Title Details

Sir Zelman Cowen - Out Takes

Lawyer and academic Sir Zelman Cowen served as Governor-General of Australia from 1977 to 1982.
Series : Australian Biography Series 10 | Year : 2005 | Total Duration : 26 Minutes | Producer : Rod Freedman
Director : Rod Freedman |
Tape 1 - Interview with Sir Zelman Cowen about his early childhood memories and family influences growing up in St. Kilda, Melbourne. Cowen talks about the central religion of Judaism in his family home and describes his parents and siblings. Cowen describes his early education at St Kilda State school and secondary education at Scotch College.
Access No. 138889 | 37 mins 45 secs | 2000s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 2 - Interview with Sir Zelman Cowen about his achievements in his schooling years at Scotch College and his lack of sporting ability that was a Rhodes scholarship requirement. Cowen talks about how he attained a scholarship to Scotch College and his relationship with the headmaster of Geelong Grammar, Sir James Ralph Darling, where he had refused a scholarship due to the fact he had to attend chapel and this was not acceptable to Cowen's parents.
Access No. 138890 | 39 mins 23 secs | 2000s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 3 - Interview with Sir Zelman Cowen about his relationship with Sir James Ralph Darling continued. Cowen talks about his tertiary education at Melbourne University where he studied Arts and Law. Cowen describes how he became a Rhodes Scholar in 1940 which was postponed due to the war. Cowen talks about his service as a lieutenant in the Royal Australian Naval based in Darwin during the Japanese invasion in Darwin, he was later a sub-lieutenant on General MacArthur's staff in Brisbane.
Access No. 138891 | 37 mins 42 secs | 2000s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 4 - Interview with Sir Zelman Cowen about his social life, meeting his wife, Anne, proposing to her and their lasting love of sixty years. Cowen recalls his experience of travelling to England with his wife to attend Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar studying a bachelor degree of Civil Law.
Access No. 138892 | 39 mins 27 secs | 2000s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 5 - Interview with Sir Zelman Cowen about his educational experiences and various relationships he developed at Oxford University. Cowen describes the added burden of tutoring Brasenose pupils and then lecturing at Oriel College whilst studying and his appointed fellowship at Oxford. Cowen talks about the recreational activities at Oxford including his formal dining experiences and his travels to Germany post WWII where he was invited to Berlin by the British Military Government to help implement a federal government in 1947.
Access No. 138893 | 41 mins | 2000s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 6 - Interview with Sir Zelman Cowen about his to return to Australia from Oxford to begin his position as Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Melbourne and how during this time he was invited to teach at the University of Chicago because of his connection with Erwin Roosevelt, Dean of the Harvard Law School. Cowen talks about his role as a father, his family life and his eldest son becoming a Jewish Rabbi. Cowen talks about why he accepted his appointment as Vice-Chancellor of New England University in Armidale, NSW.
Access No. 138894 | 38 mins 47 secs | 2000s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 7 - Interview with Sir Zelman Cowen about what it means to be Australian and he describes the new direction his career took after being appointed vice-chancellor of New England University where he spent three years. Cowen talks about being selected as vice-chancellor of University of Queensland during the political time of Joh Bjelke-Peterson and the radical student demonstrations against the existence of the University to which he responded with what he describes one of the "finest speeches" of his life.
Access No. 138895 | 39 mins 56 secs | 2000s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 8 - Interview with Sir Zelman Cowen about the changing role of academic institutions, his offer from the Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser to take up the post of Governor General and the role he took up for the following five years which he states as being the "interpreter of the nation itself". Cowen discusses his support of Australia becoming a Republic and the clarity of his judgement to appoint an Australian as Head of State.
Access No. 138896 | 40 mins 57 secs | 2000s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 9 - Interview with Sir Zelman Cowen about the difficulties in electing a Head of State for a Republic. He recalls the joys and difficulties that he experienced during his time as Governor General. Cowen talks about being the biographer of Isaac Isaacs and the importance of Lady Cowen's participation in his work as Governor General. Cowen describes his political values as tied into social justice. After his term as Governor General he was asked to fill the position of Head of Oxford University and went to live in England with his family.
Access No. 138897 | 39 mins 1 sec | 2000s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 10 - Interview with Sir Zelman Cowen about his professional relationship with the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh and the effect of his office on his family. Cowen talks about his time as Head of Oxford University when he was also the Chairman of the Press Council for five years and his return to Australia to become Chairman of Fairfax for three years. He speaks of being appointed as Emeritus Professor at the University of Melbourne. Cowen describes being diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and how he is still enjoys his work and social engagements.
Access No. 138898 | 40 mins 3 secs | 2000s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 11 - Interview with Sir Zelman Cowen about his views on religion and the important influence of Judaism on his life, the changing role of women throughout his lifetime and his views on feminism. Cowen describes the role and the rule of law, the essential functions of universities in civil society and the present discourse on universities. Cowen talks about the part that music has played in his life and his deep sense of gratitude about his opportunity to be Governor General.
Access No. 138899 | 39 mins 52 secs | 2000s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 12 - Interview with Sir Zelman Cowen about his mother's recognition of his achievements, how she suffered a stroke, and what kind of an Australian society he would like for his grandchildren. Cowen talks about writing his memoirs "Beyond the Scope of Any Dream", recalls the story of his Aunt Annie in England and his lifelong support and patronage of St. Kilda Football Club.
Access No. 138900 | 16 mins 24 secs | 2000s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 13 - VS of Tom Bass public sculptures. Various photographs, newspaper articles and honorary medals of Sir Zelman Cowen.
Access No. 138901 | 26 mins 5 secs | 2000s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |