Siblings reunited after brother given up on street 70 years ago

It was during the Depression years, and people were strapped for food and cash and everything else.”That was that — until Mr Stubblety was reunited with his sister this week in Perth, where Mrs Crick had eventually moved to live.She said she was overwhelmed about meeting her brother for the first time.”I was nervous but I was very excited. and then my brother drowned and after that it was just me.”He is now surrounded by brothers, nieces and nephews — a feeling he said was “indescribable”.And as for where they go from here?”We’ll just be brother and sister and we’ll be seeing each other again at every opportunity,” Ms Crick said. (Supplied: Family)
“I never thought it would get this far … “It took her breath away … “We were very close, it was only me and my brother … Bruce Stubblety and Barbara Crick are 69 and 73 years old, but despite sleeping in the same cot as babies, the brother and sister have lived a life apart.The siblings were separated when Mr Stubblety was put up for adoption at the age of just two months.After having had no contact for almost 70 years, the pair has been reunited after some online sleuthing by Mrs Crick’s granddaughter. (ABC TV News)
While the story of how Mr Stubblety was given up for adoption differs, what he does know is his mother was walking down a street in Richmond, Melbourne in 1947 when she was approached by a woman.”She said ‘That’s a nice-looking baby’ [and] my birth mother replied ‘do you want him?'” he said.”And they went down to the Richmond town hall to sign the birth papers and I went home with her. there wasn’t much information,” Ms Crick said.”Nana is always talking about what happened to her and her siblings and I realised that was my opportunity.”I went on to the Government website and I filled in the form and got our identification and just waited.”When the day finally came for the long-lost siblings to meet, it was an emotional and overwhelming occasion. My mother would go to jumble sales and get dresses, and trousers, pull them apart and then make our clothes out of the old Singer [sewing machine],” he said. Photo:
Mrs Crick and Mr Stubblety were reunited at Perth Airport this week. I always knew I had brothers out there but he [Bruce] didn’t know,” Mrs Crick said.”We slept in the same cot together as babies … to see her seeing someone that she had known as a baby, it was amazing to see and be a part of,” Ms Crick said.Meeting family ‘indescribable’, brother saysMr Stubblety said his adopted family life had been close knit.”They did everything they could possible do for me. Photo:
Mrs Crick says she was overwhelmed about meeting her brother. I was looking for a Peter but they’d changed his name.”Granddaughter used website ‘and just waited’The reunion was the work of granddaughter Angela Crick, who began investigating the family tree in January 2015.
(ABC News: Sarah Collard) By

Sarah Collard


March 08, 2017 21:01:17

Bruce Stubblety and Barbara Crick have a lot of catching up to do.
Perth 6000

Five of the best street art pieces around Brisbane

(ABC Radio Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
“A lot of the time people who don’t have an art background might not always understand how the process works and how they [the artists] respond to the space and environment.”The festival team has already begun planning next year’s event which will be held in the first half of 2018. Photo:
Artist Mr Sor2 uses detail to create his elaborate piece in Fish Lane, South Brisbane. Photo:
Alethea Beetson painted by Claire Foxton at 280 Elizabeth Street. Warehouse walls, delivery docks and a former skating rink have been brought to life with hypercolour portraits and positive messages thanks to street artists across Brisbane.The two-week Brisbane Street Arts Festival saw more than 22 major murals painted at places throughout the city by both local and international artists.”There was a massive positive response from the general public this year, and being our second year we had bigger and more central locations,” festival co-director Lincoln Savage said.”What we set out to do when we started the festival was to give the city more energy and character.”We love adding to the city.”Mr Savage said the largest piece created this year was in South Brisbane. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
“Claire Foxton’s portrait on the Telstra Exchange Building on Elizabeth Street in the CBD of Alethea Beetson from the Queensland Museum and Digi Youth Arts was the most important,” he said.”It recognises Alethea’s work with young Indigenous kids in art — and the outcome is incredible.”Enhancing the urban tapestryThis year the event’s name changed to the Brisbane Street Arts Festival, added an ‘s’ to art to ensure performance and sculpture was included in the program.The street art component, however, continued to pack the most punch.Pieces can be found in Newmarket, West End and extending all the way to the Sunshine Coast. Photo:
The largest work is Minimal Intervention by Mimi which shows the four stages of wine production. Photo:
Social Weave was a piece painted by Guss which aims to shine a light on the current state of race issues. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
“In terms of size, the MiMi piece in Fish Lane on the Wandering Cooks wall was huge,” he said.The piece stretches to more than 10 metres in length and sits on the back of an old warehouse, providing a stark contrast to the new apartment buildings going up in the area.Mr Savage said for him a large portrait in the CBD packed the biggest impact. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Rae Allen)
“Another festival director said the festival was ‘about enhancing urban tapestry’, and I totally agree with that,” Mr Savage said.During the two-week festival, people were also encouraged to see the works being drawn, painted and refined.Mr Sor2’s piece on an underpass in South Brisbane and Drapl’s large mural on the side of the former Red Hill skate arena were both created in front of eager crowds.”These public events gave people the chance to speak to artists directly and to watch the artistic process and that’s really important,” Mr Savage said.
ABC Radio Brisbane


