November 5, 2019

Yvonne Amos: What were you doing in the 80’s?

This week is the last week to purchase tickets to our Northern Health Foundation Dinner! In the lead up to this year’s 80’s themed event, we sat down with Foundation Director, Yvonne Amos, to find out what she was doing in the 80’s! Read her story below. To purchase your tickets to the Dinner, please click here.

What were you doing in the 80’s?

The 80’s for me was a decade full of adventure and extremes! Moving from Victoria to Darwin by myself to a place so remote it felt like Australia’s last frontier.  Then to Sydney where those casual warm days were replaced by a much faster pace! Flip flops were no longer an option! Time to get with it!

Tell us if you were travelling somewhere exciting.  What made it exciting?

My first ever overseas trip was to Singapore!  Change Alley, Chilli Mud Crab, Little India, Raffles Hotel and the shopping are my fondest memories.

Where were you working?

My first ever job was with the NT Department of Health supporting the team who managed registrations for nurses and medical professionals. When I moved to Sydney I worked for Svenska Handelsbanken, it was there I learnt to love all things Swedish including roll-mops (pickled fish) and blueberries always served in cold milk! Somehow I managed to get by without speaking a single word of Swedish except Hej! Or Hello!

What’s your best memory from the 80’s?

I tell my team that I can’t remember the 80’s because I was asleep but the more I think about the 80’s, it was jammed packed full of fun times and memories – Expo 88, Sydney’s Bicentennial, Australia II winning the America’s Cup, getting married, toga parties, studying and travelling throughout Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, China and NZ! Best of all trips back home to stay with my mum and dad!

Did you go to any concerts or festivals?

When I was living in Darwin, a group of us went to see Bullamakanka, their biggest hit was ‘Home among the Gum Trees’ – yes a bit daggy – but it was in a hall in the middle of nowhere off the Arnhem Highway! It was a magical time and place! A local hotel in Darwin ran the annual Crab Tying Competition – anyone brave enough had to tie up live mud crabs with their fingers and toes! I have the poster to prove it! Lastly, Darwin’s Beer Can Regatta – whilst I never took to the ocean in a boat made from cans, it was Darwin’s answer to Melbourne’s Birdman Rally! Iconic, fun and pretty pointless!

What were you listening to in the 80s?

Two standouts from the 80’s for me was Mental as Anything – Live it Up! and Bruce Springsteen  – The River!  It was also the decade we stopped spinning vinyl and moved to CD’s. I still have my record player and there is no other sound like it!

What was your favorite thing to do on a Friday or Saturday night?

In the 80’s, Friday nights were spent dancing and Saturday night our gang gathered to watch movies on our brand new VHS recorder – in those days it cost $15 to hire a movie! Blues Brothers and National Lampoons Animal House were in high rotation…no streaming then!

What was the daggiest  80’s outfit you wore?

Many daggy outfits from the 80’s ….but at the time I loved them all!

Did you own a boom box?

I had a fire truck tape deck that was never ever far from reach!

Did you cry when Scott and Charlene go married?

Um no! Never got into Neighbours!

Did you watch RAGE on Saturday mornings?

No – I loved Countdown too much to move on!

Who was your favourite character on Country Practice?

Definitely Molly and Fatso the Wombat!

Was there anything that made your heart stop in the 80’s?

There were a couple of moments! The Space Shuttle Challenger flight that lasted just 76 seconds!

When Australia II won the America’s Cup in 1983! We stayed up all night to watch it, then had to go to work in the morning!

Our Prime Minister, Bob Hawke’s quote – “I tell you what …. any boss who sacks someone for not turning up today is a bum.” We weren’t game to take Bob up on his word and shuffled off to work in the Green and Gold!