Category: Essays


The only way is up (via anxiety and endless self-promotion)

This story about LinkedIn, self-promotion, anxiety and Derek Zoolander, first appeared in Overland on 3 March 2017. The folded sheet of paper, one of those fundraising notes that regularly turn up in kids’ school bags, asked me to buy a photoshoot that would furnish me with an image for my LinkedIn profile. The parents behind the note are talented and lovely, but the missive still … Read More The only way is up (via anxiety and endless self-promotion)


The Gifts of John Forbes (Meanjin)

Two decades ago my friend, the late great poet John Forbes, would leave poems behind for me when he visited Sydney. Now I’ve finally written a tribute to him, out now in the Summer issue of Meanjin. You can subscribe to Meanjin here.

I don’t mean to be personal

Not so long ago, the ABC’s Q&A turned the tables for a bit of self-examination: why, the show’s producers asked, don’t we have more women on the panel? Trying to understand the show’s gender trouble, series producer Amanda Collinge cited women’s reluctance to put themselves forward compared to men’s self-promotion, the trolling and online harassment of women who do join the show, and the … Read More I don’t mean to be personal

House Husbands: less mad men, more dad men

First published by Daily Review, 24 September 2015 Another Monday night, another hour thrashing out the issues de jour: gay marriage, IVF, the privatisation of public assets*, all delivered with cleverly scripted lines. No, I’m not referring to Q&A: I’ve tried watching that program lately, but I usually end up passing out on the couch, thankful I’m not poor flu-afflicted Simon Sheikh, slamming my head down … Read More House Husbands: less mad men, more dad men


In praise of the divergents of the world

Science fiction movies are fascinating for what they say about the present, as much as for what they say about the future, and the just-released Insurgent, the second movie adaptation of Veronica Roth’s young adult trilogy, is no different. It’s an intriguing dramatisation of our modern world, where the school exams we take as late teenagers threaten to determine our future forever, and where we … Read More In praise of the divergents of the world


Izzard in Oz: Why I love mascara on a man

First published by The Hoopla, 22 January 2015 When I was 17 I kept kissing a boy who wore mascara. Whenever we saw each other at someone’s house or out a nightclub, we’d end up in a corner in a clinch and a kiss. It wasn’t just his long dark lashes I found appealing: there was his tall mohawk, and the ripped black jeans and sleeveless punk T-shirts he wore. … Read More Izzard in Oz: Why I love mascara on a man


Remembering David Williams

An edited version of this story appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, 29-30 November 2014 On World AIDS Day one year I stood on Oxford Street selling red ribbons for the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation. The crowd’s goodwill was palpable and the atmosphere almost festive. But now and then I’d stop to think about my uncle, David Williams. Like Bobby, he was one of the … Read More Remembering David Williams

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