Jessica Hinchliffe


March 07, 2017 11:21:53

Artist Drapl weaved his magic on the old skate arena in Red Hill. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
Brisbane 4000

Café serving social inclusion with lunch and coffee

Derwent Park 7009
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Hobart cafe helping locals struggling to find work by providing them with training
ABC Radio Hobart


Carol Rääbus


March 07, 2017 10:58:04

Angela is all set to serve you a morning coffee at the Car Yard Café. (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)
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“We’re hoping that we’re going to be here for a long time.”The Car Yard Café will officially open on March 15 but is already welcoming patrons in for snacks and lunches on weekdays from 9:30am to 2:30pm. (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)
“The other reason that it’s been established is because the community, at this point in time … (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)
Aurora Disability Services has been running the Old Chapel Tearooms in Glenorchy for many years.Joy Cairns, founder and director of Aurora, said the café environment provided clients with a hands-on training experience in silver service hospitality.”It’s been established to give people more variety, to give them great opportunities for learning and developing,” she said. Photo:
AJ with Joy Cairns at the Car Yard Café. Photo:
Anne waits for the lunchtime customers at the service counter. A new social enterprise café has opened on the Main Road in Derwent Park, providing the area with a much-needed stop off for coffee, sandwiches, cakes — and smiles.The Car Yard Café is a new venture by Aurora Disability Services and offers training and work experience for people with disabilities. (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)
“We want the community to be educated to see that they can contribute, they can contribute to our economy, they can contribute to their local communities.”We feel that if our community patronise us, that we’re going to succeed. they’re not providing the opportunities for supported employment or open employment opportunities.”The new café is decked out in car-themed décor and the counter is stocked with fresh salad sandwiches, quiches, pies and sweet treats.The food is made by Aurora’s clients in the small but spotless kitchen with help from support workers. Photo:
Sam loves to bake. Photo:
Laurie prepares sausage rolls from scratch with help from Sia. (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)
All functions of the café are run by the clients too, from maintaining the outdoor seating area to staffing the sales counter.Ms Cairns said having a café like this which served the general public could help change people’s opinions towards those with disabilities.”We need to change attitudes,” she said. Melting moments and Anzac biscuits are her favourite.

