KHS News

News and events of the Kununurra Historical Society - Archive, Gallery, Library, Museum and Research.
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Most Recent News Posts

A Grave in the Long Grass - Posted 29 April 2018

Jim Gooderson Collection - Posted 23 March 2018
50 Years of Kununurra Races - Posted 23 August 2017
Operation Ord Noah - Henry Hall Collection - Posted 15 May 2017
A Royal Like! - Posted 18 April 2017
War in the Kimberley - 75 Years Ago
- Posted 27 February 2017
KHS Bert Lee Collection now on Flickr - Posted 16 February 2017
Historic WA Country Number Plate Database - Posted 18 January 2017
KHS on Flickr - Our 2nd Millionth View - Posted 8 January 2017
State History Conference - Armadale WA - KHS Presented RWAHS State Merit Award - Posted 10 December 2016
Museums Are ******* Awesome - Museums Australia WA - State Conference - Posted 10 December 2016
Donald Howard's 'Wave Hill Spurs' - Posted 8 November 2016
30 Years of the Kununurra Historical Society - Posted 5 June 2016 (June 5th - Inauguration Day in 1986)
Wirraway-Challenge Display DV - Posted 6 November 2015
75 Years of Ord Irrigation - Download KMD's 1941 Paper - Posted 18 August 2015
Memories of Stuart Skoglund - Pearl Ogden Talk - Posted 25 June 2015
Repatriation of Kimberley History Sources & 2015 AGM - Posted 4 April 2015
OR View older (next page of :^) news posts from KHS News - (Page 2 - Page 3 or Page 4)

3,000,000 KHS Image Views

posted 9 Jul 2019, 08:43 by Kununurra Museum   [ updated 9 Jul 2019, 09:46 ]

Latest Online Collections - 3,000,000 Views (June 2019)

 The Kununurra Historical Society (KHS) collections on Flickr have now had more than 3,000,000 image views (passed in June 2019) - So half a million views since the 2.5 millionth view in March 2018 and the 2,000,000th view in December 2016, which equates to an average of more than 30,000 views each month or a thousand a day.  These images could have remained in the KHS archive and seen by very few, so by digitising and documenting these KHS collections KHS is making them accessible to all from anywhere around the world.

Screenshot of a graph showing KHS statistics - 3,000,000 Views of KHS images
A new collection that went
online in June 2019 - 1963 to 1969 (all now uploaded :^)  This new collection takes the total number of KHS archival images online to over 2,990 KHS archival images on Flickr.
Once this slideshow is playing - Use the 4 arrow gadget in lower right corner to show on this page as a "Full Screen" Slideshow as well there is a very useful feature that you can use to "Show Info" (or not) for a detailed information overlay on each image. All KHS images on Flickr are fully documented with detailed information available on all images.

<< Slideshow Not working? (blank box to left) Check Security 'Padlock' icon to 'Allow' use of 'Adobe Flash' (Allow or set to 'Ask'?) to make viewer here work or try different browser (No security risk in these slideshows guaranteed! :^).  If you have trouble viewing from here you can access this collection from KHS Archive Collections on Flickr - Calder Family 35mm Slide Collection.

 All of the KHS collections, including this latest collection are also discoverable on the National Library of Australia's wonderful Trove Search Engine as part of the "Trove - Australia in Pictures" 'Group' on Flickr (where we make photo collections accessible to all :^) Try searching Kununurra on Trove (Pictures) from (Pictures by Creator "Kununurra Museum" :^).

May 2018 Remembering Them Exhibition

posted 27 Apr 2018, 09:02 by Kununurra Museum   [ updated 27 Apr 2018, 19:57 ]

May 2018 - Kununurra Museum & Wyndham Museum - 'Remembering Them' Exhibitions

A Grave in the Long Grass - Neal Durack on Ivanhoe Station

(Opens at the Kununurra Museum during May then ongoing)
A Grave in the Long Grass - Neal Durack Event Graphic

  This year of 2018 marks the centenary of the end of World War I and these exhibitions were initially researched and devised locally then with thanks to further research by the Royal WA Historical Society, the panels were professionally designed with collaboration between each Society (Kununurra & Wyndham) and staff of the WA Museum and Museums & Galleries Australia WA. There is also a museum quality showcase for each of the Kununurra and Wyndham Museums.

