Chronology of Local Regional Film Productions

Chronology of Local Regional

Film Productions

At the request of one of our GLAMx audio visual volunteers, Mr Mark Rigby, this is our first attempt at bringing together as much of the audio visual historic film and video legacy relating to the Hunter and Central Coast regions, including what has been digitised, what we know is there, but hasn’t been digitised, and what is lost or missing.

This is where you, dear reader, come in.

Help us to locate missing or lost elements of our film history. At present, our earliest film appears to be 1915, are there earlier ones you may know of, and hold the original prints for? If so, please get in touch and help restore our local region’s film and video history.


1915. Opening of the Newcastle Steelworks (1915)


1917. Prime Minister Billy Hughes visits B.H.P. Steelworks, 1917


1920. Newcastle Surf Carnival, c.1920.

1920. Visit of the Prince of Wales.

Included in Moving Memories 1920’s To The 1990’s In Newcastle, NSW, Australia (1996).


1925. Inspecting an Australian Made Ship at Newcastle, circa 1925


c. 1926. W. S. Pender Brothers Limited Beekeeping Film


c. 1932. [Pender Family Maitland N.S.W.] Home Movie


1938. Aftermath of ship collision in Newcastle, 1938.


1939. Fish Feeder (aka Fish Charmer) (1939)

Description: Part of issue ONE FOR THE ROAD. Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. Issue Date: 04/05/1939. Various shots of disabled man on crutches, Mr. Laskey, being helped into sea from pier. Mr. Laskey holds a loaf of bread beneath the water, soon a shoal of small fish surround him, nibbling at the bread.

1941. Newcastle Canoe Race (1941).

“A newsreel item from 1941 about a canoe derby on Throsby Creek in Newcastle, NSW to raise funds for the purchase of a Spitfire aircraft. “


1941. Soap Box Derby. Merewether, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. (1941)

Description: Title reads: “Soap Box Derby”. High angle shots of soap box cars (like go-carts) being pushed or towed to the starting line on a hill. Various shots of the boys racing down the hill in their soap boxes, one of them crashes into the crowd. C/U of winner, Jimmy Ireland. He sits in his cars and gets patted on the back by his friends.


1941. Horses Aka Blue Blood. Hunter river valley, New South Wales. Australia.


1945. Victory in the Pacific (VP) Day Newcastle (N.S.W.) in 1945 (16mm Colour)



1945. Story Of A City


1946. Moree


1947. Australian Children Participate In Newcastle’s 150th Anniversary Celebration


1948. Wild Horses In Australia Aka Stud Farm. ‘Widden stud: Valley of Thoroughbreds’. Hunter River Valley, New South Wales, Australia.


1949. Newcastle City of Contrast. K.G. Edwards. Production begun 1947. First public screening 8 February 1949.

Ref: See: “City of Contrast. The Production Story of a Documentary Film on Newcastle.” By K.G. Edwards. [Published: Photo Digest: Movie Maker Part 1 – December 1958 pp.52-57 ; Part 2 January 1959 pp.52-55 ; Part 3 February 1959 pp.52-54. Digitised by Greg Ray 2022]

See also news of other screenings on 10 April 1951 at Newcastle City Hall; 7 September 1951 at City Council Chambers by the Federation of Justices of the Peace; 24 February 1954 at the Newcastle Business Men’s Club Luncheon; 8 August 1954 Lord Mayor of Newcastle (Alderman Purdue) “Newcastle Afternoon” at the Central Methodist Mission Sydney. Announced 20 July 1954; Advertisement 7 August 1954; Report, 9 August 1954. Another reference is the manuscript by K.G. Edwards That first film the story of the production of ”City of contrast” commenced in 1948 [Newcastle, N.S.W.?] : K. G. Edwards, Between 1948 and 1972] (Held at Newcastle Local studies 791.43023/EDW)


1949. Maitland Flood Films

See the original film reels from which this footage was taken here:


1949. Thousand Homeless In Australian Floods (1949)


1949. Flood Disaster in New South Wales (1949)


1949. Floods Ravage New South Wales (1949)


1949. Australia Floods Aftermath (1949)


1949. Hunter Valley Story.  c.1949. (80 mins, Pacific Productions)


1949. Amphibious Squadron in Newcastle, 1949.

“A newsreel item from 1949 showing a military parade in Hunter Street, Newcastle of the amphibious Fifteenth Northern Rivers Lancers, part of the Citizen Military Forces.”



