Tony Taussig

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a few guilt-ridden words from me at last.

I guess I have exceeded any reasonable limit on being a social parasite having read of Paddy Dawson's latterday transformation to Compliance Officer at Mullumbimby and as the party approaches I feel revelation is timely. One reason for delay, other than sloth, is the sheer brilliance of output by so many and I have a real sensation of having missed out on a lot of great events at school if not entirely in life.

It's been really interesting reading the various biographies, hilariously funny often and wonderfully unifying in what I perceive to be an almost universal reaction of authority-hatred inevitably produced by then then school system. Also to read of the various fabulous and focused careers, impressive as skyrockets in the dark blazing away, makes one feel like an innocent bystander....a sensation not unlike my entire school experience! .....Plus ca change......

It's a daunting task to compress life's complications in a few lines and you will have to read between them. After school I did Architecture at Sydney....a choice even then known as " the gentleman's profession" in that in the modern materialistic world such products are somewhat eccentric and out of place, not to mention largely irrelevant to the built environment. But I digress.....

During the course I had various jobs varying from filleting flathead in a fish shop to building work for oppressive bosses to architectural supervision work in Singapore with supportive peons and chauffered black airconditioned Mercedes backup...possibly the last of Raj-style deals.

On finishing at Sydney I worked with some heavies and married for the first time. I spent some years, mainly in London with a tremendously interesting and lovely firm that was involved in work ranging from provincial kindergartens to World Bank-funded irrigation schemes in the Middle East. The early 70's were a great time to be there and I made many wonderful short trips all over the Continent, North Africa, the US and so on.

I returned here in the early Whitlam years for family, not political, reasons....a great mistake in my view though necessary at the time. After a short stint as a Planner I worked for the State in what was then an architectural oasis (if sociological Gulag) called the Government Architect's Branch. My marriage failed as my building output zoomed and I have often wondered what was the basis for that outcome and relationship. There is something about gripping work that is wonderful and terrible at the same time.

Another marriage, this time with offspring ( a girl who has also, just, in both senses of the word emerged from school somewhat bewildered). I guess the past does indeed repeat itself as all therapists would tell you. She is without doubt the best thing I have ever produced and I wonder, in looking back, how little incentive there was in my system, or positive PR there was for, the concept of family or family life. I guess "better late than never" applies to my family-maker role as well as the response you are now reading.

My work-life changed in the early 80's from that of snappy productive bureaucrat to one-man-band practice ......a transition full of satisfactions as well as frustrations. In that new role there is a strange has the potential to do exactly what one wants but not necessarily the wherewithal technically. One advantage of the move is that there seems to be no need to stop doing what work I like even though ones patience (if not ability) to cope with ever increasing impact of technology and red tape wanes.

I look forward with interest as well as trepidation to seeing some faces from the past. It's a problem deciding which event to go for but I daresay it wil work out by the end of the week.

Greetings and apologies for lateness of this reply. You have done an incredible job in bringing this disparate bunch together even if only electronically and deserve, and no doubt will get, a medal therefor