John Turner Memorial Lecture

The John Turner Memorial Lecture is held in memory of Dr John Turner, a former history lecturer at the University of Newcastle and WEA Hunter. Dr Turner, who died in July 1998, was one of the foremost historians in the Hunter Valley with a keen interest in local convict history. The John Turner Memorial History Lecture is a joint initiative of the University of Newcastle and WEA Hunter.

2014 John Turner Memorial Lecture

The 2014 John Turner Memorial Lecture was delivered by Dr Julie McIntyre on 15 May 2014. Dr McIntyre's presentation, entitled The World in a Glass of Hunter Valley Wine, explored the Hunter's long journey to successful wine-making, beginning with the first vines planted in the 1820s. Dr McIntyre is a University of Newcastle graduate, lecturer in history and member of the Wine Studies Research Network at UON.

The 2013 John Turner Memorial Lecture was presented by Emeritus Professor Michael Rosenthal on Thursday 9 May at the Newcastle City Hall. Professor Rosenthal lecture featured on Colonel Paterson's Scrapbook and he described his lecture as follows.

When, in 1809, he knew he would be returning to Britain, colonial hand Colonel William Paterson took great care to commission watercolours from John Lewin and George Robert Evans, arguably the leading artists in the colony.

This comparatively ambitious project involved importing both drawing paper and watercolour paints into New South Wales, and the resulting work offers an intriguing snapshot of how what was meant as a penal colony, a place of punitive retribution, could be perceived as something very different.

The lecture will also investigate the role of scrapbooks more generally, and how the watercolours commissioned by Paterson for his own have a significant biographical significance.

Other past presenters of the lecture include authors Greg and Sylvia Ray, historian Professor Henry Reynolds and Dr Bob Brown (Eddy).