Paul Daley to explain his book “Canberra” at Paperchain

By 27 November, 2012 23

5 December, 2012
6:00 pm

canberra cover

This in from Paperchain:

Please join us to hear Paul Daley, author of Canberra, in conversation with journalist Chris Hammer.

An implicit sense of public service and ‘otherness’ has now come to permeate Canberra’s identity to a point that there is a great smugness, arrogance even, that the rest of Australia can hate us – but they’ll never know how good it is to live here.

Canberra is a city of orphans. People arrive temporarily for work, but stay on because they discover unanticipated promise and opportunity in a city that the rest of the country loathes but can’t really do without. Daley’s Canberra begins and ends at the lake and its forgotten suburbs, traces of which can still be found on Burley Griffin’s banks. It meanders through the cultural institutions that chronicle the unsavoury early life of Canberra, the graveyard at St John’s where the pioneers rest and the mountains that surround the city. In Canberra people don’t ask you where you went to school, as they do in Melbourne, or where your house is and how much you paid for it, as they do in Sydney. They ask you where you’ve come from. And how long you’re going to stay.

Over a career spanning more than 20 years Paul Daley has been a political writer, a defence and foreign affairs correspondent and a foreign correspondent for Fairfax newspapers (The Age, The Sunday Age), and a national affairs editor for The Bulletin.

He has covered conflicts in and reported from Bosnia, East Timor, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan.

He is the winner of the Walkley Award for Investigative Journalism and the Paul Lyneham Award for Excellence in Press Gallery Journalism.

Wednesday December 5
5.45 for 6.00pm

RSVP Tuesday December 4
Telephone 6295 6723 or
email info@paperchainbookstore.com.au

http://www.paperchainbookstore.com.au

Please login to post your comments
23 Responses to Paul Daley to explain his book “Canberra” at Paperchain
#1
Pestiness12:16 pm, 27 Nov 12

As a multi-generational Canberran, I get the poops when our overgrown country town is described as ‘a city of orphans’. Too many ‘Canberra migrants’ (generally not the ones who arrived in the 50s and 60s, but those who came–and probably went–in later years) are full of so much self-importance and arrogance it gives us all a bad name. Curious as to whether Paul Daley covered this aspect of ‘Canberra culture’. I’m sick of this place being seen through repro-tortoiseshell-frame-clad eyes, glimpsed through purposefully-accidentally-tousled hair and conveyed by hipster lips. Drive off to wankersville with your ‘Feel the Power’ number plates (if you’ve bothered changing the rego).

#2
Mr Evil12:47 pm, 27 Nov 12

A city of orphans? Well that might explain why so many people in Canberra can’t drive: they didn’t have a Mummy or Daddy to show them how to do it properly.

#3
Spiral12:56 pm, 27 Nov 12

“He is the winner of the Walkley Award for Investigative Journalism”

If that description of his book is accurate I hope he hands back that award.

We could give him the “Wankers Award for Google use and pandering to stereotypes”

#4
poetix1:25 pm, 27 Nov 12

Pestiness said :

As a multi-generational Canberran, I get the poops when our overgrown country town is described as ‘a city of orphans’. Too many ‘Canberra migrants’ (generally not the ones who arrived in the 50s and 60s, but those who came–and probably went–in later years) are full of so much self-importance and arrogance it gives us all a bad name. Curious as to whether Paul Daley covered this aspect of ‘Canberra culture’. I’m sick of this place being seen through repro-tortoiseshell-frame-clad eyes, glimpsed through purposefully-accidentally-tousled hair and conveyed by hipster lips. Drive off to wankersville with your ‘Feel the Power’ number plates (if you’ve bothered changing the rego).

There is nothing wrong with repro-tortoiseshell-frame-clad eyes. Some of those eyes belong to persons who could only be described as the salt of the earth.

Please don’t write that again; you made me spill my short black.

#5
Madam Cholet2:12 pm, 27 Nov 12

I went to the thing that the ANU put on for this book – again an interview with the author. Have not yet purchased said book, but it sounds spot on to me from what I heard.

He’s not a wanker or a tortoise-shell glasses wearer – he’s a long time Canberra resident who has done a huge amount of research on the book right back to Canberra’s beginnings. It’s actually party of a “City” series.

How about you have a read and see what he wrote?

#6
GardeningGirl2:26 pm, 27 Nov 12

“Canberra is a city of orphans. People arrive temporarily for work, but stay on . . ”
Surely this has changed somewhat since I was a young’un and people expressed surprise at my being born here? There’s two additional hospitals with maternity wards now, what are they all doing?

#7
Spiral2:35 pm, 27 Nov 12

Madam Cholet said :

I went to the thing that the ANU put on for this book – again an interview with the author. Have not yet purchased said book, but it sounds spot on to me from what I heard.
. . .
How about you have a read and see what he wrote?

