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Words & Ideas: On History: Real and Imagined

With Jock Serong, Andrew Rule, Tom Griffiths & Don Watson

This event is made possible by Keatings Real Estate.

Is historical fiction history? Is history fiction?  What is history?  Is it a waste of space in a climate of lies and the rapidly approaching AI-driven ‘age of infinite misinformation’, or is it still the foundation of human culture and the last hope of civilization? 

An eminent historian, a writer of prize-winning historical novels, a celebrated Walkley winning journalist and author, and a writer who straddles history and contemporary non-fiction, try to sort it out. 

Andrew Rule began in journalism at the Gippsland Times in 1975. He spent a year there before taking an Arts degree at Monash University then starting with The Age in 1979. He later worked for The Herald, Sunday Age and Good Weekend magazine as feature writer and investigative reporter, and in television and radio production. He is currently an associate editor, columnist and podcaster with News Corp.

He has variously written, edited and published more than 30 books and co-wrote the Underbelly true crime series.

He has won several awards, including Gold Quills, Gold Walkleys and Australian Journalist of the Year.  His hobbies include slow racehorses and cutting firewood.

Jock Serong is a novelist and screenwriter, and the founding editor of Great Ocean Quarterly. The author of six novels, his work often focuses on the ocean and on ideas about Australian identity and history. His latest novel, The Settlement, completes his Furneaux trilogy of novels about the early history of Bass Strait. His work currently appears in the The Monthly and Surfing World. 

Tom Griffiths is a historian whose books and essays have won prizes in literature, history, science, politics and journalism. His books include Hunters and Collectors, Forests of Ash: An Environmental History, Slicing the Silence: Voyaging to Antarctica, Living with Fire and The Art of Time Travel: Historians and their Craft. He writes for Inside Story, Griffith Review, Meanjin and Australian Book Review. Tom lives in the Macedon Ranges and is Emeritus Professor of History at the Australian National University and Chair of the Editorial Board of the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

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