Main Article Content
My aural introduction was Peter Allen’s song, ‘Tenterfield Saddler’. And most of you will know that ‘At Henry Parkes Motel’, Meaghan’s famous essay on mobility, comfort, desire and banality, is situated in Tenterfield where Meaghan’s early childhood took place.
The overblowness of this song, the calculated ridiculousness of its nation branding via the melange of Australian animals—kangaroos, emus, cockatoos—all ‘up ahead’, only underscores the poignancy of the public secret of Allen’s homosexuality and his early death through HIV.
The song, as you may have caught, may have felt, includes the heartbreaking camp of the transnational subject: ‘been all around the world and lives no special place’. And the recognition by that subject that the figures of their hometown, the grandfather living on manners, and the grandfather’s son—Peter Allen’s father who took his own life—have no point of belonging, no line of connection, ‘Except in this song’.
If only Peter had read, heard, interacted with Meaghan. Today I would like to salute all the ways Meaghan has made it possible for the queers, swats, smartarses, girls, women, and those of us from the country and from public high schools—to be here. Meaghan has made it possible for us to imagine ourselves as both ‘here’ and ‘there’. And not just in a song.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
a) Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed undera Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share and adapt the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
b) Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
c) Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Open Access Citation Advantage Service). Where authors include such a work in an institutional repository or on their website (ie. a copy of a work which has been published in a UTS ePRESS journal, or a pre-print or post-print version of that work), we request that they include a statement that acknowledges the UTS ePRESS publication including the name of the journal, the volume number and a web-link to the journal item.
d) Authors should be aware that the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License permits readers to share (copy and redistribute the work in any medium or format) and adapt (remix, transform, and build upon the work) for any purpose, even commercially, provided they also give appropriate credit to the work, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. They may do these things in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests you or your publisher endorses their use.