  The Remembering Them project that has been in progress since 2014 (to 2018) to commemorate the 1914-1918 WWI centenary) has been generously funded by Lottery West and the WA Government. Thanks to the Army Museum (Fremantle) WA for temporary display objects of the 10th Light Horse (for Kununurra Museum), as well as the WA State Records Office for images of the 'cancelled public plans' and the State Library of Western Australia who supplied photographs (& plans) for use on the history exhibition panels.

Official openings on the weekend of May 5th & 6th 2018

For full details see the Kununurra Museum Events Page

Jim Gooderson Collection Online

posted 22 Mar 2018, 09:44 by Kununurra Museum   [ updated 24 Mar 2018, 21:06 ]

James Gooderson Collection - 1960-1962 PWD Ord Surveys and Survey of Tidal Power in the Kimberley 1963

A new collection placed online in March 2018 is from James Gooderson now of Mornington Island, who was working with a PWD Survey Crew for the Ord River Irrigation Area 1960-1962 and was on the PWD Tidal Power Survey along the Kimberley Coast in 1963. A great collection that is relevant to the current push for renewable energy in Australia.

1961 -  Old Kimberly Research Station - Carlton Reach - A prospective buyer yours truly - Jim Gooderson_KHS-2012-97-ap-a-P10-D
Pictured to right - 1961 -  Old Kimberley Research Station - Carlton Reach - A prospective buyer yours truly - Jim Gooderson_KHS-2012-97-ap-a-P10-D (Image link goes to the KHS James Gooderson Collection on Flickr)

View the Jim Gooderson Collection at Kununurra Museum on Flickr or view a separate Album from his collection...

1963 Tidal Power Survey of the Kimberley Coast

This is a classic piece of 1963 history that is relevant to today's use of renewable energy, showing part of the Kununurra Historical Society's Jim Gooderson collection, from when he was on a PWD survey crew that was making a survey of Tidal Power along the Kimberley Coast. A paper was published by Public Works Department Engineer, John Lewis, who was involved with the Ord River Diversion Dam construction. John has kindly given KHS permission to re-publish his paper, which we hope to have online shortly.

View Jim Gooderson's photographs of the 1963 Tidal Power Survey on the Kimberley Coast (Goes to the collection on Flickr).

1963 - Tidal Power survey -  Secure Bay - West Kimberley - Robby on Tidal Power survey_KHS-2012-97-cg-b-P10-D

1963 - Tidal Power survey -  Secure Bay - West Kimberley - Robby on Tidal Power survey_KHS-2012-97-cg-b-P10-D - James Gooderson Collection (Photo Link goes to KHS Flickr Album)

The Kununurra Historical Society collections on Flickr have had 500,000 image views in the past 15 months (since December 2016), which equates to an average of more than 33,000 views each month.  This now takes the total image views of our Flickr collections to more than 2,500,000. All of the KHS collections, including this latest collection are also discoverable on the National Library of Australia's wonderful Trove Search Engine. Try searching Kununurra on Trove (Pictures) from

1967 Kununurra Inaugural Races 50 Years Ago

posted 23 Aug 2017, 07:20 by Kununurra Museum   [ updated 22 Mar 2018, 10:01 ]

"K.A.R.C. Scrapbook" (1967-1976) Collection

 To commemorate 50 years of the Kununurra Amateur Race Club, in August 2017 a new collection has been placed online, the "K.A.R.C. Scrapbook" (1967-1976), which is part of a larger collection donated to KHS by Ross Barrett in 2002. This collection was uploaded in stages from 1976 back to the final inaugural year, 1967 which now completes this online collection. You can view all from here as a slide-show. Use the '4 cornered' gadget at bottom right to go full screen and from there you can use 'Show Info' to toggle information for each image. It has been found that the Slideshow does not work with Firefox but will with Internet Explorer, so if you see a blank space below, try viewing with Internet Explorer. Enjoy! Read on below for more Kununurra Museum News.

