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Simon Royal

Articles by Simon

InReview InReview

The monument man

How did a mostly unknown public garden in Adelaide’s eastern suburbs become a memorial to JFK? Simon Royal unravels the extraordinary story of the driven man behind the project and his painful past.

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Wayne Craill, pictured here as a primary school student, was found in the Torrens in 1971. The 19-year-old's death was recorded as misadventure and drowning and he was cremated before test results revealed a puzzlingly high level of alcohol in his blood. Photo supplied.

The boy who didn't matter

Seven months before George Duncan was drowned in the Torrens, a young man died near the same location in a way which has troubling echoes of the later crime. Simon Royal explains why 50 years on the teenager’s family still search for answers and want the official death verdict re-examined.

Books & Poetry

The understated SA historian lassoing history’s myths

He grew up in a tiny South Australian town famous for its rodeo, but historian Robin Prior has made his career roping in the myths proliferating around Australia’s war efforts. His huge new undertaking, however, is being hampered by cuts to our national archives, and politicians’ priorities which favour hagiography over history.

Film & TV

The 'sin' of simply being yourself

The heartwrenching television series It’s a Sin has evoked memories of the AIDS epidemic in Adelaide, when young men died and were commonly buried in rejection and shame. Simon Royal wonders if the real, terrible, sins of that time can be remedied.


The art of changing lives

A gift made possible by two of South Australia’s most significant arts figures is changing the lives of vulnerable LGBTQI+ people. Simon Royal explains how one scholarship rescued the dreams of the young person who received it.