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We’ll show the World: Expo88? by Jackie Ryan

March 13 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

World Expo 88 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, Expo 88 is commonly credited as the catalyst for Brisbane’s ‘coming of age’. So how did an elaborate and expensive party change a city forever?

We’ll Show the World explores the shifting social and political environment of Expo 88, shaped as much by Queensland’s controversial premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen as it was by those who reacted against him. It shows how 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.

BIO: Jackie Ryan holds a PhD in history and political science from The University of Queensland, where she was an Honorary Research Fellow. She wrote the didactic text for the Museum of Brisbane’s ‘Light Fantastic’ exhibition on Expo 88 in 2013, and has devised audiovisual material on Expo for the Southbank Corporation and the Queensland Museum. She produces the Aurealis Award-winning Burger Force comic series and founded comedy writing collective the Fanciful Fiction Auxiliary; the websites for both of these projects have been archived by the National Library of Australia as sites of cultural significance. Jackie is the programs manager at the Queensland Writers Centre. She still has her Expo season pass.

Wednesday talks are free, lunch afterwards $5.


March 13
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Event Category:


The Royal Historical Society of Queensland


Commissariat Store Museum
115 William St
Brisbane, 4000 Australia
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