Peter FitzSimons talks
How to use this resource
‘Peter FitzSimons talks’ is part of the larger resource, Writers talk. It aims to stimulate thought and discussion about the context and content of FitzSimons’s writings about Australian sport, historical events and people.
FitzSimons has worked in a range of media, writing newspaper sports columns, sporting and historical biographies and interpretations of two epic Australian historical events in Kokoda and most recently Tobruk.
He is Australia’s best selling non-fiction author. FitzSimons was one of over a hundred authors participating in the 2007 Sydney Writers’ Festival.
This resource contains eight videos addressing FitzSimons’s ideas about inspiration for writing, the writing process, and the perspective on historical issues in his work. FitzSimons talks about:
- his book Tobruk
- his fascination with legendary Australian campaigns and figures of World War II
- his approaches to researching and writing history
- dealing with primary sources
- popularising narrative history.
Each video has a series of questions or comments for students to consider and discuss. Teachers may find it useful to combine this resource with others listed in the Related resources section to extend students’ learning.
This also has useful connections with ‘William Dalrymple talks’ in Writers talk.
‘Peter FitzSimons talks’ can be used with students working towards achieving outcomes from Stage 6 of the NSW Board of Studies Modern History and History Extension Stage 6 syllabuses. The syllabuses can be found at:
Using ‘Peter FitzSimons talks’, students have the opportunity to learn about:
- the people and events of Australian history which inspire him
- the Tobruk campaign in World War II
- FitzSimons’s view of legends in the Australian psyche
- the process of history research and writing
- significant historiographical ideas and processes
- ways to plan and conduct historical investigations.
Using ‘Peter FitzSimons talks’, students have the opportunity to learn to:
- appreciate the role of planning in an historical investigation
- appreciate the influence of personal experiences on the motivation, interests and interpretations of writers
- appreciate the importance of locating, selecting and organising relevant information from a variety of sources
- understand the importance of using a variety of sources to develop a view about historical issues
- identify different historical perspectives and interpretations evident in sources
- appreciate the way history has been recorded over time
- appreciate the value of history for critical interpretation of the contemporary world.
This resource provides opportunities to address Quality teaching in NSW public schools by:
- encouraging students to understand and appreciate Peter FitzSimons’s perspectives, his approach to writing and his views on the differences between history and fiction (Problematic knowledge, Higher-order thinking)
- highlighting how popular literature intersects with historical writing for various media (Knowledge integration)
- focusing on the social and cultural context of FitzSimons’s work (Cultural knowledge)
- modelling how students can improve their own processes when using historical sources in their own writing (Connectedness).