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The initial release of this title was recalled on 21 August 2014 due to an error in the text that was unrelated to the subject of the book, Eddie Obeid. We expect a revised edition to be available soon.
ABBEY'S CHOICE AUGUST 2014 ---- Queensland had the Fitzgerald Inquiry and the Moonlight State. New South Wales has Eddie Obeid. Meet Australia's most corrupt politician whose brazen misdeeds were said to be on a scale "unexceeded since the days of the Rum Corps".
From the shadows, Obeid ran the state as his fiefdom, making and unmaking premiers. Along the way he pocketed tens of millions of dollars following corrupt deals. This explosive book chronicles the grubby deals the powerbroker had been making for decades before he was exposed. His tentacles stretched through all levels of government, encircling almost every precious resource - coal leases, Circular Quay cafes, marinas, even the state's water. All of them were secret money-spinners for Obeid and his family.
Above ground, below ground, in the air, on the water, there was no domain beyond Obeid's grasp. Now, many of the key politicians of his era have given a candid account of his pernicious backroom influence.
Following their groundbreaking investigations, award-winning journalists Kate McClymont and Linton Besser have unearthed the vast, yet secret, empire that Obeid built over decades, producing an authoritative account of how he got away with so much for so long.
Bob Brown, former Senator and Parliamentary Leader of the Australian Greens, is one of Australia's most thoughtful and recognised public figures.
Since his retirement from public life in 2012, Bob has had time to consider the things that are truly important. One is the power of human thought to influence change and this book, the first time that Bob has spoken about his life since retirement, illustrates through his stories why he remains optimistic about the future.
Optimism reflects on the simple things, the moments that are meaningful, and the big questions that have concerned Bob Brown. It is a powerful read as well as a meditation on the great and the small. Inspirational, compassionate and outraged, Bob's stories are rich with metaphor, entertaining and full of warmth. His stories reveal a complex man with a quick wit, a passion for activism and a joy for life.
More infoGreg Combet has been central to some of the biggest public struggles of our time - on the waterfront, the collapse of an airline, compensation for asbestos victims, the campaign against unfair workplace laws and then climate change.
From an idyllic childhood on the Minchinbury estate in the western suburbs of Sydney, Combet's world changed dramatically with the early death of his wine-maker father. The shy child was uprooted to the suburbs and an uncertain future. A scholarship allowed him to study engineering and saw him appreciate first hand the role of unions in the workplace.He rose to lead the Australian trade union movement and become a senior minister in the Rudd and Gillard Labor governments.
Along the way he has battled his own struggles, with political ideology, the impact of work on families and the loneliness of the parliamentary life. His story is not just a personal memoir; it is an insight into how power works in Australia, who holds it, how it is used and the ruthless ways in which it is snatched. The Fights of My Life is the story of a man who faces up to the power structures of politics, big business and the media.
His latest target is the labour movement, arguing that the Labor Party and the trade unions must democratise to engage the next generation of activists to fight the good fight: to achieve a more fair and just Australia.
More infoWill this man be Australia's next Prime Minister?
The son of an immigrant and a Bondi beauty queen, Joe Hockey is one of Australia's most popular politicians with one of the nation's toughest jobs. So, how did he get there? And can he deliver? While thousands of viewers have watched Hockey's approachable persona each week on Channel 7's Sunrise, there is a lot more to the Australian Treasurer who decided to have radical stomach surgery to improve his health. Was it a decision inspired by a promise he made to his young children or was it his ambition to compete with 'action man' leader Tony Abbott?
Hockey has held senior ministerial positions in the Howard government and now presides over some of the most controversial financial decisions of the decade. He is in the media daily - from controversial bailout plans for Qantas and SPC to speculation about his first budget. Madonna King's authorised biography explores the man behind the politician and the influences that have shaped his life.
Drawing on hundreds of interviews, as well as full access to Joe Hockey, his family and friends, King provides an exclusive and unparalleled insight into the man who is already a household name and will play a pivotal role in our nation's future.
‘A clear affirmation of the importance of mindfulness and compassion for healing … enlightening and inspiring. Beautifully demonstrates that healing is more than the absence of injury. There is hope for everyone affected by stroke: recovery is possible.’
KATE RICHARDS, AUTHOR OF 'MADNESS'
As a psychologist specialising in court assessments, David Roland often saw the toughest, most heartbreaking cases. The emotional trauma had begun to take its toll — and then the global financial crisis hit, leaving his family facing financial ruin.
