Author(s): Anne Deveson
Looking back on a long and active life, Anne Deveson draws on a rich vein of experiences in public and private life to reflect on what made her the bold social commentator she became. Central among her lifelong preoccupations have been the questioning of war, and the promotion of peace. Deveson tells of her childhood blown apart by World War II in bombed Britain, then invaded Malaya, to become a refugee in Australia. Of going back to Europe to see the heavy shadow of war there, and on her own family; to read de Beauvoir, hitchhike, love, and decide to be a journalist. Returning to Australia, she built a career (unusual in the 1960s for a young mother) as a provocative commentator on issues of social justice and equality, and as a member of the trailblazing and controversial Commission into Human Rights she argued passionately for the disadvantaged. We also share with her, through dramatic filming experiences in Africa, horror at the traumas of conflict and the need to understand its resolution. We share her insight into human yearning for peaceful space in which ordinary family life may be lived - often taken for granted, too often lost. Deveson's unique voice, her humor, and humility shine through this memoir of experiences and ideas. She argues persuasively, and hopefully, that, were we to wage peace with all the resources and vigour that we wage war, we could win peace, and keep it.
Anne Deveson spent her childhood in Malaya, Australia and England, but for most of her adult life she has lived in Sydney. A writer, documentary filmmaker and former head of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School, she has had a long involvement in social justice. Through her television and radio work, her books and articles and role with numerous organisations and boards, she has illuminated many social issues and influenced policy across a wide range. Her films have won three UN Peace awards and her books have been widely praised. They include the bestselling Tell Me I'm Here - about her son's struggles with schizophrenia - which won the 1992 Human Rights Award for nonfiction and was shortlisted in five major literary awards. Another bestseller, Resilience weaves together research and reflection into a thought-provoking intellectual and personal story. Anne was made an officer of the Order of Australia for her work in community health and for increasing the pub