1950s – 1960s. The Films of Jens Christensen, Lake Macquarie Film Maker.

Please note: These films are held by the University of Newcastle’s Cultural Collections, but not yet digitised. Donated by his daughters Betty Williams and Norma Clark in March 2011. They are on the hit-list! See the listing by clicking the link: The Films of Jens Christensen, Lake Macquarie Film Maker.


1950. Australian Flood Wrecks Towns (1950)


1950. Flood Havoc In New South Wales (1950)


1950. Futuristic styles at hairdressing convention, c.1950.

“This film is one of several in a collection of 16mm home movies shot by Newcastle resident Gordon Edwards. He was a camera man for a local television station, and in this amateur film he documents the hairdressing trends of the 1950s.”


1950. Beach ‘fight club’ in Newcastle, Australia c.1950


1950. Roller skating in Newcastle, Australia c.1950


[1951] The Story of the Hunter Valley (Sequence only)


1951. Better Pastures, c.1951 (Athol Emerton) 


[1951] Mayfield 1900-1950 Jubilee Celebrations.

Locally produced film screened with Newcastle City of Contrast on the 7 September 1951.

[1951] Meandering at Muree.

Locally produced film screened with Newcastle City of Contrast on the 7 September 1951.


1952. Newcastle Aero Club, c. 1952 – September 1955 (8mm film by Jeffrey Allen Burns)



1952. Milk the Food, 26 April 1952. New England Films.


1953. First Newcastle University College Graduation Procession

Details on this reel is here:


1953. Talking Dog (1953) Maitland NSW.

Description: Good C.U. studies of various types of dogs. Mr. and Mrs. C A Brown with their talking dog Nicky, the dog performing tricks and the dog trying to repeat “Hello Mum” and “Here I am”.

1954. Royal Visit to Newcastle (Australia) Queen Elizabeth II – February 1954.

1954. Queen Elizabeth II Visit, 13 September 1954. (Gordon Edwards Film)


1955. Maitland Flood Film


1955. Maitland Floods, 1955. (8mm film footage by Jeffrey Allen Burns)


[1955] Floods in Australia

1955. Australia’s Flood Havoc (1955)


1955. New South Wales – The Floods Retreat (1955)


1955. The Coalminer.


1956-1957. (Circa) Mount Sugarloaf Colliery.

Title: Mount Sugarloaf Colliery
Production Date: (Circa 1957)
Media: Film B/W

Summary: Documentary about the Mount Sugarloaf Colliery, a coal mine located at Mount Sugarloaf in Newcastle, NSW. The promotional film “was made within eight years of the opening of the mine” in 1949, so circa 1957. Contains opening scenes of Nobbys Beach, nearby Zaara Street Power Station, with Mt Sugarloaf Coal trucks delivering coal, scenes of Newcastle, Crown and Anchor Hotel, Wallsend Brickworks, then colliery with plant installations, the stables, the workers’ lockers and showers, and the extraction of coal using horse power, manual extraction and newly introduced mechanised procedures. The film follows with production line procedures for processing the coal following extraction.

“This film has been brought to you with the compliments of Mr Jack Freeman, Managing Director of Sugarloaf Collieries Pty Ltd”

Bill Hannan, owner of Green Leaves” Studio, Newcastle, later pioneered the safe use of photography in underground mines.


