The ghosts of Belconnen

Some places are more likely than others to elicit ghostly experiences.  The former Belconnen Naval Transmitting Station, or Bels, in Canberra was one such place. Bels was the most powerful radio transmitting station in the southern hemisphere.  It operated 24 Read More …

Big uncluttered skies: remembering a childhood pastime of looking at the stars

Sue Gibbs and Peter Zajicek spent their childhoods in Woomera, 450 km north of Adelaide, in the 1960s and 1970s.  The isolation of Woomera made it an ideal place to look at the stars, free from the light pollution of Read More …

A changeable landscape: recollections of Woomera

Woomera is a dry place – most of the time.  Sometimes however it is inundated with rain, and then the landscape changes dramatically.  Plants that have laid dormant come to life, and seeds from ephemeral plants germinate and grow. I Read More …

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 …

Interviews with koalas

I usually restrict myself to interviewing humans, however I recently overheard two koalas in a nearby tree.  Hearing one koala is not unusual in the Adelaide Hills, but this was the first time I had heard two.  I couldn’t resist 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 …

Music played by nature: telegraph poles as wind instruments

Aeolian instruments are instruments that are ‘played’ by the wind.  They have fascinated humans for centuries. In modern times, many beautiful sculptures around the world have been designed to produce music.  True Aeolian instruments produce notes that vary according to Read More …

‘Living fossils’ in the desert

Imagine living in Australia’s dry desert interior, and witnessing the landscape come alive after rain. I recently interviewed people who had lived in Woomera, 446 km north of Adelaide in an arid region surrounded by salt lakes that are usually Read More …