Sugar Valley Library Museum : Guided Tours

Join us for Sugar Valley Library Museum guided tours.
Join our museum volunteers to learn more about the inaugural exhibition 'Westy: we built this history'.

Sugar Valley Library Museum is the first of its kind in Lake Macquarie, showcasing the rich history of West Wallsend. Developed in conjunction with the West Wallsend District Heritage Group, the exhibition presents the story of the region through enticing and immersive experiences, and objects portraying the life and times of this unique township.

The Museum contains interactive elements such as the Hunter's first virtual reality experience of an underground coal mine including oral histories from those that worked the site, historic objects from the West Wallsend and District Heritage Group’s collection and an engaging entertaining hands-on history experience. Our younger visitors will also have the opportunity to get up close with history through the 'Play Museum' and the Discovery cabinets.


Restless Dolly Maunder – Kate Grenville in conversation

Charlestown Library Cnr Smith & Ridley St, Charlestown, NSW, Australia

Learn how Kate Grenville uses f AMily memory and history to create compelling fiction. In conversation with Magdalena Ball.


Using poetry to reimagine the past: Magdalena Ball and Jean Kent

Charlestown Library Cnr Smith & Ridley St, Charlestown, NSW, Australia

Verse memoir: the nexus between f AMily history and poetry.
Jean Kent and Magdalena Ball have both released narrative verse memoirs this year. Jean’s The Shadow Box was inspired by the experiences of her maternal grandparents, George and Jean C AMpbell, during and shortly after World War I and Magdalena Ball’s Bobish explores the experiences of her great-grandmother Rebecca Lieberman, who migrated from the Eastern Europe to the United States in 1907 and through two world wars.

F AMily history is a volatile and uncertain thing. There are many different sides/experiences to every story and if you begin to ask questions, conflicting narratives. In spite of the complexity, there is something so compelling about delving deep into these stories – we find out so much more than the personal charm of these lives—there are the grand narratives of war and diaspora that are both fascinating from an historical context and also intensely resonant for a modern audience – so much has changed and yet so little has--what makes us fragile, beautiful and tragic as a species feels timeless.

Both books use the artefacts—letters, census documents and imagination to create a f AMily history which is as rooted in a modern sensibility as it is an historical revitalisation. The two of them will read from and talk about their work and the many correspondences and the way that poetry is the perfect medium for history.

Gold coin donation