Quadrant dinner: Michael Waterhouse

Michael Waterhouse
Adventures on the New Guinea Goldfields in the 1930s 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Michael Waterhouse, an economist and historian, is author of Not a Poor Man’s Field. The New Guinea Goldfields to 1942 – An Australian Colonial History, published in 2010 (reviewed in Quadrant by Chris Ashton in March 2011). Michael tells the story of how the New Guinea goldfields were discovered and developed into the second largest gold-producing province in Australasia and then uses these as a prism through which to view other aspects of Australia’s colonial experience. Themes include: 

  • how New Guinea led the world in commercial aviation in the 1930s
  • black-white encounters from the perspective of villagers and Europeans
  • how a rough frontier society evolved into one which replicated the Australian lifestyle but with some unusual twists

Michael will illustrate his talk with many old and previously unseen photos, conveying an evocative sense of time and place.

Michael Waterhouse was formerly a Senior Adviser in the Commonwealth Treasury and to the Campbell Committee, whose 1981 report led to deregulation of the Australian financial system. His book was inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, Les Waterhouse, who, before his death in 1945, was a director of the largest and most successful gold mining company, Bulolo Gold Dredging, and of the largest air transport company, Guinea Airways.

Venue: Union, University and Schools Club, 25 Bent Street, Sydney
Date and time: Friday June 3, 2011. Drinks 6pm-7pm; dinner from 7pm.
Dress: Jacket and tie for men.
Parking: Valet parking at Sofitel Wentworth Hotel, Blight Street entrance.
Cost: $74 per person. Pre-dinner drinks and table wine are extra, per consumption. 

By cheque: Make cheques payable to Quadrant, and send to Jean King at Quadrant.
By credit card: You can mail, fax or telephone credit card details – card brand, card number, name on card, expiry date, plus (important) your own phone number, but sorry no Amex – to Jean King at Quadrant Magazine, 2/5 Rosebery Place, Balmain NSW 2041. Phone (02) 9818 1155 

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