Wizards disability tenpin bowling club in a league of its own

(ABC Radio Canberra: Penny Travers)
He travels an hour from Yass in New South Wales to Canberra each Saturday to play, and last year made the ACT state team after five years of trying. “It’s good to go away. Each Saturday morning an army of orange and blue-clad Wizards gather in Canberra for their weekly tenpin bowling competition.It is magic to see, with each of the 87 competitors bowling the lanes in their own way.Each has a physical or intellectual disability, but that does not stop them delivering scores on par with the average able-bodied league bowler.”There’s some amazing bowlers … Photo:
Rodney Pearson delivers a strike at the Wizards’ weekly competition. “This year I got my first four-bagger which is four strikes in a row.” Bowling helps teenager ‘blossom’, make friends Ms Potter’s 13-year-old son Liam joined the league in 2015. “I didn’t know what to do I was so excited.” “We have a league ladder and at the end of the year we give trophies to the most improved and the winning team.” Each year, 30 of the top Wizards compete in a national competition. (ABC Radio Canberra: Penny Travers)
The league has been running for 28 years and the players range in age from 13 to 67. Photo:
A sea of bright orange and blue as the Wizards show off their tenpin bowling magic. “I just never gave up,” he said.”It was one of my goals and I just never gave up trying.”Last year when I made it I thought, ‘oh my god, it’s come true for a change’. Photo:
Kalinda Gallagher and Haylee Richards look forward to seeing one another each week. I like to win.”Social highlight of the week But it is not all about bowling and competitions. (ABC Radio Canberra: Penny Travers)
They named their team the Hot Strikers.”Because we’re very hot,” Ms Richards said.”And we like to get strikes,” Ms Gallagher added. (ABC Radio Canberra: Penny Travers)
“We were looking for an opportunity for Liam to have a sporting activity and to increase his social involvement,” she said.”We’ve seen him blossom, he started to make some friends, his skill and ability in bowling has been encouraged and nurtured.”We’ve seen such a dramatic change in him since we started.”‘I just never gave up trying’Rodney Pearson is turning 50 soon and has been bowling for seven years with his team the Mighty Ducks. “[It’s] incredible the level of skill they have — I know I wouldn’t be able to bowl as well as they do.”

A Wizards competitor uses a bowling ramp to deliver her ball. and it’s amazing to see the way they’re able to adapt their bowling to fit in to what their abilities are,” parent and Wizards Disability Tenpin Bowling League committee member Kara Potter said. The weekly gathering is the social highlight of the week for players like Kalinda Gallagher and Haylee Richards, who have both been playing in the league for more than 10 years. Robert Gordon is one of the players heading to Sydney in June for the annual event.”It’s a lot of fun, you get to meet new people, meet new friends,” he said. “They know they’re in a league so they’re out to beat their opposition each week,” league president Marilyn Richards said.
Belconnen 2617
ABC Radio Canberra

By Penny Travers and Laura Tchilinguirian


March 07, 2017 11:36:58

Robert Gordon is one of 30 Wizards players who will compete in a national competition in June. (ABC Radio Canberra: Penny Travers)

Could you do 100 triathlons in 100 days like this mum?

Sydney 2000
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Rain, hail or shine — Debi Hazelden has run through them all in the past 38 days.The Sydney mum is on a world-first challenge to complete 100 triathlons in 100 days to raise money for the Red Cross, and so far it has been the weather and illness that has proven the most challenging.There were a couple of 42-degree days in February, and heavy rain, thunderstorms and lightning last week tempting her to give up.But despite the blisters, a cold and a week suffering from hand, foot and mouth disease passed on by her eight-month-old son Ryder, Ms Hazelden is determined to keep going.”We love endurance sport and we’ve always loved doing crazy things,” the 36-year-old said.Every day for the past four weeks, Ms Hazelden has swum 1.9 kilometres, cycled 90 kilometres and run 21.1 kilometres.Her husband, John Mergler, is doing double that and their total by the end of 100 days will equal 33,900 kilometres. Photo:
Debi and John have had supporters join them on their daily runs. External Link:

Debi Hazelden
They set out at 5:30am in their campervan to Prince Alfred pool in Chippendale for the swimming portion, before going to Centennial Park to complete 24 cycling and six running loops.It takes them six hours to complete.When they have their son with them, the pair will alternate their running and cycling so that one of them can push the pram at the same time.”I’ve been injury free so far,” she told ABC Radio Sydney.”Running in the rain is nice, but on the bike in the rain is bad.”Supporting disaster reliefMs Hazelden has previously run 20 half ironman triathlons while Mr Mergler has done at least 60 ironman competitions.Two years ago she became the third woman in the world to match the height of Mount Everest by cycling Watsons Bay Hill in Sydney’s eastern suburbs 161 times in a single ride.It was at that challenge where Ms Hazelden met Mr Mergler, who had come to cheer her along. (Supplied: Iron Century)
The pair have since organised fundraisers for the Cancer Council, but Ms Hazelden chose the Red Cross this time having seen first-hand the disaster relief the charity provides.She was living in Christchurch when it was devastated by an earthquake in 2011.”They do amazing work for people in disasters.”They do such a great job; giving hot meals, shelter, all sorts of things you don’t think of but is so important.”The couple have so far raised $20,000 and hope to reach $100,000.Their last five days of the challenge will take place in Port Macquarie, with the final day competing in Ironman Australia.
(Supplied: Iron Century) ABC Radio Sydney


