Welcomed by Phillip Adams as an important Australian memoir full of insight and humour, this is also a story about growing up. It’s the personal journey of a 16-year-old boy starting work in ‘the golden age of journalism’ when reporters worked with hard copy and hot metal and endured a mixture of instruction and reprimand that would be branded today as workplace harassment of the highest order.
The book’s central theme is a young man’s growing friendship with an eccentric gay Englishman who found sanctuary among hard-nosed, cynical journalists and tough war-veteran printers in an era when intolerance was far more common than inclusion.
The reader follows the progress of a boy gripped with an intense fear of failure in the first weeks of his probation, to the height of his career as a hardened and experienced newspaper editor confronting the Ku Klux Klan, being threatened by dangerously corrupt police, and breaking international news from the inner sanctum of the Chinese Communist Party.
Many of the issues in the Colt’s story resonate today and mirror the problems still facing Australian society. Lessons from the past in a sparking narrative which has been endorsed across the political spectrum.
‘A joy to read… the work of a true professional,’ Prof. Henry Reynolds.
‘One of our truly courageous history makers,’ The Hon. Bob Katter jnr.
Elliot Hannay is an author and veteran journalist. His career started in 1958 at the age of sixteen and he worked in newspapers, ABC radio and television, media consultancy and the public service for 60 years. He was selected by The Australia China Council and the Department of Foreign Affairs as one of six Australian journalists to tour the People’s Republic of China. During his career, Elliot was targeted by Australian Ku Klux Klansmen, threatened by corrupt senior police officers in pre-Fitzgerald Queensland and faced a $3million writ when he exposed the secret financial dealings of King Cross underworld figure, Abe Saffron. He lives on the Atherton Tablelands with his novelist wife Barbara.
* An engaging read for those interested in Australian memoirs or newspaper journalism from country to city level.
* Beyond journalism the book explores political and racial issues in Australian history as well as the coming of age experiences of the author.
* This memoir by a veteran journalist sensationally reveals details about an encounter with the Klu Klux Klan in Australia that has been kept confidential for 40 years.
* The Colt with No Regrets has been endorsed by prominent figures who were targets of the Ku Klux Klan in including historian and author Professor Henry Reynolds, Professor Gracelyn Smallwood daughter of the late northern Indigenous activist Archie Smallwood, and Bob Katter, who survived to become the second longest serving politician in Australia’s history and is still campaigning for the First Australians.