Richard Walsh in conversation with one of his authors, host Ted Egan
No better counsel could be had than that of Richard Walsh, Australia’s most experienced publisher. From winning an appeal in the Oz trials to winning Walkley awards, Richard has learned things that you need to know about!
Richard and will Ted have lots of advice for the audience!
Ted Egan AM
Ted Egan was 16 when he first came to Darwin in 1949, intending a short stopover en route to South America where he thought he would find adventure as a gaucho. He went no further – the Territory offered more than enough adventure! He quickly demonstrated an empathy with Aboriginal people. He spent the next 25 years as a public servant, crocodile hunter, Native Affairs Branch officer, and school teacher, acquiring a Bachelor of Arts degree along the way. He listened carefully to everyone he met, soaking up remarkable stories and astonishing speech patterns. By the late 1960s he was in demand as a singer and story teller. In 1969 he wrote the song Gurindji Blues, a powerful commentary on the Gurindji struggle for land rights. A few years later he began writing and singing full time, with national popular success. In 2003 he was appointed Administrator of the Northern Territory, the pinnacle of the many honours and awards that have justly come his way; however, he considers that being involved in 1952 with the establishment of St Mary’s Football Club in Darwin, to provide an opportunity for Tiwi players to participate, was the highpoint of his life. For the centenary of the Great War he created the multi-media kit – The Anzacs 100 Years on, in Story and Song. Recently, he shrugged off an aggressive cancer. Now, he is busily engaged planning his 90th birthday celebrations in 2022 – and he is still writing, still singing, still telling yarns, still delighting everyone he meets.
He is witty, irrepressible, energetic, iconoclastic, a startlingly original thinker, generous and encouraging – what more could an author want in a publisher? Richard Walsh asks only of his authors that they be outstandingly original – and compatible with him. Richard has been publishing since 1963, when he co-founded and edited the satirical magazine, OZ. The magazine offended the establishment in Australia; Richard was sentenced to prison for obscenity but he won on appeal. Nowadays, his books win Walkley Awards. He says of his early days ‘Like lots of young people, we wanted to take the place by the scruff of the neck and change it.’ He did. That didn’t derail an astonishing future in publishing – POL, Nation Review, Angus and Robertson, Australian Consolidated Press and its more than 60 magazines. As head of Angus & Robertson in the 70s and 80s, he was the publisher of Bean’s Official History of World War One and a host of popular military histories. Among the popular military histories he has more recently published at Allen & Unwin have been Peter Barton’s The Lost Legions of Fromelles, Craig Collie’s The Code Breakers, Peter Grose’s An Awkward Truth and Marianne van Velzen’s Bomber Boys. Now, he lectures, writes and advises and is Consultant Publisher at Allen and Unwin. And, when he speaks, he entertains and he informs.Buy Tickets