Annie Warburton (1973)

I was one of the small group of students living in the large, rambling old house out the back overlooking the ovals, with free board and food in exchange for waiting on tables five nights a week and one full weekend day.  

At the time the student body at Queen’s proper was boys only. I wasn’t strictly a College member, but I am one of the last of the girls who was there in the old days before it went co-ed.  Two of the other girls from the staff house married nice Queen’s boys they met there.  

It was great fun and I loved it because it enabled me to live away from my parents’ home in the suburbs and be close to the social and cultural life of the University, set as it was in the lively bohemian heart of Carlton in its heyday. 

I had no contact with the academic life of the College, I expect that was for fee-paying students. My experience reflected an older, dated model of student college experience. I passed my Arts/Law degree in the end and went on to work at Legal Aid in Darwin and then the ABC, which was my longer career.

After leaving university in 1976 I went to Darwin to do articles of clerkship with Paul Everingham & Co (Everingham went on to become Chief Minister of the NT) and ended up spending most of the following fourteen years there. I spent six years as a practitioner of civil, criminal and matrimonial law with the Australian Legal Aid Office (a federal body before they all went state-based) in the late 70s and early 80s.  Part of the job involved regular visits to Nhulunbuy, Katherine, Elcho Island, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs, where we shared an indigenous clientele with the Territory-based Aboriginal Legal Aid Service.

I left to join the ABC in 1983. I worked extensively in radio and television in Darwin, Adelaide and Melbourne.  In 1990 I came to Hobart, and for the next six years presented the afternoon programme on the metropolitan station 7ZR.  I wrote and produced features for ABC Radio Current Affairs, and for the Radio National programs The Science Show, The Sports Factor, Sunday Morning Arts, The Food Show, Street Stories, The Education Report and The Law Report, of which I was for a while the presenter in 1993. In 2010 I wrote and produced a half-hour documentary for Radio National called Cackleberry Farm.  It was later picked up and broadcast by the BBC. 

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