First Eight Lecture Series with Dr David Headon - Prime Minister Cook

Parliamentary Library Lecture: Joseph Cook — The Eternal Outsider

As part of the First Eight Project

About the Lecture

At the State funeral in 1947 for Sir Joseph Cook, he was described as ‘an Australian Lincoln’, and his extraordinary journey from the coal mines of England as a child to become Australia’s sixth prime minister does appear to contain all the hallmarks of a heroic migrant narrative. Yet with Cook, appearances can be deceptive. He is a forgotten figure in our political history, and there are several possible explanations — at once political, cultural, religious and above all, personal, reaching deep into the character of the man. He was a ‘chameleon’ without political roots, as one contemporary described him, and this lecture will explore why.

About the Speaker

David Headon is a cultural consultant and historian. Formerly Director of the Centre for Australian Cultural Studies, Cultural Adviser to the National Capital Authority and History and Heritage Adviser for the Centenary of Canberra, he is now a Foundation Fellow at the Australian Studies Institute (ANU), a Parliamentary Library Associate and the Canberra Raiders club historian.

The First Eight Project is a collaborative project between the Australian Parliamentary Library, Australian Studies Institute (ANU), National Archives of Australia, National Museum of Australia, and Victorian Parliamentary Library.

Information for Guests

This free seminar  will be held in the in the Parliament House Theatre, Parliament House. Senators, Members, their staff and the public are welcome to attend in person. Tickets to this seminar can be booked online through Humanitix.

This seminar will also be live streamed and recorded. You can access the live stream on the day at Watch, Read, Listen.

A recording of the seminar will be made available on the Parliament of Australia website.

For further information, or if you have any accessibility requirements, call or email Rowena Billing on 02 6277 8377.

Updated:  5 October 2023/Responsible Officer:  Institute Director/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications