Official Report of the First Australian Science Fiction Convention

By Way of Introduction

The First Australian Science Fiction Convention was the most ambitious venture of its kind ever attempted by Australian fandom. From a humble beginning in 1951 and without the benefit of the recognised channels of fan recruiting, the organised Sydney community successfully staged a gathering of several days’ duration that attracted a total of 58 interested science fiction readers. It must be admitted that the majority of those who attended were from the Sydney or near-Sydney area. However, the national flavour was maintained by visitors from Melbourne, Newcastle and Forster, and the general recognition given by fans from other States and New Zealand.

Many factors emerged from the Convention, but the most important one was that Sydney fans could work together as a team. The problem of our isolated and lonely existence has tended to make us self-reliant and anarchistic, but this was anything but a one-man show. The main duties were performed by the members of the committee. However, Sydney fandom as a whole and the members of the Futurian Society in particular gave vital and valuable assistance.

Praise is due to everyone concerned. Graham Stone, dynamic Secretary of the Convention, for devoting so much time to the needs of fandom; Nick Solntseff, Treasurer, for his efficient handling of the finances, and the production of the Official Booklet; Arthur Haddon, for the manner in which he conducted the Auction, and for the printed circulars in the British Reprint ASF; Lex Banning, for the courageous manner in which he arranged a scratch programme for the film section after having been let down on his original programme; Vol Molesworth, for his co-operation with all members of the committee far beyond the natural call of duty, and also for so much personal help to me; and Roy Williams, David Cohen, Ken Martin, Ian Driscoll and Bruce Purdy. Also, the Futurian Society of Sydney, as an organisation, for assuming collective responsibility for the success of this, our first, Convention.

Many valuable lessons have been learned by the Sydney fan community. There were several bad points that the assembly graciously overlooked, but were noted by organisers. There has been much analytical discussion over the form and style of the day’s activities. There has been much debate as to whether the most was extracted from the opportunities presenting themselves. All this is good and healthy. It is my belief that the best way to crush laurels is to sit on them.

In conclusion, I wish to thank everybody that attended the convention and trust that you enjoyed yourselves. I also wish to express the hope that we may all gather again at the Second Australian Convention in 1953.