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Community talks

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UPDATE: Due to COVID-19, our face-to-face presentations have been suspended; however, we can still deliver our talks to community groups via Zoom.

Discover some of the most extraordinary places on Sydney Harbour with our exciting program of free Community Talks for Probus Club, U3A, historical societies and community groups.

Marrying archival and current images with historical facts and anecdotes, our speakers will show you a side of our protected places that you've never seen before.

Our talks

There are three fascinating talks to choose from...

Extraordinary places on Sydney Harbour

Our speaker will paint a vivid picture of our visitor destinations, including North Head Sanctuary (Manly), Headland Park (Mosman), Cockatoo Island (Sydney Harbour), Sub Base Platypus (North Sydney), Woolwich and Macquarie Lightstation (Vaucluse). Plus, you’ll gain fascinating insights into convict life on Cockatoo Island, the role of North Fort’s military fortifications during World War II, and more!

Cockatoo Island: Heart of the Harbour

Our speaker will delve into the history of this one-time convict penal establishment, reformatory school and shipbuilding yard. Hear how the island’s convicts were shaped by harsh living and working conditions, how vulnerable boys were gathered from the streets of Sydney and taught trades, and how shipbuilders made Cockatoo Island the major shipbuilding and dockyard facility for the South West Pacific in WWII.

Tales from North Head Sanctuary

Our speaker will offer an in-depth look at North Head Sanctuary in Manly, delving into the military and quarantine history of this stunning coastal site as well as its unique flora and fauna. Hear tales of the soldiers who defended Sydney during World War II as well as the people who succumbed to the ravages of small pox, the plague and other epidemics and were interred at Third Quarantine Cemetery.



Key details

  • Bookings accepted for groups of 20 or more within the Sydney Metropolitan area.
  • Our speakers come to your group or society to deliver our free presentations.
  • Presentations run for 45 minutes, with time at the end for questions and answers.

“The Marsfield Probus wish to thank you for the morning we spent with your speaker and representative Marie. She delivered a very informative presentation with very good corresponding photos. Everybody was very impressed and we are considering a day trip to one of the places we were shown.” – Jacqueline, Marsfield Probus Club