Producer and Photographer: Bill Hannan
Production company: “Green Leaves” Studio, Newcastle
Commentator: Bill King
Country of Origin: Australia

Digital copy donated by Dulcie Hartley (through Greg and Sylvia Ray) to University of Newcastle Archives in Cultural Collections (now Special Collections) Auchmuty Library, 31 July 2014.

Due to copyright restrictions relating to the soundtrack, the entire film’s background scores have been muted, with only the narration audible.

Prepared by Gionni Di Gravio, OAM 9 July 2021.


1957. Coal Mining the Modern Way: Newcastle, 1957. Awaba State Coal Mine, Lake Macquarie, near Newcastle (New South Wales).


1959. Industrial City The Story Of Newcastle.


1959. The Sands of Yellow Rock


1959. Taree The Capital Of The Manning. Australian Colour Diary 10. (1959).

“From the Film Australia Collection. Made by the Commonwealth Film Unit 1959. Directed by Jack S Allan and Jack Rogers. A look around one of the oldest country towns of New South Wales.”

1960. Valley of the Hunter


1960. Last of the Windjammers (c.1960) Performer : The Ambassadors Quartet sig sea shanties. Produced as music. (Newcastle Local Studies search).

1960. Australia: Australian Surfing Championships. (1960)


c.1960s. OAK Flavoured Milk Stand at Muswellbrook Bike Races


1961. Australia: Hydro Mining In Australia


1962. We Live In This Valley (1962)


1962. We Live In This Valley (1962) “D. Gibison” Print (Colour, Sound)


1962. We Live In This Valley (1962) “K41028-9” Composite Projection Print.


1962. We Live In This Valley (1962) – Reel 3 – Offcuts (Colour Silent)


1962. We Live In This Valley (1962) Reel 5 Offcuts (Colour, Silent)


1962. We Live In This Valley (1962) Reel 6 Offcuts (Colour, Silent)

1962 We Live In This Valley (1962) Reel 7 Offcuts (Colour, Silent)


1962. We Live In This Valley (1962) Reel 8 Offcuts (Colour, Silent)


1963. Australia. Floods.


1963. Prehistoric Monster (1963) North Gosford, New South Wales.

Description: North Gosford, New South Wales, Australia.  Various shots of erection of a large concrete dinosaur in Reptile Park in New South Wales. Various shots of a man who conceived idea of building the dinosaur, Mr Kenneth Mayfield, working on huge statue.  (Comb.F.G.) Date found in the old record – 26/03/1963.


1963. Parachute Jumping Championship.


1963. Australia: Wheel-Making Plant Begins Production


1963. Australia: Bloodhound Missiles Arrive

1965. The First Fifty Years: Newcastle Steel (1965)

BHP Steelworks Newcastle (Australia)

1965. Speedboats Race at Sydney (1965)

Description: Title reads ‘Annual Motor Boat Classic’. Various shots of annual speedboat race from Sydney to Newcastle and back. The speedboats tear through the choppy seas and the winners complete the course in 4 hours and 4 minutes. Boats racing and the people watching the race from the shore, some using binoculars. The winners wave from their boat. They are presented with winning prize and are kissed by attractive girl. (Comb. F.G.) Date found in the old record – 17/10/1965.

1965. Tankers Order for Australia (1965)

Description: Title reads ‘$1.2 Million Oil Tanker’. Various shots of the work starting on the first of 12 tankers that are to be built in the Newcastle State Dockyard for Australia. Various shots of the welding and keel being laid. Various shots of the Shipping Minister Freeth inspecting the job.  (Comb. F.G.)
Date found in the old record – 30/08/1965.

1965. Fabulous Forster Is Holiday Haven. Australian Colour Diary 26.

From The Film Australia Collection. Made by the Commonwealth Film Unit 1965. Directed by R Edwards. A look at Forster on the New South Wales coast. Popular with holiday makers this idyllic beach-side town offers a relaxed summer atmosphere on the New South Wales mid-north coast.

