Oral History Australia

Official website of the OHA South Australia/Northern Territory

SA175 Oral History Web gateway

Please read the following Conditions of Use.

Introductory statement

If I were to ask the audience now watching this Web site, ‘Who built the pyramids?’ the first reaction, reflex, is ‘pharaohs.’ The pharaohs didn’t lift a finger. … No, slaves, the anonymous ones through the centuries built the pyramids. … I’m interested in … those millions and multi-millions of people down through the centuries who made the wheels go round but never made our traditional history books. We hear of generals, we hear of kings, we have industrialists, great statesmen. But who are these others?”

Studs Terkel, 2007

Welcome to the OHAA (SA/NT) web gateway for oral history interviews! This site has been developed by the Oral History Association of Australia (SA/NT) to mark the 175th anniversary of the establishment of South Australia in 2011.  It also coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Northern Territory.

The web gateway comprises 20 oral history interviews that can be downloaded as audio files, full transcripts, or timed summaries. Each interview includes photographs of the interviewee and/or images related to their story. The interviews provide pathways into the life experiences of a diverse range of people from South Australia and the Northern Territory who were born between 1900 and 1977. Most interviews are an hour in length; some are excerpts from longer recordings. The original recordings are held in the collections of the State Library of South Australia, the Northern Territory Archives Service and the National Library of Australia.

The selection of 20 interviews reflects the diversity of work undertaken by professional members of the Association in South Australia and the Northern Territory. Over the past decades members have gathered stories that provide insights into different periods of South Australian and Northern Territory history, events and people. Each interview captures parts of an interviewee’s life story adding pieces to the mosaic of our society. The website showcases the unique and important contribution that oral history makes to resources for primary research into the history of the State and Territory. The interviews with women and men cover a varied range of topics from the Old Ghan train to the experiences of a Sudanese refugee, and they complement the archival records held in South Australia and the Northern Territory.

This site was launched on 5 July 2011.
More interviews, transcripts, timed summaries and photos will be added after 2011. 
The following organisations and individuals played a significant role in the completion of this project and deserve thanks:

Peter Kolomitsev, Silver Moon, Allison Murchie. Madeleine Regan, David Smids.

June Edwards
President OHAA (SA/NT Branch)


1946- Merrion Frances Fox

Mem Fox

Mem talks about her upbringing, her family and her life as a children’s author. Interview for the National Library of Australia ‘Eminent Australians’ Oral History program.

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1935-2007 Doreen Kartinyeri

Doreen Kartinyeri

Doreen talks about her life as a Ngarrindjeri woman.
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1972- Tung Ngo

Tung Ngo

Tung talks about his identity as a Vietnamese-Australian, including his journey here as a child, becoming involved with the community and his role as a Port Adelaide Enfield Councillor.

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1923-1994 Bruce Marsden

Bruce Marsden

Bruce talks about his boyhood, family background, his father’s life as a country GP, the impact of the depression, and his enlistment in the air force at 18 in World War 2.

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1926- Bryan Wiseman

Bryan Wiseman

Bryan talks about being a professional fisherman at Cowell from the 1940s to the 1970s and tells some fishing and shark stories.

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1914-1991 Anne Sturm

Anne Sturm

Anne talks about training as a nurse at Loxton Hospital in 1932 and working as a nurse in various hospitals in Melbourne and Adelaide.
SLSA: OH 17/41

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