Catching Up With DUFF

There will be no Down Under Fan Fund race this year.

DUFF was created by John Foyster and Fred Patten to connect Australian and North American fandoms. The first winner, Lesleigh Luttrell, was picked in 1972. A full history of the fund can be found here.

Julian Warner and Justin Ackroyd took over the Australian DUFF administrator’s duties in April and issued this statement on Facebook:

Following a brief announcement on the “Unofficial Down Under Fan Fund” page on Facebook this is a more extensive statement regarding the Down Under Fan Fund (DUFF). Justin Ackroyd and I (Julian Warner) were asked by Bill Wright (current Australian DUFF administrator) on behalf of himself and Juanita Coulson to take over DUFF administration until a new delegate and administrator is appointed by the voting masses. For differi…ng reasons, Bill and Juanita find themselves unable to devote the time and resources necessary to the necessary tasks. We do not need to debate the reasons why we have been asked to help. Speculate on other people’s motivations if you must but please respect the privacy of others.

We just want to get DUFF back on track – running races for as long as fandom supports it. Justin and I believe that we cannot viably run a race – from Australia/New Zealand to North America – this year. We need a period of time to replenish funds and to allow for a well-organised campaign for next year. Obviously we would like to deliver DUFF to a very capable next pair of hands.

Lucy Huntzinger has kindly offered to be the administrator at the North America side of things for the interim. Her credentials as a previous DUFF delegate and fannish networker are impeccable. She will take over administration of the NA funds from Marty Cantor who “volunteered” to take them over from John Hertz. We owe a huge debt of thanks to Marty for his efforts. I’m glad that John and Marty have the sort of friendship which can survive the odd mutual grumble. It sounds like the way that Bruce Gillespie and I, for example, grumble about each other.

Justin and I have some behind the scenes matters to clear up but we will continue to re-vivify the DUFF network and look for fund-raising opportunities in the future. We also want to include our cousins across the Tasman Sea in New Zealand in our plans and deliberations. Lucy wants to establish a network of helpers in North America and I am pleased to see that volunteers are already coming forward.

Justin and I are happy to answer questions about our intentions. Note that I am active on FB but Justin is not.

Feel free to re-distribute this message to relevant forums.

Today Lucy Huntzinger made the first post on the new official DUFF website:

This is the official website of DUFF, the Down Under Fan Fund. DUFF was founded in 1972 to create and strengthen links between North American and Australasian fandom by an exchange of elected delegates. Fancy, eh? It’s not that fancy. The fund helps to send a fan from North America to a National Convention or Worldcon in Australia or New Zealand and, in alternate years, a fan from Australia/New Zealand to a Worldcon or NASFiC in North America. It’s administered entirely by volunteers, specifically the delegates who take their trip and then come home to raise money during their tenure as administrator, and it works as the bridge it was designed to be. Even with all the social media you can shake a stick at, there’s nothing that can replace a face to face meeting with someone from another country who partakes of your subculture. It changes both sides, promoting understanding of our different cultures and creating friendships.

This year, 2015, the race between Australasia and North America has been suspended. Both sides are in a period of rebuilding the fund. The North American administrator is Lucy Huntzinger (acting administrator for Juanita Coulson). Email address: downunderfanfund at gmail dot com. The Australian administrators are Julian Warner and Justin Ackroyd (acting administrators for Bill Wright). Email address: julian.warner@swiftdsl.com.au.

Next blog post: getting ready for the TAFF/DUFF Auction at Sasquan, the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention in Spokane, WA.

2 thoughts on “Catching Up With DUFF

  1. I was approached as I suspect were many other fans to run both for DUFF and GUFF, but the plain fact is that even with the help of a fund, costs of a *vacation* in Australia are simply beyond my means these days, as I suspect they are for many other people. Good luck thought to both GUFF and DUFF and all who eventually get to sail in them.

  2. Thanks for the link, Mike. The DUFF website is a work in progress, but a project dear to my heart and work on daily. I’d really love to see more trip reports online so I could link to them!

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