Malcolm Fraser

Malcolm Fraser

Damn you, Malcolm Fraser. You’ve gone and died on us just when we needed you most, but I’m fairly certain you’d be pretty pissed off with your timing. During my many years with the ABC I strived to ensure that whilst my humanity was always on show, my voting preferences …

Vale Tom Uren – the ‘conscience of Parliament’

Vale Tom Uren – the ‘conscience of Parliament’

Tom Uren lived an incredible life and I had the privilege of speaking with him in 2007 prior to his trip to Maitland to deliver the annual Harry Boyle Memorial Lecture for the National Trust. Tom served during WWII and witnessed the bombing of Hiroshima. He was a prisoner-of-war on …

Joe Camilleri

Joe Camilleri

I’ve had the privilege of interviewing many of Joe Camilleri’s Australian music peers and I’ve often remarked on how many of them were ‘ten pound Poms’. Joe Camilleri says he was a five-pounder, but not a Pom, “We came on the five-pound scheme from Malta. There was only four of …

Jerome Rugaruza – Australian

Jerome Rugaruza – Australian

I’ve been fortunate enough to interview Jerome Rugaruza on several occasions. Jerome arrived in Newcastle in 2009 after spending years in refugee camps after fleeing his home in a rural Congolese village. In 2011, he was reunited with his wife, Imaculee, and their children. To be greeted by Jerome is …

Norwegian Wood – a story of cancer

Norwegian Wood – a story of cancer

  And when I awoke, I was alone this bird had flown.   My much-loved friend has throat cancer. No, he is not a smoker. I was by his side for six hours of complex surgery. Literally. Most meaningful and wonderful thing I have ever done. It was a privilege …

Ben Gillies. Life after Silverchair.

Ben Gillies. Life after Silverchair.

Daniel Johns, Chris Joannou and Ben Gillies were just kids doing work experience at a Newcastle radio station when I first met them nearly 20 years ago. Those three boys have gone on to become strong and confident men and wonderful musicians – collectively and individually. I suspect the whole …

Rory Steyn – Mandela's bodyguard

Rory Steyn – Mandela's bodyguard

Rory Steyn has had a unique career, to say the least. After rising through the ranks of the South African police force, Rory ended up chief of security and personal bodyguard of Nelson Mandela. What Rory learnt from the man, once seen as a terrorist by South African authorities, changed …