Life in the Unemployment Relief Scheme settlement in Meadows: a social perspective

The Meadows poultry settlement was established in May 1934, as I described in a previous post.  Twenty-four families with a total of 130 children moved in.  At this time, the population of Meadows was about 290, so the settlement suddenly Read More …

Unemployment Relief Scheme settlers in Meadows in the 1930s: how did they fare financially?

During the Great Depression of the1930s, several Unemployment Relief Scheme settlements were established in the Adelaide Hills.  A contemporary newspaper report predicted that the settlement in Meadows would achieve “success and prosperity.”  Settlers were expected to earn 300 pounds per Read More …

How our speech differs from written English

One of the many uses of oral history is to help us study the way we use spoken language, and how this can differ from written English. Transcribing interviews to a written form is an important part of the process 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 …

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 …

Hearing the voice of a relative for the first time…

Have you ever thought of using oral history recordings in your family or local history research? Recording your own interviews with relatives is a valuable addition to your research.  However, previously recorded interviews can also provide family and local history Read More …

Oral history of the Great Depression part 2

My previous post introduced the Unemployment Relief Scheme settlement in Meadows that was established during the Great Depression.  Oral history interviewees talked about what it was like to live there in cottages that had been described as ‘roomy tin bungalows’ Read More …

Oral history of the Great Depression

One of the most valuable aspects of oral history is being able to ask someone exactly what it was like to experience a certain event or era.  I was fortunate to record interviews with two people who had grown up 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 …