March 06, 2017 16:02:36

Debi Hazelden and John Mergler will cover almost 34,000 kilometres in their 100-day quest.

No social media, no problem for kids attending Victoria’s wilderness leadership schools

By Jessica Longbottom


March 05, 2017 14:58:00

Kids at the Marlo campus learn outdoor skills like canoeing. (ABC News: Jessica Longbottom)
Marlo 3888
(Supplied: Mel Wuethrich)
‘Everyone loves each other’The school was established in 2000 by former Liberal education Minster Phil Gude as a way to give public school students a “private school” experience.It was modelled on Geelong Grammar’s Timbertop, which was attended by Prince Charles.Students have to undergo a tough selection process within their own schools to be accepted.At any one time, there are students from four rural and four city schools, with many of the teenagers getting to know each other for the first time.They sleep, eat and learn together, rising at 6:30am and attending activities until 8:30pm.They only have one day off a week. There’s a demand and willingness on behalf of the government,” he said.The Department of Education said it was working with the school on the proposal and it would be subject to future budget considerations. Photo:
Students working together building a bridge at the Marlo campus. They’re fantastic.”The school’s overall principal Mark Reeves said a decision should be made on the two new campuses in the next two months.’We’re confident they’ll go ahead. Instead, the students participate in outdoor activities, classes on problem solving and leadership activities.”If building other campuses was driven by data alone, then we would have ten more campuses,” Marlo campus principal Robyn Francis said.”The outcomes for our students are excellent … our dream would be for every public school student to have access to one of our programs.” Approximately 540 year nine students are selected from public schools around the state every year to attend one of the campuses for approximately ten weeks.However that only works out to roughly 2 per cent of Victorian public school year nine students. (ABC News: Jessica Longbottom)
‘Watch them shine’The experience aims to give students the skills to become future leaders.”We find that the individuals who participate in our programs are more independent, more confident, more willing to get out there and have a go at things and not fall in a heap so they develop resilience while they’re here as well,” said Ms Francis.She said the school’s research showed that former Indigenous students were more likely to stay in secondary school and pursue university studies after attending.Students on the whole were also more likely to take up leadership roles within their communities, with past alumni starting up various projects including those to help the disabled and homeless.”We make the mistake with thinking adolescents believe ‘It’s all about me, it’s all about me,'” Ms Francis said.”But give them an opportunity to do something for someone else and watch them shine. Photo:
The year nine students stay at the school for 10 weeks. (ABC New: Jessica Longbottom)
Afghan migrant Abas Hassani, who arrived in Australia in 2013 and usually attends Dandenong High School, said he loved the experience.He was tying up logs for a bridge-building exercise with his classmates.”We have already met 45 kids in like a week but everyone’s like… best friends, everyone loves each other,” he said.Principal Robyn Francis said it was not unusual for students to be getting their first experience outside Melbourne at the school.”One of the past students had never been to the ocean before and we took him fishing in the estuary,” Ms Francis said.”He waded out in his tracksuit pants with his fishing rod, sat in the ocean and he just couldn’t believe how lucky he was.”Social media and mobile phones are not allowed.But that does not phase Max Dunston, 14, who was preparing for a canoe trip.”We have 44 other people we can speak to and talk to and find out about… I haven’t been missing [social media] at all,” he said.”I’ve been loving it so far.”