So when he found himself in a local emergency ward with little idea of where he was or how he got there, doctors wondered if he had had a nervous breakdown — if the strain of treating individuals with mental-health problems had become too much. Eventually they discovered the truth: David had suffered a stroke, which had resulted in brain injury. He faced two choices: give up or get his brain working again.
Drawing on the principles of neuroplasticity, David set about re-wiring his brain. Embarking on a search that brought him into contact with doctors, neuroscientists, yoga teachers, musicians, and a Buddhist nun, he found the tools to restore his sense of self: psychotherapy, exercise, music, mindfulness, and meditation.
How I Rescued My Brain is the story of David’s neurological difficulties and his remarkable cognitive recovery. It is also an account of a journey to emotional health and wellbeing. In the tradition of Marc Lewis’s Memoirs of an Addicted Brain and Jill Bolte Taylor’s My Stroke of Insight, this is an amazing tale of one man’s resilience, and his determination to overcome one of the most frightening situations imaginable — the fear that he had lost his mind, and might not get it back.
‘Engrossing from the first page … This is the inside story of a brain injury. A fascinating insight into what makes us who we are, how we think and what creates the way we operate in the world.’
ALAN CLOSE, AUTHOR OF 'BEFORE YOU MET ME'
‘David Roland’s world is accelerating toward the precipice of psychological breakdown. Scientific fact underscores a daunting emotional realism as we follow each moment of his terrifying trajectory.’
MARC LEWIS, AUTHOR OF 'MEMOIRS OF AN ADDICTED BRAIN'
On 7 December 2003 Daniel Morcombe disappeared on the Sunshine Coast, while waiting for a bus. For Bruce and Denise Morcombe - the parents of Daniel - and his brothers, Bradley and Dean, it was apparent within hours that something was very wrong. In the first few days following Daniel's disappearance, Bruce and Denise made a promise to their son that they would never ever stop looking for him, and bring who was responsible to justice. 'We will never give up.' As the nightmare of hours became days then weeks, and months and years, the family mobilised to become the moral force behind the longest criminal investigation in Australia's history. Where is Daniel? covers the decade-long investigation into the disappearance of Daniel and the extraordinary courage, dignity, persistence and fortitude Bruce and Denise displayed under unbearable circumstances. This determination also applied to Bruce and Denise's desire to mine something positive from the darkest of experiences. They started the Daniel Morcombe Foundation in 2005, to teach children about safety, and have since visited hundreds of schools around Australia. They've established Australia's largest annual child safety day-of-action, 'Day for Daniel', and utilised the funds raised to support other children who have been the victims of abuse. Over a decade later, with Daniel's killer brought to justice thanks to an amazing covert police sting, this is the family's story. Where is Daniel? is a testament to the enduring power of love between parents and their child, and the strength and bonds of family to survive.
In 1886, a nervous young lawyer and aspiring writer met the editor of a radical new paper to discuss the possibility of publishing some poetry. He thought his 'fractured verses' would not stand the test of time. The editor believed otherwise and in the years that followed, Banjo Paterson became Australia's most-loved and influential poet. In a life that took him from a bush boyhood to the battlefields of South Africa and the turmoil of the Great War, Banjo Paterson rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous. But the heroes of his tales were ordinary folk - bushmen, battlers, swaggies and soldiers. He told their stories of humour, tragedy and triumph set against a landscape that is both grindingly harsh and stunningly beautiful, and his words rolled off Australian tongues for generations. From the political upheaval captured in 'Waltzing Matilda' to the wistful longing for the bush in 'Clancy of the Overflow', Banjo follows the life and inspirations of AB Paterson. We meet the men and women who shaped the young Australian nation as it shook off its convict beginnings to embrace its own place on the world stage and who defined our national character today.
Iconic journalist and television presenter Geraldine Doogue turns her attention to an issue central to our times. How are we, as women, represented at the top levels of power in Australia? In candid and personal conversations with fourteen women leading the way in fields as wide-ranging as business, politics, religion, education and the armed forces, Doogue gets to the heart of what it means to be a woman in power in Australia. Inspiring and insightful, The Climb reveals a varied and at times quite unexpected picture of contemporary Australia.
On 2 September 2008, in eastern Afghanistan, Trooper Mark Donaldson made a split-second decision that would change his life. His display of extraordinary courage saw him awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia, making him the first Australian to receive our highest award for bravery since 1969.
