Book Launch: Michael, we really have to talk …

We wish to thank the West End Library and staff 
for their assistance and support in launching the
The book is now available in Brisbane City Council
Please note that Michael, we really have to talk is 
available in hardback at the Avid Reader Bookstore 
in West End and online in e-book and hardback 
at Amazon. 
You can also contact Julie Cork for a copy.

                   - Ian Curr for the publishers
                     Bent Banana Books and

front coverThe book will be launched at the West End Library on Saturday morning, 31st October 2015

Time: 10:30 am for 11 am start

Place: Upstairs at West End Library 178-180 Boundary St West End

Price: The book will be sold at the launch for $20 (RRP $25).

The book will be introduced by Julie Cork and Abraham and Dan O’Neill.

Music by Jumping Fences

Refreshments are available.

[Please note that the rooms where the launch is being held is up a flight of stairs and affords a panoramic view of West End. Unfortunately there is no wheelchair access.]

 For more info contact Ian (LeftPress) at 0407 687 016 or Bernie at Bent Banana Books


Author’s Bio
Michael O’Neill spent the majority of his working life in public sectors in Australia in roles ranging from file clerk, to teacher, and finally staff counsellor. Ideologically committed to civil service rather than the private sector, he derived great satisfaction from being involved in service to the public.

Michael’s studies saw him on campuses in the 60s and early 70s during that period of heightened social awareness and growing student radicalism which spawned the New Left: young women and men dedicated to creating a better world. He was deeply involved then in the search for understanding, truth and honesty, a search he continued with constant energy and analytical precision his entire life. He was also a dedicated diarist, essayist, sketch artist and journalist, though his work is largely unpublished.

Back cover
Photo: Julian Lynch

Michael’s sudden death in August 2013 interrupted but did not prevent the publication of his first book, Michael, we really have to talk . . .

The public service: home of the lengthy lunch and the idle underworked and overpaid.   Right?

Wrong. Michael, we really have to talk . . . details a public service more likely to be a place of over-work, overt and covert bullying and denial of obvious dysfunction. It is an honest retelling of life in today’s public service written by a man who spent 50 years there.

Michael tells harrowing tales of the best-kept secrets with humor as well as popular, artistic and intellectual allusions.

Michael is as bad as hell as he scatters the toxic undergrowth to reveal a clear path to bureaucratic reform.

If you work in the public service, defiantly display Michael, we really have to talk . . .   on your desk.

970 Moratorium demonstration in Brisbane - part of national protests against Australia's military involvement in the Vietnam War © Fryer Library, Brisbane.
1970 Moratorium demonstration in Brisbane – part of national protests against Australia’s military involvement in the Vietnam War © Fryer Library, Brisbane.

4 thoughts on “Book Launch: Michael, we really have to talk …

  1. Michael, we really have to talk … Michael O’Neil, 2015,
    First Edition Published: LeftPress and Bent Banana Books
    ISBN 978-0-9925934-4-5

    This book is both fascinating and instructive. The author has thought deeply about organisational life and the power of institutions and their effect on people working in them. He enlivens his comments and descriptions about his personal experiences in Queensland institutions by including quotes and ideas from the thoughts of Sophocles in his Oedipus plays; the philosophy of a Mediaeval theologian and the insights of American playwright Arthur Miller.

    You can read the book for the sheer enjoyment of Michael’s way with words and/or his analysis of how people act and react when they work in institutions. You would think this might be a dry topic but it is more like a roller coaster ride, full of climbs up difficult hills and then scary swoops down into the depths.

    Of course, you might be looking for something more pragmatic: maybe some suggestions on how to handle people in your workplace or some ideas about tactics and strategies. In this case, you too will find the book a treasure trove of situations, with protagonists, their actions and reactions and various analyses of the consequences of decisions taken. In addition you will find The Subversive’s Toolkit exactly that. In it you can find excellent ideas for many different ways to attain your aims – especially if you share similar values as Michael’s.

    Monique Bond

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