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Meet the Author | Justin Smith

September 20 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


From the acclaimed author of Cooper Not Out comes an adventurous retelling of the first Melbourne Cup. Set in 1861 Victoria, Good as Gold is a cracking Australian-Western that reflects our colourful history — both the good and the bad.
Critically acclaimed Cooper Not Out, described by The Herald Sun and The Daily Telegraph as a ‘five star’ read that ‘will fill your heart’, contains an energetic spark that is doubled in Good as Gold through its complex and loveable characters.

Good as Gold follows an escaped orphan, a copper and his prisoner, and a gang of bushrangers as they descend on Melbourne town for the Cup. Each is hoping for something different — a new beginning, a chance to make history, or a prize bigger than they could imagine. But only one can get the gold.

Justin Smith has a personal connection to the characters he writes, but none more than Laurence Flynn, named after his first Australian ancestor, an educated man who helped immigrants of the time receive licencing to work in the local mines. Justin wrote this novel with a love for westerns, Australian history, and a good yarn. 

Good as Gold is a tale that will simultaneously transport readers to the past, while commenting on the racism that still exists in our present. It reminds us that putting your faith into the wrong people can often lead to  trouble.

Justin Smith is a Melbourne writer, journalist and broadcaster. He’s a columnist with the Melbourne Herald Sun and a weekly guest on Channel Seven’s Sunrise program and Sky News.

Justin has had a long career in radio as a presenter and executive producer. He has hosted national programs, he was embedded with Australian troops in Afghanistan, and was the Drive host on Sydney’s 2UE. He’s won multiple awards for journalism and broadcasting.

Gavin McGrath

Justin will be in-conversation with ABC Ballarat Journalist Gavin McGrath.

After more than a decade and a half working the beat as a newspaper reporter, Gavin McGrath brings an eye (and an ear) for what’s newsworthy, interesting and just plain unusual in regional Australia to ABC Local Radio.

Growing up in regional South Australia and Victoria, Gavin was a relative latecomer to news journalism (he actually wanted to be a fighter pilot) but studied communications at Deakin University in Warrnambool and has since worked for the Herald Sun (five years) and The Courier in Ballarat (eight years). Prior to becoming a staff reporter, he worked within the motoring industry and as a motorsport scribe at racetracks around Australia.

Gavin McGrath

In his time as a writer Gavin has taken a keen interest in local sport, rural and farming matters, and even returned to his first love, driving and reviewing cars, but hasn’t been afraid to tackle everything from politics to theatre (including a failed attempt to become Ballarat’s Phantom of the Opera. Sadly he is a terrible singer).

There has also been a late run at attracting the attention of AFL football recruiters, playing bush footy as a 40-something despite an absence of any kind of sporting ability and playing virtually no football between the ages of 15 and 39. He has even spun up some discs as a pub DJ so beware of hearing the odd pub rock tune or cheesy disco classic.

Gavin takes a look at local life in Ballarat and South West Victoria each weekday between 10 and 11am, and would love to hear your stories.

Enquiries:  Any event specific enquires should be direct to library@ballaratmi.org.au

$10 per person plus booking fee & gst

Collins Booksellers, Ballart on Lydiard
will be handling book sales for the event.

This event is a BMI Community Cultural Project – Ballarat’s Oldest Cultural Institution

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September 20
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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The Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute
117-119 Sturt Street
Ballarat Central, VIC 3350 Australia
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