Lunch Hour Talks

Lunch Hour Talk 22 February 2024

22 February Lunch Hour Talk

Speaker: Melinda Ham

Topic: The Lucky Ones: Stories of Australian Refugee Journeys

Award-winning journalist and former foreign correspondent Melinda Ham brings to light stories of Australian refugee journeys in her moving and meticulously researched new book, The Lucky Ones. Though they are from different generations, countries and cultures, the families in this book all share one thing in common: they have escaped persecution in their homelands to find safety in Australia. Spanning 70 years, and tracking journeys from Iraq, Afghanistan, Poland, Tibet, Vietnam and Zaire, The Lucky Ones offers a window into the complex history of Australian refugee experiences.

Melinda Ham has been a journalist for more than twenty-five years. She started her career in southern Africa as a correspondent for the Associated Press and for London’s Daily Telegraph, The Economist, and other international publications. She’s also lived and worked in India and Singapore.

In Australia, she wrote for The Sydney Morning Herald and the Sun Herald for more than twelve years, including stints as a sub-editor on the foreign desk and as commissioning editor for Special Reports. She wrote on a diverse range of subjects, including education, environment, health, lifestyle, health and culture. She’s been editor of Explore, the Australian Museum’s twice-yearly magazine. She’s also produced dozens of publications through her media company, Narrate Media, for charities, universities, and companies.


Where –  The meeting room at the Customs House Library, at Circular Quay.
When –  The talk will begin at 12.15, The room is open from 11.30 for tea/coffee/sandwiches.
Entry – $20 JSNWL members $25 non-members
PLEASE BOOK BY NOON Monday 19 February 2024
Phone the library on (02) 9571 5359 or email .au


Lunch Hour Talk 24 August 2023

24 August Lunch Hour Talk

Speaker: Dr Lenore Coltheart OAM

Topic: Jessie Street : a life

Co-founder of Jessie Street National Women’s Library Lenore Coltheart has been commissioned by the National Library of Australia to write a biography of Jessie Street. Lenore will update us on progress with her work on Jessie Street: a Life. She is keen to share with us the experience of writing this first full biography of Jessie Street – including both the distracting fascinations and frequent frustrations in presenting this extraordinary personality in the settings of her private and public life. This is a ‘behind the scenes’ account of the challenge of writing about a woman of extraordinary courage and determination, who worked with a cast of hundreds from all walks of life, seeing association as essential in moving towards justice and equality.

Dr Lenore Coltheart OAM taught political history in Australian universities for 25 years and held research fellowships at the Australian National University and at Newnham College at Cambridge University before retiring to Canberra and the south coast in 1997. Since then she has worked with the National Archives on a range of projects, including books and articles about Australian political history, the history of ideas, Aboriginal history, maritime history, and landscape heritage.


Where –  The meeting room at the Customs House Library, at Circular Quay.
When –  The talk will begin at 12.15, The room is open from 11.30 for tea/coffee/sandwiches.
Entry – $20 JSNWL members $25 non-members
PLEASE BOOK BY NOON Monday 21 August 2023
Phone the library on (02) 9571 5359 or email .au