(Y)Our Stories

It’s history in the making with the Gawler Oral History Project’s first-hand accounts of the stories, experiences and memories of our residents.

Whether someone has lived here all their life, or just for a few months, whether they are getting on in life, or just starting out, whoever they are – young or old – everyone has a story to tell.

Helen Hennessy talks with Patricia Booth about E.H. Coombe

Ephraim Henry Coombe (26 August 1858 – 5 April 1917) was editor of the Bunyip Newspaper in Gawler for many years and a very active politician representing the Gawler and Barossa areas, from 1901 to 1912, and from 1915 to 1917. He died in office. His memorial can be seen in Tanunda. It includes the following …

Malcolm Lucas

Malcolm Lucas was born in the Hutchinson Hospital and has been a very successful farmer in the Gawler region. Wonderful stories of the changes in farming practices, school days, inventions, and bush fires. …

Lyn Lillecrapp

In 1992 Lyn Lillecrapp was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia. She has competed successfully in the 1976, 1988 and 1992 Paralympics as well as the Masters Games. In 2009 she was inducted into the SA Swimming Hall of Fame. In October 2019 Judy Gillett-Ferguson spoke to Lyn about her “growing up years”. Listen to this delightful interview and . be inspired.

Karen Redman

Karen Redman is mayor of the town of Gawler. In an interview with Judy Gillet-Ferguson she talks about her experiences as a child and teenager growing up in Hamley Bridge, Rushworth, and Gawler. They are wonderful observations and reflections told with humour, a sense of mischief, and love. It’s a cracker of an interview. …
Jean Evans

Jean Evans

Jean Evans commenced working at the Gawler Hutchinson Hospital in 1942 at the height of Australia’s involvement in WW2. In a delightful chat with Judy Gillett-Ferguson she reflects on her nursing life. It’s funny, sad, informative, and generous. Her zest for life at 95 years of age still shines brightly. …

Wayne Clarke

Wayne Clarke was born in Gawler. He is a long term active member of the Gawler RSL who, after being called up for National Service in 1965, served a tour of duty in Vietnam. His recollections of his boyhood in Gawler are a treat. His experience as an infantry soldier in Vietnam is told with candour and respect. …

Gawler Classic And Veteran Vintage Car Club

Rhonda enjoyed looking at the display of cars and took some time out to tell us about her first car. …

Kat’s First Car

Kat agreed to share memories of her first car with us. …

Judy’s First Car

Judy tells a hilarious story about her first car and her honeymoon. …

Gawler Veteran Vintage and Classic Vehicle Club

Triumph TR2 and Mini Cooper S in foreground. 1913 Ford behind the Cooper S. Image by Paul Barnett. On 6th May 2018 the Gawler Oral History Team and Gawler Car Club jointly hosted an event at Pioneer Park. Owners of cars such as Mini Coopers, a Ford Side Valve, 1913 T Model Ford, E-Type Jag, …

Sidney Ey (Rat of Tobruk)

Sidney Ey was born in Gawler on the 31st May 1916. In early 2018 he sat down with his friend, Wayne Clarke, and told a story of; growing up in Gawler, enlisting in the AIF in 1940, and serving in the 9th Division in North Africa, the Middle East, and the South West Pacific. He is one of Australia’s esteemed “Rats of Tobruk”. …

Lil Crosby

22,000 women served in the WAAAF (Woman’s Auxiliary Australian Air Force ) during World 2. Lil Crosby was one of them. …
E10 – A Liverpudlian Makes His Mark

E10 – A Liverpudlian Makes His Mark

Ian’s been a sewing machine repairman, and actor, a clown, a stuntman, a radio host, a carer, a husband and father, and a life-long amateur historian. In the first of a two-part interview Rod McKenzie talks to Ian about growing up in Liverpool and his journey to a new life in Australia. …
E09 – Teaching & Learning with Marilyn Simpson

E09 – Teaching & Learning with Marilyn Simpson

Marilyn Simpson was a teacher, teaching hundreds of children over her career, and giving them a start in life and learning. Host Barry Neylon talks to Marilyn about her journey from a horseradish farm to the classroom, and the lessons she learnt along the way. …
E08 – Pennington Primary to the Pilbara

E08 – Pennington Primary to the Pilbara

Raelene Benier wrote the manual on iron ore invoicing as a Systems Manager for mining giant Rio Tinto, but when she moved to Gawler she found her talents were needed in a different area. …
E07 – Life in the Country (Part 2)

E07 – Life in the Country (Part 2)

Iris Crouch might be in her 90s and have a broken back, but whenever she sits down to play the organ she counts herself as one of the luckiest women alive. …

E06 – The Mallee, mice and underground mutton

Author, poet, photographer, podcaster, mum – is there anything Janette Menhennet can’t do? …
E05 – Life in the Country (Part 1)

E05 – Life in the Country (Part 1)

Iris Crouch might be in her 90s and have a broken back, but whenever she sits down to play the organ she counts herself as one of the luckiest women alive. …
E04 – the Motocross Mayor

E04 – the Motocross Mayor

We might know him better as the former Mayor of Gawler, but Brian Sambell loves motocross, and he’s been riding and racing bikes since the days when he putt-putted behind his dad as a kid. …
E03 – To China and back

E03 – To China and back

From Trinity College to the world’s top engineering school – Tsinghua University – local export Jack Butcher is hoping to help China and Australia better understand each other …

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