Yet Mark's journey to those crucial moments was almost as exceptional as the acts that led to his VC. He was rebellious even before the death of his father in his mid-teens.
A few years later, his mother disappeared, presumed murdered. Mark's lifestyle could have easily led him further down the path of self-destructiveness and petty crime. But he took a different road: the army. It proved to be his salvation. He found himself a natural soldier, progressing to the SAS, the peak of the Australian military.
'One of the most impressive memoirs published by a serving member of the Australian military' WEEKEND AUSTRALIAN
'This is not some public relations puff piece, this is a heartfelt work by a substantial man' HERALD SUN
'A mature and generous account, revealing of himself and Australia's longest war, still poorly understood at home' Chris Masters, SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
'The transformation from zero to hero that Donaldson describes...is testament to what can be achieved through sheer determination' WEEKEND AUSTRALIAN
As a farm boy in western Victoria, John Oddie would watch RAAF jets pass overhead as he ploughed hay fields, wondering what it would be like to fly such a machine. Thirty-five years later - having flown Hueys, Chinooks, Hercules, jets and C-17s in a range of operations - John had risen to the rank of Air Commodore. John's appointment as deputy commander of Aussie forces in the Middle East capped a remarkable career of service to Australia. Sadly, this honour also involved the heartbreaking duty of informing families of the deaths of their husbands and sons in Afghanistan and overseeing departure ceremonies for the fallen soldiers. As well as covering the war in Afghanistan, Flight Command provides an insider's account of being a combat pilot in the first Gulf War, a commander supporting peace in Bougainville and security in Cambodia and the often harrowing experience of being a first-response commander dealing with the aftermath of the Boxing Day tsunami in Indonesia. By turns heart-warming and poignant, Flight Command is the story of a farm boy who managed to carve an international career in the military that included service in two wars.
Clint Palmer has spent much of his adult life in the SAS and has fought in this elite military unit as it developed from its fledgling beginnings into the highly trained, specialised fighting force it is today. He is an insider with the long view and this is his unique story of life in the SAS. As a bush kid in the Northern Territory of Australia, growing up in a one dog mining town, Palmer's best friends were mostly Aboriginal kids, and the outside world barely existed. But he always had one driving ambition - the army. Enduring the toughest of tough training, Palmer soon demonstrated his fighting capabilities and became part of the Australian SAS. So began almost thirty years of service. We go with him to Iraq and Afghanistan, where he is at the heart of some of the worst fighting in Operation Anaconda in the Shahi-Kot Valley in 2002. He lets us in on what it's like to have made well over a thousand parachute jumps, many of them in terrible conditions and into treacherous terrain which may have ended not just his career but his life. And he shares with us how this adrenalin fuelled world has become a lifelong commitment. Palmer is the man who knows the Regiment almost better than anyone, so SAS INSIDER really is the inside story of the SAS - and a gripping account of one Australian soldier's life at the sharp end.
A thrilling memoir of the spectacular high-altitude mountaineering achievements of Andrew Lock: the only Australian to have summited all fourteen 8000-metre peaks in the world, including Mount Everest - twice. Here Andrew Lock gives us a gripping account of his death-defying ascents and explains his passion for climbing in small teams, or solo, without Sherpas or bottled oxygen.
Andrew's story is one of extraordinary passion, self-motivation, perseverance and resilience, as he leads us through his sixteen-year odyssey to achieve the Grand Slam of Himalayan mountaineering. We are taken through the victories, the near-misses and the great tragedies. The intense human drama of the expeditions infuses the book - sometimes funny, sometimes fierce and always fascinating stories about survival, climbing rivalries and mountaineering politics. The remote and stunning landscapes and cultures that Andrew encounters on his journeys add rich texture to his tale, culminating in his 2014 trip to Everest, where he was witness to the deadliest avalanche in the peak's history.
Ultimately, we learn 'why does he do it?' Why does anyone take on such a challenge, knowing how easily they might be killed? Andrew's story is both candid and inspiring.
Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest is the public face of Australia's once-in-a-lifetime mining boom. A swashbuckling entrepreneur in the finest West Australian tradition, Twiggy took on mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto at their own game - and won. Yet he has also been embroiled in two of the most heated debates in recent Australian history: over the treatment of Aboriginal people and the mining super-profits tax. In this unauthorised biography, Andrew Burrell traces Twiggy's business triumphs and disasters to reveal the complicated man behind the myth. Why do his mining ventures attract so much controversy? And what do his philanthropic schemes tell us about him and his plans for the future? It takes extraordinary force of will, combined with boundless energy and cunning, to create enterprises on such a mammoth scale. With the value of iron ore now integral to the health of the federal budget, Twiggy's business affects all Australians. This entertaining book gives a unique insight into one of the most powerful men in Australia today.
