1993, 26 Minutes
Born in New Zealand in 1910, Elizabeth Riddell was recruited as a journalist straight from school. In 1928, at the age of 18 she moved to Australia to work on Smith's Weekly, where she joined the likes of Kenneth Slessor and Colin Simpson. She began by writing film and theatre reviews and graduated to writing news stories, out of which she won a Walkley Award.
In 1939 Elizabeth started work on The Sun newspaper and during World War Two opened and ran the Daily Mirror's New York bureau. In 1944 she crossed the Atlantic to be in London and closer to the war. It was during those years that she wrote some of her best poetry.
In 1946 Elizabeth returned to Australia. She forged ahead with her newspaper work and also had three volumes of poetry published: The Untrammelled, Poems and Forbears. In the 1960s she became senior interviewer and critic for the arts pages of The Australian. She was the first Walkley Award winner for that paper, winning twice for 'Best Newspaper Feature Story'.
Elizabeth had several books of poetry published, including Elizabeth Riddell: Selected Poems, From the Midnight Courtyard, Occasions of Birds and The Difficult Island. In 1992 she won a NSW Literary Award - the Kennoth Slessor Prize for Poetry.
A Film Australia National Interest Program. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.
NB The Australian Biography series (1-11) are only available for sale within the territories of Australia and New Zealand.
Producer/Director/Writer: Frank Heimans
Interviewer: Robin Hughes
Running Time: 26 Minutes
Classification: PG. Consumer Advice: Adult themes.
Curriculum Links: Creative Writing; English Literature; Poetry and Poetics; English; Journalism; Media Studies; Gender Studies; Personal Development; Studies of Society and Environment.