Goolengook cleans up Ska-TV Activist Awards!

melbourne october 9 1997

T he second annual Ska-TV Activist Awards saw Goolengook collect 2 awards (nominated for five) for Best Occupation and the highly coveted Golden Activist Award, which we shared with the anti-racism campaign.

Rod Quantock, (who must be immortal because I haven't seen him age a day since Australia, You're Standing in it) hosted, helping nervous or speechless award collectors say their thank-yous. Technical problems hampered the night, along with ad breaks (the show was simulcast on Channel 31 - home of Access News) and proved unboring at least from a live audience perspective (apparently it was rather boring to watch on TV).

Footage of all nominated actions was shown on the big screen, with everyone getting to see their action broadcast. Access News has an excellent team and network for getting activist footage onto community TV. The importance of Ska-TV as a community resource cannot be overstated. In these days of big media and economic rationalism it's essential that we have a serious, hardworking source of news that matters to the community. We need to know more about the world than just the petty backroom dealing, backstabbing, corporate takeovers, economic interests that dominates mainstream media. We need more outlets for localised community concerns. Ska-TV is part of that. Ska-TV is a serious contender for media that matters.

There was a definate feeling of solidarity with other activists present: Trade unionists fighting privatisation, Indigenous folk campaigning for self-determination, anti-prisons campaigners, the Albert Park occupation, anti-racism, Disabilities Liberation Front, numerous humourous actions and more.

Last year the Sellers Rd action narrowly lost out to the DARE group, but this year we got our own back. This year I was (undemocratically) nominated, adhoc - ie on-the-spot - style, to collect the award on behalf of everybody. And so as I excitedly, nervously shambled from my second row seat towards the stage (and spotlights and cameras broadcasting) I found myself followed by 8 or so other excited Goolengeeks tumbling onto stage with me. Thanks heaps for not leaving me to do it alone.

I did find something else really interesting: Rod Quantock, when taking back control of the mike, commented that he admired us but would not want to "live like that". Since the coalition government got to power federally there has been a marked change in the conservative nature of the green movement, and what has been described as the "cultural elite", towards a more tolerant attitude to "ferals" those people who like to live at forest blockades without electricity, lights and TV, plumbing, and rent payments....but I could go on forever about this, and elsewhere I will, but there is still at least a psychic form of prejudice even in the minds of progressive people who are impressed by the actions of the people at Goolengook...

Other than that, it was an excellent night. The awards night was a chance to get together with other "activists" ie: people putting their formidable energies towards something other than mere personal gain and profit, and also to spread the word that much more.

Til next year when Goolengook, and who knows what else, rears it's hydra head once more on the activist awards.

words and html by craig october97.

Community Television in Australia
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