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Ben Pobjie on Rugby League


The thing about New South Wales is rugby. It doesn’t matter that Ben Pobjie is a poet, a comedian, a TV columnist or a political satirist. It doesn’t matter that he’s written three books, or that he’s written scripts for the small screen or even that he harbours an abiding love of history. And it really doesn’t matter that he lives in Melbourne now, because he grew up in New South Wales, and it’s too late to extract the sport from his blood now.

Pobjie credits the foundation of his emotional development to the 1989 NRL Grand Final (which saw the Canberra Raiders snatch victory from Pobjie’s beloved Balmain Tigers in a dramatic overtime win). It was a game that many regard as the league’s greatest ever Grand Final. For Pobjie, it was his ‘first experience of true misery’, and a moment he credits with the cynical, pessimistic parts of his worldview.

In a short lunchtime talk at the Wheeler Centre, Pobjie will open up about his lifelong obsession. How else has the game influenced his sentiments, thoughts and pursuits? And why has the game exerted such an emotional hold over him?



Ben Pobjie

Ben Pobjie is a writer, comedian and poet with no journalistic qualifications whatsoever. He has a weekly column at Australian news commentary site, and his writing has appeared in Crikey, The Age and The Punch, among others.


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