Actor, writer receives OAM for services to arts

Colin Mockett (Ivan Kemp)

Matt Hewson

Much-loved Geelong writer and actor Colin Mockett, 79, has been awarded a medal of the Order of Australia for services to the arts.

For nearly 40 years Mr Mockett has provided the people of Geelong with entertainment, informed them of the region’s history and commented on social and environmental issues.

A well-known republican and advocate for changing the date of Australia Day, Mr Mockett said he was faced with a quandary when he was first asked to accept the honour.

“When they first contacted me by email I thought it was a scam, to be honest,” Mr Mockett said.

“And then I had to think two or three times because I’m not a royalist in any way, and I certainly don’t believe Australia Day should be on January 26.

“But then I thought no, I’m representing the arts, which doesn’t get much of a run in the sports-obsessed community that we have.

“So I accepted, and I’m very, very happy and pleased to be nominated.”

Mr Mockett became a journalist in the 1980s after selling his fish and chip shop in Latrobe Terrace, writing for the Geelong Independent, the Geelong News and the Echo.

He soon found himself thrust into the limelight as part of comedy act There Was an Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman alongside Roy Carson and Ron Sutton.

Since then, Mr Mockett has founded the Geelong Theatre Awards, presented radio shows and podcasts, co-created the Concert of the Decade series at Costa Hall, founded the History Alive! Geelong Cemetery Tours and written and performed in numerous shows in the area.

Mr Mockett said he was proud to call Geelong home.

“I have a lot of time for Geelong,” he said.

“Geelong has been so good to me and I would do anything for the people and institutions of Geelong.”