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Fan Club
Name: Austrek
Dates: Well. Depends on who you ask. See article.
Country based in: Australia
Focus: Star Trek
External Links:
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Austrek is a Australian Star Trek fan club formed in Melbourne. It was prompted by the first colour transmission of Star Trek in Australia in February 1975. [1]

This fan club, among many other things, published a number of zines and ran at least one con called TrekCon.

This club is the second oldest Star Trek fan club in Australia.

See The History of Austrek: How it all began...


The Club's Begins

  • July 1975 (This is the date the National Library of Australia uses; this is sort of correct.) [2]
  • October 1975 (another date cited but not correct) [3]
  • November 1976 (this date is also sort of correct) [4]

The answer: Austrek's unofficial conception was in October 1975, but the official opening was in November 1976 - this date is the one used. [5]


An excerpt from a much, much longer history posted online (undated):
Austrek was created by school students Geoff Allshorn, Joan McLachlan and Doug Ray in October 1975 as part of an informal club called the MASC (Melbourne Amateur Science Club) the focus of which was to promote sciences including Astronomy, Psychology, Archaeology and the pseudoscience's such as UFOlogy. In 1975 Star Trek was reintroduced to Australia with the launch of colour television and this in turn prompted a sudden increase of new members into the club. As a result of this newfound popularity, Austrek was eventually launched as a club in its own right in November 1976, which is now acknowledged as the club’s official start date.

The promotion of Austrek as a new Star Trek club was aided by Diane Marchant, who was the Australian representative of the Star Trek Welcommittee (a group designed to link Star Trek fans together from around the world). It was through this connection that Gene and Majel Roddenberry became two of the club's earliest Honorary Members.

SPOCK, subtitled "Star Trek Propaganda On Club Kids", was Austrek's first ever publication and was intended to be the club’s newsletter and fanzine (a fanzine is an amateur booklet populated with fan written stories and original artwork). Early issues were typed on a stencil and printed via a Fordigraph spirit duplicator and after producing four singled-paged issues known as Volume 1; SPOCK was reborn as a proper fanzine without the subtitle known as Volume 2. The first 10-page issue of the new Volume 2 format appeared in 1976 and continued for 69 issues winning many awards and accolades until 1994 when it ceased publication.

With SPOCK designated as the club’s fanzine, a new newsletter had to be created and the first was Trekkie Talk of which there were only two issues released in December 1976 and January 1977. From February 1977 Trekkie Talk was rebranded into The Captain’s Log where the issue numbering cycle was restarted at #1. Despite the early editions only being four pages long, The Captain's Log is still in production with over 300 issues having now been published.

Club meetings in the early days were held at the homes of members on a bi monthly basis and were very successful until the crowds became too large for them to handle, as a consequence a church hall in Fairfield was then hired for regular gatherings. It was also from these meetings where the “first Saturday of the month” schedule was instigated, this was to coincide with the popular Star Trek marathons which were 35mm screenings of Star Trek episodes that were held at the Ritz Cinema in North Melbourne on the same night.

Before long Austrek moved its meetings from Fairfield to the Women's Temperance Hall - more commonly known as The Dungeon (now the site of the Hyatt Hotel) - in Russell St in the city. The meetings were attended by around 30 likeminded fans and consisted of games, trivia contests, chatting and some serious speculating about the scientific and philosophical implications of Star Trek.

1978 saw Austrek run its first ever convention, Trekcon I which was organised by Adrienne Losin. It was a modest one-day event that was a lot of fun and received a favourable write up in The Sun newspaper. [6]
From the editor in the 150th issue of The Captain's Log (1990):
In looking at the first issues of our bumble newsletter, it must be remembered that Austrek itself began as a club with a dozen - all schoolchildren who shared a common interest in STAR TREK. After opening publicly in late 1976, we were swamped by the demand of people wanting to join. Almost instantly, we found our youthful enthusiasm helpful but inadequate for the tasx. All of our experience, efforts and abilities were stretched to meet each new challenge.

Yet out of this chaos, there was a vibrant excitement which can still be glimpsed in reviewing the early newsletters. Pages in the early CAPTAIN'S LOGs still sparkle with the excitement of a club - and a fan phenomenon - in transition. These were the days when STAR TREK itself was struggling for its niche as a fairly obscure genre in its own right. Austrek actually began its life as a sub-section of a schoolchildren's amateur science club. However, the public demand for Austrek quickly drained the parent club, which closed soon after Austrek's public opening. Even a brief glance at the earliest newsletter shows technically crude methods of reproduction and the poor quality of art work/contributions that resulted. On the other hand, many of the contributors and artists "proved their worth"and their talents in later Austrek productions (or in professional publications). Perhaps CAPTAIN'S LOG was a testing ground? The news letter began its life with the name of TREKKIE TALK. Two issues later, due to the demands of an increasingly sophisticated audience, its name was changed to the familiar CAPTAIN'S LOG. Our budget in those days was often, literally nothing. (Postage costs alone swallowed up our paltry club finances, which usually depended on donations oC pocket money from the above mentioned school students!) Often, an entire issue was typed up in one night by whoever had access to the typewriter, and printed off the following day on a school's fordigraph machine (purple spirit duplicator) by a student during lunch hour. Stencils for typing, and paper for printing, was generally begged/borrowed/stolen. (I remember all too well when a LOG editor emerged from a solitary corner at 2. a.m. during an all-night Austrek rage. She had been typing for hours, and she needed a volunteer to finish typing up the newsletter so that it could be printed the next day. Guess who was the turkey who volunteered??) From this humble background grew the newsletter we have today. Yet in those days of genesis, no-one could have conceived that the club and its publications would survive for over a decade!

