Vale Neal Lockett

Neal Lockett

Neal Lockett working Joker, the last known horse to snig pit props in the Minmi area for J & A Brown’s collieries, 1979.

The Cultural Collections Team is greatly saddened to learn of the passing of Neal Lockett on 22 December 2016.

Mr Lockett appeared in many of the photographs scanned from his brother, Phillip’s collection. We extend our sincere sympathy to his family.

‘THE PAST MATTERS’ Rock Art & Indigenous Heritage Workshop

The Hunter (Living) Histories Initiative organised a one-day workshop on Friday 20th May 2016 on heritage preservation approaches with a particular focus on Rock Art and Indigenous heritage. The following provides some background in planning the day, and overview of the workshop supported by Cultural Collections, University of Newcastle Library & the Hunter (Living) Histories Initiative.


Cultural Collections at the UON has been collecting, archiving and sharing knowledge about Aboriginal cultural heritage for many decades. For 20 years Gionni di Gravio (University archivist) has supported research of Aboriginal cultural heritage and rock art in the Hunter Valley. Indigenous cultural heritage has been the concern of academics and the alumni of the university and the wider community. Addressing these concerns the Coal River Working Party (now the “Hunter (Living) Histories Initiative”) was established in 2003, with the aims to discuss and share knowledge about Aboriginal cultural heritage. The interest in the Aboriginal cultural heritage in the region was elevated due to events that unfolded at the KFC site in Hunter Street, Newcastle, when Aboriginal artefacts were found, at the heart of Newcastle. See HERE for further information.

The case attracted wide public attention and interest in Aboriginal heritage. It also raised issues regarding the Aboriginal Heritage Act in general and protection of discovered artefacts in particular. The organising group’s understanding was that in general, there has been very little in the way of education around Aboriginal cultural heritage. However, Amir Mogadam’s interest and specialisation in conservation, and predominantly rock art prompted the workshop. We thought would be a great opportunity to join with others (with experience in Indigenous rock art) to have a workshop specific to this area, as well as have other speakers (on other aspects of Aboriginal heritage).

We didn’t call for papers! But saw a need for a workshop. We identified presenters known to us, many of them had already presented at CRWP/HHI meetings.

– Better understand existing knowledge of Indigenous cultures
– Share knowledge about Aboriginal cultural heritage/rock art
– Bring individuals and communities together who care about Indigenous cultural heritage
– Ideas for future projects to be shared
– Opportunity to network and form collaborations
– Support Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities to build new knowledge about Indigenous culture
– Promote care of Australia’s ancient culture

-Liaising with Aboriginal communities. Key person was Dr Greg Blyton from UON Wollotuka Institute. Invited Prof John Maynard to speak (unfortunately not available).
– Workshop promoted via email to Aboriginal groups and key representatives e.g. Guraki committee of Newcastle Council, YAPUG pathway program.
– UONCC WordPress was primarily used to promote speakers, other social media was UONCC Facebook, twitter and Lost Newcastle Facebook (over 20 000 followers).
– Handout available on the day with bio’s on each speaker and contact details.
– Morning/afternoon tea, and lunch (funded by UON Library)
– Workshop was free to attend, we wanted to attract students and others who may otherwise not have come along, due to the cost.

– 55-60 attendees, from government depts. e.g. Office of Environment & Heritage, Aboriginal people working in gov. depts., various Aboriginal groups and communities, UON staff/academics, students, general community members, professional architects and archaeologists.
– The MC was Dr Bernie Curran discussed the background of the workshop, and the aims
– Entire day was recorded, including question time and general discussion to be posted on UONCC WordPress.
– There was a lot of networking going on over morning/afternoon tea and lunch.

– Recent perspectives in rock art management and advocacy
– Indigenous perspectives on the cultural heritage and its preservation
– The importance of the Australian rock art and its position in the global context
– Methods of rock art documentation
– Future perspective in the preservation of rock art.
– How to make Indigenous heritage meaningful and relevant (planning, all communities)
– Why it is important to care for Australia’s cultural heritage
– Global significance of Australia’s Aboriginal cultural heritage
– Can new technology (virtual & augmented reality) help raise awareness and be an educational tool in terms of Aboriginal heritage.

