia. It was not the catalyst for colonisation, as Geoffrey Blainey argued in 1966, but rather a place for the critical overflow of population and then provision as the original settlement at Sydney Cove teetered on the edge of starvation. In the process it accommodated a very different, even alternative, form of community. That difference emerged because of the stark environmental and political contrast with the mainland.

Norfolk Island was uninhabited when occupied in 1788. Its soil was rich where Sydney’s was poor. It was a natural paradise which supported the nascent settlement as if by ‘providence’. It was an island with no safe harbour. The wreck of HMS Sirius there in 1790 was momentous.

The State Library of NSW holds several maps and charts from this period, from Cook’s first map of the island in 1774 to surveys of land holdings. Some were official documents. Others, like the work of George Raper, were the result of forced exile following the wreck of the Sirius. This paper explores these documents in the context of Norfolk's remarkable early history.


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