Well if the description in the OP is correct then it is certainly not spot on with the Canberra I live in. Perhaps he should go and do some “Investigative Journalism” in the suburbs where most Canberrans live.

This:

Spiral said :

In Canberra people don’t ask you where you went to school, as they do in Melbourne, or where your house is and how much you paid for it, as they do in Sydney. They ask you where you’ve come from. And how long you’re going to stay.

Is just a load of garbage. And having friends and relatives in Melbourne and Sydney I would say that even his distinction between the questions asked in those two cities seems rather stupid.

#8
Thumper2:46 pm, 27 Nov 12

Actually, I’m tempted to buy it.

#9
random2:56 pm, 27 Nov 12

Madam Cholet said :

he’s a long time Canberra resident who has done a huge amount of research on the book right back to Canberra’s beginnings. It’s actually party of a “City” series.

Whenever I travel I always have a little regret that I come back knowing more about the history of some foreign city than about my own home. I can’t make it to the talk but I’m looking forward to reading the book.

#10
Gungahlin Al3:44 pm, 27 Nov 12

I’ve read several reviews of this book so far, and every one of them has been very positive. And they all said it paints Canberra in a good light – from a person who (like me) deliberately moved back to Canberra.

I get little time for reading things on paper these days, but I am tempted to get this one.

#11
Spykler4:36 pm, 27 Nov 12

Madam Cholet said :

I went to the thing that the ANU put on for this book – again an interview with the author. Have not yet purchased said book, but it sounds spot on to me from what I heard.

He’s not a wanker or a tortoise-shell glasses wearer – he’s a long time Canberra resident who has done a huge amount of research on the book right back to Canberra’s beginnings. It’s actually party of a “City” series.

How about you have a read and see what he wrote?

Was at same ANU function and was impressed with his refreshing insight- this long-term Canberra resident will def get a copy.

#12
astrojax4:59 pm, 27 Nov 12

Pestiness said :

As a multi-generational Canberran, I get the poops when our overgrown country town is described as ‘a city of orphans’. Too many ‘Canberra migrants’ (generally not the ones who arrived in the 50s and 60s, but those who came–and probably went–in later years) are full of so much self-importance and arrogance it gives us all a bad name. Curious as to whether Paul Daley covered this aspect of ‘Canberra culture’. I’m sick of this place being seen through repro-tortoiseshell-frame-clad eyes, glimpsed through purposefully-accidentally-tousled hair and conveyed by hipster lips. Drive off to wankersville with your ‘Feel the Power’ number plates (if you’ve bothered changing the rego).

i don’t believe the book’s author wrote that blurb, like you seem to. who has the narrow-focus lenses on, then?

i’ve been here some twenty six years – does that make me a blow-in or a local (or somewhere in between)? i’m also looking forward to the book – nothing to say if it fiction or otherwise, but: someone who went to the anu soiree?

#13
c_c™5:22 pm, 27 Nov 12

“In Canberra people don’t ask you where you went to school, as they do in Melbourne, or where your house is and how much you paid for it, as they do in Sydney.”

Well, they do ask. I’ll hold judgement till I see the actual book text, but the blurb doesn’t sound promising.

#14
Madam Cholet6:01 pm, 27 Nov 12

astrojax said :

Pestiness said :

As a multi-generational Canberran, I get the poops when our overgrown country town is described as ‘a city of orphans’. Too many ‘Canberra migrants’ (generally not the ones who arrived in the 50s and 60s, but those who came–and probably went–in later years) are full of so much self-importance and arrogance it gives us all a bad name. Curious as to whether Paul Daley covered this aspect of ‘Canberra culture’. I’m sick of this place being seen through repro-tortoiseshell-frame-clad eyes, glimpsed through purposefully-accidentally-tousled hair and conveyed by hipster lips. Drive off to wankersville with your ‘Feel the Power’ number plates (if you’ve bothered changing the rego).

i don’t believe the book’s author wrote that blurb, like you seem to. who has the narrow-focus lenses on, then?

i’ve been here some twenty six years – does that make me a blow-in or a local (or somewhere in between)? i’m also looking forward to the book – nothing to say if it fiction or otherwise, but: someone who went to the anu soiree?

It’s about Canberra so not fiction. History, bio, authors own musings. He seemed very passionate about the place he now calls home. I’m also really looking forward to reading it. Nicely timed given the centenery obviously!

#15
drfelonious6:17 pm, 27 Nov 12

This:

drfelonious said :

In Canberra people don’t ask you where you went to school, as they do in Melbourne, or where your house is and how much you paid for it, as they do in Sydney. They ask you where you’ve come from. And how long you’re going to stay.

Is just a load of garbage. And having friends and relatives in Melbourne and Sydney I would say that even his distinction between the questions asked in those two cities seems rather stupid.

I completely disagree with you Spiral. I too have friends in Melbourne and relatives in Sydney and I would say this quote is a very perceptive observation of the two cities – at least in terms of my experience.