– One attendee was concerned with the lack of consultation with Aboriginal communities in terms of rock art documentation, interpretation and making publicly available.
– Attendees were very respectful of others viewpoints.
– There was plenty of time for discussion after each speaker (30 mins + 10 mins worked well)- there were no pressure to wind up sessions, and program ran to time.
– Overheard discussions during breaks about some of the difficulties and hurdles working on Aboriginal heritage projects, and the fragmentation within Aboriginal communities, the differing viewpoints in terms of Aboriginal history, ‘who owns’ – not always seen as heritage to be shared.

Feedback on the day was positive, attendees seemed to enjoy the workshop and encouraged in terms of new knowledge available.“Congratulations on planning and hosting the Rock Art symposium on Friday.  It was a great success.  We need more events like this.” – From UON academic.
“Enjoyed the two papers I was able to attend, and meeting other participants. Thanks for organising a great event.” – From UON academic. “It was a great workshop. I enjoyed the day and the company.” – Educator (via Facebook). “What a great day Bravo! We need more workshops like this saturated with significance!”- Heritage advocate (via Facebook)

Registration 8-00am for 8.30 start

CHAIR Dr Bernie Curran

Dr Amir Mogadam
Kulturpolitiks, the Question of Conservation
Dr. Amir Mogadam is a University of Newcastle’s conservator. Amir works on the topics of conservation, Middle Eastern Studies and history, and prior to 2008 worked on international projects in preservation of world heritage sites. His works have been presented and published in the prestigious international forums in Europe and New Zealand. Contact

Dr Greg Blyton
Conservation from an Indigenous perspective
Dr Greg Blyton is an Indigenous senior lecturer, historian and researcher at the Wollotuka Institute, University of Newcastle, where he specialises in Aboriginal history, health and social justice. He has worked extensively throughout many parts of Australia as a registered nurse and health worker, and is a strong advocate of reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. Contact

Gionni di Gravio & Dr Ann Hardy
Indigenising the City: Embodying Aboriginal knowledge and wisdom into planning frameworks to create sustainable cities of the future
Gionni Di Gravio is the archivist for the University of Newcastle’s Cultural Collections based in Auchmuty Library, 2016 marks 20 years as an archivist at the UON. He is the chair of Hunter (Living) Histories Initiative/Coal River Working Party and councillor of the Australian Society of Archivists. Contact
Dr Ann Hardy is Historian, Creative Industries & Digital Humanities Projects Co-ordinator at the UON’s Cultural Collections. She is a former social worker and has a strong commitment to historical and archival research of the Hunter region, with new digital media platforms, and the oral history tradition. Currently co-ordinates the Hunter (Living) Histories Initiative/Coal River Working Party.

Dr Jillian Huntley
Colouring colonisation – the emergence of rock art and modern human dispersal to Australia
Dr Jillian Huntley is an archaeologist who specialises in the scientific analysis of rock art and the shelter/cave environments that house it. Based in Newcastle, Jillian is engaged in ongoing multidisciplinary projects across northern Australia and Indonesia, and conducts rock art research and conservation projects along the east coast, particularly within the Sydney Basin. Her talk is based on recent research she has undertaken on the early human records of Sahul and Wallacea.

