Skip to content

	Image: Tim Flannery

Celebrity events: Plumes and pearlshells

Insights into the life and culture of the New Guinea highlands

Hear about how the people and culture of Papua New Guinea’s highlands have influenced notable Australians.

Image: Tim Flannery

Wednesday 11 & 18 June 2014


Duration 30 minutes
Location: Entrance court

Related exhibition: Plumes and pearlshells

Bob Connolly in conversation with Margaret Throsby

Film director and author Bob Connolly joins us to discuss his award-winning Highlands trilogy. Produced with Robin Anderson, these documentaries – First contact (1983), Joe Leahy’s neighbours (1988) and Black harvest (1992) – chronicle the Australian penetration of the populated New Guinea highlands in the 1930s and the extraordinary clash of tribal and Western culture that followed. ABC Classic FM presenter Margaret Throsby will join Bob to speak about his travels to the highlands and the production of the trilogy.

Following this talk, Bob will provide a short introduction to the 7.15pm screening of First contact, which was nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary feature. More information


Wednesday 11 June 2014 6:30pm – 7pm

Professor Tim Flannery

Internationally acclaimed scientist, explorer and conservationist and best-selling author Professor Tim Flannery joins us to discuss his adventures conducting scientific research in the highlands of Papua New Guinea as described in his book Throwim way leg: tree-kangaroos, possums, and penis gourds (1997) and to consider the importance of material culture preservation.

Tim is also a well-known presenter on radio and television, and was named Australian of the Year in 2007. He has held various academic positions including professor at the University of Adelaide, director of the South Australian Museum, principal research scientist at the Australian Museum and visiting chair in Australian studies at Harvard University.


Wednesday 18 June 2014 6:30pm – 7pm