The Dam that Zihni Built

Oaky River Dam, near Armidale NSW


This film honours the work of Zihni Buzo (OAM), civil engineer who worked on the Oaky River Dam, NSW in the 1950s. Interview was conducted at Armidale on 15 August 1998 for the Institution of Engineers Newcastle Division Oral History Program. Filmed and narrated by Zihni Buzo, interviewed and directed by Judy Lindsay. The producers acknowledge The Armidale Historical Society for preservation of the original Zihni Buzo film material. Presented at the 18th Engineering Heritage Conference, Newcastle Australia, December 2015. The dam is currently out of service as a result of a failure, but that failure does not detract from the pioneering achievement of Mr Buzo who developed a design and implemented its construction in an era when there was virtually no reliable rainfall data outside major population centres.

The film was produced for Engineers Australia (Newcastle Division) and has been digitised and made freely available to the wider global research community.

Engineers Australia (Newcastle Division) has kindly given permission for Cultural Collections at the Auchmuty Library, University of Newcastle (Australia) to share this source with the wider community.

You are welcome to use the sources for study and personal research purposes. Please acknowledge as Courtesy of the “Engineers Australia (Newcastle Division) Archive, University of Newcastle (Australia)” For commercial requests you must obtain permission by contacting Cultural Collections.

If you are the subject of the stories, or know the subject of the stories, and have cultural or other reservations about the stories available on this website and would like to discuss this with us please contact Cultural Collections at

The producers wish to acknowledge The National Film and Sound Archives in preserving the original archived films from the Zihni Buzo Collections and converting them to digital format. Special Thanks to Concept Creativecomm,

Also, listen to Oral History interview with Zihni Buzo  in 1998, this interview is one of over 50 interviews part of the Engineers Australia (Newcastle Division) Oral History Archive currently being digitised by Patrick Lindus in the GLAMx Lab.

Also see Engineers Australia website for further information

Australian Observer “Dam that Zihni built, revisited”, 20 October 2013.

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