This International Women's Day, the NFSA is celebrating Australian journalist Lillian Roxon (1932–1973) with a new collection featuring her work in radio.
Dubbed 'the Mother of Rock', Roxon became the most influential rock journalist in the world from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s. She gained an international following for her witty, passionate appraisals of musicians and their work. Roxon remained a fan first and foremost and her hit predictions became legendary.
Embedded in the rock and emerging punk scene in New York, she knew all the new and emerging stars including David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Alice Cooper and Patti Smith.
New York via Australia
Born in Savona in Italy, Roxon's family emigrated to Australia in 1937 and settled in Brisbane. She attended Sydney University in the mid-1950s and became part of the intellectual libertarian subculture known as 'the Push'.
Roxon became Australia's first female foreign correspondent after moving to New York in 1959. She wrote for American publications as well as The Sydney Morning Herald and appeared on radio station 2GB as a cultural commentator.
A pioneer in the field of New Journalism where a writer could be part of the story, she wrote about sex, youth culture, politics and feminism during a turbulent time in America's history: from JFK, the Vietnam War, the birth of the women's movement and Watergate, to flower power and punk's early days.