ABSTRACT: Australia is the earliest end point for modern human dispersal out of Africa more than 50 thousand years ago. Our Australasian region has been at the forefront of early finds of highly complex behaviors such as deep sea fishing and the production of figurative art 35-40 thousand years ago. Australia has a globally unique record, created exclusively by fully behaviorally modern people at the same time as the ‘symbolic revolution’ in the European Upper Paleaolithic. Australasia therefore provides a unique opportunity to test prevailing ideas about the timing and materials signature of fully modern humanity. In this presentation I will review evidence for the emergence and dispersal of rock art globally and explore the role recent discoveries in Indonesia and northern Australia as a current focus for human evolutionary research. Contact

Dr Bernadette Drabsch
Visualising and Contextualising the rock art sites of the Hunter: Conservation through Education
Dr Bernadette Drabsch has an academic background in Ancient History, Classical Languages and Natural History Illustration and has volunteered on archaeological digs in Jordan, which lead to her PhD of the ancient wall paintings from Teleilat Ghassul, Jordan’. She currently teaches the theoretical component of the Natural History Illustration and has developed course curriculum in this area. Contact

Emeritus Professor John Fryer
Recording Rock Art: Techniques and Experiences Locally and in UK
John Fryer is an Emeritus Professor of the University of Newcastle. He came to the UON 1974, was promoted to Professor in 1991 later became Head of School of Engineering. Since retiring 12 yrs ago, he has undertaken forensic investigations for the NSW Police Force and other law enforcement agencies using his academic speciality involving close-range photogrammetry. Contact

Materials Related to Emeritus Professor Fryer’s Presentation (These materials have also been incorporated into the video of the presentation):

Powerpoint: Recording and Modeling an Aboriginal Cave Painting: With and Without Laser Scanning by John Fryer, Jim Chandler & Sabry El-Hakim (19.3MB)

Powerpoint: Recording Petroglyphs by Dr Jim Chandler, Loughborough University, UK & Professor John Fryer, University of Newcastle, Australia. (4.5MB)

The Northumberland and Durham Rock Art Project by Paul Bryan, Metric Survey Team Leader & Head of the Photogrammetric Unit English Heritage, York. (13.1MB PDF)

AutoDesk 123D Catch: How accurate is it? by Jim Chandler and John Fryer (192KB PDF)

Emu Cave (Image Courtesy of John Fryer)

Emu Cave (Image Courtesy of John Fryer)

Emu Cave (Image Courtesy of John Fryer)

Emu Cave (Image Courtesy of John Fryer)


Zebedee-CSIRO Hand Held Laser Scanner

Zebedee-CSIRO Hand Held Laser Scanner

Phone Scanner app from ETH Zurich

Well, T., Hancock, G., Fryer, J. “Using laboratory simulations and gravestone measurements to estimate rates of sandstone weathering in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia.” Paper submitted to Environmental Geology, 2007.

Tim Davidson
Virtual Heritage: Experiencing the past through Virtual Reality
Timothy Davidson is Creative Director of Virtual Perspective, he has over 10 yrs experience within the 3D animation, visualisation and digital media fields and is currently exploring how virtual reality and augmented reality can be applied to the fields of archaeology, anthropology, history and cultural heritage. Contact

BONUS Presentation – Carol Carter (with Allan Chawner) – Photographic Reflections of Aboriginal Sites across three decades

Since the workshop we were contacted by Nicholas Hall (Indigenous Rock Art Workshop Co-ordinator) from the National Museum of Australia about ways to look ahead to new possibilities for collaborative efforts from various organisations and institutions nationally. Nicholas informed that a workshop will be held at the Museum on 29 June 2016, and of a book  Rock Art: A Cultural Treasure at Risk. How we can protect the valuable and vulnerable heritage of rock art by the Getty Conservation Institute. Nicholas is contactable at

Members of the Public are welcome to attend this free session

Contact Ann Hardy 49215824 or 0438509139 on .

For location see MAP for location of Auchmuty Library.

Kindly supported by Cultural Collections, University of Newcastle Library & the Hunter (Living) History Initiative

Other Sources

UON Indigenous Online Resource –  The Wollotuka Institute has endeavoured to provide staff, students and community with a comprehensive list of online resources to provide the user with a greater knowledge base, understanding and awareness of Indigenous cultures, lifestyles and issues.

Yengo Country:A place of cultural and spiritual awakening.  Garry Jones, 2009.

