PEOPLE RECORDED FOR THE AUSTRALIAN FOLKLORE UNIT
2004 saw my return to active oral history recording in conjunction with the Folklore of Sydney Project. While I am not restricting myself to interview recordings solely related to the project, I am attempting to collect a wide range of interviewees in this particular area. I am grateful to the Oral History & Folklore Section of the National Library of Australia for their support in this direction and especially for the long-term loan of a professional digital tape recorder and bulk tapes. The collected tapes will be housed at the NLA alongside my earlier recordings, mainly from the 1970-73 period.
I also note that in 2004 I deposited another large collection of early tapes (1970s through to 1990s) including the original tapes of the early 1970s recordings. (I realised the boxes including my scribblings were of interest). This collection also included my 7 tapes made with Sally Sloane.
This site will continue to add new recording transcripts as they come to hand.
- DON WOODLAND AM
Collector’s note: Lieutenant Colonel Don Woodland is a legend in the Salvation Army and the first person to devise a trauma counselling service for the armed forces, police force and ambulance workers. He has served in the Vietnam War and was on site ‘next day’ at the majority of Australia’s worst disasters including Bali, Cyclone Tracey, Papua New Guinea’s tsumani, Childer’s Backpackers, Kings Cross Backpacker’s fire, Granville Rail disaster, Strathfield massacre and Port Arthur. He learnt the English concertina as a child from his father who also played the instrument in the Salvation Army. He retired from fulltime pastoral work in 2004 and continues to work as a lecturer.
Collector’s note: George Swift is a Sydney social institution. She is now in her eighties and the interview focussed on Sydney’s social life especially in the middle of last century. She has been married to advertising man, Snow Swift. For over fifty years. She was a member of the illustrious Black and White Committee that was so successful in the 1950s and 60s in raising the profile of needy charities, especially the Royal Blind Society. Georgie also worked in publicity and as a journalist.
Collector’s note: George Hazel is Director of the Salvation Army Heritage Centre at Bexley North. He has been a member of the Army all his life and has a fund of stories connected to the Army’s history in Australia, including musical history. He estimates that he knows over 500 Salvation Army songs.
- JOHN DENGATE
Collector’s note: John Dengate is well-known in the Australian folk revival however his songs have travelled further than most poets would dream. He is a fascinating character ö erudite, passionate and always ready to sing or recite a poem. He talks frankly about his family history, inspiration as a writer, frustrations as a humanist and also of his life as a busker on the streets of Sydney. He sings songs and recites poems throughout the interview and, plays some tin whistle tunes. This is an on-going project with further recording sessions scheduled.
- KERRIE LESTER
Collector’s note: Kerrie Lester is one of Australia’s best-known visual artists with her works exhibited in collections across Australia including the National Portrait Gallery which has her paintings of Cathie Freeman, Fred Hollows, Margaret Fink and James Morrison. She discusses her career, inspirations, frustrations and the joy of painting.
- JOAN CAMPBELL
Collector’s note: Joan Campbell is the doyen of modern Australian food having pioneered fine social catering and becoming food editor for Conde Nast, publishers of Vogue and Vogue Entertaining & Travel. She grew up as a country girl in Brisbane, married a farmer and eventually came to live in Sydney where she established a catering company, advised on food styles, wrote books like ‘Bloody Delicious’ and generally inspired food producers and chefs to think Australian.
- TONY TERAKES
Collector’s note: Tony Terakes is a typical Crete/Greek market man. He has worked at the Sydney Markets for most of his life and tells the collector the ins and outs and the betweens of market life. His other passion was gambling and he goes into detail about the way horseracing works. He is also a traditional cook and regularly cooks Greek dishes for his family and friends. He also talks about his position as a Greek Australian.