Born: Established: 16 Oct 1940 ;
Poet and teacher Ron Pretty graduated from the University of Sydney with an Honours degree in History in 1967. He then taught mentally disabled students at Strathfield before teaching English and History at Casino High School. Pretty had his first taste of teaching creative writing while editing the school magazine. In 1969-1970 he taught at the Strategakis School of English at Serrai in Northern Greece. On returning to Australia Pretty completed a Master of Arts in Australian Literature at the University of Sydney and was appointed a lecturer at Wollongong Teachers' College and started teaching writing in WEA adult education courses. He has taught writing in schools, universities and writing groups in Australia, America, England and Austria.
In 1987 Pretty joined seven other lecturers, postgraduates and local writers in Wollongong in forming a publishing cooperative to promote book publication by its members. This was the origin of Five Island Press of which Pretty became Director. Between 1983 and 1998 he was Head of Writing in the Faculty of Creative Arts at the University of Wollongong. Pretty was the editor of Scarp , a literary/arts magazine, from 1984 until its demise in 1999 and has been a founding member and Director of the Poetry Australia Foundation. He has also been Managing Editor of Blue Dog: Australian Poetry.
(Major source: Gina Mercer, 'What the Dance looks Like: A Conversation With Ron Pretty', LINQ 28.1 (May 2001): 9-16)