Field Marshal Slim is less well known than other Second World War generals, but is now widely regarded as the best. To the men under his command he was 'Uncle Bill', probably the most respected and loved military leader since the Duke of Marlborough.
Born into an impoverished family in Bristol in 1891 and brought up in the Black Country, he was commissioned as a temporary Second Lieutenant on the outbreak of the First World War. Twice seriously wounded, in Gallipoli and Mesopotamia, he was awarded the Military Cross in 1918. After the war he was unable to remain an officer in the class-ridden British Army without private means and transferred to the Indian Army, where he developed an enduring affection for the Ghurkhas and began writing short stories to supplement his income. Slim's career stalled between the wars, but during this time he developed the leadership techniques that would make him a national hero within a decade and which are still taught today at Sandhurst. Promotion came rapidly with the Second World War, and in March 1942 he was sent to Burma to take command of the British-Indian First Burma Corps, then in full flight from the advancing Japanese.
Through the force of his leadership, Slim turned disorderly panic into a controlled military withdrawal across the border into India. Two years later, having raised and retrained the largest army ever assembled by Britain, Slim drove the enemy out of Burma and shattered the myth of Japanese invincibility which had hamstrung the Allied operations in the East for so long. Slim returned to Britain laden with awards and honours. He became a popular Governor-General of Australia in 1953, was raised to the peerage, and died in London in 1970. This important biography will be written with the full cooperation of the Slim family, and Russell Miller has had access to all their papers.
'Diving was a boys-own adventure, a jump into the unknown, full of devil-may-care attitudes. It welcomed you with one hand and cast you asunder with the other. It was a hideous bitch goddess and it drank the blood of the unprepared.' After an ordinary childhood, Hugh 'Obi' O'Brien's life has been surprising. What took this sporty country boy from Sydney boarding school to directionless youth to navy clearance diver, slipping undetected through deep waters to defuse mines and dismantle bombs? Upping that level of adrenaline, Obi joined the Special Forces counterterrorism unit TAG (East) - no picnic. In a memoir full of eye-popping anecdotes, he colourfully recounts this wild ride. He reveals the painful transition from military life to his days risking 'spaghettification' on underwater construction projects to private security work - pirate-hunting in the Red Sea and tearing along the world's most dangerous roads in the Middle East. Undaunted is for anyone who's ever dreamed of taking a high-action, alternative route through life. This is an engaging and unexpected account by an operator at once tough, whimsical and funny, and always brutally honest.
Despite nearly being killed by a kangaroo and almost lynched and run out of town after his comedy was taken far too seriously, Sami Shah is very happy to be living in Australia. He has fronted his own satirical show on TV in Karachi, worked as a journalist and been a highly regarded newspaper columnist - all dangerous occupations to be involved in - when the combination of seeing the aftermaths of a devastating bomb attack and being the target of death threats convinced him to leave Pakistan. Under the terms of their Australian migration visa, Sami and his wife and young daughter were obliged to settle in a rural area, and so they moved to Northam in Western Australia. Now Sami is battling a crippling addiction to meat pies, but at least is no longer constantly mistaken for an escaped asylum seeker from the nearby detention centre. He has also been the star of Australian Story, the subject of an article in The New York Times, and has performed countless comedy shows to ever-growing and appreciative audiences. I, Migrant tells the hilarious and moving story of what it's like to leave the home you love to start a new life in another country so your child can be safe and grow up with a limitless future. Australia is lucky to have Sami Shah. Read I, Migrant, and laugh till you cry.
A funny memoir set among the drillers, dust, dingoes and divas at an ore mine site in Western Australia.
Ilse Oxenburgh came to Australia on a temporary visa to work as a geologist at an ore mine and ended up staying at the Incredula site for years. Ilse thought the worst she’d be up against would be the flies and the dust. What she didn’t expect was the bizarre cast of personalities – the fly-in fly-outers, mostly male; the alternate universe of rules, rules and more rules, and last but not least, the ever replacing Mine Princess (AKA Head of Admin), forever best, always right and never sorry.
