Several months ago, I wrote a post on a paramilitary movement in New South Wales during the Great Depression known as the New Guard. This post, as it turns out, has proven rather popular – not only has it received more hits than any other post on my site, it has also attracted the attention of two television producers.
One of those producers was responsible for the most recent incarnation of the ‘Underbelly’ series, Underbelly: Razor. Set in the streets of Sydney during the tumultuous interwar years, it focuses primarily on the feud between rival gang leaders Tilly Devine and Kate Leigh. The New Guard appear later in the series, during the height of the Great Depression in 1931-32.
With the increased awareness of the New Guard that this show will bring, I’ve decided to offer a short course on the subject. Dubbed “Australian Fascism? The New Guard Story”, it will run for three weeks in May 2012 at the Victoria University of Wellington Community Continuing Education Centre. In it, you’ll learn not only of Eric Campbell, Francis De Groot, and the famous bridge opening incident, but of the historical context from which they emerged. Why did the New Guard come into being? What did they believe in? And, perhaps most interesting of all, how did they justify some of their more extreme tactics?
To enrol, go to the CCE website and select ‘View course catalogue and enrol’ under Seminars and Workshops. In the resulting pop-up window, select ‘History’ from the menu on the left-hand side, and choose ’12C020A Australian Fascism? The New Guard Story – 08/05/12′. All the details for the course, including the option to enrol, are located there. Numbers are limited, so get in quick!