#16
Masquara6:53 pm, 27 Nov 12

I’m so tired of claims that Canberra is “being discovered”. First gay Sydney hipster couple that I know to have made the move to Canberra sold up in Newtown in the early 1980s and never looked back. And that “city of orphans” thing is totally outdated. Most Canberrans now are Canberra-region born and bred.

I heard an excerpt read out on radio a couple of weeks ago and sheesh he may be a good journo but he’s a very bad writer on this kind of topic. Puce.

#17
Watson7:04 pm, 27 Nov 12

Pestiness said :

As a multi-generational Canberran, I get the poops when our overgrown country town is described as ‘a city of orphans’. Too many ‘Canberra migrants’ (generally not the ones who arrived in the 50s and 60s, but those who came–and probably went–in later years) are full of so much self-importance and arrogance it gives us all a bad name. Curious as to whether Paul Daley covered this aspect of ‘Canberra culture’. I’m sick of this place being seen through repro-tortoiseshell-frame-clad eyes, glimpsed through purposefully-accidentally-tousled hair and conveyed by hipster lips. Drive off to wankersville with your ‘Feel the Power’ number plates (if you’ve bothered changing the rego).

“Boohoo, the book isn’t about me and anyone who wasn’t born here is not a real Canberran”.

Those ‘Canberra migrants’ and geographical orphans probably outnumber the inbreds, so deal with it. Or move. But you cannot claim that demographic doesn’t have a significant impact on the character of this town.

#18
Jethro9:34 pm, 27 Nov 12

Well as someone who has moved here relatively recently this does sound right… most people in my circle do ask where I’m from and how long I plan on staying. The public service has its grad intake each year, bringing people from all across the country. Many stay for a year or two and go back home. Others make this place their home. The short-term stayer and new arrival aspect of Canberra is relatively unique when it comes to Australian capital cities. I would wager that a good percentage of people who contribute to this forum were not born here but came her for work and ended up staying because they found a place they wanted to make their home.

The book sounds interesting. I haven’t read it but it sounds like it puts the positive spin on a city that most of Australia likes to make fun of, but many others move to only to discover that it is a great place to live. I don’t see the problem.

Typical Canberra whinging.

#19
grunge_hippy10:52 pm, 27 Nov 12

In Canberra people don’t ask you where you went to school, as they do in Melbourne, or where your house is and how much you paid for it, as they do in Sydney. They ask you where you’ve come from. And how long you’re going to stay.

EVERYONE in Canberra asks where you went to school… it’s then that you find out that you know someone who knew someone else who knows your brother. You don’t even need 6 degrees of separation in Canberra.

#20
what_the3:12 am, 28 Nov 12

grunge_hippy said :

In Canberra people don’t ask you where you went to school, as they do in Melbourne, or where your house is and how much you paid for it, as they do in Sydney. They ask you where you’ve come from. And how long you’re going to stay.

EVERYONE in Canberra asks where you went to school… it’s then that you find out that you know someone who knew someone else who knows your brother. You don’t even need 6 degrees of separation in Canberra.

Exactly, and plenty of times friend groups went to the same school. Canberra can be very cliquey like that.

But the most common question I’ve heard is “what level APS are you” as if this somehow determines your status in Canberra.

#21
Gungahlin Al9:44 am, 28 Nov 12

grunge_hippy said :

In Canberra people don’t ask you where you went to school, as they do in Melbourne, or where your house is and how much you paid for it, as they do in Sydney. They ask you where you’ve come from. And how long you’re going to stay.

EVERYONE in Canberra asks where you went to school… it’s then that you find out that you know someone who knew someone else who knows your brother. You don’t even need 6 degrees of separation in Canberra.

Never been asked once.

#22
NicholasBurns11:08 am, 28 Nov 12

what_the said :

But the most common question I’ve heard is “what level APS are you” as if this somehow determines your status in Canberra.

Guess why I’m leaving….

#23
Spykler1:11 pm, 28 Nov 12

grunge_hippy said :

In Canberra people don’t ask you where you went to school, as they do in Melbourne, or where your house is and how much you paid for it, as they do in Sydney. They ask you where you’ve come from. And how long you’re going to stay.

EVERYONE in Canberra asks where you went to school… it’s then that you find out that you know someone who knew someone else who knows your brother. You don’t even need 6 degrees of separation in Canberra.

Standard Canberra question, even beats ‘where do you work’? Questioner is usually interested in your school history as with the 1 degree of seperation we have here in the ACT there is a better than 90% chance they will known somebody (sister, brother, friend, in-law, neighbour) who will have either known you or your sis, bro, best mate etc..Great ice-breaker at social gatherings in our fair town.

Advertisement
GET PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP

Halloween in Australia?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

IMAGES OF CANBERRA

Advertisement
Sponsors
RiotACT Proudly Supports
Copyright © 2014 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.