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Sir Peter Cosgrove to headline History Illuminated

Former Governor General and Defence Force Chief Sir Peter Cosgrove is set to headline a stellar 10 days of talks, tours, presentations and exhibitions that form part of this year’s History Illuminated festival.


The 19-28 November program presented by Lake Mac Libraries explores how history can strengthen the way people connect, learn and develop from sharing lived experiences.

Lake Macquarie City Council Lifelong Learning Leader Kirrily Anderson said securing Sir Peter to host an intimate evening of stories, thoughts and anecdotes on Tuesday 23 November was an “incredible coup” for the event.

“General Sir Peter Cosgrove is one of Australia’s most prominent and respected public figures of the past 50 years,” she said.

“It’s very fitting for Sir Peter to be speaking at Rathmines Theatre, given the military history of the area.”

Sir Peter said he was looking forward to returning to the Hunter and valued the importance of capturing and sharing history.

“I look back through the centuries at how humanity got where we are now. It’s a fascination for a person of my age, but it should be a fascination for people of all ages,” he said.

The evening is one of more than 30 scheduled activities to be held as part of the festival.

SEEN@Swansea will feature an exhibition looking at the history of Morisset Hospital, told by former patients, staff and residents, with an opening and tours held on Friday 19 November.

Toronto Library will host author and former paratrooper Chris Allen on Saturday 20 November, talking about legendary James Bond creator Ian Fleming and his influence on Allen’s writing.

Veteran Newcastle journalist Mike Scanlon will present his book, ‘The Hidden Hunter’, on Thursday 25 November at Warners Bay Theatre, looking at some of the people, places and events in the region’s history that are fascinating but relatively unknown.

On Saturday 27 November, at Rathmines Theatre, actor and author Judy Nunn will discuss her latest novel ‘Showtime’ – a journey through the golden age of Australian showbusiness. That will be followed by author David W. Cameron talking about his book ‘Convict Era Port Arthur’, exploring the development of Tasmania’s Port Arthur prison.

The festival closes on Sunday 28 November with an afternoon of fashion and history at Rathmines Theatre. Maitland’s Museum of Clothing will present attire from the 1940s, along with local stories from local historian Christine Bramble.

“We’re really proud of what History Illuminated has grown to become over the past three years, and are excited to deliver such a diverse and interesting program of events and activities,” Ms Anderson said.

COVID-safe measures will be in place for all History Illuminated activities, and bookings are essential.

Go to for more information and bookings.


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