PLACE OF SHADOWS, The History of Noosa

Phil’s 45-minute presentation begins with the screening of a 12-minute documentary video about the book, followed by a two-part talk. The first part addresses Noosa’s battle against over-development generally, and the role of the Parks Association specifically. The second part looks at how we have treated the Kabi Kabi First Nation over 150 years since settlement, and what we can do for the future. A 15-20-min Q & A will follow.

ABOUT PLACE OF SHADOWS, The History of Noosa

This comprehensive history of Noosa comes straight from the heart. Award-winning writer Phil Jarratt has lived in the seaside town for more than 30 years, and has played many roles, as both communicator and protagonist, over its transition from sleepy village to iconic resort. In many ways it is a love letter to his adopted home, but the Noosa story is not always a pretty one, and Jarratt does not flinch from the harsh realities of the cruelties inflicted on the Kabi Kabi First Nation, nor from the wild years when Tewantin was a playground for cashed-up gold diggers, nor from the unscrupulous development deals of the Joh era. But this is a history filled with admiration for the fighters of the past, and hope for the future.


Phil Jarratt’s book couldn’t have come at a more opportune moment.  Noosa’s beginnings were built on cruelty towards its original inhabitants and at the present moment it’s in danger of being loved to death.  Phil, with panache and clarity, takes us through the history that moved Noosa from that shameful beginning to its present uber-desirability and suggests cogent ways to address the very real problems that our past and our present force us to face. It is a gripping read with a deeply felt moral heart.

DAVID WILLIAMSON, playwright and Noosa resident


Over a 50-year career encompassing journalism, marketing, event creation and management, the writing of more than 40 books and the production of four television documentaries, Phil Jarratt has won many awards and an international reputation for his storytelling skills. In 1990 he moved his young family to Noosa to become The Bulletin Magazine’s Queensland correspondent, and later founded Noosa Blue magazine and the Noosa Festival of Surfing. Apart from seven years working abroad in Europe and the US, he has been a Noosa resident and rate-payer for 32 years. He is currently consulting editor for Noosa Today and is contracted to write two books this year. His most recent book, Place of Shadows, received excellent reviews when published late last year.

Phil lives in Noosaville with wife Jackie, with three daughters and five grandsons also living locally. He surfs every day there are waves to ride. 

Posted in Friday Talks.