Sunny Queensland

Brisbane River
Teneriffe, July 2006

Who would think, walking along the placid Brisbane River at sunset on a winter evening, that this city was once a hotbed of decades of protest and dissent ?
I was a young political activist, still attending Mitchelton High School in Brisbane, when FOCO began. 1965 until 1985 was one of the most divisive and extraordinary times in Queensland history. A period when it was at times illegal to protest publicly, and when the anti-Vietnam War movement was gathering strength. In Queensland, legislation was used to enforce conservative social values, the state government pursued economic development above all and clashes between protestors and police were a part of everyday life. FOCO was started when the Trades Union Movement perceived a lack of space devoted to the cultural activities of young people. The entire top floor of the now-demolished Trades Hall (an uninspiring IBM high rise office block now occupies the site) was made available to FOCO for music (hosting all night concerts by bands like Lobby Lloyd and the Coloured Balls, Max Merrett and the Meteors alongside folk singers like Declan Affley, Barbara Bacon, Jeannie Lewis etc), alternative theatre (the legendary group Tribe began there), poetry readings, art shows, happenings and so on. I participated in many events (until I quit Brisbane for Sydney in late 1968).

      Wall display, Museum of Brisbane, 2006

It was a stirring experience to visit the exhibition Taking To The Streets documenting the years of dissent from 1965 until 1985. It's a multi-media social history exhibition covering anti-war demos, land rights and indigenous issues, homosexual and lesbian rights, the right to demonstrate, workers' rights, womens' rights, student politics, union politics - the right to strike and so on.

The exhibition runs until 10th September 2006
Free Entry Open every day 10am to 5 pm
at the Museum of Brisbane
Ground Floor,
City Hall, King George Square

The grand volcanic plugs of the Glass House Mountains have always held personal meaning for me. On Boxing Day, 1965, my politically active and mountain climbing friends and I travelled up to the Glass House Mountains, 61 kilometres north of Brisbane, and climbed Mount Tibrogargan. Mountain climbing was one of my pastimes - sounds odd for a Bob Dylan/Woody Guthrie fan and prospective anarchist, I know - but it's a fact. At only 364 metres, Tibrogargan is smaller than other mountains I climbed back then (for instance Mount Lindesay, the crumbling mountain, near the NSW border at 1117 metres high). This time, forty years later, we stopped for a roadside picnic with the Glass House Mountains in view.

Mount Lindesay, QLD
(foto - Robert Rankin)

Mount Tibrogargan, July 2006

A note - all fotos on The Deletions are by PB unless credited otherwise

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