African Rock Art: research, digital outputs and heritage management conference, 4th-5th November 2016, British Museum. For further information visit website:

A special day in 1903

A Special Day for Pelaw Main

The 26 January 1903 was a very special day for Margaret Holden and Arthur Griffith, a young couple from Pelaw Main in the Coalfields.

Courtesy of the Coalfields Heritage Group, we have a couple of terrific photos of  their wedding which was the first held at Pelaw Main.


The Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate gave a great description of the wedding –


The first wedding to be celebrated at Pelaw Main took place in the Methodist Church on Monday, when Mr. A. Griffith and Miss M. Holden, both of Pelaw Main, were married by the Rev. P. J. Stephen. The church was decorated for the occasion with evergreens and flowers. The wedding party in four vehicles drove around the town, being assailed at almost every street with showers of rice. The bride was dressed in cream cashmere, with chiffon lace trimmings, veil and wreath, and carried a shower bouquet. The bridesmaids were Miss Jessie Winning and Miss Jeff, who were attired in cream cashmere and lace trimmings, and Miss Daisy Griffith, sister of the bridegroom, who wore white silk, trimmed with lace. Messrs. R. Hanley, A. Winning, and A. Bland performed the duties of attendance upon the bridegroom. The bridegroom’s present to the bride was a valuable gold brooch, and the bride’s to the bridegroom a gold scarf pin. Later in the day a tea was prepared in the Methodist Church, at which about 200 persons from all parts of the district at tended. The health of “The Bride and Bridegroom” was proposed by the Rev. P.J. Stephen, and responded to by Mr. C. Hanley on behalf of the newly-married couple. At the conclusion of the tea a social evening was spent, when vocal items, recitations, &c., were rendered. Mr. and Mrs. Griffith left for Sydney on Tuesday morning. where the honeymoon will be spent. The bride wore a travelling dress of blue cloth, with guipure trimming and toque to match. Many presents were presented to the newly-married couple.

“PELAW MAIN” Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate (NSW : 1876 – 1954) 29 January 1903: 6. Web. 22 Mar 2016 <>.

Our thanks to the wonderful people at Trove for making this resource available to the world.

Voices of the Hunter – Digitised Oral History Tapes

Hundreds of Hunter Valley oral history tapes have been made available on our Sound Cloud site and more are being added every week, as part of the Voices of the Hunter project.


Historian Jack Delaney

During the 1970s and 1980s, eminent local historian John W. (Jack) Delaney recorded a large number of interviews of people from the Hunter Valley, especially from the coalfields area. These interviews were recorded on audio cassette tapes, copies of which are held by the Coalfields Heritage Group who have kindly agreed to allow us to digitise these tapes and to make them available to the world. Our other partner in this endeavour is Coal & Allied Operations Pty Ltd who have provided a generous grant towards the work via the Coal & Allied Community Development Fund.

Browse this collection at:

Highlights include:

George Bainbridge, an Electrical Engineer at Aberdare Extended Colliery

Stella Bradstreet, owned a Cessnock car dealership with her husband Theo

Fred Hallam, WWII Flight Navigator and Solicitor

Mick Morris, Cessnock Barber

Clarry Hawkins, Keinbah resident, Timber cutter and winemaker

Above photo: Grape pickers at Keinbah, NSW. Courtesy of the Hawkins family and Lexie Matthews.



Welcome To Our Valley [1969]

Title: Welcome To Our Valley [1969]

Script: Glen Burrows

Director: Peter Scott

Production: John Bushelle Production Pty Ltd Sydney Australia.

Produced for The Hunter Valley Co-operative Dairy Company Ltd.

Description: 1 film reel (29 min.) : sd., col. ; 16 mm.

Summary: Opening scene depicts arrival of Endeavour to the shores of Australia followed by scenes (possibly) inside Glenbawn Dam’s Museum of Rural History (?) and a survey of the Hunter Valley’s natural features including Glenbawn dam, and water’s importance to primary producers including agriculture (Maitland district), horse studs, wine and vineyards, beef cattle, historic homesteads, wool and sheep, dairy cattle, milk and butter production, Oak vehicles and factory, showtime, rodeo, woodchopping, Sydney’s Royal Easter Show, Newcastle, Port, Coal, Power Stations, B.H.P. Steelworks, Milk and butter production and distribution, homes, civic pride, Oak milk bars, beaches, Lake Macquarie, Sailing Clubs, Aerial fly over to Port Stephens, conclusion.

