‘Launch of Disasters book goes virtual because of … disaster!’

To be launched by

 Emeritus Professor Tom Griffiths

When: 2 July at 6.30pm

Where: Live on Zoom

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What’s in the book?

Foreword: Tom Griffiths

Introduction: Scot McKinnon and Margaret Cook

Ch. 1: “Best Forgotten”: Black Saturday’s difficult stories by Peg Fraser

Ch. 2: Shaped by Fire: How Bushfires Forged Migrant Environmental Understandings and Memories of Place by Gretel Evans

Ch. 3: Placing memories of unforgettable fires: Official commemoration and community recovery after the 2003 ACT firestorm by Scott McKinnon

Ch 4: “Shaken but not stirred”: The aftermath of urban disasters by Margaret Cook

Ch 5: Escaping Water: Living against floods in Townsville, North Queensland, from settlement to 2019 by Rohan Lloyd, Patrick White and Claire Brennan

Ch 6: A Perfect Storm by Ian Townsend

Ch 7: Shallow Fire Literacy Hinders Robust Fire Policy: Black Saturday and Prescribed Burning Debates by Daniel May

Ch 8: Decolonising settler hazardscapes of the Waipa: Māori and Pākehā remembering of flooding in the Waikato 1900-1950 by Meg Parsons and Karen Fisher

Ch 9: Where the Wild Things Were by Deb Anderson

Event Speakers

Tom Griffiths is Emeritus Professor of History in the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University. His research, writing and teaching are in the fields of Australian social, cultural and environmental history, the writing of non-fiction, and the history of Antarctica. Tom’s books and essays have won prizes in history, science, literature, politics and journalism. He is co-author of Living with Fire: People, Nature and History in Steels Creek  and his most recent book, The Art of Time Travel: Historians and their Craft (Black Inc., 2016), won the Ernest Scott Prize for History and the ACT Book of the Year.

Scott McKinnon is an oral historian and geographer in the Australian Centre for Culture, Environment, Society and Space (ACCESS) at the University of Wollongong. He has a research background in disasters research, geographies of memory and histories and geographies of sexuality and gender. Scott’s most recent postdoctoral project focussed on collective memories of disaster in Australia. He is the author of Gay Men at the Movies: Cinema, memory and the history of a gay male community (Intellect, 2016).

Margaret Cook has been a freelance historian for many years. Her environmental history PhD and subsequent book, A River with a City Problem: A History of Brisbane Floods (UQ 2019), explored floods and the relationship between the Brisbane River and its human riverside dwellers. Her research interests include natural disasters, water, climate and the cotton industry. A history lecturer at the University of Sunshine Coast, she holds Honorary Research Fellow positions at La Trobe University and University of Queensland.

Peg Fraser is a historian from Museums Victoria who in 2010 documented the Black Saturday bushfires in the small settlement of Strathewen, Victoria. She has a PhD from Monash University and published Black Saturday: Not the end of the story (Monash University Press 2018). Peg has worked across many aspects of Museums Victoria’s collections and exhibitions, and has written or curated exhibitions on Victoria’s migrant communities, refugees and child migrants and material culture collections including 19th century textiles, numismatics and scientific artwork. She holds an honorary research appointment with Museums Victoria.

Gretel Evans is a PhD Candidate at the University of Melbourne, and an Associate Student in the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre. Her PhD thesis draws upon oral history and memory studies to examine migrants’ memories of bushfires and floods in Australia. Gretel has participated in archaeology projects in Australia and Macedonia and has worked as a consulting historian. She was an interviewer and research assistant for the YCW oral history project and a 2016 Summer Scholar at the National Library of Australia.

Rohan Lloyd is a high school teacher and historian from Townsville who researches environmental history of north Queensland and the histories of environmentalism. Rohan’s major research project, and the subject of his PhD from James Cook University, is the history of the Great Barrier Reef. He was a 2015 Summer Scholar at the National Library of Australia.

Ian Townsend completed his PhD in history at the University of Queensland on the 1899 Bathurst Bay cyclone. He worked for many years as an investigative journalist and broadcaster at ABC Radio National and is the winner of four Australian Museum Eureka Prizes for science and medical journalism, as well as an Australian Human Rights Award. He has previously written two novels and a non-fiction book exploring three different Australian disasters.

Daniel May is a PhD Candidate in the School of History, ANU, and an Associate Student in the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre. His PhD thesis investigates the historical and contemporary politics of Indigenous burning in Australia and the Western United States. In 2018 he completed an Endeavour Research Fellowship in the United States. Daniel’s research is supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship. He regularly posts on fire-related matters at @DJMay19.

Deb Anderson is a writer who spent more than a decade with the independent press in Australia and overseas, writing mainly for The Age, before joining Monash University as a lecturer in 2013. Her research explores the lived experience of extreme weather and understanding of climate change. She is the author of Endurance: Australian Stories of Drought (CSIRO Publishing 2014). http://profiles.arts.monash.edu.au/deb-anderson/

Hope to see you there!