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Fan Fund of Australia and New Zealand

Guide to visiting Australia

Are you a fan planning to visit Australia? Are you interested in contacting other fans? The idea of this page is to give you some key contact info to help you arrange that. Of necessity I have concentrated on what could be considered traditional SF fannish contacts - i.e. no detailed wargaming or RPG contacts etc. Perhaps someday these can be included.

A note about using the links to personal email addresses. I have put some measures in place to protect the email addresses from being harvested by spammers. This means that you will need to have javascript enabled on your browser to use the link. You may also see the email address being displayed on a browser window in some cases - just use the back button if this happens. Sorry for the inconvenience.

All the information on this Australian page has been compiled by Rose Mitchell. Don't forget that there is also a New Zealand page on this site.

Have a look at the following list of travel destinations. If any of them are on your itinerary then follow the link for more info.

Hobart The fans here have been fans for a long time, lead by a former Aussiecon Worldcon chair.
Melbourne The largest and most active fan base on the east coast - everything happens in Melbourne.
Canberra Not as cold and boring as you might think; a varied lot of gamers, literary and media fans.
Sydney The biggest city in area, Sydney fans are spread wide and far.
Adelaide Fans are especially kind and warm in Adelaide.
Perth Very active and very friendly fans on the west coast.
Brisbane Friendly group but mostly SF&F authors.
Hosting the Natcon in 2006.
Other Towns Blue Mountains
Airlie Beach
Rutherglen & Yarra Valley wine districts

Looking for something a bit more general which might help you plan a trip involving fans. One of these topics might help you

Conventions Want to match your trip up to a con?
General Fan Info Interested in the Australian fan scene generally?
Ask Someone Correspond with a local to get some more useful info.

Hobart has a small fan base and Robin Johnson would be delighted to introduce you to Hobart Fandom. He can also put you in touch with fans in the other major regional cities in Tasmania - Launceston and Devonport.The capital of Tasmania, Hobart has hosted Thylacon, the Australian Natcon four times.

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The Melbourne Science Fiction Club meets every Friday, starting at 8pm, at St David's Church Hall, 74 Melville Rd, Brunswick 3055. This is close to Stop 36 of the No. 55 tram leaving from William St. Alison Barton can provide more information and ex-Kiwis Murray and Natalie Maclachan are a wealth of thoughtfulness.

Nova Mob meets on the first Wednesday of the month at the Carlton Library on Rathdowne Street, North Carlton. There are a couple of dinner groups who meet beforehand to break bread. One group meets at the Kent Hotel, opposite the library and another meets at the Saigon Inn in Liverpool Street (Off Bourke Street, near Spring Street) and travel out to Carlton for Nova Mob. Julian Warner or Rose Mitchell usually knows what's what.

The Friday Night Mob meet informally in the food court in Australia Arcade (Collins Street between Elizabeth and Swanston Streets) for general nattering and coffee and then wander off for a meal in Hardware Lane later.Alan Stewart or Bruce Gillespie can advise more.

And it's traditional that when fans visit, a dinner group is organized to catch up with the fannish traveler or indeed to met them if not acquainted. Contact Rose Mitchell, the current FFANZ Administrator, of whom its been said "knows everybody", Donna Heenan, Lucy Sussex or any of the people above all of whom would be delighted to put you in touch with Melbourne fandom.

Continuum is the annual con in Melbourne usually held in the first couple of weeks of July - a hybrid of SF tastes albeit the organisers claim it to be a media con.

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A very active fan scene, especially around literary and gaming events. Donna Hanson or Mark Loney can fill you in further on Canberra's scene. Conflux is held in Canberra usually around the Anzac Day long weekend. It's a serious literary con with a fine art show and now a film festival.

Cancon, a gaming con, is held in January. There is Best of Both Worlds, a con focusing on TV shows and movies

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Visit the Sydney Futurian's who meet on the third Friday of the month at The University of Technology, Broadway. Garry Dalrymple is the person to contact for anything Futurian.

Ted Scribner, the current agent for Interaction, the 2005 Worldcon, is always keen to meet visiting fans and usually puts together an interesting fannish dinner group. Check out his Bullsheet website for lots of SF info. Ted will be relocating to the Blue Mountains, a couple of hours south of Sydney.

Edwina Harvey knows just about everyone who is anyone in Sydney - and in other cities as well. Has a wicked sense of humour!

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Known as the city of churches Adelaide has a very active albeit smallish fan group, most of whom publish fanzines - yes even on paper. Damien Warman and Juliette Woods are always keen to introduce visitors to Adelaide fans.

There is also a monthly meeting of SF minds, Critical Mass, similar to Melbourne's Nova Mob. It meets in the SA Writers Centre on Rundle Street on the third Wednesday of the month. Unfortunately, we are unable to identify a contact for Critical Mass. Phone the Writer's Centre who may be able to provide more reliable information.

Adelaide also has an annual convention, Conclave, a literary based con. There is also an active fan club, SFSA, a Dr Who and general SF club as well as several university SF&F clubs.

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Large, varied and extremely active fandom, it is nearly as big as Melbourne's fan base. David Cake can help you out with useful information about Perth fandom and its myriad of SF activities.

Swancon is held in Perth annually, usually at Easter and is the con to go to after the Natcon. There is also Genghiscon, which gears itself to students and the younger fan, in late January.

Emma Hawkes is also a grand lady who loves to entertain fans visiting Perth. She can also tell you all about Gynacon - an SF con with a feminist bent.

The West Australian Science Fiction Foundation (WASFF) can also be a helpful resource.

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Once a very active fan base of mostly media-focused fans, nowadays Brisbane fans are of a more sedate and academic bent. QLD Trekkers are a Trek and general SF university based club. Check out the Bullsheet for more details.

Fantastic Queensland are hosting the 2006 Natcon, Conjure, as well as the Clarion South Writers Workshops. This group is made up of aspiring, emerging and published authors.

Ron Suidik at Pulp Fiction Books in Anzac Arcade in the Brisbane CBD always knows what's going on in fandom and he likes to chat to his customers.

Eric Lindsay or Jean Weber who are not actually based in Brisbane will know who you should contact when in town.

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Other Towns (from North to South)
Airley Beach on the Queensland Whitsunday coast - Contact Jean Weber and Eric Lindsay who hold great Relaxacons

Going sight seeing in the Blue Mountains in southern NSW? Sue Batho knows everybody and her fanac is legendary as is her geniality. She and her husband breed rabbits and guinea pigs. Ted Scribner is relocating to the Blue Mountains as well.

Julian Warner is known to organise tours of the Victorian wine districts, Rutherglen and the Yarra Valley - although not quite as adventurous as in Sideways.

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The main convention on the Australian SF calendar is the Natcon and is usually held on a long weekend. It rotates around the states - when on the west coast the Natcon is usually at Easter in conjunction with Swancon. On the east coast it varies between Queens's Birthday weekend (second week of June) and Easter. In 2005, the Natcon, Thyalacon IV will be in Hobart in June. For 2006, Conjour will be in Brisbane at Easter.

Check the Bullsheet website for a comprehensive calendar of conventions.

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General Info
Check out Ted Scribner's Bullsheet website; a veritable treasure trove of SFnal and fannish information. It has lots of really, really useful links such as a convention calendar and lists SF groups in each state.

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Ask Someone
Ask me (Rose). Don't be shy: I am always delighted to correspond with other fans from around the world and especially to meet visiting fans to swap stories and gossip. If I don't know the answer to your question, I sure as eggs know who would.

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