Social Work: Ken McGregor
Philanthropist, consultant, manager, curator and collector of contemporary world art, Ken McGregor, has made an extraordinary impression on the Australian art world over the years. He is the author and producer of more than thirty art related publications, including John Olsen’s last five books, and has led exhibitions around Asia, the US and the UK. He is credited for bringing to Australia three of the greatest international street artists: Blek Le Rat (France), D*face (UK) and Swoon (USA). In 2011 he organised his own ‘Desert Walk for Dialysis’ – a 27-day, 1300km trek from Alice Springs in the NT, to Kiwirrkurra, a remote community in WA – and raised more than $100,000 in funding to help keep a mobile dialysis unit running on the remote roads.
We invited Ken to do some Social Work with us this month.
How similar are your political beliefs to those of your family?
Ken McGregor: I have the same political beliefs as my mother but not my father.
How do your values differ from those of your family?
KM: Difficult question, I guess they are the same.
Do you have a favourite family story?
KM: My Grandfather fought in the First World War and was a gunner on the ground when the Baron Von Richthofen (The Red Baron) was shot down.
What do you hope for?
KM: Just to keep doing what I’ve been doing and to stay heathy.
What do you think is your main purpose in life?
KM: To look after my family and to support the arts.
Do you think its ok to lie?
KM: I would say no, it’s not ok; however in some difficult circumstances it’s probably necessary.
What does freedom mean to you?
KM: Oh, absolutely everything.
What do you think are the most important social issues today?
KM: The most important social issue is to try and stop people from killing each other because of their religious beliefs. Who cares what country you come from or what you look like or what belief you follow. We are all human, just get along.
Do you think things happen for a reason?
KM: Everything happens for a reason.
What beliefs do you have that you think will never change?
KM: Just to do the best you can
Do you believe in the supernatural?
KM: Supernatural is a scary word, but I would have to say yes, because I have seen and heard things my eyes and ears can’t explain.
Is any religious text important to you?
KM: None at all.
Have you ever come close to dying?
KM: On my travels I’ve been struck by two snakes at different times but not actually bitten, so it felt like I was close to dying.
What do you like the best about your body?
KM: At my age I still have my own teeth and a good crop of hair.
What do you think would be the best thing about being the opposite gender?
KM: Carrying a handbag.
Who is the best teacher you have ever had?
KM: My father.
Have you ever been lost?
What was your favourite book as a child?
KM: I didn’t have a favourite book until I was a teenager, and that was Namatjira – Wanderer between two worlds by Joyce D Batty.
If I asked a good friend of yours what you were good at, what would they say?
What stays the same in your life, no matter how much other things change?
KM: My work ethic.
What is stopping you?
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