2008, 26 Minutes
Ted Egan’s career has ranged from working with remote Aboriginal communities to songwriter, historian, entertainer and the Northern Territory’s top job of Administrator.
Born in Melbourne in 1932, Ted planned to travel to Brazil after high school but he never got further than Darwin, instead joining the public service and local sports teams, becoming coach of a Tiwi Island footy team.
Working mainly in remote areas for the Department of Aboriginal Affairs, he became a patrol officer, reserve superintendent, teacher and district officer.
He resigned to start the Ted Egan Show in Alice Springs which went for over 25 years. An author and songwriter, Ted’s songs reflect his love of the distinctive Northern Territory humour and characters.
In this interview, Ted reflects on his adventurous life in remote settlements, the inequalities between black and white Australians, the dilemmas of holding power over the communities in which he worked, his changing sensibilities about land rights, a mid-life crisis and career change to pub singer and how a beer carton player came to hold the Northern Territory’s highest position.
A Film Australia National Interest Program. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.
Producer/Director: Rod Freedman
Writer/Interviewer: Robin Hughes
Running Time: 26 Minutes
Classification: Exempt from classification
Curriculum Links: English, Drama, Media, Australian History, SOSE/HSIE, Indigenous Studies, Political Studies, Environmental Studies and Music.