For the latest information about upcoming meetings and guest speakers, stay tuned to this page and our monthly newsletters!

General Meetings

Our General Meetings are held on the third Saturday of the month (January – November) commencing at 2 pm.

After each meeting we present our Speakers Program, with an informative guest speaker each month. Non-members are most welcome to join us.

Please see our Speakers Program below for more information on upcoming talks.

Family History Group Meetings

Please note that our Family History Group meetings are currently in recess.

Monochrome photo of timber getters, courtesy New South Wales Forestry Commission
Timber Getters, courtesy NSW Forestry Commission

Our meeting venue is Gordon Library Meeting Room No. 1, in the Old Gordon Public School, which adjoins the Gordon Library, 799 Pacific Highway, Gordon (corner Pacific Highway and Park Avenue). It’s just a 5-minute walk from Gordon Station. For a map and parking information, see our Contact page.

Upcoming Meetings & Speakers Program

Our General Meetings are held on the third Saturday of the month (January – November) commencing at 2 pm.

Saturday 20th August 2022 General Meeting
David Rosenberg: Pine Gap – the Inside Story of the NSA in Australia

In 1966, Australia and the US signed a treaty that allowed the establishment of a jointly-run satellite tracking station, just south of Alice Springs. For more than fifty years it has operated in a shroud of secrecy, and been the target of much public and political controversy.

The intelligence collection mission at Pine Gap, and the partnership between Australia and the United States, has made Pine Gap the most important satellite ground site in the Intelligence Community.

David Rosenberg – a US high-tech spy who worked at Pine Gap for 18 years – was the first to speak out to give an insider’s account of what happens behind those locked gates in the middle of the Australian desert. When he left in 2008, he was the United States government’s longest serving technical liaison officer in Australia.

In his book, and in his presentation, David details his career with an American intelligence agency during a tumultuous period in history that covered the terms of three American Presidents, four Australian Prime Ministers, the end of the Cold War, a peace treaty between Israel and Jordan, two wars in Iraq and genocide in Rwanda, as well as the ‘War Against Terror’ and the emergence of North Korea as a nuclear-armed nation.

Join us for a top secret presentation!

Saturday 17th September 2022 General Meeting
Ian Burnet: The Tasman Map – the Dutch East India Company and the first Dutch discoveries of Australia

Every visitor who passes through the vestibule of the Mitchell Library stops to admire the magnificent marble mosaic of the Tasman Map, which fills the entire vestibule floor.

This story of the first Dutch voyages to discover Australia is set against the background of the struggle of the newly formed Dutch Republic to gain its independence from the Kingdom of Spain, and the struggle of the Dutch East India Company for trade supremacy in the East Indies against its Portuguese, Spanish and English rivals.

From 1606 to 1644, based on sixteen separate discoveries, the first map of Australia took shape. The Tasman Map shows a recognisable outline of the north, west and south coasts of Australia, that was not to change for another 125 years until James Cook charted the east coast in 1770.

In 1925 and 1933 the Mitchell Library acquired the Tasman Huydecoper Journal and the Tasman Bonaparte Map. The fascinating story of how the library managed to acquire these treasures of Dutch exploration and cartography brings new recognition to these icons of both Dutch and Australian history!

About Ian Burnet
Author, historian and voyager Ian Burnet grew up in South Gippsland and graduated with a degree in Geology and Geophysics from the University of Melbourne. He first went to work in Indonesia in 1968 as a young geologist and became fascinated by the diverse cultures and rich history of the archipelago. Ian has organised many sailing voyages around the Spice Islands for those interested in exploring the eastern archipelago, sailing in a traditional Indonesian wooden schooner.

He has spent thirty years living, working and travelling in Indonesia and is fascinated by the diverse history and culture of the archipelago. This is reflected in his books Spice Islands; East Indies; Archipelago – A Journey Across Indonesia; Where Australia Collides with Asia; The Tasman Map – The Biography of a Map; and his latest, Joseph Conrad’s Eastern Voyages.

A review of The Tasman Map states “Ian Burnet in this stunning volume brings alive the many voyages of discovery that linked the exploration and Dutch conquest of Indonesia to a growing awareness on the part of the Dutch of the great, but as yet unknown, land to the south”.

Ian’s website is

Join us for what is sure to be a fascinating presentation on Saturday 17th September!

Saturday 15th October 2022 General Meeting
Patrick Dodd: The Holtermann Collection

Recovered from a garden shed in Chatswood in 1951, the 3500 glass plates that constitute the Holtermann Collection are the world’s most complete record of the gold rush era, and a treasure of the State Library. A very informed talk from State Library volunteer and Ku-ring-gai Historical Society member, Patrick Dodd.

Saturday 19th November 2022 General Meeting
David Hunt: Girt Nation – the Unauthorised History of Australia, Volume 3

Another rollicking ride with author David Hunt, as he speaks about the latest book in his series of prize-winning “unauthorized histories”.

David tramples the tall poppies of the past in charting Australia’s transformation from aspiration to nation – an epic tale of charlatans and costermongers, of bush bards and bushier beards, of workers, and women who weren’t going to take it anymore!

Girt Nation introduces Alfred Deakin – the Liberal necromancer whose dead advisors made Australia a better place to live; and Banjo Paterson – the jihadist who called on God and the Prophet to drive the Australian infidels from the Sudan. And meet Catherine Helen Spence – the feminist polymath who envisaged a utopian future of free contraceptives and easy divorce! 

Thrill as Jandamarra leads the Bunuba against Western Australia, and Valentine Keating leads the Crutchy Push, an all-amputee street gang, against the conventionally limbed. Weep as Scott Morrison’s communist great-great-aunt Mary Gilmore holds a hose in New Australia. And marvel at how Labor, a political party that spent a quarter of a century infighting over how to spell its own name, ever rose to power.

Yes, you’ll meet a colourful cast of characters from the formative period of Australia’s nationhood, and guess what – books will be available to purchase!

Find out more, if you dare, at David Hunt’s website

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