History and Archaeology


A weekly series of colourful, illustrated tutorials, some 30 minutes in length with a Q&A session to follow. To be held every Wednesday afternoon, 2 – 3 pm, in Severin Hall – see below for dates and topics. Non-U3A members are welcome to attend. The usual class fee applies of $3 for members displaying their U3A members’ badge, $5 for non-members. Book at reception. 

Dates & Topics


  • 2 June – Kupe And The Coming Of The Maori – (presented by Garth Abercrombie)
  • 9 June – The Voyages of De Bougainville and Baudin – (presented by Dr Françoise Daquin)
  • 16 June – Feudal, Formidable, Failure: A look at Japan 1868 – 1945 (presented by Carole Miller)
  • 23 June – The Beginning Of Colonisation Of The Pacific Islands – (presented by Dr Françoise Daquin)
  • 30 June – The Australian Dream (presented by Carole Miller)


These sessions will be presented by the following tutors:

  • Garth Abercrombie: born and educated in NZ became an Australian Citizen when working on Parliament House and Defence projects in Canberra. A retired Civil Engineer he had vast international experience (New Guinea, South Africa, Hong Kong, Philippines, Abu Dhabi, New Zealand) and also lectured in Engineering at the University of Canberra. An addicted traveller, he fell under the spell of Greece and its history on his honeymoon. He is currently completing a degree in Archaeology at JCU Cairns and his many trips to Greece have included a ‘dig’ with one of the world’s leading Archaeologists, Lord Colin Renfrew, on the islands of Keros and Dhaskalio.
  • Carole Miller: a passionate historian and Australian, spent over 40 years in media in Australia and overseas. Her contribution to broadcasting in Australia was honoured by being awarded Territorian of the Year and an OAM. As Chairman of Australia Day Council NT then Centenary of Federation NT she sat on both National bodies, and on the ABC National Council. Retiring as CEO of Keep Australia Beautiful Qld she returned to Cairns in 2016 which she had fallen in love with when managing ABC Far North in 1980s. Her M.A. in Ancient History is incomplete. Currently, she is regional convenor of the Order of Australia Association FNQ.
  • Dr Françoise Daquin: born and educated in France and England, she settled in Cairns with her family in the 1980s. A natural teacher, she taught French at schools and privately and became President of Alliance Française Australia, 1998-2000. After her BA (Hons) at JCU Cairns she went on to complete her doctorate this year, which focuses on the effect 19th century female writers had on slavery, which is now considered a crime against humanity. Until Covid she was a tutor in the history of Exploration of the Pacific, at JCU Cairns. Currently, she is enrolled in a Cambridge University teaching unit.