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Centre for Stories

In Conversation: Reneé Pettitt-Schipp and Georgia Richter

Join Georgia Richter in conversation with Dr Reneé Pettitt-Schipp as they discuss Reneé's newly launched book 'The Archipelago of Us'.


Jun 21, 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Centre for Stories

Join Georgia Richter in conversation with Dr Reneé Pettitt-Schipp as they discuss Reneé’s latest book The Archipelago of Us published by Fremantle Press (2023).

All profits from ticket sales will be donated to CARAD – Centre for Asylum seekers, Refugees And Detainees.

Copies of the books will be available to purchase on the evening thanks to our friends at Boffins Books.

Nibbles and drinks included.


Five years after first living in the Indian Ocean Territories, Reneé Pettitt-Schipp finds herself returning, haunted by memories of the asylum seekers she taught there in Australia’s detention system. Why do the islands still have a hold on her? Why are her memories such troubled ones? And why can she not let go?

Closer to Indonesia than Australia, Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands are out of sight and out of mind to most Australians, but they are the sites of some of our frontier wars, the places where our identity is laid bare in all its flawed complexity – and the places where there is time and space enough to ask: can we be better than this?

A travel narrative, a memoir and a thought-provoking look at Australia’s complicated history with Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) Islands and the asylum seekers detained there.


‘Sensitive and subtle, superbly evocative, vivid and arresting in its attention to detail in descriptions of place and the human and more-than-human worlds of the islands.’ David Carlin

‘Profound, beautifully written, and conveying an immediacy, a sense of being there physically and emotionally. Difficult subject matter handled with empathy.’ Amanda Curtin

‘Absolutely masterful and incredibly powerful. It demanded a lot of its reader, but also offered a world that was delicate, precise and achingly human.’ Catherine Noske

‘In impressive detail that shows a great depth of research, Pettitt-Schipp looks at the histories of the islands … The Archipelago of Us takes us on a fascinating trip across Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, while revealing the dark reality of Australia’s asylum seeker policies. It will make readers question the concept of Australian identity and the idea of a ‘fair go.’’ Books+Publishing


  • CONCESSION - In Conversation


  • ADULT - In Conversation


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