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Meyer Eidelson

Author, Entertainer, Social Commentator, Storyteller/Performer

Meyer has written over fourteen books and published a number of others as the publishing coordinator of the St Kilda Historical Society. All the books deal with the natural, cultural and social history of Melbourne. He is the founder of Melbourne Walks, which uses the performative and engaging format of a walking tour to impart social, cultural and historical knowledge.

What themes are recurring in your work?

I tell the stories of special, often secret places in Melbourne and try to seek out the unique memories and lives of people who lived in those places. My passion for local history led me to walking tours which I see as a theatre of the street that puts people, place and memory on the stage. I love the dictum of Herman Hesse: “Every person is more than themselves. He or she represents the special, the unique meeting point in which converges the world’s events once, just once and never again. Therefore every story of every person is important, eternal and holy.” As a naturalist I have also had a lifelong pursuit of knowledge about indigenous culture which I feel is the key to the truth about the Australian landscape.

What have been the highlights of your career?

Writing a children’s book about a St Kilda Penguin which I also launched in Japan making many Japanese friends. Writing the first guide to the Aboriginal places of Melbourne with the Wurundjeri Council. It spurred similar guide books in other Australian cities. Being President of St Kilda Historical Society for nine years enabling us to initiate many books and local history projects. Assisting to set up Aboriginal aged care services around Victoria on behalf of the State Government in the 1990s. Launching books written to raise money for community groups working to protect our history and environment.

Where have your works been published?

They have been published by environmental and community groups, local government, ethnic organisations and publishers such Aboriginal Studies Press.

What are you passionate about?

I have fun designing odd walking tours that have never existed before (fifty so far!) sometimes in places I have never been, then dragging others along to experience these places and then listening to their stories and those of the people we meet. I love juggling and performing magic often with kids in tow. I am in a never ending pursuit of the great human story on the street.

What other jobs have you had?

Social Worker, Youth Worker, Koorie and Ethnic Development Officer, Walking guide (founder of Melbourne Walks), Writer, film maker, waiter, ditch digger, sewage worker, kitchen hand

Haven’t I seen you before?

Perhaps, and you may have heard me – I regularly talk on radio as an historian or sometimes at events as a speaker. My walks are heavily promoted by groups such as the CAE, Seniors Festival and local government and so get featured in the media.

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