Subject: Hunter Valley (N.S.W.)

This is a 16mm film colour film reel that forms part of the collection of Archives of the Hunter Valley Co-Operative Diary Company Limited.

It was digitised in April 2014 for the University of Newcastle’s Cultural Collections (Auchmuty Library) Australia.

A Say In Your Community With The Australian Assistance Plan (1974)

The Australian Assistance Plan (AAP) was piloted in 1973 by the Whitlam Labor Government and was subsequently extended nationally. The Plan created Regional Councils for Social Development (RCSD) and funded the employment of a social planner and Community Development Officers within each Regional Council. The Hunter Region was one of the first areas that this plan was placed into practice.

The film was mostly shot in and around Newcastle and across the towns and centres of the Hunter Region featuring appearances by Dr Tony Vinson, Director NSW Bureau Crime Statistics; Brian Brinley, Adult Probation Officer; Susan Hellyer, Social Planner, Hunter Region; Dixon Park Community Group; Wickham Primary School; Gloucester; Maitland; Windale Progress Association; Bill Plaizier, Newcastle Youth Service; Newcastle Learning Exchange; Pete Meehan 2KO Radio; Newcastle East End; Trinia.

This film was digitised as part of the University of Newcastle (Australia) Archives of the The Hunter Regional Council for Social Development.

For more information on the Collection see:

Thanks for the following information from the National Film and Sound Archive.

Title: A Say In Your Community With The Australian Assistance Plan

Release Date:  25 March 1975

Produced as: Lindfield, N.S.W. : Film Australia for Social Welfare Commission, 1974.

Media: Film

Summary:  The Australian Assistance Plan (AAP) was piloted in 1973 by the Whitlam Labor Government and was subsequently extended nationally. The Plan created Regional Councils for Social Development (RCSD) and funded the employment of a social planner and Community Development Officers within each Regional Council.

Country of Origin: Australia

Production company: Creators:
·         Baker, Suzanne. (Producer)
·         Tarrant, Crea, (ed.)
·         Howes, Oliver, 1940- (Director)
·         Australia. Social Welfare Commission
·         Film Australia

Sponsor: Film Australia

Notes: Lindfield, N.S.W. : Film Australia for Social Welfare Commission, 1974.

Holdings: 1 film reel (31min) 16mm. Length 1140′.

People and Place | Coal and Community

People and Place | Coal and Communty. 24 July - 18 August 2013,


An Exhibition at The University Gallery

24 July – 18 August 2013

Many of the towns and cities within the greater Hunter region owe their foundations and their economies to the coal industry. From the first discovery of coal in Newcastle in 1797, it has shaped the growth of our landscape as it has shaped our communities.

This exhibition assembles items from several important collections of archives and private material on the coal community, its people and their place. With thousands of early photographs and records, images from this living archive present photographs, maps and artefacts that describe in captivating detail the way in which we have lived and worked in the Hunter since its very beginnings. Tracing its origins back to 1843 and J&A Brown’s Four Mile Creek mine near East Maitland, Coal & Allied has been making a significant contribution to the Hunter Valley community for many generations.

The PEOPLE AND PLACE | COAL AND COMMUNITY project has been made possible thanks to a grant from the Coal & Allied Community Development Fund and has resulted in a touring exhibition, an illustrated book and a comprehensive website to which information can be added and which also has educational resources for teachers and students. The University of Newcastle’s Library through its Cultural Collections has assembled a rich and diverse archive of material available at

Please join Vice-Chancellor Professor Caroline McMillen and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Andrew Parfitt at the launch of the event:

Friday 2 AUGUST from 5pm at the University Gallery

Download the invitation (PDF)