The First Eight Project: Joseph Cook – the eternal outsider

The First Eight Project: Joseph Cook – the eternal outsider

About the Lecture

Sir Joseph Cook, Australia’s 6th prime minister, has been described as an ‘Australian Lincoln’ and a chameleon without political roots.

His extraordinary journey from child miner in England’s coal industry to knighted leader should lend itself to a heroic migrant narrative, but the personal story of this largely forgotten political figure is only now emerging from the archives.

Join Dr David Headon for canapés and conversation as you discover Cook’s life and a behind-the-scenes glimpse into how history is made and shared through the First Eight Project, proudly supported by National Archives of Australia.

The First Eight Project a lecture series presented by Dr David Headon that explores the lives of Australia's early political leaders and a joint undertaking between National Archives of Australia, the Parliamentary Library, National Museum of Australia, Victorian Parliamentary Library and the ANU Australian Studies Institute.

About the Speaker

David Headon is a cultural consultant and historian. Formerly Director of the Centre for Australian Cultural Studies, Cultural Adviser to the National Capital Authority and History and Heritage Adviser for the Centenary of Canberra, he is now a Foundation Fellow at the ANU Australian Studies Institute, a Parliamentary Library Associate and the Canberra Raiders club historian.

The First Eight Project launched in early 2018 as a joint undertaking between the Australian Parliamentary Library, the National Museum of Australia, the National Archives of Australia, the Victorian Parliamentary Library and the ANU Australian Studies Institute. The project incorporates a series of events, lectures, exhibitions, and a monograph series on the first eight Prime Ministers of Australia.

Date & time

Thu 07 Mar 2024, 5.30–7pm


National Archives of Australia, Kings Avenue Parkes, ACT 2600


Dr David Headon


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