• Lyndal, Emerald, Ava & Ross at "Greystoke"
  • Ross Fitzgerald and Lyndal Moor at Catalins's on Valentines Day 2019
    Ross Fitzgerald and Lyndal Moor at Catalina's on Valentines Day 2019
  • Ross with comedian Barry Humphries. Sydney 2019.
  • Ross's 74th birthday
  • Ross & Lyndal celebrate their 42nd wedding anniversary
  • Ross with Archibald Prize winning Australian artist John Olsen
    Ross with Archibald Prize winning Australian artist John Olsen
  • Lyndal, Emerald and Adrian with our grandchild, Ava
  • Ross's dog Maddie
  • Ross and Lyndal's 40th anniversary
  • Daughter Emerald with our grandchild Ava
  • Ross becomes a member of The Order of Australia.

Reviews »

[30 May 2020 | No Comment | 86 views ]

‘Cry Me a River: The Tragedy of the Murray-Darling Basin’
By Margaret Simons
Quarterly Essay 77
Black Inc, 250pp, $22.99
reviewed by ROSS FITZGERALD
The Murray-Darling Basin is often in the news and seldom for the right reasons. It is troubled by drought and climate change and the unquenchable thirst of agriculture. Yet belief in it is an article of faith for politicians, causing regular scraps over its management and its future.
In ‘Cry Me A River’, journalist and author Margaret Simons chronicles the results of her decision to take a close look at it herself. …

Reviews »

[28 May 2020 | No Comment | 108 views ]

The Defeat of Literary Censorship
The Trials of Portnoy : How Penguin brought down Australia’s censorship system
by Patrick Mullins
Scribe Publications, 2020, pp 329, $35
Review by ROSS FITZGERALD
It took a book about masturbation to bring down Australia’s repressive regime of literary censorship. Philip Roth’s hugely controversial, highly sexualised novel Portnoy’s Complaint is a book about the habit that in the 1960s scarcely dared speak its name.
Unseemly subject matter in the eyes of some, but that’s the point really. Patrick Mullins, author of Tiberius with a Telephone, the award-winning biography of Liberal prime minister ‘Billy’ McMahon now explores how, in August 1970, Penguin Books Australia published Portnoy’s Complaint.
  Philip …

Reviews »

[1 May 2020 | No Comment | 174 views ]

             A smaller man
              Malcolm Turnbull, A Bigger Picture, Hardie Grant, 704 pages, $55.
              Review by ROSS FITZGERALD

Never trust a person who keeps a diary. After all, who keeps a diary other than someone who wants subsequently to tell a story where the diarist is the hero, while everyone else, almost invariably, falls lamentably short of the hero’s expectations and deserts?
 
And so it turns out with Malcolm Turnbull’s political memoir. Like the lawyer he once was, the diary entries …

Books »

[30 Apr 2020 | No Comment | 126 views ]

Re Ross Fitzgerald’s memoir FIFTY YEARS SOBER.

From Hybrid Publishers in Melbourne

“With alcoholism one of our major public health issues it’s an important book that may shine a light for those still suffering and their families.”

–Phil Brown, QWeekend, The Courier-Mail, 21 March 2020

“… a valuable handbook for the alcoholic who wants to stop drinking.” –Richard Whitaker

“By turns sad, ironic, disturbing and sometimes amusing, this is the ultimate sobering read.” –Steven Carroll, the Age 18 April 2020.

To celebrate 40 years of sobriety, Ross Fitzgerald published My Name Is Ross (2010) – the …

Reviews »

[29 Apr 2020 | No Comment | 101 views ]

