Richard Adey from the ABC Radio National's Media Report interviewed me last week about leaving UTS after 21 years.
Here are a few links relevant to some points in the interview.
Not getting admitted to practice law
Here is an article which I wrote for the Sydney Morning Herald about my unsuccessful fight to get admitted to practice law.
Mackie versus Consolidated Press Court case
I mentioned the unionist Pat Mackie. Here is a short entry on Wikipedia which provides some background on Mackie and mentions the 1972 defamation case against Frank Packer's Daily Telegraph which had viciously attacked him during the 1964 Mount Isa Mines dispute. Pat Mackie was represented by Jim Staples and Mary Gaudron who went on to be the first woman to sit on the High Court of Australia.
The press attack on Mackie was typical of the strident anti-unionism of Frank Packer's paper. Staples ran the case by trying to expose the falsity of the media attack by calling many witnesses who could explain what the dispute was about to the jury. I was present in the court when the jury came back with their verdict of $30,000 damages. Some of them actually embraced Mackie.
At the time the reporting of the case was very limited so I produced my own report in 4 page tabloid newspaper. This was my first serious journalism after the period in which I helped edit Tharunka and Thor.
I mentioned the City Squatter. This was a one issue publication produced by the group that occupied Victoria Street, King Cross in 1974. Here is a background article by my friends and fellow activists, Ian Milliss and Teresa Brennan. Liz Fell and I researched the background on the properties in Kings Cross to identify the interests who were pushing for the development. Amongst these interests were organised crime interests, including a development associated with Abe Saffron, then known as one of the Mr Bigs of Sydney. This was the first time I did this sort of investigative journalism.
Little Red School Book.
The Little Red School Book by two Danish teachers was published in Australia in 1972. The group around the Thor published a tabloid version which we distributed free to school kids in Sydney. Here is a UTube clip from the documentary The book that changed the world.
After this, an anthropology lecturer Peter White and myself were invited to go on Channel Nine to be interviewed by Mike Willesee. During the interview we were asked about the use of language in the book and we both in our answer used the word 'fuck'. Having handed it out to school kids, it seemed hypocritical to do anything else. I was later refused a visa to the United States because I had caused a 'national furore' television and was banned from going on live television by the Broadcasting Control Board.