There’s no shortage of information available on Gary Foley. He’s Australia’s most famous Aboriginal political activist and firebrand whose actions and opinions are legendary.
On Friday he presented us with some hard facts and some Foley-type humour, and he proudly showed some of the photos from his ASIO file. They had a Very Big Dossier on him!
The article from which this quote is taken was written nearly 20 years ago, and gives an insight into the man who is still rattling the cages of the racists and the politicians.
“Gary alienates people because he’s uncompromising,” says Suzie Brown, who lives with him. “He holds the line. Someone has to.”
Suzie Brown is not a Koori. Nor is the homeless girl whom they have temporarily taken in. The older Foley gets, the more he is struck by the parallels between racism and sexism. “It’s no good being an anti- racist and going home and beating your wife.”
His own relationships with women, he admits, have always been difficult. “I’m a cantankerous, obnoxious bastard to live with, but I think my last three partners would concede I’m spectacularly better than I used to be.”
He attributes the improvement, in good part, to giving up drink. “Like most grog artists, I didn’t realise what a maniac it turns you into.”
Suzie Brown says relinquishing alcohol has significantly altered Foley’s personality. “He’s safer to go out with, less abusive.”
Maintain the rage, Gary Foley. We need you as much as ever, to keep challenging us and educating us.