150 people turned up in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in late October to hear lectures about the history of Norwegian immigration and settlement in Australia.
The talks were based on the new book Nedenunder og hjem – about Norwegian-Australian history.
Thanks to support from NORLA and with great help from the Norwegian Club of Queensland, Friends of Norway in Victoria and the Norwegian Seamen’s Church in Sydney, I was able to travel to Australia in late October to share some of the stories from my new book Nedenunder og hjem: Nordmenn i Australia gjennom 400 år (published in Norwegian by Vega Publishing Company, 2014).
The book is the most comprehensive account ever written on Norwegians in Australia. It traces Norwegians who have migrated to the Australian continent over a timespan of four centuries. Nedenunder og hjem gives a detailed account of the lives and endeavours of people from Norway who have lived in Australia since the beginning of the European colonisation to the present day.
Regarding my lecture tour, I would first of all like to say that I was overwhelmed by all the interest! I was not sure what to expect, but the turnout to my three history talks without doubt exceeded even my most optimistic estimates. Thank you to everyone who attended! We had 52 people in Brisbane, 60 in Sydney and 40 in Melbourne; and there was a great atmosphere during all these three events. It made me feel both very proud and happy.
I was delighted to meet many of you who I have previously only communicated with through digital channels. I also appreciated talking to some of the descendants and relatives of the people I have written about in Nedenunder og hjem.
Furthermore, I would like to thank you for all your questions and comments after the lectures in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. I think we could have kept the conversation going for many hours! Hopefully I was able to both enlighten and entertain you all during my one-hour lectures. At least, I did not see one single person who fell asleep!
And of course: Thank you to those of you who bought a copy of Nedenunder og hjem; demand exceeded my supply (which was limited to a suitcase due to baggage and customs restrictions), but everyone who ordered a copy from me will receive their book within two to three weeks. If you haven’t secured a copy for yourself yet – here is information about how to buy the book.
The most common question after the lectures was: Will there be an English translation? At this point, my book Nedenunder og hjem is only available in Norwegian. Unfortunately, there are no plans yet for a version in English as this would be both a costly and time-consuming undertaking. Although my spirits are high after this book tour to Australia, I also have to take into account that the market for a book like this in English is rather small.
However, please follow this blog where you can find a collection of articles in English related to some of the topics I have covered in Nedenunder og hjem. You can also follow me on Twitter: @reisefredrik.
The SBS Norwegian programme made a segment with me after the lecture in Sydney on 25 October. Here you can listen to me talking about the history of Norwegians in Australia.