& the World of Murray Whelan

Australian Encounters is an ongoing series of historical sketches which describe true encounters – public or private, ill-fated or fortuitous – involving renowned Australian politicians, soldiers, film stars, artists, entrepreneurs and sporting legends captured at a decisive moment in their relationships – however brief or fleeting.

I write the words and artist Chris Grosz draws an illustration. We work collaboratively to research and select the stories. All are true and as accuate as possible in their detail.

The first encounter (George Johnston & Leonard Cohen) appeared in The Monthly magazine in November 2005. Encounters immediately became a regular feature and over 85 have now been published – including Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise, Donald Bradman and Boris Karloff, Margaret Fulton and Elizabeth David, Michael Hutchence and Kylie Minogue, Nana Mouskouri and Frank Hardy, Martina Navratilova, Breaker Morant, Elvis Presley, Henry Lawson, Nicolai Ceausescu and his mate Brian Burke, Bob Menzies, Mahatma Gandhi, Skylab, myxomatosis, Helena Rubinstein and many more. Read some for free.

In 2013, film producers Suitcase Murphy turned ten Encounters into 3-minute animated shorts for ABC television. Chris Grosz brought his pictures to life and Geoffrey Rush speaks my words. They have now been scheduled for 6:55pm on Tuesday evenings (immediately before the ABC News) . The first – Bob Hawke and Frank Sinatra – went to air on 30 July.

You can watch them on iView.

If you’d like to look at me and Chris discussing how our trans-Tasman collaboration works, you can looky here at this ABC page

There is also an Encounters facebook page.

In 2010, Black Inc. published a collection of the first fifty encounters in book form.

“Bizarre, unexpected – and memorable!” – Barry Jones

“Shane Maloney has been getting couples to wriggle about lewdly under the doona for years. It’s a triumph that he has squeezed all that grunt and poke into this startling book.” – H.G. Nelson