Iconic surf filmmaker awarded Order of Australia in King’s Birthday Honours list

Albert ‘Alby’ Falzon, who was inducted into the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame in 2011,
has been recognised for his service to surfing and the visual arts.

PHOTOGRAPHER, filmmaker and writer Albert ‘Alby’ Falzon has been awarded the Order of Australia in the King’s Birthday 2023 Honours in recognition of his service to surfing and the visual arts.

Alby, who now resides in Eungai, made his name directing the quintessential Australian surfing film ‘Morning of the Earth’, which was released in 1972.

Since then, he has made approximately 35 films and documentaries.

He also famously co-founded the Australian surf magazine ‘Tracks’.

Although chuffed, he is baffled by the OAM, and reflective about his humble beginnings.

“When I got the phone call I said, ‘I am not sure you have got the right number’, as there are a lot of people who are more deserving, like doctors and lawyers,” Alby said.

A street kid in Redfern until he was nine, Alby stopped going to school at fourteen to surf, after his mother bought him his first balsa surfboard and the family moved to the NSW Central Coast.

He went on to become passionate about photography, graphic design and travelling.

“I thought I was a bit wild, but surfing put me on a path and when a person follows their love, most importantly, it’s being aware of the opportunity that’s presented to realise the purpose in life.”

Alby’s home at Eungai has an extensive library of up to 4,000 books, with the filmmaker realising from an early age he could teach himself all he needed to know.

Alby is currently working with Graeme Davey, a graphic designer near Scotts Head on ‘The Life and Times of Albert Falzon: Am I a dream or is this a dream dreaming me?’.

“Surfing tapped me into more subtle energies existing in nature,” Alby said.

“It’s woven into my work and in relationships with people.”

Alby believes that the Mid North Coast is one of the best parts of the world for him to have settled.

“We have fresh water, organic food, National Parks and waterways, no major industry and quiet beaches on my doorstep – though since COVID, there’s twice as many surfers!”

Alby will collect his medal in Canberra later this year.


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