Ilse’s story is hilarious, self-deprecatory – and even romantic. From summer though winter, year after year Ilse’s exploratory team battle thunder, rain and sand storms, and she gets to know the best of her quirky Australian colleagues: Josh and Dylan spend their summer pumping iron in the gym, Dylan to lose weight for the internet-girlfriend he is longing to meet, and Josh to keep fit for his active sex life. He sleeps with girls on the mine site while holding out for his true love: Jennifer Aniston. Steven is the Perth-based exploration manager who visits occasionally, according to Josh and Dylan to gawk at Ilse, and according to Ilse to talk geology with her. Steven asserts to her: ‘You’re not a woman, you’re a geologist.’ There’s also a geologist who looks for UFOs instead of orebodies, a core yard technician who believes he releases Aboriginal spirits by cutting rocks, and a field assistant who tortures Steven by trying to chat up Ilse.
But Ilse’s main challenge is the Mine Princess. From Precious, Shiekierra and Lucy, each administrator makes Ilse’s life hell with no-can-dos, obsolete procedure and even evictions from her room and her pay-packet – but she lives to tell the tale, and you’ll die laughing.
Surviving Year Zero is the story of one young man, yet it is the story of millions of people. It tells of how Sovannora Ieng lived through the genocide that tore at the heart of Cambodia in the 1970s.
Sovannora survived in an environment where survival was barely possible. He and his family experienced starvation, backbreaking labour and constant surveillance. They learnt to be silent in a world where a casual remark could be turned into a sentence of death.
Sovannora’s experiences under the Khmer Rouge remind us of the terrible things that we humans have done to each other, and his eventual escape to Australia is a testament to his resilience and ingenuity in the face of constant danger.
Sovannora Ieng escaped from Cambodia to Thailand as a refugee before migrating to Australia.
This is a remarkable story. It will change the way you look at life. For a couple of weeks, Matthew Ames didn't feel well. The busy father of four young children knew things were not quite right but suddenly he was in Emergency, with a severe case of toxic shock syndrome - the common bacteria Strep A had entered his bloodstream and his body had gone into shutdown. He was put into an induced coma and the only way he could be kept alive was to have all his limbs amputated. Diane Ames knew exactly what her husband would want and that he would cope - he had always been optimistic and practical. Despite a one per cent chance of survival, she asked the doctors to go ahead with the radical operation. And so began the inspiring story of an ordinary family's courage and determination to make the most of a terrible situation. What happened to Matthew could happen to anyone. But not everyone would accept what life offers and pursue possibilities in the way that he does. Matthew has astounded doctors with his adaptation to a new way of living, so much so that he is about to become a bionic man. And he has never once questioned Diane's decision - it gave him the chance to truly understand how much family matters and to appreciate humanity.
I quickly swapped my 'Ms Innocent, the world is tough but basically okay' hat for the one of 'Breast Cancer Patient', madly trying to process everything that the doctor was saying. An inauspicious encounter in a doctor's surgery during a routine follow-up for IVF initiates a descent into a labyrinth of questioning and uncertainty. From those first words ushered out of the doctors mouth starts a year where the mind is consumed by medical research, medical terms, hospital visits, medication and explanations. Filled with reflections on life, motherhood, friendship, and the future, A Year of Medical Thinking chronicles one woman's ordinary life as it is catapulted into a quest for meaning and purpose.
His mother may not know it but Boris Mihailovic has lived a fast, furious, often politicially incorrect life chasing the epiphanies of speed (the sensation not the drug). For Boris, motorbike riding was the rite of passage into manhood he'd been searching for. Now, nearly 40 years since he first rode a bike, the wisdom of age has provided the perspective for Boris to look back and realise some pretty wild shit went down.At the Altar of the Road Gods is about popping your motorcycle-buying cherry with an XJ650 Yamaha. It's about fines, feuds and fractures, high-sides, tank-slappers, angry police, even angrier young men, crashing, getting up, cranky girlfriends, riding faster, outlaws, and partaking in copious amounts of alcohol and drugs. It is about mateship and motorcycles. Ultimately, is is about four decades of two-wheel-related mayhem. Just don't tell Boris's mum! Be warned: may cause laughter, sleeplessness and the desire to buy a Lucifer-black Katana.
I will never forget my first flight, the feeling of being pushed back in the seat, the rumbling that suddenly turned into silence. It fascinated me then, it does now.
When Ryan Campbell was six, he fell in love with aeroplanes. Inspired by his first flight, and his uncle and grandfather who were both aviators, flying was a passion that dominated his childhood. It was no surprise to his family and friends when at 15 Ryan became the youngest pilot in Australia. Then he found a challenge that spoke to him more than the rest...
