Ted Hopkins: a personal reflection on his life

Many remember this remarkable man for his four-goal haul in Carlton's 1970 VFL Grand Final. But there was so much more to him than simply sporting prowess...
Ted Hopkins. Image is a smiling man in a red jumper.

Ted Hopkins passed away on Monday 20 November 2023, after a long illness. He was 74 years old. He was a colleague and collaborator of mine in the 1980s and 90s. I haven’t seen him for years; however, the memories of him that came flooding in on hearing the news of his death were so vivid that I felt impelled to put pen to paper.

I write from a personal perspective because there were many sides to Ted with which I am not familiar. He was a champion footballer for the Carlton Football Club and there has been considerable coverage of his sporting prowess in the press, with many commentators reminiscing about his achievements. However, this is not the Ted I knew. I don’t know anything about football. The Ted I met was a writer and cultural commentator, who engaged in many arts events through his companies Backyard Press, Champion Books and Champion Productions.

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Dr Susan McCauley is a Creative Producer of festivals, cultural programs and creative projects in Australia, Asia and Europe. She completed PhD research investigating the role of the Creative Producer in 2009 at RMIT University. In her early career, she worked closely with Ted Hopkins on numerous events and weekly radio programs. In 1992 she and Hopkins were invited to participate in an Australian Antarctic Fellowship program as artists in residence. Other Creative Producer highlights include 'The Hawker’s Song' media installations and gallery works commissioned for the Melbourne Festival 2010 and the Our Cities Festival 2010 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.