A Radical Life

The Great Mount Egerton Bank Robbery
Read the entire book online (or print off) – Click here (This is a pdf document – 1.7Mb)
Also available at Everybody Knows Books 10 Sturt Street Ballarat. Ph. 0413378142

I am an Australian writer, academic and radical community activist. I live in Ballarat, Victoria.

I was born in Melbourne in 1949. Raised as Catholic, I spent boyhood years in the Wimmera township of Nhill. I was educated at Nhill High School and Saint Patrick’s College, Ballarat. After a year training for the priesthood I was offered a place at university and enrolled in history and sociology at LaTrobe University in 1969. I became radicalised like many other students in the 1960s. I joined the Communist Party of Australia and was very involved in the Australian Union of Students, the campaign to Save the Franklin and battles to save the environment. As a result of anti-Vietnam War activities and being a conscientious objector I was imprisoned in 1972. I came out as a homosexual in 1970 and involved myself in anti-discrimination battles.

Leaving University, I taught in Victorian secondary schools and Universities. I am committed to the resolution of many significant issues facing us today. I have a deep green philosophy regarding planet Earth. Earth is our home in the cosmos. In my career as a teacher I have tried to support students in their struggle to become themselves, to be truly free, enlightened and independent thinkers. In 1988 I completed a Doctorate on the Australian Radical Student Movement. I have a special interest in the struggle of the Palestinians for a homeland; an independent West Papua and restorative justice for the aboriginal people of Australia.

Article by Barry York in The Overland https://overland.org.au/2022/08/the-la-trobe-three-fifty-years-on/

Yarrowee: A Radical Life

In 2007 I published ‘Yarrowee: A Radical Life’. It is an autographical novel set in present day Ballarat. ‘Yarrowee’ is a no-holds-barred attack on the powers-that-be. It is a story of political intrigue. It is also the story of my homosexual life.

‘Yarrowee’ invites you, the reader into a rarefied, free-wheeling world where my friends Luke, James and Xavier plunge into radical politics, the sex clubs of nearby Melbourne and the realisation of their own lives as young men. In the background is the frightening reality of being monitored by those who oppose us in the battle for the hearts and minds of Australia.

‘Yarrowee’ is a moving and confronting story of how an innocent country youth gets caught up in one of the most exciting times in Australian history. The conclusion presents a brighter future for young Australians if they choose to grab hold of it. It is a story of inspiration and hope for Australians. 

In 2009 I returned to LaTrobe University to study English Literature. In 2015 I am delighted to be delving into the poetry of John Keats. I maintain a watching brief on local, State and international politics and am involved in green and heritage issues in Ballarat.

Yarrowee: A Radical Life – Read an excerpt from the book – Click here

Yarrowee: A Radical Life – Read the entire book online (or print off) – Click here (This is a pdf document  – 589 Kbs)

Yarrowee: A Radical Life – Download the cover of the book – Click Here (This is a jpeg – 289 Kbs)

Yarrowee: A Radical Life – Third edition 2022 – Click Here (This is a pdf – 1,188 Kbs)


‘Yarrowee: A Radical Life’ is available to be purchased by emailing me at – brianpola@gmail.com and
in stock at Hares and Hyenas at Pride Centre, Fitzroy St. St Kilda; Everybody  Knows Books, Little Bridge St Ballarat. 

Homosexuality on the Goldfields

In 2016 I co-authored “Homsexuality on the Goldfields” in “Goldfields and the Gothic”, (David Waldron ed.) Scholarly Publishing. “Captain Moonlight”, the “Gay Bushranger” emerges as a significant figure.

Today, hurtling towards 2023, it seems a very different world. Or is it?

Goldfields and the Gothic – Read an excerpt from the book – Click here

Memories of the Waterdale Road Vietnam protest marches, September 1970, Dr. Barry York

Recorded in 2020 featuring Brian Pola

Full interview with Dr. Barry York and Brian Pola

Recorded in 2020