Another treat for the rail buffs

Newcastle Flyer

The Peter Sansom Collection

We were delighted to receive a disk of high resolution photos from Mr Peter Sansom the other day. These feature the Newcastle-Broadmeadow rail line and contain some wonderful images of Newcastle, its harbour and, of course, its railways. There are some important shots of the section of the line that was recently removed before and after the removal.

We have uploaded this highly interesting set of photos to the Peter Sansom Collection on our Flickr site.


Voices of the Hunter Launched

The Voices of the Hunter Project has been launched and the large collection of 800 tracks is available for download. If you are interested in Hunter Valley history this collection is not to be missed.

At the very successful Voices of the Hunter Launch, we celebrated the life of Jack Delaney and what ‘may be his greatest legacy’: the hundreds of hours of interviews now available online through the Voices of the Hunter Project.

The video below is a recording of the Voices of the Hunter Launch presentation.

Click on the photo below to read Mike Scanlon’s article on the Voices of the Hunter project.


For a full list of interviews included in the project go to:



2016 Margaret Olley Postgraduate Scholarship

2016 Margaret Olley Scholarship

Friends of the University of Newcastle

2016 Margaret Olley Postgraduate Scholarship & 2016 Student Art Prize

The Friends of the University of Newcastle play a vital role in the development and support of scholarships for the university and fundraise, mainly through the  biennial Book Fair, for the university and its community.

This year, the Friends of the University of Newcastle are again sponsoring the 2016 Student Art Prize. Two winners will be awarded $1,000 each, and their work  will be acquired for the university’s art collection. The Student Art Prize assists  in the growth of the university’s art collection, ensuring that it remains relevant to  our region with contemporary work for future generations to enjoy. The judges for  the 2016 exhibition are Dr Una Rey, artist, curator, and lecturer in Art History and Theory, and Newcastle-based artist, James Drinkwater, winner of the 2014 Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship and finalist in the 2016 Sir John Sulman Prize.

The Friends of the University of Newcastle also sponsor the annual Margaret  Olley Postgraduate Scholarship, named in honour of distinguished Australian  artist and philanthropist Margaret Olley. The scholarship was created to support  exemplary postgraduate research in the creative industries, and the successful  recipient in 2016 will receive $2,000 to assist them in their work.

The exhibition at the University Gallery will display the finalists of both the  Student Art Prize and the Margaret Olley Postgraduate Scholarship, with awards announced at 5:30pm on Thursday 22 September.

Please join us for the exhibition opening at the University Gallery to be launched by Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic, Professor Andrew Parfitt:

Thursday 22 SEPTEMBER from 5:30pm

Richard Thurnwald and Thomas James Rodoni in the Upper Sepik 1914

New Guinea Tribesmen circa 1914 - 1915

Telefolmin men from the highland valley near the source of the Sepik River, Papua New Guinea, September 1914. Image by Dr Richard Thurnwald

A small number of an historic hoard of rare images taken in German New Guinea at the outbreak of WW1 are now understood to have been looted, by an Australian military expedition, from German ethnologist Dr Richard Thurnwald.

And so, another intesting chapter in the life and times of Thomas James Rodoni (1882-1956) and his fellow troops in the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force (AN&MEF) has now emerged thanks to Dr Barry Craig, Senior Curator, Foreign Ethnology at the South Australian Museum.

Following the launch of Rodoni’s digitised photographic glass and film negatives in the freely accessible Rodoni Archive, Dr Craig commented on the site’s pages in May/June 2015 that he had recognised that a number of Rodoni’s images had not been taken by him, but, in fact taken by a German ethnographer Richard Thurnwald possibly in Sept-Oct 1914.  He stated:

“Thurnwald had returned from his exploration to the source of the Sepik, apparently leaving his photographs at his base camp, and set off up the Sepik again in November to explore the Sand and North Rivers (the latter as far north as the Bewani Range). While he was away, the AN&MEF arrived (with Rodoni) on the Nusa and took all of Thurnwald’s boats, his engineer Theodore Fiebig, and supplies, collections, notes and images back down the river, eventually to Madang. When Thurnwald returned to find his camp ransacked, he went down river in a paddle canoe, sustained by a few cans of beans, and reported to the police station at Angoram, and then went on to Madang where he was befriended by Captain Walter Balfour Ogilvy, the District Officer there. Thurnwald then attempted to get all his things back but it took many years and not everything was returned. It seems these images in possession of Rodoni were part of the looting.” – Dr Barry Craig Wednesday, 20 May, 2015 at 10:57 am

Dr Craig published The Fate of Thurnwald’s Sepik Ethnographic Collections, and it was interesting to finally be able to locate a small portion of the collection, after a hundred years, that had been lying in a suburban garage and lost to the world.

We invited Dr Craig to prepare an article on this story, in order that these images could have their original provenance properly reassigned, which he did, with the assistance of Dr Christine Winter.

We thank both Dr Barry Craig and Dr Christine Winter for permission to publish their work that recounts the story of the images, and the locations in which they were taken.

The following two articles can be downloaded to your desktop, ipad or mobile device.

Richard Thurnwald and Thomas James Rodoni in the Upper Sepik Region of New Guinea 1914
[15.2 MB PDF FILE]
by Dr Barry Craig, Senior Curator, Foreign Ethnology, South Australian Museum and Dr Christine Winter, ARC Future Fellow – Matthew Flinders Fellow, Flinders University

The Fate of Thurnwald’s Sepik Ethnographic Collections [8MB PDF FILE]
By Barry Craig, South Australian Museum, Adelaide (1997)

(Reproduced with kind permission of the publisher)

These papers are also published on the The Upper Sepik-Central New Guinea Project pages

Cranky Handle Rally


Our colleagues, the Hunter Valley Vintage Farm Machinery Club Inc. will be hosting the

Cranky Handle Rally

20th & 21st August 2016

at Richmond Vale Railway Museum

Located in the historic Richmond Main Colliery site,

Leggett’s Drive (B82, Richmond Vale

4km south of Kurri Kurri in the Hunter Valley, NSW

In association with Richmond Vale Railway Museum, an invitation for all with a love for old machinery and equipment, to see engines, tractors, trucks, cars, machinery, bikes and memorabilia, at the 2016 Cranky Handle Rally.

See a large display of vintage agricultural machinery, lovingly restored while some remain in their “working clothes“.

Stationery engines, tool collections, tractors, trucks, cars and bikes from yesteryear, on display at the Historic Richmond Vale Railway Museum. Inspect the mining museum in the old Administration Building, view underground mining equipment and enjoy a train ride to Pelaw Main.

Offering ample parking, canteen facilities, toilets and parents room, picnic areas and disabled access.

For further details contact the Show Organiser:

Peter DRAPER – 02 4966 2813 OR 0418 673 816