Talking Ideas: An Evening with General Sir Peter Cosgrove

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Share an evening with General Sir Peter Cosgrove, in conversation with Kristina Olsson, as he discusses his new memoir You Shouldn’t Have Joined… and reflects on his full and eventful life.

General Sir Peter Cosgrove AK AC (Mil) CVO MC (Retd) is one of Australia's most significant public figures. As a soldier he saw action in Vietnam, winning the Military Cross, and rose to the very top of his profession, becoming Chief of the Defence Force. Soon after his retirement from the Army, he was invited to take charge of the huge relief and rebuilding operation in Queensland after the devastation of Cyclone Larry.

In 2014, Cosgrove became Australia's Governor-General. When he retired in July 2019, he was one of the most beloved and respected governors-general in Australia's history.

You Shouldn't Have Joined ... gives an incredible insight into this role and the world of Australia's Governor-General.

Don’t miss this special event. Register to join us online.

Purchase your copy of You Shouldn’t Have Joined… now from the Library Shop. A limited number of signed copies are available.


About General Sir Peter Cosgrove

Peter Cosgrove came to national attention in 1999 when, as Commander of the International Task Force East Timor (INTERFET), he was responsible for overseeing that country's transition to independence. For his leadership in this role he was promoted to Companion in the Military Division of the Order of Australia (AC).

Promoted to Lieutenant General, he was appointed Chief of Army in 2000. After further promotion to General, he served as Chief of the Defence Force from 2002 to 2005. He retired from the Australian Defence Force in 2005. Subsequently, he accepted positions on several boards, including QANTAS, Cardno and the Australian Rugby Union. He was appointed by the Queensland Government to lead the taskforce rebuilding communities in the Innisfail region following the devastation caused by Cyclone Larry in 2006. From 2007 to 2012, he chaired the Council of the Australian War Memorial, and served as Chancellor of the Australian Catholic University from 2010 until early 2014.

On 25 March 2014, General Cosgrove became a Knight in the Order of Australia when he was sworn in as Governor-General (2014-2019).


About Kristina Olsson

Kristina Olsson is an award-winning writer of fiction, non-fiction and journalism. Her 2013 memoir, Boy, Lost, garnered multiple national and state premiers’ awards, and her most recent novel, Shell, launched the legendary Scribner Australia literary imprint and was shortlisted in several major literary awards.

Shell is set in the mid-1960s, against the backdrop of the building of the Sydney Opera House and Australia’s entry into the Vietnam War.

Kristina’s previous work includes the novels The China Garden and In One Skin, and the biography Kilroy Was Here. She has also had a long career as a journalist, an advisor to government, and a teacher of creative writing. 

She is currently working on a new work of narrative non-fiction which looks at homelands through the lens of geology, memory, and the vexed notion of belonging. She lives in Brisbane.


About the series

This event is part of the Talking Ideas series. Talking Ideas entertains, inspires and fosters debate; addressing issues that inform our times and shape our lives. Live events and interviews with the world’s best authors, thinkers and commentators.

Talking Ideas: an evening with General Sir Peter Cosgrove will be streamed on Tuesday 24 November 2020 at 7:30pm here and we encourage you to join the conversation via our website and on Facebook.

The recorded introduction to this event will be subtitled, and the discussion between Sir Peter Cosgrove and Kristina Olsson and the audience Q&A will be Auslan interpreted.

Disclaimer: The views expressed by the speaker are their own and the promotion of products/services is not endorsed by State Library.

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