Telling the Truth or Telling History

Can truth fight fiction and win; must truth always be the first casualty of war?

Date: Saturday, 6 April 2019
Time: 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Ticket Price: Adult $15 Concession $12 (plus booking fees)
Location: DoubleTree by Hilton Esplanade Darwin

Kevin Foster in conversation with Tim Bowden, Host – Christina Twomey

Kevin and Tim look forward to lively exchanges with the audience as they discuss, debate and disagree to what extent ‘storytelling’ and the demand for ‘popular’ history should be allowed to extend and embroider the hard historical evidence.


Professor Christina Twomey

Christina is a Professor of History and Head of the School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies at Monash University. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences Australia and the Australian Academy of Humanities. The author of four books, including Australia’s Forgotten Prisoners: Civilians Interned by the Japanese in World War Two (2008), her most recent is The Battle Within POWs in postwar Australia, winner of the 2018 NSW Premier’s Prize for Australian History.

Associate Professor Kevin Foster

Kevin is an Associate Professor and Head of the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics at Monash University. His current research focuses on social media and the military; photographers of Australia’s military history section in the Second World War, and Australian photo magazines from 1939 – 1945. He has written extensively about the construction of national identity in literature, the media and in film, with a particular focus on conflict. His most recent book Don’t Mention the War: The Australian Defence Force, the Media and the Afghan Conflict offered a comprehensive analysis of how the Australian media covered the war in Afghanistan and the pressures that prevented them from reporting on the nation’s armed forces at war.

Tim Bowden AM

Tim has had an amazingly productive life as a journalist, broadcaster and writer. In 1965 he worked in Singapore as a correspondent covering the ‘confrontation’ between Malaysia and Indonesia and the Indo-China war. He worked with ABC in both television and radio – he became a national institution between 1986 and 1994 when he presented the Backchat program. He undertook major oral history projects, including Taim Bilong Masta (Australia’s colonial role in New Guinea), Prisoners of War: Australians Under Nippon, and Survival, about the extraordinary survival experiences of some prisoners of war.