Students at this school learn tai chi rather than taking normal classes. A wilderness adventure experience for Victorian public school students has been so successful it looks set to be expanded, giving more teenagers the chance to learn outdoor and leadership skills.The Victorian Government is looking at establishing two new School for Student Leadership campuses in the Yarra Valley and the Grampians.They would be in addition to the three existing campuses: at Marlo in far east Gippsland, Mount Noorat in the western districts and Dinner Plain in the Victorian Alps.There are no regular classes at the schools.

New youth orchestra cultivates young western Sydney talent

(ABC Radio Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
“The idea is to try and break down some of those geographical borders while still providing high-quality music education,” Mr Pensini said.”It’s an honour to be involved, to start this project, and having grown up around here, there’s a double layer to be able to give back in some form what I received over my long period in youth orchestras.”Mr Pensini also conducts the SYO Symphonic Wind Orchestra and is the head of woodwind, brass and percussion at St Aloysius’ College in Milsons Point.The orchestra’s first concert will feature a strong repertoire, with the second movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1, Capriccio Espagnol by Rimsky-Korsakov, The Moldau by Smetana and the much-loved crowd favourite Rossini’s William Tell Overture.Cultivating young talentThe orchestra’s 30 musicians range from musical grades five to AMusA levels.For many, it has been their first experience of playing in an amateur orchestra outside of music lessons or a school ensemble. (ABC Radio Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
WSYO offered a number of scholarships for positions in the orchestra which Mr Pensini said allowed them to support and find young talent.”Sometimes the very best players aren’t in a financial position to join the organisation and pay for the tuition, the camps and the tours,” he said.”Some might be the only person in their school who plays an instrument to their high standard and they’re just begging to sink their teeth into something more meaty.”The Western Sydney Youth Orchestra will perform at the Parramatta Riverside Theatres on March 26. 7, fourth movement of Brahms’ Symphony No. Photo:
Blacktown student Keith Lizardo is playing with a youth orchestra for the first time. (ABC Radio Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
The orchestra rehearses every Monday evening, with musicians expected to perform with the discipline and musicality that is demanded in any orchestral ensemble.Sarah Wang is a 21-year-old flutist who is studying a Bachelor of Music at the University of NSW.She said the orchestra was slowly starting to come together following an intensive music camp that kickstarted rehearsals in February.”It was daunting at first because you didn’t know what to expect from a new orchestra, but it’s been really fun.”We’ve only been rehearsing for three, four weeks now but we’re creating something really special.”Sixteen-year-old Keith Lizardo decided to audition for WSYO this year because the rehearsal space was so much closer to his home in Blacktown than other orchestras.”It’s a lot more efficient than going to eastern Sydney and a lot less time consuming,” the violinist said.”I come from a school which has a musical band but doesn’t play to that [high] standard.”Playing in the Western Sydney Youth Orchestra with people my age and at a similar standard is an excellent opportunity for me.”

The Sydney Youth Orchestra encompasses 13 ensembles. Photo:
James Pensini is currently conducting the SYO that will tour Europe next year. When James Pensini was learning the trumpet and performing in youth orchestras, he would commute up to four hours daily from the Blue Mountains to rehearsals in the city.So when he was invited to lead the new Western Sydney Youth Orchestra in Parramatta, he welcomed the opportunity for young musicians to play much closer to home.The orchestra, which is made up of players from across western Sydney, the Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains, is in the middle of rehearsals for its inaugural concert on March 26.It joins the long standing Sydney Youth Orchestra family which has trained thousands of young musicians in the past 44 years.
ABC Radio Sydney


Amanda Hoh


March 02, 2017 11:35:03

Video: Watch the Western Sydney Youth Orchestra rehearse Capriccio Espagnol

(ABC News)
Sydney 2000
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Meet the sewing machine collector who cannot sew

ABC North West Qld


Harriet Tatham


Zara Margolis


March 01, 2017 11:58:43

After just four years of collecting, Jim Young has more than 120 sewing machines. (ABC North West Queensland: Harriet Tatham)

