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Famous Novelist Rosa Praed Makes a Return to Reveal Brisbane’s HerStory!


A new theatrical tour experience, developed by Natalie Cowling of Talk of the Town Storytelling Services, is about to take Brisbane’s streets by storm! Watch for the woman in the purple velvet hat! You’re not dreaming … you’re actually about to encounter none other than famous novelist Rosa Caroline Praed (1851 – 1935).   

Through the magic of theatre, one of Australia’s most prolific writers (she published over 40 novels) is back in town and she’s on a mission to raise awareness of Brisbane’s HerStory. As Rosa offers deeper insights through the ages, an enriching perspective on the lifestyle and life choices of women in Brisbane emerges. 

Get to know your famous guide Rosa Praed, a woman well ahead of her time. She’s a local (born and bred in the Brisbane region) who’s returned with her quick wit and social commentary. From her perspective, strolling Brisbane’s streets together, you will discover many of the extraordinary female characters who have contributed to our city’s soul.  

Learn how challenges were faced and how innovation has been achieved by women across the spectrum … marriage, science, politics, education, employment and careers, transport, religion, cultural awareness perspectives, the arts … all will be revealed! 


There are many significant contributions from women recognised throughout Brisbane’s streets, laneways and parklands in various ways (artworks, for example). We’ll be pausing, looking and listening a little more closely during these tours … seeing things through Rosa’s eyes … as well as paying appropriate homage.  Some of the key eras covered within this experience include the Convict Women of the Moreton Bay Colony and the World War II chapter involving the American presence that was to vastly impact the lives of local women.  

There will also be much revealed along the way about what’s not been in place for women and how this has generally impacted their lives … the sometimes harsh lifestyle and life choices faced by women. Importantly, we will celebrate many women who have challenged the norms of their times. Rosa Praed returns in 2018 on a mission to research the characters and essence of such great women.  

Talk of the Town Storytelling Services Director Natalie Cowling emphasised: “It’s a valuable thing to take time to pause, reflect and to recognise Brisbane’s HerStory as it’s not something we’ve always necessarily been taught. 

“I want to create an emotional and authentic connection to both the past and present. Locals and visitors will be able to relate to Rosa and really empathise with her early life in Brisbane in the 1800s. I think people will be really surprised at what they will learn from my research about the roles that women have played in helping to shape Brisbane. As these stories haven’t always been fully explored, it becomes quite a revealing and significant journey. I’ve also endeavoured to create an engaging and memorable experience. Be prepared for song, dance, poetry and more … I enjoy putting my creative hat on, a purple velvet one at that!” 

If you want to meet Rosa and experience her story,  you can contact Natalie


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