Kurri Aluminium Smelter

Kurri Hydro

Aerial view from the east immediately prior to commencement of construction of Hydro Kurri Kurri Ltd, 7 Dec 1977

Photos of Kurri Hydro

The aluminium plant at Kurri Kurri, owned by Alcan, began operations in 1969, and was acquired by Hydro in 2002.  The smelter was a significant employer for the community, employing around 500 people at the time of its closure. [Source: Wikipedia]

Sadly, Hydro Kurri Kurri ceased production in October 2012 and was permanently closed in 2014.

However, photos of earlier days have been preserved in an album donated by Hydro to the Coalfields Heritage Group, and their digitisation enables us to revisit this time. You can see them on our Living Histories @ UON site.

When was your subdivision sold?

Bingles Hill Estate, Tighes Hill

We have just transferred the wonderful Northumberland and Permanent Building Investment Land and Loan Society collection of land subdivision plans from our Flickr site to the Living Histories site. As we did so, we added some details, corrected information and generally fixed up the records.

We invite you to help us to make more improvements:

Any help you can give us is much appreciated!



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