1965. Australia: Drought In New South Wales

1966. New Road Signs


1966. Opening of the Hunter Valley Museum of Rural Life at Glenbawn Dam, N.S.W. 12 June 1966.


1966. New Winery In Australia. Wybong, Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia


1967. Historic Moment At Vineyard Aka Australian Grapes

1967. Australia: Coal Loader.

1967. “New BP Tanker”. Newcastle, Australia. (1967)

GV Pan over dockyard at Newcastle showing the new British Petroleum tanker ‘Endeavour’. Various shots from the tanker as she is towed out to under-go her final sea trails. Various shots of experts on board the new tanker putting the ship and her instruments through their paces. Aerial view flying over the new nineteen thousand ton tanker ‘BP Endeavour’.  (Comb. F.G.) Old record suggests that material dates from around 17/09/1967.

1967. ‘Biggest Tanker Yet Launched at Newcastle”. Newcastle, Australia. (1967)

Tanker ship BP Endeavour standing on the stocks at State Dockyard, Newcastle. Largest ship ever built on Australia’s East Coast. MS man knocking chocks away. MS BP Chairman’s wife Mrs Seddon launches tanker and it slips down to water. General view from rear of tanker as it slips down slipway. LS ship in water.

1969. Welcome to Our Valley

[1969] Newcastle A Place to Face the Future


1960s -1970s.  Trainspotting with Roger McKenzie: NSW trains 1960s-70s


1970. Steel for Today (1970) Filmed in part at the Newcastle Steelworks.


1970. Australia: Queen Elizabeth Launches Ship At Newcastle Dockyard

1970. Queen Elizabeth II visits Newcastle – April 1970.


1973. Backbone of the Industry : The Story of Refractories. (1973) Director : Athol Emerton. (Newcastle Local Studies search)


1973. Cinesound Review. Fierce fire destroys big store [other segments] (1973). Produced as documentary. Director : Athol Emerton. (Newcastle Local Studies search).


1973. Cinesound Review. Mobile Police Force [other segments] (1973). Produced as documentary. Director : Athol Emerton. (Newcastle Local Studies search).


1973. Cinesound Review. Wicket Crash in first test [other segments] (1973). Produced as documentary. Director : Athol Emerton. (Newcastle Local Studies search).


1973. Fox Movie News. vol. 45 No. 47 (1973). Produced as documentary. Director : Athol Emerton. (Newcastle Local Studies search).


1974. International News (1974) Vol. 48 No. 36. Produced as documentary. Director : Athol Emerton. (Newcastle Local Studies search).


1974. A Say In Your Community With The Australian Assistance Plan


1974. Australia: Three-Day Call Claims At Least Seven Lives And Causes Millions Of Dollars Damage.

1976. West of Coal Island: A Journey Round the Heart


1976. Australia: Australia, New Zealand And American Forces Combine For Anzus Pact Exercise Code named ‘Kangaroo Two’.


1977. Queen Elizabeth II Visit to Newcastle (The NBN Television News Year in Review, 1977)

1978. Australia: Young Australian Claims New World Record In Motor Cycle Stunting.


1979. Australia: Teenage Motorcycle Stuntman Crashes In Attempt To Leap Across 15 Buses.

1985. Newcastle East End before and After


1985. The Wollombi Valley Political Decision Making


1985. Margaret Illukol Story on Good Morning Australia, 24 April 1985


1988. The Royal Visit to Newcastle (Australia) 1988


1988. Australian Mosaic “Silverbeat” by Ugo Mariotti (19 November 1988)



1989. Newcastle Earthquake.

See further NBN Archive broadcasts on the 1989 Earthquake:

1993. Auchmuty Library Students


1993. Huxley Library Students


1996. Moving Memories 1920’s To The 1990’s In Newcastle, NSW, Australia (1996)

1997. Newcastle 200 Years of History A Special Tribute to Dr John Turner (1997)


1998. Yengo of the Sandstone Country


1999. Aboriginals in Medicine

2019-2022+ Stories of Our Town.

Watch the Films:


Production Diaries and Backgrounders:

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