by Storry Walton (February 2021)
I believe that the way oral history acquires its stories – its nature and its method – is equal in importance to traditional historical sources as a unique primary source for historians and researchers.
I believe that the intimacy, quietude and informality of its interviews encourage reflection, evince candour and reveal insights that may not otherwise be captured by the considered formality of printed accounts or interviews on radio, television and other communication platforms.
I believe in AMOHG because its members embrace and practise these precepts.
Storry Walton (r) interviews Malcolm Long (l) at NFSA. The interview is in the NFSA collection
I believe strongly in how we choose people to interview. From the outset in 1991, AMOHG (then FBIOHG). declared, in the words of founder Martha Ansara, that it would not just record the stories of industry ‘Kings and Queens’: its demographic was to be all-encompassing of every craft, gender, occupation, status and organisation. That strategy has never wavered and the result is a wonderfully comprehensive contribution to the NFSA collection where the views of Managing Directors can be put alongside those of reporters, producers with directors, cinematographers with laboratory staff, critics with their subjects, pioneers with new media practitioners, censors with radicals, Union members with bosses, public broadcasters with commercial managers, Tribunal members with complainants, actors with screenwriters, sound recordists with special effects designers and so on – you get the picture.
I believe in AMOHG’s big picture of its role. As founding member Graham Shirley has recently reminded us, it is is the only Australian interest group that specialises in audio-visual media-related oral history
I believe that every AMOHG interview is a graceful act by which we dignify the memories and the lives of people we record, one and all, who have contributed to the marvellous history of our industry.
I am privileged to belong to AMOHG and play a part in all that.
Member FBIOHG and AMOHG
Storry Walton AM is a former Director of the Australian Film & Television School, and has been a producer, director, writer and manager in television, radio and the arts for over fifty years.