Note: This Virtual Ocean Talk session will be available to view after the live event. (date and time TBC)

Thank you to everyone who took part in our recent Virtual Ocean Talk. If you'd like to rewatch the talk, or if you were unable to make it on the night, here's a recorded version for you to enjoy.

Event Date: Thursday 2 April 2020, 
6.30 – 7.30 pm (AEDT)

Considered to be one of the greatest navigators, cartographers and explorers of all time, James Cook looms large in the annals of history. Both celebrated and criticised, Cook remains a topical figure in Australia as he was the first European to chart the east coast of Australia while sailing HMB Endeavour. His arrival has become the symbol of European invasion and occupation of the continent, particularly for First Nations people.

But who was the real James Cook? Join Professor John Maynard and Peter FitzSimons as they reveal the man behind the myth, examining Cook's impact both in the past and today. 

Constellation II, monoprint on paper by Gail Mabo
Constellation II, monoprint on paper by Gail Mabo. ANMM Collection 00054383, © Gail Mabo/ Licensed by Viscopy, 2017. Purchased with funds from the Sid Faithfull and Christine Sadler program supporting Contemporary Indigenous Maritime Heritage in Far North Queensland and the Torres Strait Islands through the ANMM Foundation.

Main image: Cookie in Te Wai Pounamu Meets Cook Strait by Michel Tuffery, 2011, courtesy of the artist and Andrew Baker Art Dealer, Brisbane



Peter FitzsimonsPeter FitzSimons is an Australian journalist, radio and television presenter and author, and former national representative rugby union player. As a journalist, FitzSimons has written for the Sydney Morning Herald since 1988, and has been a sports columnist since 1987.

Peter regularly appears on the Australian Foxtel program, The Back Page. For the Saturday edition of the SMH, FitzSimons writes a column titled The Fitz Files giving an overview of sports happenings over the past week and has worked as co-host for radio 2UE on Mike Carlton’s breakfast program. FitzSimons has authored over 30 books including his most recent James Cook: The story behind the man who mapped the world.


John MaynardJohn Maynard is credited with unearthing the links between early African-American and Aboriginal politics, and is the leading historian at University of Newcastle. Professor John Maynard is currently studying the history of the New South Wales Aborigines Protection/Welfare Board from 1883-1969. Maynard’s journey began with a desire to piece together a family history and has now become one of the world’s most prolific and respected voices on Indigenous history, internationally regarded as an expert on issues ranging from military involvement to political activism and sport.


Host:  Bill Harris




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