Having taught history for 30 years at Ballarat Secondary Schools, Doug now spends most of his time at the Gold Museum, Sovereign Hill. His engaging and thought provoking introduction to the Goldfields is enjoyed by over 100 schools every year.  

In addition Doug works with local primary schools enhancing their local history studies. As a public speaker, Doug has spoken to a large number of groups such as Rotary, Probus and U3A classes.

Doug has now written seven books in the Seriously Weird History Series which continue Doug’s passion for engaging people in reading, enjoying and reflecting upon the human story. He is now working on a walk book of the mining areas in Ballarat and a trilogy of books on Ballarat 1851-1920. MORE >>


The Seriously Weird Series
Enjoyable, readable, challenging history is back!

The human story is fascinating, intriguing and puzzling. Yet for decades we have ‘lost the plot,’ particularly with Australian History. This series of books restores the narrative, the plot, to the central role it deserves.

The story is told with plenty of heroes and villains. Captain Cook, Governor Macquarie, Burrumbeet, Hargraves, Lawson and Paterson, are all there. It is written with rigour and vigour. It’s bright and breezy, but not too light or too easy.

The aim is not to present the truth, but to encourage the reader to begin the search for the truth. Insightful and thought provoking cartoons appeal especially to the young.

To be ‘turned on’ by History everyone, especially students, need to be engaged by the story. They also need to have a basic framework of knowledge and understanding, an overview of the whole story. Finally they need to have the thinking skills to critically examine the story.

This series will engage and enthuse, prod and provoke, children and teachers, parents and grandparents into the joy of learning about the human story.


The Astonishing History of Ballarat 1851-55   

Written for adults, this book is the start of a whole new series which examines how the golden affluence of Ballarat was found, extracted and spent in the years 1851-55.

The book highlights the crucial ingredient for success and that is understanding and intelligence. Successful mining required never ending reflection by the diggers on their experience, especially on their problems, difficulties and failures. Deep sinking required deep thinking.

Fortunately, the diggers not only talked about gold around camp fires or at the pub, they also talked to reporters or wrote letters to newspapers.

In The Astonishing History of Ballarat we join the diggers on their quest for understanding. We can virtually hear them thinking.