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Judah Waten was a writer of Russian Jewish extraction, who originally came to Australia aged 3. His first books were Alien Son and The Un-bending, which are concerned with the problems of Jewish migrants in Australia. Noel Counihan designed the original covers for both books.
For many years Noel and Judah were great friends and in the 1930s and 40s they were members of a group who frequented The Swanston Family pub in Melbourne. Other members of the group were Pat Stanley, a poetry loving estate agent, Billy Dolphin, a violin maker and Brian Fitzpatrick, the historian.