Book Review
Ross Fitzgerald Fifty Years Sober: An Alcoholic’s Journey
Hybrid Publishers, Melbourne, 2020, $27.50.
reviewed by Alan Gregory 
   Ross Andrew Edward Fitzgerald was born on 25 December 1944, and attended Melbourne High School from 1958 to 1961.
A highly intelligent student, he won the Economics prize in year 12 and gained Honours in every Matriculation subject and so gained a Commonwealth scholarship which, as he came from a poor family, enabled him to attend university.  
He had a great admiration for his teachers at the school, particularly Neville Drohan, Norton Hobson, Graham Worrall, Arthur Cocks, Ben Munday, Brian Corless and David Niven. He was a contemporary of Gareth Evans. He was also good at sport, football and cricket and he captained the school second XI and also featured in debating.
His left wing political bent meant a close association with Graham Worrall who he kept up with in later life. 
He was also close to Norton Hobson who told him he was an ASIO man.
Fitzgerald, who is now one of the best known public intellectuals, became also well known as an alcoholic. 
He states that his first  alcoholic drink was as a school boy in school uniform at the Her  Majesty’s hotel which was near the school.
Before being served, the barman for his first drink asked him to take off his school cap!
He also had his last alcoholic drink at  Her  Majesty’s hotel, commonly know as Maisy’s, where a group of Melbourne High teachers regularly drank after school.
He also seemed to collect a number of high profile friends like Barry Humphries, and on his many overseas trips recounts (to his great advantage) being mistaken for the eminent Dr Stephen FitzGerald, a former Australian Ambassador to China. 
His university days at Monash University were taken up mainly drinking alcohol and the dreadful consequences of his frequent drunkenness. Intellectually brilliant he still managed to do well. 
While no Adonis he seemed to be attractive to people and especially women and somehow engendered something in people who helped him out of his frightening escapades.  
He treated …

Books »

[29 Apr 2020 | No Comment | 118 views ]

Fifty Years Sober : An Alcoholic’s Journey

by Ross Fitzgerald – Hybrid Publishers, Melbourne, $27.50

Alcohol sales have reportedly risen dramatically since everyone is staying home. Unfortunately, for those addicted to alcohol, it can be a life-long struggle not to drink. As Ross Fitzgerald clearly explains in his new memoir ‘Fifty Years Sober : An Alcoholics Journey’, it’s not a matter of willpower; it’s important to get the right support – and Ross pays exclusive tribute to Alcoholics Anonymous in keeping him to the straight and narrow.

“When he was 20 and …

Reviews »

[18 Apr 2020 | No Comment | 105 views ]

Non Fiction

Fifty Years Sober

Ross Fitzgerald

Hybrid, $27.50

When he was 20 and studying at Monash University, Ross Fitzgerald and a bloke he met at a pub stole a car and drove it off a bridge.

 

It was one of many incidents, including attempted suicides, that led him to AA.

 

This updated version of his 2010 memoir, My Name is Ross, charts in plain-speaking, detached writing, which accentuates the gravity of the tale, the path to alcoholism.

 

There was the difficult childhood, troubled relationship with his mother, first drinks in school uniform at 15, …

Reviews »

[11 Apr 2020 | No Comment | 94 views ]

POLITICS
City On Fire: The Fight for Hong Kong
Antony Dapiran
Scribe, $35Review by ROSS FITZGERALD
These days, there’s a lot to bash China about, but the protesters in Hong Kong have hardly bathed themselves in glory, either.
Most of us have seen footage of the mass movement that began in Hong Kong in June 2019, as a protest against a proposed bill extraditing lawbreakers to mainland China. Protesters claim this resulted in a march 1 million strong on Sunday, June 9, and then of 2 million a week later.
But after the extradition bill was …

Books »

[27 Mar 2020 | No Comment | 104 views ]

by ROSS FITZGERALD

FYI : This version of my letter appeared in today’s Australian Financial Review.

Given the lifesaving work of Alcoholics Anonymous, AA should be regarded as an essential service and its meetings still be open to its members.

Otherwise many alcoholics and other addicts will fall off the program

Surely attending AA is more important than attend the hairdresser!

Ross Fitzgerald,

Redfern, NSW

The Australian Financial Review, 27 March 2020, p 35.

Reviews »

[27 Mar 2020 | No Comment | 100 views ]

by ROSS FITZGERALD

Given the life-saving work of Alcoholics Anonymous, AA should be regarded as an essential service and its meetings still be open to its members.

Otherwise many alcoholics and other addicts will get back on the booze and drugs.

Surely members being able to attend  meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous is of more importance than being allowed to attend the hairdresser!
    
Professor Ross Fitzgerald, Redfern
The Daily Telegraph (Sydney),
27 March, 2020, Letters, p 70

Columns »

[25 Mar 2020 | No Comment | 94 views ]

   By Martin Hanson

Every few years around St Patrick’s Day, historian Ross Fitzgerald “reminds” everyone how the Communist MLA Fred Paterson was “bashed” that day in 1948 during a Brisbane street march.

Fitzgerald started out condemning Queensland’s Hanlon government as being of the awful, long-successful, right-wing Labor type. In 2007 he advanced to the allegation that a police officer may have bashed Paterson on the ­orders of premier Ned Hanlon. Now he links the event to the corruption that was exposed by the Fitzgerald Inquiry after 32 years of Liberal-Country Party …