Engaging with our community

Our local communities are very important to the Cultural Collections team.

One recent example of help we have received from a member of the You know you’re from Maitland when… Facebook group is the supply of current photos of a headstone designed by Pender Architects back in 1879.

The architectural drawings are of the headstone for Henry Rourke, a prominent Maitland resident and businessman who died on 4 August 1879, and who was buried in the Anglican portion of the Campbells Hill Cemetery. We wanted to see if the headstone was still there, and, if so, if it was true to John Wiltshire Pender’s design.

M5026-1Plan of Monument for the late H Rourke Esq

After we posted the request for a current photo of this headstone to the Facebook group, one of its members, Peter Smith, messaged us with two photos of the headstone.  Our thanks to Peter for his help.

Headstone for Henry Rourke, Campbells Hill Cemetery, Telarah, NS

Have a look at the photos which are now on our Living Histories site with links to the architectural drawings.

If you have photos or information you’d like to share, we have some instructions for working on the Living Histories @ UON site at http://livinghistories.newcastle.edu.au/nodes/view/67982. Alternatively, you can email us.


Everyone who loves locos, wagons, and all things related to railways will be delighted to know that two large collections on our Living Histories site have grown.

90 class locomotives being unloaded from M.V. Mirabella, 27 July 1994
(Brian R. Andrews)

Brian R. Andrews has kindly allowed us to scan and publish more of his wonderful photos which can be found in his Collection at livinghistories.newcastle.edu.au/nodes/view/45

We have just published some more great photos from Peter Sansom’s Collection. See Peter’s Collection at livinghistories.newcastle.edu.au/nodes/view/65554


3801 with its train steaming out of Port Waratah the day it was recommissioned. November 1986.
(Peter Sansom)

Speaking of memories, if you have a story or information to give us, you can add it to any of the images or other media on the Living Histories site using these instructions.

Another way you could help us in our endeavours is by giving us the geographical location of photos.  You can add geotags via a Google map embedded in Living Histories. Again, we have some instructions.

We welcome your contributions!

March Exhibitions at Watt Space

Watt Space March A3 Poster

14 March – 1 April 2018

Thursday 15 MARCH from 6:30pm

Gallery 1 – KATRINA HOLDEN – Conversations with the Land

Conversations with the Land presents the artist’s snapshots and visceral responses to the often overlooked impressions of our beautiful local landscape.

Gallery 2 – ANGUS FOXLEY, ANNIKA LEE, JANE LO, KATE MAHONEY – Abstraction in the creative industries

Abstraction in the creative industries employs techniques used in creative photomedia – composition, colour, line, shape and texture convey emotional responses, engaging audiences with their ideas through abstract photographs.

Gallery 3 – ANNIE COREY – Ghost Stories

Ghost Stories is a collection of works investigating ideas of time, reality and perception. The individual works share common themes of transience with surreal, dream-like qualities.

Media Space – ANDREW STYAN – HUM

HUM the humble power point is the ultimate plug and play device. Behind it lies the most complex machine ever built.


Seeing the Shadow




Peter Tilley, Seeing the Shadow II 2017, painted cast iron on polished stainless steel, 43 x 78 x 15 cm.

Peter Tilley

Seeing the Shadow
21 MARCH – 14 APRIL 2018

The elusive, insubstantial nature of the shadow lends itself to metaphor, myth and legend, with its significance contemplated by human consciousness throughout history. Shadows appear as essences of the soul – the externalisation of the inner self – as guides or advisors. In Jungian psychology, shadows contain parts of ourselves that are suppressed, denied, or unfavourable.

For his PhD research, Peter Tilley examines the theory and philosophy of shadow,
developing and utilising an array of materials, found objects, symbols and methods that
enable the construction of shadows to visually or symbolically disclose fundamental traits and mnemonics of the ‘casting’ figure.

The resulting sculptures become complex representations that explore illusions of certainty, memory and imagination – the mysteries of the unknown – and the fundamental identity and attributes of the figure/self.


Peter Tilley is represented by May Space, Sydney


Watt Space Exhibitions

Watt Space 22 February 2018



21 February – 11 March 2018


Thursday 22 FEB from 6:30pm

  • LIBBY ECKERSLEY – Preparations and de-articulations has the artist working in the context of the gallery space and its visitors to research how these interactions inform decision making and information processing
  • COURTNEY HEFFERNAN – Fanciful Notions investigates childhood rituals, myths and legends that are the essence of human experience, and explores imagination through the rediscovery of story telling.
  • MEGAN MCCARTHY – Fractured Feminism questions the divide between the Feminine and the diverse ideas of Feminism. It represents shattered illusions and stands as a metaphor for resilience and strength.
  • ANNIKA THURBON – I do look like this, I don’t look like this presents self portraits that explore my warped perception of self and the way my mind and my body change from week to week.

Download the Watt Space Invitation 22 FEB 2018


Re-stitching Culture

RE-STITCHING CULTURE Doll-making in indigenous cultures

IMAGE: RE-STITCHING CULTURE DOLLS 2017 LEFT – RIGHT Aunty Audree Trindall, Audrey, Aunty Pearl Slater, Mum (Eileen), Arlettha, Johnny, Aunty Shirl Weatherall, My younger self (Shirley), Lyniece Keogh, Will & Tom. Fabric, yarn, threads and filling. Image courtesy Tess Reading


Doll-making in Indigenous Cultures

21 FEBRUARY – 18 MARCH 2018

Doll-making is an intrinsic part of many Indigenous cultures across the world, including communities in Australia, Canada and South Africa. In all three cultures, doll-making represents a transfer of cultural knowledge, the building of capacity, and the reclaiming of Indigenous identity, on both a local and a collective level.

The benefits of these outcomes are important to supporting health and wellbeing in Indigenous communities. RE-STITCHING CULTURE showcases examples of doll-making from three Indigenous groups that continue to strengthen their local communities. Specifically, the Gomeroi Yarning dolls (Australia) which encourage the sharing of oral personal narratives; the Six Nations Cornhusk dolls (Canada) to promote the transmission of cultural teachings; and the Siyazama Zulu dolls (South Africa) used to create community support networks through locally relevant HIV/AIDS awareness.


RE-STITCHING CULTURE is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW, and is a joint project between the Tamworth Regional Gallery, the Gomeroi Gaaynggal Arts Health Program, and The University Gallery, University of Newcastle.

Information needed


This is a request for information from the many railway enthusiasts out there on the Net. This photo is from the Australian Railway Historical Society (NSW)’s collection and a couple of people have given their opinion re the location.

The full sized photo is at http://livinghistories.newcastle.edu.au/nodes/view/12028

One view is that it may be “Clyde Engineering Sheds, Sydney, NSW”. Another site visitor commented that  “I do not think this is Clyde Engineering, I spent twenty five years working at Clyde, I think it maybe Tullochs of Rhodes…RD”

If you can give us a definitive answer please leave a comment or email us at archives@newcastle.edu.au