Kitchen Table Sustainability launched in Adelaide 22 November 2008

Reflections on the Adelaide book-signing event, November 2008

 

When I emigrated to Australia in October, 1968, the second person I met was Hugh Stretton, now widely regarded as one of Australia’s foremost urbanists.

 

Ideas for Australian Cities

In his kitchen at 61 Tynte Street, North Adelaide, actually at his kitchen table, Hugh was putting the finishing touches to what was to become one of Australian planning’s classic texts: Ideas for Australian Cities (1970).

 

I remember him pasting an image of an “orphan” on his mock-up of the back cover because, as he explained that six professional publishers had rejected his book.

 

 

The Board of the South Australian Housing Trust

My friendship with Hugh continues to this day. We spent many fiery sessions on the Board of the South Australian Housing Trust in the 1970s nutting out housing policy and arguing about women’s shelters and homelessness.

 

I was the only woman on the Board and its youngest member.

 

Hugh was the powerful (and to me frightening) Deputy Chair.

 

They were feisty times, as South Australia grappled with a more enlightened model of social housing that had been proposed by the Trust’s 1936 enabling legislation.

 

So it was with great delight (and much surprise) that I found myself embracing my dear friend and former sparring partner at the Adelaide Kitchen Table Sustainability book-signing event, generously hosted by my colleagues at Urban and Regional Planning Solutions (www.urps.com.au) on 20 November 2008.

 

Hugh had a few criticisms

 

The first thing Hugh said, after a warm hug, was that he hoped I did not mind if he had a few criticisms of the book.

 

“It wouldn’t be right, “ I replied. “After all these years of disagreements – and agreements, it’s only fair.”

 

 

Hugh went on to launch the book with many anecdotes of our times together.

Population policy

 

In the book, we’d forgotten to discuss population policy, he complained. I had to agree.

Old Friends, November 2008

 

The generosity of my Adelaide colleagues, and in particular, Angela Hazebroek, a longtime planning colleague and dear friend, and the blessing of my forty years of friendship with Hugh, now 83, remind me of the importance of connections across the generations.

 

Our book has been written by representatives of three generations.

 

A member of another generation – and an eminent scholar– reminds us of what we have forgotten.

Gratitude to my colleagues

 

What I had not forgotten – and the warm smiles, laughter and good cheer of the URPS book signing-event bore testament to that – is the power of friendship.

 

And the great blessing of a professional community.

 

Thank-you, dear Hugh.

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By board book on 05 Oct 2009 at 1:26 am

    board book”¦

    KTS launched in Adelaide | Kitchen Table Sustainability is an excellent post about the board book”¦.

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