The 1975 Tasman Bridge disaster

At 9.27 pm on Sunday 27 January, a star-crossed bulk iron ore carrier, the Lake Illawarra, struck Hobart’s Tasman Bridge, knocking over two of its concrete pylons along with 127 metres of road that they had supported. The incident The consequences were devastating and immediate: five people in cars plummeted to their deaths in the … Read on

The man who mailed himself from London to Perth

Reg Spiers was once a champion javelin thrower who represented Australia at the 1962 Commonwealth Games in Perth, but he is better known as the man who mailed himself from England to Australia than for his athletic prowess. When Spiers failed to qualify for the 1964 Australian Olympic Team, he impulsively set out for London … Read on

Popular baby names of the last 100 years

 Trends and fads come and go – and baby names are not immune. Interestingly, some of the most common baby names from 100 years ago are making a reappearance on today’s top baby name charts in what is known as the 100-year return. Choosing a baby name is no easy task. For some families, culture … Read on

The construction of Victoria’s Great Ocean Road

It’s nearly the school holidays and, in Victoria at least, that means thousands of travellers will be making their way down one of the state’s most iconic roads – The Great Ocean Road. While images of this stretch of famous coastline have been made famous on postcards and calendars worldwide, the history behind it may be … Read on

Starting your family tree

Assembling a family tree can be a daunting task, especially as we are so often faced with more questions than answers. As long as you know how to harness the many resources at your disposal, uncovering your roots can be a rewarding and fascinating experience. Here are some tips to get you started. Start with … Read on

Three tips for restoring Art Deco furniture

Looking back in time from a 21st century vantage point, there’s perhaps no era that better evokes a sense of nostalgia than the 1920s. Thousands of immigrants – many of them women – were drawn to Australia by the promise of job opportunities, decent wages and a better life, and luxury goods were becoming more … Read on

Bourke Street: then and now

In most major cities, if you’re looking closely, every now and then you’ll come across an enchanting little detail that brings to mind images of the city’s past: an antique light fixture hanging discreetly over a storefront, an intricately patterned row of tiles, or faded patches of paint where the name of a local business … Read on

A South Australian railway history

South Australia was one of Australia’s youngest colonies, and the only colony for which the British made meticulous settlement plans – including a master infrastructure plan – before arrival. When South Australia’s first Governor, Sir John Hindmarsh, was appointed in 1836, global advancements in agriculture, transport and technology were helping the colony to thrive on … Read on

No swimming allowed: when Sydney banned swimming

Today, Australia is known throughout the world for its warm sunny climate, pristine beaches and coastal cities. But, in an episode that has become an integral piece of national folklore, between 1838 and 1902, swimming during the day was declared an illegal activity by New South Wales authorities, for fear that it raised ‘morality concerns’. … Read on

Death and Freedom in the Queensland Times

While it’s no surprise that monumental events like wars, accidents and assassinations often make the history books, there is something immensely satisfying about trawling through the archives for the histories of everyday people and events – those at risk of becoming lost in stacks of archives and quiet corners of the internet. One such event … Read on

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