(ABC North West Queensland: Harriet Tatham) Photo:
Mr Young even collects vintage tools to restore the machines.
There’s American, there’s English, I’ve got a German one, I’ve got a French one.”My oldest one is about 155 years old; it’s an 1862 model.”Machines built to lastFor a collection Mr Young estimates is worth more than $200,000, he said he was uninterested in its dollar value.Rather, the retired business owner said the collection was motivated by making a statement about consumerism.”Those 100 years ago, they made them to last and they’ll probably last another 100 or 200 years or longer, whereas today’s modern machine would be flat out lasting 10 years,” he said.”It’s not a throwaway world that we came from, us older people.”Mr Young hoped his collection was something younger people could learn from.”I’d like to see a lot of young people coming in and having a look at these collections just to see how things were made in the olden days,” he said.”They would see how well they were made and how long they could last.” (ABC North West Queensland: Harriet Tatham)
Four years on, Mr Young’s machine collection has grown from 75 to 120 machines.While many of his purchases have been made online, he said it was contacts who helped him to locate valuable purchases.”Once you get into the sewing machine fraternity, you get contacts,” he said.”They’re from all over the world. Jim Young’s treasured collection of 120 treadle sewing machines are all in perfect working condition, but their owner would not have a clue how to use any one of them.”I don’t sew, so if anybody is going to trial them out, it will have to be my wife,” Mr Young laughed. (ABC North West Queensland: Harriet Tatham)
Sewing machine collecting ‘a fraternity’After his change of heart, Mr Young started to investigate where to buy vintage sewing machines.”I came in contact with this guy … and next time I went to Brisbane we went to his house,” he said.”From the front door to the back door and every space in between was full of these sewing machines — all very collectable ones.”He explained to me that his health was failing and he had to move into a nursing home, and that’s why he was selling them.”I bought half a dozen of them and on the way home I said, ‘I think I should buy the lot because it’s a ready-made collection — he has 75’.”So I rang him up, made a price, we came to an agreement, and I ended up buying his whole collection off him.”

Mr Young says he wants younger people to appreciate how well-made things used to be. External Link:

Meet Jim Young, the sewing machine collector who can't sew
He said being a sewing machine collector who could not sew has resulted in some raised eyebrows.”I get some very strange looks from some of my mates down at the pub, but I like the machinery side of it,” he said.”Every one is different and it’s just intriguing.”His specially-built tin shed in Mount Isa in north-west Queensland is rich in oak and intricate in iron detailing, housing Mr Young’s love affair with sewing machines which began when he was a young boy.”I got interested in it when I was a young fella because mum used to make all our clothes and I used to sit there and watch her make them on an old treadling machine,” he said.”I used to fix up the belt when it broke for her every now and again, [and] when she passed away a few years ago, she left me a little hand machine.”I gave that to a friend of ours who was an avid sewer and then I thought, ‘I’d love to start collecting machines myself’ and I did.”

Jim Young has specially made the shed to store his machines.

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Jim Young's sewing machine collection includes thread, bobbins, and tools — all the instruments used for sewing
Mount Isa 4825

(ABC North West Queensland: Harriet Tatham) Photo:
Mr Young also collects bobbins and vintage thread.

The collection also includes vintage thread. (ABC North West Queensland: Harriet Tatham)
Huge model train collection worth 'millions' donated to Ipswich museum

Nursing museum still ‘colonising’ uni spaces with little-known history

Darwin 0800
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(ABC Radio Darwin: Emilia Terzon) ABC Radio Darwin


Emilia Terzon


March 01, 2017 11:42:21

Janie Mason rummaging through the storage room for Darwin’s Nursing Museum.
Mary and Maude: Darwin's op-shop veterans
Old bones are among the many items in storage. Photo:
Photos donated to the museum showing old bush clinics in the Territory. Spread across mismatching cabinets, hidden down hallways, and occasionally obscured by errant furniture, the Darwin Nursing Museum is very much an example of history that just crept into the building.”We’ve never solicited a single artefact,” curator and retired nurse Janie Mason said. They just stay in their little corner.”

