From wax cylinders to SD cards: the extraordinary range of audio technology encountered by an audio engineer

I recently went behind the scenes at the State Library of South Australia to interview audio engineer, Peter Kolomitsev, about his job.  It quickly became apparent that in helping to preserve the state’s audio heritage, he encounters a diverse range Read More …

Changing places: from the garden of England to the Australian desert

What is it like to grow up in the rolling green hills of the Kent countryside in England, only to spend several years as an adult working in the Australian desert? It is hard to imagine two settings more different Read More …

Vegetable gardening in the desert

Keen gardeners always seem to find a way to grow a garden, regardless of the environment. Attempting to grow a lush vegetable garden in the hot, dry environment at Woomera may seem ambitious, until you realise that there are many Read More …

Outback barbecues and the hazard of recycling metal plates

Barbecues were some of the most frequent social events in Woomera.  Often they were held in backyards. Terry Clark, who lived in Woomera in the 1960s and 70s, recalled in an oral history interview one particular barbecue that had an Read More …

Memories of summer 2: keeping the milk cool

Continuing the theme of my previous post with memories of summer, I’ve selected this time some excerpts from oral history interviews focussing on milk in summer – keeping it cool (or not) and drinking it. Pat Connor was a dairy Read More …

Mournful crows, burning legs on metal slides, and other memories of summer

As those of us in Australia head into the hottest part of the year, it seems an ideal time to hear stories about the extreme heat in places such as Woomera, located in desert country in the north of South Read More …

The magic of an outdoor cinema

Watching films under the stars is a special experience.  Some people may remember watching films in one of the many drive-in cinemas that used to exist in city and country towns across Australia. The first drive-in cinema in Australia opened Read More …

Father Christmas always arrives in a helicopter

You may not be familiar with the tradition of Father Christmas arriving in a helicopter – unless you lived in Woomera. Woomera was established in 1947 as a rocket range in northern South Australia to test missiles and research rockets.  Read More …

A mouthful of dirt in the outfield: cricket at Woomera

Sporting facilities in country towns sometimes reflect their unique location. Just as Woomera had black greens on its golf course, it had a dirt oval for cricket. Terry Clark described the different ovals that were used in Woomera: Cricket was Read More …

Black greens and the unique golf facilities of Woomera

Woomera in its heyday in the 1960s had a population of more than 6000 people, and an enviable range of sports facilities to cater for every possible sporting preference. These facilities included a golf course, but one that was markedly Read More …