New Noosa history launch

Cover image, Place of Shadows. Art by Tony Edwards.

The first comprehensive history of Noosa in more than 40 years will be launched with considerable fanfare at the end of July.

Legendary playwright David Williamson will launch Phil Jarratt’s Place Of Shadows, The History of Noosa, at the Harbour Wine Bar on Friday, July 30. The book, beautifully illustrated with archive and contemporary photos, is the culmination of more than two years’ work for the Noosa Today writer, who has been based in Noosa for the last 30 of his 50-year career as a journalist, author and film-maker.

Says Phil: “This is the book I’ve been researching for nearly half my life, but it took a Covid year to finally bring it to fruition. Since the pandemic began, I think we’ve all developed a greater appreciation of where we live, its stories and its soul, and staying home instead of travelling gave me the time to pull all the threads of research together and create a book – my fortieth – that celebrates my adopted home but doesn’t pull punches about its dark past.”

Others appear to agree. David Williamson wrote: “A gripping read with a deeply felt moral heart. 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.”

“This very readable book describes how Noosa residents have mobilised to fight off every attempt to change the culture that has made it one of the most liveable communities on the planet,” wrote entrepreneur and Friend of Noosa Bob Ansett.

Said prize-winning historical novelist Jock Serong: “The Kabi Kabi paid dearly for the dreams of others, and Jarratt unsparingly sets out a litany of murder and subjugation, deploying all of his celebrated gifts as journalist, historian, business analyst and raconteur to paint a detailed portrait of Noosa; one that’s leavened with conscience and empathy.”

Published by Brisbane’s Boolarong Press, Place of Shadows will be available on-line and in book stores from mid-July, with signed copies on offer through Noosa Today. (See next week’s paper for details.) A limited number of tickets to the launch, featuring food, wine and a set of original Noosa songs by Barry Charles, available now from Annie’s Books, phone 5448 2053 or email