Documentary puts author back in spotlight

CONTROVERSIAL Koroit-born author Frank Hardy will return to the spotlight with a documentary about his secret service file, two decades after his death.

The Power Without Glory writer is the subject of an SBS documentary series detailing the declassified files of Australia’s secret service.

Persons Of Interest — Frank Hardy examines the writer’s Communist Party affiliation and how he was monitored by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).

Filmmaker Haydn Keenan profiled Hardy as part of a series of documentaries focused on ASIO’s activities during its first three decades of operations.

Hardy was born at Southern Cross, east of Koroit in 1917, with his family moving to Bacchus Marsh in his teenage years. 

He was seen by the Menzies government as a subversive figure and stood twice as a Communist Party candidate.

Hardy gained recognition for his part fact, part fiction Power Without Glory, which led to his arrest and trial in 1950 as part of the last criminal libel case ever staged in Victoria.

The book was contentious as it mentioned key political figures through barely concealed pseudonyms including then Victorian premier John Cain senior. 

Hardy’s sister was late television personality Mary Hardy, his son Alan was a scriptwriter for soap operas such as The Sullivans and Home and Away and his granddaughter is columnist Marieke Hardy.

Hardy died in January 1994 aged 76. Both Alan and Marieke appear in the documentary and discuss their relative’s colourful past.

Persons Of Interest — Frank Hardy screens on SBS One on Tuesday at 8.30pm.

asinnott@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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