Occasionally the museum’s “pop up” displays get obscured by people who don’t know the exhibit is there. So a lot of wards and clinical hospitals and bush clinics had all this stuff to throw out.”At one stage we ended up with several boxes and crates of just syringes and needles.”Thirty years later the museum has amassed boxes of human bones, pamphlets about bush clinics in the APY lands, replica WWI uniforms with red capes, and numerous examples of “the infamous sputum mug” once used by patients to cough up phlegm and spit. (ABC Radio Darwin: Emilia Terzon)
“The local Darwin and Territory culture can surprise. It’s obvious this is a different part of Australia.”And we need to keep that story alive because it’s not the same story as Victorian nursing.”

Janie Mason outside an exhibit as part of Darwin’s Nursing Museum. Photo:
Janie holding a “dreaded sputum mug” that nurses had to clean every morning in years gone by. Photo:
The volunteers start every Thursday with “their first order of business”. There’s the unexpected. I think even today, people find working in what is a pretty typical modern hospital, they find a lot of surprises. She just comes up with these gems all the time,” Sue said.With Sue and Jenny currently focused on digitising the museum collection to Trove, today much of Janie’s focus is on figuring out what is historically valuable and can contribute to further academic research. (ABC Radio Darwin: Emilia Terzon) (ABC Radio Darwin: Emilia Terzon)
A woman of ferocious memory, Jacqui is “incapable” of using the computers central to the growing need for collection digitisation, however is irreplaceable for her knowledge of Territory nursing history.”She can just look at a photo and tell us who is in it. Photo:
A display at Darwin’s Nursing Museum at CDU. You did the births in the ward next to everybody else,” Jacqui remembered.”And we used to take the children, from the ones that could walk, to ones needed to be carried, down to Mindil Beach.”We’d take their tablets and some water. They’d play there, have fun in the sand, probably a bit of a swim, then bring them back to the hospital sopping wet yet much more contented.”

The museum’s storage room is heaving with different curious items. Well, he found the bedpans and I paid for them and put them in a cabinet,” she said.”Suddenly people were approaching us about donating stuff they had left over in the wards.”It was the era of the changeover from metal, glass and rubber medical equipment to plastic and throwaway stuff. (ABC Radio Darwin: Emilia Terzon)
But the collection’s real numbers is in its faded photographs and documents, many which recall almost forgotten days of mission clinics or kerosene vats that doubled as doona washers. (ABC Radio Darwin: Emilia Terzon)
For Janie, the reason to keep going is still the same motivation of preserving the Territory’s nursing history, with the collection recently deemed as valuable in a significance assessment due to this very reason.”I came here in 1964 to work as a bush nurse in Batchelor,” she said.”It was a unique and unexpected experience having come from southern training school like most of us did. (ABC Radio Darwin: Emilia Terzon)
“I asked a man in town for something to fill these empty shelves. (ABC Radio Darwin: Emilia Terzon)
It all started in 1987 with a set of antique bedpans.Janie was completing a fellowship at Charles Darwin University when she decided to fill an empty nook of her academic wing with something honouring her profession’s “unique” contribution to the Northern Territory. (ABC Radio Darwin: Emilia Terzon)
Gathered around a table in the tea room, Janie and her volunteers discuss the latest happenings and remember days 50 years ago when Darwin’s hospital wards segregated Indigenous and non-Indigenous patients.”It was called the native ward. We’d often have two babies in one cot. (ABC Radio Darwin: Emilia Terzon)
With no formal museum room at the university and “stuff” still constantly arriving after 30 years, the collection is today more of an assortment of cabinets throughout hallways with some objects like old baby weights or humidicribs simply leaning against walls or under windows.It is a process that Janie described as a slow “colonisation” of the university’s corridors.”Some people don’t even know this collection exists even though they’ve worked in this building for years. (ABC Radio Darwin: Emilia Terzon)
Sorting through this tide of documentation is made possible by a passionate team of stalwarts who come together every Thursday morning in a small office in Charles Darwin University’s school of nursing and medicine.All retired Top End nurses, core volunteers Jacqueline O’Brien, Jenny Hanley and Sue Green have been with the museum since the 1990s and have about a century of professional knowledge between them.Every Thursday starts with a cup of coffee and gossip.”It’s our first order of business,” Sue said. Photo:
Janie Mason in her office sorting through the archives. Photo:
Sorting through old photographs and documents takes up much of the volunteers’ time.