Stan Yarramunua points out he wasn’t exactly brought up with the Brady Bunch.
I was over feeling sorry for myself, using excuses, full of self-pity, poor me, poor me, pour me another drinkStan Yarramunua
“I didn’t know what was going on, we were sleeping in toilet blocks,” he said.
“We’d be getting up in the morning and going out and kids were coming into school and I’d be walking out.
“I’d say to my dad ‘What are they doing?’, he’d go, ‘Oh, don’t worry about that, son’.”
The artist, actor, musician and businessman will share a childhood that often felt like an adventure in Albury on Thursday when he helps launch the 2018 Write Around The Murray.
Over five days in September, the writers festival will feature guests such as Indigenous folk-pop duo Stiff Gins, celebrity chef Matthew Evans, journalists Tony Wright and Chris Hammer and authors Robert Hillman, Jessie Cole and Ailsa Piper.
Hillman will also attend the launch, being held at Albury Library Museum 5.30pm-6.30pm, to chat with Yarramunua about their collaborative biography A Man Called Yarra.
Yarramunua said creating the book took a couple of years, with he and Hillman meeting regularly.
“It brought up memories of what it was like at that particular time, stuff that on the journey I probably pushed down and forgot all about,” he said.
“This book’s not written for any self-pity, it’s written for a journey of one person that’s lived many different lives.”
Despite his father being an alcoholic, Yarramunua felt love and loyalty existed between the two of them as they travelled around Australia.
“We were sitting in parks, with people drinking, my dad talking, telling stories, stuff like that, sleeping under stars, he’d tell us stories about the Milky Way,” he said.
As a young adult, Yarramunua struggled at times with work, relationships and his own drinking habits until at the age of 28, “I put the bottle down”.
“I was over feeling sorry for myself, using excuses, full of self-pity, poor me, poor me, pour me another drink, poor little Stan,” he said.
Always imaginative, Yarramunua instead picked up a paint brush and soon after found himself exhibiting in New York and Toronto and acting as well.
“I haven’t been to school, I don’t read or write and I’m doing theatre in Japan,” he recalled with some disbelief.
He founded art galleries and also a foundation to help Aboriginal children.
“Whoever reads the book, I hope they get something from one of the chapters that can actually help them,” he said.
“Whatever you’re going through at the time, it will pass whether it’s good or bad.”
- For the launch RSVP and more festival details go to writearoundthemurray.org.au
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