NEW PODCAST EPISODE #40 — a last interview with Uncle Jack Charles
I was honoured to be at the Palais Theatre to watch Jack Charles record a finals promo for the AFL, just five weeks before he died. I turned on my phone and did an impromptu interview.
Uncle Jack, sorry for standing in your sun
I've just finished my email request for a Speakola interview with former Australian PM Julia Gillard about The Misogyny Speech. which turned ten last week. She's released 'Not now, not ever' about the speech, so I might be some chance! Wish me luck.
The current episode of the podcast is a bit different, in the sense that the recording was an informal chat with the recently departed Uncle Jack Charles about his life and activism, rather than a focus on a specific speech. Jack Charles is up on Speakola with some footy promos I have written over the years. This one about September is from 2016, and it's what I jokingly call my 'Nike poetry'. I wrote a post about it for Good one, Wilson, full of light hearted frivolity, and then was broadsided when news broke of Uncle Jack's death, half an hour after I published it.
The plan was always to write up my memorable interview, which I did for a piece in the newsletter.
I also published the audio on Speakola podcast. Apart from Uncle Jack's genius for breathing life and personality into a script, his interview itself is a great example of a form of speaking. It's a passionate outpouring on his proudest achievement which is his fight against indigenous people being asked to prove Aboriginality when receiving arts funding.
" But yes. so, so I had that win ... coming back down to Melbourne and taking an action against the ATSIA board and telling them not to ... I sued them to remove that part of the policy from anybody seeking dedicated Aboriginal arts funding — stop asking us to prove our Aboriginality! You needed somebody strong like me to do it because there was nobody in the country that was game enough or full of it like I am, to take them to task and say, 'No, stop it. You're racially vilifying me, disrespecting me, the grandfather of indigenous theatre. You had the gumption, the cheek, the temerity to ask me to prove my Aboriginality, when I'm seeking $50,000 for a coffee table picture book I wanted to produce! No barley Charlie, you can't f*cking do this to me ... So I won't be in Sydney ever again until you acknowledge that I'm Aboriginal …’"
Full transcript of interview
I'm currently editing an interview with Holocaust survivor Abram Goldberg who talked to me about the horrific Chaim Rumkowski speech in the Lodz ghetto in 1942, 'Give me your children'. Abram's latest book with Fiona Harris (who is also on the podcast) is The Strength of Hope.
I've also done a future episode with British comedian and Klopp Actually author, Laura Lexx about her bride speech at her wedding.
To get these ones when they are released, subscribe to the podcast.or even better the Patreon. The most recent donors and patrons to Speakola have been Laura O'Shea, David Parkin, Ian McKay, Ali Ehsani, Kristy Day, Jim McNamara and Dean Mackintosh.
I wrote this article about new patron David Parkin stealing Bruce Doull's jumper. Reply yes to this email to join the free 'Good one, Wilson' newsletter.
Finally, there have been 98,857 downloads of Speakola podcast since May of 2020 when I started, 40 episodes ago. I'll hopefully be popping the cork on 100,000 in the next newsletter!
The most in one day was 776 on 23rd September 2021, which was the day Martin Flangan's episode came out.
Jack Charles state funeral is tomorrow, 18th November. RIP. To read transcript of his interview, you can find it here.
Many thanks, RIP Uncle Jack Charles
P.S Jack’s family have allowed use of his name and image in these weeks.
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