It was the largest, longest, and loudest of Australia’s bicentennial events - a shiny 1980s amalgam of cultural precinct, shopping mall, theme park, travelogue, and rock concert. How did this elaborate and expensive party change a city forever?
This Heritage Talk is about World Expo 88, commonly credited as the catalyst for Brisbane’s ‘coming of age’. It explores the shifting social and political environment of Expo 88, shaped as much by Queensland’s controversial premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Peteren as it was by those who reacted against him. It shows something initially greeted with outrage, scepticism, and indifference came to mean so much to so many, how a state better known for eliciting insults enchanted much of the nation, and how, to Brisbane, Expo was personal.
Jackie Ryan is the author of We’ll Show the World: Expo 88 (UQP), which won two 2018 Queensland Literary Awards: the Queensland Premier’s Award for a Work of State Significance and the University of Southern Queensland History Book Award; it was also shortlisted for The Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award. Jackie holds a PhD in history and political science from The University of Queensland.
Pine Rivers Heritage Museum, Old Petrie Town, 901 - 949 Dayboro Road, Whiteside 4503