Online FrankTALK with Paul Kennedy

Next date: Wednesday, 13 October 2021 | 05:30 PM to 06:30 PM

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From acclaimed ABC journalist and author Paul Kennedy comes Funkytown, an evocative coming-of-age memoir told over the course of one extraordinary year in the Australian suburbs.

It is 1993: a serial killer is loose on the streets of Frankston, Victoria. The community is paralysed by fear, and a state’s police force and national media come to find a killer. Meanwhile, seventeen-year-old Paul Kennedy is searching for something else entirely. He is focused on finishing school, getting drafted into the AFL and falling in love. So much can change in a year.

Cast in the shadow of Australia’s culture of boys becoming men, Funkytown (so-called for the nickname Paul and his mates had for Frankston) sheds light on how the rites of passage for many Australian teenage boys – blackout drinking, simmering violence and emotional suppression – take their toll.

The year that starts with so much promise ends with Paul expelled, arrested and undrafted. But one teacher sees him self-destructing, and becomes determined to set him on another path – igniting a love for words and writing that Paul still cherishes today.

‘This story has been with me for a long time,’ said Paul. ‘As a father of three sons, I felt it was time to tell it. Going back to that time and place was daunting but it felt good to be there again, among old friends and teachers.’

Told with tenderness and humour, and evoking the brilliant, dusty haze of late Australian summer, Funkytown is a love letter to adolescence, football, family and outer suburbia.

Please join us for this online FrankTALK with Paul Kennedy in-conversation with the teacher who changed it all, on Wednesday 13 October at 5.30pm via Zoom.

Funkytown can be purchased thanks to Robinsons Bookshop, via their online store:

Reserve Funkytown now via our online catalogue. 


  • Wednesday, 13 October 2021 | 05:30 PM - 06:30 PM


Online event via Zoom