Hunter Living Histories Meeting – 11 October 2021

Hunter Living Histories Zoom Meeting

Hunter Living Histories Meeting held over zoom on Monday 11 October, 2021.
1:00pm – 3:00pm

Image of Hunter Living Histories Zoom participants
Hunter Living Histories Zoom 11 October 2021

Acknowledgement to Country

The Chair delivered an acknowledgement of country.

This work is conducted in memory, and respectfully honours the First Australian People, the Aboriginal People of this land.

Hunter Living Histories – Presentations
 and Updates 

Archaeological Discoveries Along the Great North Road (Tim Adams)

The video recording begins after Tim Adams, Archaeologist (Unwelt)’s Presentation had begun.

Recent News
(Gionni di Gravio, with Mala Scorse, Dr Ann Hardy, Robert Watson, Dr Amir Mogadam, Dr Bob James, Ron Barber, Associate Professor Howard Bridgman, Emeritus Professor John Fryer) including:

Vale Ian Sim (1921-2021) – Recorder of Aboriginal Engraving Sites

Image of Ian Sim
Ian Sim, from the video interview in GLAMx Lab, recorded in 2019.
  • Ian McHutchinson Sim was born in 1931, and worked as a land surveyor in the Sydney area. He was a keen bush-walker. He came into contact with Aboriginal people growing up on the north coast of New South Wales. In the 1950s he worked as a surveyor in western New South Wales in the Goodooga area, past Lightning Ridge and made Aboriginal friends there, and spent time recording language.
  • Ian and his wife documented Aboriginal Rock Art in the Sydney, Central Coast, Hunter and Nepean regions during the 1960’s.
  • Aged 88 he recorded two sets of interviews in the Cultural Collections GLAMx Lab in 2019.

Vale Richard Belfield and Martin Babakan – Weather Records

Image of Richard Belfield, holding a weather journal.
Richard Belfield, with one of his grand father’s weather journals.
    • We were deeply saddened to hear of the loss of Richard Belfield, who passed away on the 19 September 2021, and Martin Babakan, who passed away on the 6 October 2021. We send our sincere condolences to their families.
    • Both these men were responsible in enabling important weather records kept by Richard’s grandfather, Algernon Henry Belfield to be made available to climate researchers across the world.
    • The work conducted by Associate Professor Howard Bridgman and Dr Linden Ashcroft of the University of Melbourne can be found on the Hunter Living Histories site as well as a tribute for Richard here:

Stories of Our Town/Fortress Newcastle Up Coming Films

Screenshot of Glenn and Tony with Richard Uddy
Screenshot of Glenn Dormand and Tony Whittaker on site with Richard Uddy.

Blue Plaques NSW Program

  • We received an email from Tim Crakanthorp MP Member for Newcastle  15/9/2021 inviting us to select sites we would wish him to nominate for us. On 27/9/2021 we sent him a list of twelve sites including Convict Coal Mines/Birthplace of Australia Economy at Fort Drive, James Hardy Vaux – Convict Lumber Yard, Birabanand Threlkeld at the Newcastle West KFC, Scott Sisters – 9 Watt Street, James Tucker/Ralph Rasleigh – Parkland Opp Murray Avenue, Mark Twain – 34-36 Bolton St. Newcastle, Henry Lawson – Wickham School of Arts, Florence Austral – Crn of Lamanand Auckland, Alexander Galloway – Clovelly Murray Avenue, Marriage of Jean Ross/Edmund Barton 1st Prime Minister Aust – 26 Watt Street, Dymphna Cusack – 1 Murray Avenue, Yahoo Serious – 90 Hunter Street. Email response: 8/10/21 that he would submit nominations for inclusion.

From the Ground Up


Green Bans – Jack Mundey Exhibition

  • The City of Newcastle will be hosting an exhibition on Green Bans and Jack Mundey, and are seeking our involvement.
  • I’m not sure what we may have in the archives; there might be something in the Trades Hall material, Merv and Janet Copley Collection and Parks and Playgrounds Movement Archives, but besides that, we don’t appear to have much of “green bans” per se.
  • Our community informants can only think of one green ban in Newcastle, involving the Newcastle East community against high rise buildings. They were unable to think of any other Green ban actions in Newcastle.
  • If you have any insights on the matter of Green Bans in Newcastle please contact us.


UON Libraries Upgrade Websites and Decommissioning of Libguides

  • Just a confirmation email to say the new Library Catalogue is now LIVE.
  • Information held on the Libguides site is now being moved over to the Living Histories site. This includes our information on archival finding aids, rare books and special collections and our digital scriptorium sites that have hosted our Coquun Hunter River sites and Aboriginal Sourcebooks.
  • Please bear with us as our links are updated; if you find any dead 404 links, please let me know and we will endeavour to fix them. We’ve just updated the Hunter Living Historises Dreaming site  about to start on the History Pages.


Living Digital Heritage Conference (Free Online Event) Friday 5- Sunday 7 November 2021

UON Libraries.

  • From Monday 11 October, to support those staff and students who are approved to be on campus, the Auchmuty and Ourimbah libraries will be extending their opening hours from 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday. The Information Commons from 9am-9pm.  A click-and-collect service remains in place for all other staff and students.

A Month of Murder Video Series

Screenshot from Video on History Homestead - Ravensworth in the Hunter Valley
Screenshot from Video – “History Homestead – A Month of Killings in the Hunter Valley”

Greens MLC David Shoebridge will be presenting a webinar with his work with Wonnarua people and stories relating a massacre in the vicinity of the Ravensworth Homestead in the Hunter Valley. See: 

State Archives and Records Authority NSW (SARA)

  • NSW State Archives & Records intend to reopen their Reading Room at the Western Sydney Records Centre effective from Tuesday 19 October. All visitors need to be fully vaccinated (or have a medical exemption), and will need to show proof of compliance with this requirement.

GLAMx Lab – (Dr Ann Hardy)

Fraternal Society Project (Dr Amir Mogadam with Dr Bob James)

Fort Scratchley Historical Society (Ron Barber)

Weather Records Project (Associate Professor Howard Bridgman)

Missing Piece of 1906 Snowball Panorama & Fred Barrie’s Red Cedar Camera (Robert Watson)

Topics covered:

  • The missing piece of the 1906 Snowball panorama
  • The history of aerial photography,
  • The resolution of glass plate cameras
  • The historic aerial views of Newcastle taken in 1944.

Bonus Content: 

Newcastle and Suburbs Aerial View 1944 (Gionni Di Gravio)

History of Aerial Photography (Emeritus Professor John Fryer)

General Discussion of Hunter Living Histories Meetings

Date of next meeting:
Monday, 1 November 2021 – Venue TBA

All Welcome

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