Trish Skehan, our Public Relations Officer, is available to speak on a number of subjects.

To arrange a visit please contact Trish direct on 0414-434-172

Canada Bay Exiles

The true story of a group of Canadian patriots, exiled for life in Australia, and later exonerated by their nation, is compelling history. Arriving in Sydney in 1839 these men existed for years at Longbottom Stockade (Concord), the halfway station between Farm Cove and Parramatta settlements.

The reason they were sent to “The Land of a Thousand Sorrows” and the “Deep Sense of Wrong” that prevailed throughout their tragic sojourn in Australia became the titles of two books written by other authors on this subject.

With sketches and extracts from a secret journal written by one of the patriots, Francois Le Pallieur, on that site, Trish tells a compelling story.

Sight board with photos and documents. 40 minutes.

Sir Ross Smith, Aviator

Ross Smith’s brief but dashing life is another fascinating tale. Honoured as the first pilot to fly from London to Australia after WWI, the exploits of Ross and his team of daring young men and their flying machine will amaze you. (Incidentally, Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith died trying to replicate that flight in a faster time.)

Extracts from Ross Smith’s diary tell of the drama, the humour and tragedies encountered in their struggle to reach Darwin before other aviators, to win a fantastic prize. What happened along the way, and why it took so long to get from Darwin to Sydney makes a great yarn.

Sight board, photos, documents. 40 minutes

Charles Kingsford-Smith – Southern Cross

Another inspiring story of battling the elements in an incredible journey across the Pacific. The highs and lows of the flight, the hilarity and the terror, the majestic beauty of the skies and the treacherous winds that threatened the small craft, will remain in your memory long after the talk. Don’t miss this one. Booklet available.

Sight board, photos, documents. 40 minutes

The Walkers of Yaralla

The story of Yaralla, ‘most significant suburban Edwardian estate in NSW’, became the topic for a book published during Heritage Week 2000. Who were the Walkers, and why was their estate left to us, the people of NSW?

A six-minute video is now available, produced by the ABC for the 7:30 Report.

Once the hub of Sydney society, Yaralla estate is now used by the Health Department as a dialysis unit.

Hear the history and then book a tour of this unique estate, situated in Concord on the banks of the Parramatta River.

45 minutes

Eadith: Concord’s Royal Kin

This is my second book in the series on the life and times of the philanthropic Walker family.

Travelling to London in September 2001, I toured Britain to search for more information, documents and photographs about the Walkers’ royal connections. After meeting Sir Alistair Aird at St James Palace, Lord Elgin and Sir Harry Verney, the story unfolded.

In a small farmhouse in Sussex I uncovered boxes of papers, letters and photograph albums about Dame Eadith and her godson, John Verney, thought to have died tragically in WWII. He was found alive a year later.

Those photographs, discovered since first going to press with “The Walkers of Yaralla”, have now been included in this new book.

Video about Yaralla, with updates and still photos. Includes rare film footage. A six-minute video, produced by the ABC, is screened (with their permission). A brief talk about Dame Eadith follows. Some of Dame Eadith’s private film collection has been restored. One short (9 min) reel contains a rare Felix the Cat animated cartoon, an episode that the National Film and Sound Archives did not have. The second clip features a boy and his dog fishing, the third section is an early Charlie Chaplin adventure. These silent movies are greeted with much applause and laughter at their screenings.

These are only shown at book talks. 50 minutes

The book is available, priced at $19.95. A special “thank you for having me” discount is offered to those purchasing books at my talks. This signed, limited edition of 1000, is available at the talk.

Lord Elgin’s Marbles

The strange and tragic story of events that led to the removal of 200 crates full of artefacts from the Parthenon.

Although attributed to Lord Elgin, the real culprits come to light in this fascinating research.

Overheads to illustrate. 40 minutes

Patricia Skehan is a founding member of the Concord Heritage Society. She is an experienced speaker, talking to Rotary, Probus, VIEW and Zonta Clubs, Heritage Societies, Garden Clubs, etc

She has presented talks on 2CBA FM radio and has been published nationally.

Talks are held free of charge.

Book a guest speaker logo

Harry Kimble, our Vice-President, is available to speak on and show PowerPoint presentations of his extensive travels around the world.

Harry has visited every continent and his travel talks are supported with colourful photos of the trips.

His talks include:

Silk Road:   Overland from Shanghai to St Petersburg

Egypt:   Nile and Lake Nasser cruising and coach to ancient Egyptian sites

Easter Island:   Self drive exploration of the island and the enigmatic statues

Antarctica:   Cruise from Punta Arenas, Falkland Islands, South Georgia Islands, Antarctic Peninsula

Spain & France:   Coach tour from Madrid, up the west coast of France then down central France to       Barcelona

Tibet:   Small bus tour from Chengdu the to Lhasa, across Tibet and ending in Kathmandu

US National Parks:   Self drive through 13 states visiting national parks and historic sites.

Voyage of the Vikings:   Cruise from Amsterdam visiting Ireland, Iceland, Greenland, Canada and USA

Baltic Cruise:   Cruise from Copenhagen to Copenhagen via Oslo, Tallinn, St Petersburg and other ports.

Iran:   Coach tour from Tehran, visiting Shiraz, Esfahan, Yadz, Amongst others and back to Tehran.

India:   Overland tour of Rajasthan in Northern India and to Agra and Taj Mahal

Caucasus:   Car tour of Romania then Istanbul then coach tour of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia.

To arrange a talk please contact Harry direct by email or by phone on (02) 9716-7102. Talks are Free.