The fact that the CAPTAIN'S LOG has now reached 150 issues is a testimony to its current contributors who have given untiringly. But it is also a tribute to those earlier people who gave of their youthful enthusiasm and inadvertently tapped into a fountain of potential and talent, thereby providing the basic groundwork that could be built upon by their successors.

Even More History

From the 200th issue of the club's newsletter (March 1994): "Those Were the Days: Memories of an Ex-President" by Julie Hughes:
Congratulations to the Captain's Log and subsequent editors who have nurtured you thorough 200 months of births, deaths and marriages but, more importantly, many very exciting discoveries of fact and fantasy.

I first became interested in STAR TREK in 1977 during my 12 month stay in Swan Hill. Out of sheer boredom I started borrowing books from the local library and came across James Blish's episode adaptations. Little did I know where this would lead to! Seventeen years later I have nearly every novel published. I have made some wonderful friendships, mourned dear departed fan friends but had a hell of a lot of fun on the way.

In 1978, after attending a few meetings I was shanghaied onto the committee due to lack of numbers. My friend Marion was the AUSTREK secretary and I used to drive her to the committee meetings. I have recollections of sitting in Russell Edward's freezing cold lounge room and having our General Meetings at the Women's Temperance Hall (a k.a. The Dungeon) on the site of today's Hyatt Hotel. The Log (all four pages) was typed on a stencil and duplicated on a spirit copier. We used to get about 30 people to our general meetings and we would fill our days with games, trivia questions, jelly bean fights, making the notorious movie "City On The Edge Of The Yarra", generally chatting, speculating and fantasising about STAR TREK.

The move to St Luke's came around 1982-83 when the sheer weight of numbers squeezed us out. It was about this time we started harassing the general populace by flaunting our costumes. The movie premieres of STAR TREK III & IV saw a massed crowd of 30 fans in Romulan, Starfleet (Human and Andorian) amid Klingons in the City Square before we set off to terrorise the Pancake Parlour, Hungry Jacks and Myer Melbourne Memories return of the human barrier between Robert Jan and the innocent bystanders who nearly had eyes poked out by his pointy shoulders. It was a real scream because then people looked twice, now they don't even look.

The Log was typed on anybody's typewriter and consisted of 10-15 pages (it was growing!) and was printed by the Dandenong Youth Employment Scheme. Committee meetings were very intense but enjoyable as there were so many ideas but very little time to do them in. The General Meetings were very creative, specialising in make-up effects, constituting (no-one kept secrets), charity auctions, slave and villain auctions, hobby days, mini Olympics, the original spot the brain cell with the original Craig Hooper, car rallies, court martials and the original bush wars (created by myself and Alison Wallace after watching "skirmish"). These led to hysterical and sometimes physical meetings which were filled with such camaraderie.
From the 200th issue of the club's newsletter (March 1994): "Kids, Committees and Chaos -- Let's Do It Again!" by Alison Wallace:
My tour of duly as a Log editor started about 1986. Those were the halcyon days of AUSTREK when the small group of members discovered creativity in a big way. Costuming became the focus and every movie or series in production set off a frenzy of pencils, paper, library books and STARLOGS (our bible).

Meetings were very rarely boring. Court martials, auctions (if it moved we sold it), costume and make-up workshops, hobby days, post convention rages, ambassadorial luncheons all took place in the hall. New committees broke the meetings into discussion groups to play the year's activities around the members suggestions. Crazy Olympics and great xmas parties with magic acts, belly dancers and television reporters (yes, we mace the 7.00 pm timeslot!) all made for an interesting experience. At 4.00 pm there would be a mass exodus to the city to raid Minotaur books before they closed, trash the Pancake Parlour or the Spaghetti Tree and make it back to the Marathon at the National Mutual building before the screenings started. Not that we saw any of the episodes, we sewed, drew, designed, wrote filksongs, raged or found a quiet pub (didn't stay that way for long) until the intermission. Memories of Maple syrup hidden in the sugar bowl, forks used to catapult food and walking up Bourke street four abreast in a group of fifteen and singing are still quite fresh. This period was one of friendships forged, the club was one great clique, everyone was warmly welcomed and no-one competed for attention as all were equal. The Log was filled with book and movie reviews, costuming hints (this was before the conception of THREADS) and pages of critiques on social outings and conventions as these were becoming increasingly popular. Log collations were an event by themselves. Once a month at least 8 - 10 people would descend on my house and copious amounts of Mony's pizza and coke were consumed whilst watching "Hey Hey It's Saturday" before the collating commenced. Gail and I were co-editors as I had two children to cope with and couldn't dedicate as much time as I liked to the Log. Baby cartoons injected my personality into my editing (humour imitating reality) and then I fell pregnant again. Sticky fingers, nappies, toilet training and delivering the Log to the G.P.O. were not a lot of fun (one on a hip, another on a lead and the Logs were in the stroller). I sort of noticed that no-one borrows typewriters to produce the Log any more, and what was an amateur publication is now very professional in its presentation. The editors have been complacent, controversial (I enjoy those editions), dedicated and enthusiastic, but most importantly true fans, helping to shape the publication's character and reputation.

Well, the nappies and baby lotion has been replaced by stretch jeans, clearasil and CDs. I now own my typewriter, never having to borrow again.


  1. from an article by Nikki White in Star Trek Action Group #101
  2. National Library Of Australia, Archived version
  3. Austrek History - Austrek, The Star Trek Fan Club Inc, Archived version
  4. Austrek History - Austrek, The Star Trek Fan Club Inc, Archived version
  5. Gail Adam's editorial from The Captain's Log #166
  6. Austrek History - Austrek, The Star Trek Fan Club Inc, Archived version
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