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Wizards from Oz - Barry Humphries

Features | By Barry Humphries

The Australians are coming! Barry Humphries, Robert Hughes, Clive James and Germaine Greer. By Bill Leak

A wave of brilliant Australians came to Britain sixty years ago. They included Clive James, Germaine Greer – and Barry Humphries

‘We’re going overseas,’ announced Ada Scott, my mother’s friend. ‘After that, we might pop over to some of the clean countries.’ By ‘overseas’, Ada meant what we all meant: England. My grandparents called it ‘going home’ and, in the Melbourne of that epoch, it was an inevitable destination, to which we swam like spawning salmon. The ‘clean countries’ were nowhere near the Mediterranean, of course, and were probably places like Denmark, Holland and Switzerland. Dorothy Wilmot, my mother’s dressmaker, said that she had found Sweden ‘spotless’, and the Swedes – just like the Wilmots – ‘very particular’. ...

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