In Born to Fly, Ryan recounts his remarkable journey from a boy with a dream to becoming, at age 19, the youngest person ever to circumnavigate the globe solo in a single-engine aircraft. Drawing on the advice of renowned aviators such as Dick Smith, Jim Hazelton ('a man who has more hours adjusting his seat in a plane than I do total flying time') and mentor Ken Evers, Ryan fundraised and planned with great determination, before finally setting out on his thrilling 70-day odyssey, landing 34 times in 15 countries and covering more than 24,000 nautical miles.
From his wings icing up over Greenland's glaciers to a heart-stopping moment in the midst of Indonesian airspace; abuse from an airport official in Greece, to awe at the sight of molten lava entering the Pacific, this real-life adventure story shares with us the dry-mouthed terror and heady exhilaration of flying alone with only one engine. Born to Fly is a fascinating view of the world from above from an inspiring young Australian.
'The most extraordinary aviation adventure of the decade. A great story in the spirit of Charles Kingsford-Smith and Bert Hinkler.' - Dick Smith
The long-awaited life story of John Williamson: an Australian icon, a much-loved legend of the music industry and man of the land. The joy after all is in the journey, or being what you really wanna be ...The son of a wheat farmer, John Williamson grew up with an appreciation of the land and all things Australian. His career was kickstarted with a self-proclaimed silly song - 'Old Man Emu' - winning TV's New Faces in 1970, but it was a decade of hard slog before he forged his unique place in our musical history. From his love of the bush ('Mallee Boy') and his outrage at environmental destruction ('Rip Rip Woodchip'), to his pride in the Australian character and spirit ('True Blue'), Williamson has been chronicling the subjects and issues that are close to his heart for more than forty years. He has become the voice of Australia, performing his unofficial anthems at all the major events. In his distinctive Aussie style, John Williamson tells it like it is. He takes us behind the scenes on the road and at home, revealing the tough times, the great times, what drives him and what matters. His passion - for preserving our national character and landscape, and to remain true to himself - is as strong now as it has ever been. This is a journey into the heart and soul of Australia.
Hugh Tindall is an ordinary man who has lived through extraordinary times in outback Queensland. From a poor man's selection on the Diamantina in 1928 to owning six large stations with his family, from shearing his first 100 sheep a day at the age of sixteen to organising sheds in the long-running 1956 shearers' strike, Hugh's story is part of a turbulent time in the outback, whose history he is passionate about. Told in his own voice, it is an honest account of life in isolated western and central Queensland, where the tough survived or died.
Book & CD. John Meredith (19202001) was for decades the leading warrior in the fight to preserve and celebrate Australias unique folk heritage. Between 1953 and 1994 he recorded from ordinary Australians thousands of songs, tunes, recitations, folk medicines, superstitions, sayings and yarns, documenting a rich canon of traditional lore which at the time few believed -- and many denied -- existed. He was also a key pioneer in folk song performance, establishing in 1952 the original Bushwhackers Band and performing in the landmark Australian musical Reedy River. A political radical throughout the Cold War years, he fought all his life against poverty, cultural toadyism and official indifference. Writing or co-authoring many books on Australian tradition and history including the classic Folk Songs of Australia and the Men and Women Who Sang Them, still easily the most important single volume in the field, he achieved official recognition late in life, his original field recordings becoming an acknowledged national treasure. Unlike however the great song collectors in other English-speaking countries he did not have the benefit of a good education let alone formal musical training for he was forced by poverty to leave school at age fourteen at the height of the Great Depression. In 1944, having neither qualifications nor prospects, he mounted his push-bike and left the New South Wales township of Holbrook where he was born and rode into the sunrise, determined to make his fortune. This is his story.
Ray 'Rabbits' Warren is the legendary voice of Australian sports commentary. People tell him he must have drunk a bottle of scotch and smoked a packet of cigarettes every day to have the voice that he has. That's not the case - at least, not any more... The son of a railway worker, Ray placed his first bet on a horse called Playboy at the age of just six, and won. A lifelong love of the track - and the punt - was born. During his remarkable broadcasting career spanning almost five decades, Ray has called three Melbourne Cups, Commonwealth and Olympic Games swimming, and countless rugby league matches alongside his mates Fatty, Sterlo and Gus. Here, for the first time, Ray reveals the man behind the microphone. He speaks of the great highs and devastating lows of his career and life in the same way he calls every sporting event: with great passion, colour and candour.