MS 8049 comprises the following main series: 1. Correspondence, 1917-1977. The correspondents include Tom Dixon, Harry Geddes, Don Hackett, Sir Keith Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, Donald Tyerman, Ray Robinson and Sir Donald Bradman. 2. Manuscripts and typescripts, 1947-1962. Includes papers relating to David Rivett: fighter for Australian science, a biography of Rivett's father. 3. Journalism, 1966-1977. 4. Broadcasts, 1933-1977. 5. International Press Institute, 1951-1978. The correspondents include Mochtar Lubis, Per Monsen and T.C. Bray.
6. Scrapbooks, 1938-1978. 7. Diaries and notebooks, 1930-1977. 8. Papers of Sir David Rivett, 1895-1972. Includes papers relating to CSIRO and correspondence. The correspondents include Rohan Rivett, Ken Rivett, H.R. Marston, A.E.V. Richardson, Walter Murdoch, D.O. Masson, D.F. Martyn and Lord Casey. The series also includes letters of Sir David and Lady (Stella) Rivett (née Deakin) to Herbert and Ivy Brookes (43 boxes, 8 fol. boxes, 2 security binders).
The Acc10.040 instalment comprises a large hardbound volume titled "Hortus Siccus Vol. 1" containing news clippings of articles written by Rohan Rivett when working in London between 1949 and 1951, clippings from the Adelaide News, 1951-1954, and clippings of book reviews "Your book for this week" from the Sunday mail. The clippings have been pasted over and between pressed and labelled botanical specimens of leaves and flowers from England dating from the 1850s. There is also a loose bundle of essays, drawings, letters and other juvenilia of Rohan Rivett dating from 1918-1929 (1 fol. box).
The Acc10.061 instalment comprises correspondence between Sir Keith Murdoch and Rohan Rivett from January-October 1952, mostly concerning the day-to-day and strategic operations of the News; research notes on the relationship between Sir Keith and Rupert Murdoch based on Rivett's correspondence with Sir Keith; file of photographs, letters, and news clippings of articles by or concerning Rohan Rivett; letters and brief reminiscences about Rohan Rivett written in 1996-1997 by a cross-section of his friends and colleagues for Rhyll Rivett, who proposed to use them in a (never completed) biography of her father. Contributors include Delme Forbes, Keith Dunstan, Nan Rivett, Mochtar Lubis, Ken Inglis, David Bowman, Jack Fitzgerald, Lloyd Willey, Denis Warner, Patricia Dunstan, Rupert Murdoch, Catherine Veitch, John Miles, Joy Saunders, Rita Dunstan, Robert Gilmore, Ken May, Douglas Wilkie (1 box).
The Acc11.142 instalment comprises correspondence primarily between Rohan Rivett and Sir Keith and Rupert Murdoch; newspaper articles pertaining to the Murdoch family and Rupert Max Stuart; and the typescript manuscript of "Poochie" by Nan Rivett (1 box).
Journalist, radio commentator and author. Rohan Deakin Rivett was born in Melbourne in 1917, the son of David and Stella Rivett. He was educated at Wesley College, the University of Melbourne and Balliol College, Oxford. He was briefly a cadet reporter and then enlisted in the 2nd AIF in June 1940. After the fall of Singapore he was a prisoner of war in Japanese camps for three years. The diaries and notes that he kept formed the basis of his book Behind bamboo, published in 1946.
After the war Rivett worked for the Melbourne Herald and was a correspondent in China in 1947 and in Britain in 1949-1951. He married Nancy Summers in 1947. In 1951 he became editor-in-chief of the Adelaide News. In 1959 he campaigned against the death sentence of Rupert Stuart, an Aborigine who had been convicted of murder. Following a Royal Commission, the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. In 1960 Rivett and the News were charged with seditious libel and malicious libel, but were acquitted.
A few weeks later Rivett was dismissed by the proprietor, Rupert Murdoch. In 1961 Rivett was appointed director of the International Press Institute at Zurich. He returned to Australia in 1963 and for the rest of his life was a freelance journalist and broadcaster. He had a passion for cricket and reported on a number of Test series. He was the author of several books, including Behind bamboo: an inside story of the Japanese prison camps (1946), The listener in test cricket (1948), Australian citizen: Herbert Brookes, 1867-1963 (1965), and David Rivett: fighter for Australian science (1972). Rivett died in Melbourne in 1977.
Manuscript reference no.: MS 8049, MS Acc10.040, MS Acc10.061, MS Acc11.142.
Associated materials: Camille Desmoulins: spirit of the French revolutionaries, 1789-94, 1937 MS 1213.
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