Opening Night – Peter FitzSimons: The Day Everything Changed

Welcome to Country

Roque Lee

Larrakia man Roque Lee welcomes everyone to Larrakia country and talks briefly about the death of his grandfather, Juan (John) Rocque Cubillo when the first bombs fell on Darwin wharf on 19 February 1942.

The Day Everything Changed

Peter FitzSimons

19 February 1942 was the day when Australia’s history turned on its hinge.

Darwin was devastated by more bombs than were dropped at Pearl Harbour; more than 220 people were killed and for those who survived life would never be the same.

War had come to Australian soil. Australians were forced to confront the awful reality that they might not be able to defend their nation. Old protectors seemed unable to help. Australia was suddenly forced to find a new place in the world.

The bombs that fell on Darwin that day were destructive – but they built modern Australia.

Peter FitzSimons is a masterful storyteller who will powerfully evoke the events of the day that changed Australia forever.

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Roque Lee

Larrakia man Roque Lee (Gullawun) is a member of one of Darwin’s most ancient, highly respected and large families. Roque is an artist and teacher who, for many years, has worked to promote mutual understanding and respect between all of Darwin’s people. He was named in honour of his grandfather, Juan (John) Rocque Cubillo, who was killed by one of the first bombs that fell on Darwin on 19 February 1942. Roque says ‘We should remember what war really means. We should never forget that it happened right here in Darwin. We must help people to know and understand the truth’.

Peter FitzSimons AM

Columnist, international rugby player, broadcaster, writer, after- dinner speaker and much else – is there no end to the accomplishments of this remarkable man? Peter has written 27 best-selling books – not all of them endorsed by critics but all of them welcomed by the market. Peter says ‘I am not a military historian. I am a storyteller.’ He might have added ‘spellbinder’ – his books have his readers queuing at the bookshops to buy his latest title. That can’t be bad for history.

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Peter FitzSimons Headshot