The History of Noosa
Published by Boolarong Press, July 2021.
This comprehensive history of Noosa comes straight from the heart. Award-winning writer Phil Jarratt has lived in the seaside town for more than 30 years, and has played many roles, as both communicator and protagonist, over its transition from sleepy village to iconic resort. In many ways it is a love letter to his adopted home, but the Noosa story is not always a pretty one, and Jarratt does not flinch from the harsh realities of the cruelties inflicted on the Kabi Kabi First Nation, nor from the wild years when Tewantin was a playground for cashed-up gold diggers, nor from the unscrupulous development deals of the Joh era. But this is a history filled with admiration for the fighters of the past, and hope for the future.
Noosa’s beginnings were built on cruelty towards its original inhabitants and at the present moment it’s in danger of being loved to death. Phil, with panache and clarity, takes us through the history that moved Noosa from that shameful beginning to its present uber-desirability and suggests cogent ways to address the very real problems that our past and our present force us to face.
This was kind of my Covid-19 project, except that in another way I’d been researching the history of Noosa for the more than 30 years I’ve lived here. But self-isolation and lockdowns gave me the opportunity to put the story in perspective, and then taking a Covid job at the local paper game me further research opportunities and put me squarely in front of the people who were likely to buy the book.