Garry Ellis Sturgess grew up in Melbourne and is a graduate of Monash University. He practised as a barrister in 1985–89, but for most of his career he has worked in the media and publishing. From 1977 to 1980 he was a freelance reporter and documentary-maker in Australia and the United States. He was the legal correspondent for The Age in 1980–84 and was the presenter of The Law Report on ABC Radio National in 1984–85. He worked as a freelance reporter and correspondent in Washington in 1989–91. In 1994 he founded the communications provider Global Vision Media Pty Ltd and in 2000 he established Explore Australia Network Pty Ltd, an online travel and tourism publisher. Since 2003 he has been a consultant publisher at DigiTravel Publishing Pty Ltd.
Sturgess is the co-author of:
The Journalist who Laughed (1983)
Judging the World: Law and Politics in the World’s Leading Courts (1988)
Among his radio and television productions are The Great Depression (1977), Prime Minister (1980), Judging the World (1986) and Labor in Power (1993).
In 1989 the Library purchased from Sturgess his oral history collection, assembled while writing his two books and working on various Australian Broadcasting Commission productions.
The Garry Sturgess Collection comprises 276 reels and 48 cassettes. They contain 108 interviews, recorded by Sturgess between 1976 and 1986. In addition, there are speeches by Sir Daryl Dawson, Peter Durack, Sir Ninian Stephen and Sandra Day O’Connor, and some patriotic and political songs. They can be grouped into the following subjects:
- Prime ministers
- The Great Depression
- Humour in journalism
- Australian history themes
- The judiciary
Several interviews deal with the trial of Justice Lionel Murphy and the life of the historian Ian Turner. The interviewees include Niall Brennan, Creighton Burns, Ita Buttrose, Jim Cairns, Lord Denning, Sir Harry Gibbs, Bill Hayden, Frank Huelin, Michael Kirby, Mungo McCallum, Alan Marshall, Sir Anthony Mason, Stephen Murray-Smith, Lionel Murphy, Paul Ormonde, Bruce Petty, Alan Reid, Ron Saw, Julius Stone, Glen Tomasetti, Ian Turner and Duncan Waterson.
The Garry Sturgess Collection is kept together within the Oral History Collection at TRC 2485.