 It has been a very busy few months, with numbers of past residents returning, and other interesting people enjoying their time at the Museum, where time is spent finding information for former residents and getting down their family information and contact details, often resulting in new collections, as well as enjoying the extensive histories, artefacts, displays of objects and the multi-screen date-sorted slideshows at the Kununurra Museum. 

Wirraway (A20-62) Tail Found

 In June an amazing new addition to collections was brought into the Kununurra Museum after the discovery last year by a grader operator while he was out grading a fenceline on part of Carlton Hill Station (formerly Ningbing Station), when in bush adjacent to the fence-line he came across the remains of the tail-plane from ('our') CAC 12 Squadron Wirraway A20-62.
Remains of tail-plane from WWII RAAF 12 Squadron CAC Wirraway A20-62 as found in the bush at Ningbing station, East Kimberley (about 20km from the WA-NT border) in 2016

A photograph taken of the remains of tail-plane from WWII RAAF 12 Squadron CAC Wirraway A20-62 as found in the bush at Ningbing station, East Kimberley (about 20km from the WA-NT border) in 2016. KHS Archive No. KHS-2017-59-a-P-BD

Wonder if anyone out there might recall other details about the Wirraway tail-plane or other remains, which would be most welcome.
It would appear that the remains of the tail-plane must have been removed from the site of the March 20th 1942 forced landing on coastal saltmarsh just five kilometres inside WA from the WA-NT border, at least as far back as the 1980s, as it is not in photographs of the site in the mid to late 1980s. Undoubtedly the salvage by persons unknown, back some time between 1942 and the 1980s, then subsequent abandonment in the bush has saved the tail-plane remnants from the ravages of the coastal saltmarsh.

Embedded below is the 8 Part DV about Wirraway A20-62 for those interested to know more.
[Unfortunately no resize so you will need to view on YouTube to go full screen]

Wirraway-Challenge 8 Parts

New One Day Record - 66,145 Photo Views

 A post to social media (fb) on June 16th on an interview with Vanessa Mills of ABC Kimberley, about Operation Ord Noah and the Henry Hall collection, had a link to the web page that ABC made using some of the Operation Ord Noah photographs which linked back to the collections (, was automatically shared to other social media. Several retweets and shares later gave us our largest ever one day tally for KHS collection photo views on the Flickr platform, with 66,145 views which took us over 2.25 million views and tripled the previous one day total, set the month before on May 15th 2017 with 21,099 image view, a boost after the same Ord Noah Henry Hall collection was first placed online.  We normally average around 1000 views per day of KHS photographs on Flickr, so this is many times more than normal. 

Shows view numbers as a graph for the month with average 1000 per day then one day rocketing to 66,145 views of KHS photos on Flickr

 The great thing is that this collection came about by actively collecting, triggered after Bert Lee visited the Kununurra Museum in 2013 (Operation Ord Noah - Bert Lee collection KHS online).  By then making contact with Henry Hall, who Bert talked of as the leader of Ord Noah, Henry posted up his album with good documentation, which was digitised and documented as a new collection. It was a great pleasure meeting Henry and his family when returning the album on a visit to Perth.  A collection of local, State and National significance to the history of the National Development of the Ord River Irrigation Project, which is now accessible to all, from anywhere in the world! (as proved by the link at end of this KHS News post :^)
...and here’s the link to the audio of the Ord Noah ABC Kimberley interview (edited - not full interview)

 The Ord Noah publicity led a journalist writing it up for the Daily Mail UK and posting the following article online, which makes use (with permissions) of quite a number of the photographs. 

New Ord Noah Collection

posted 14 May 2017, 15:15 by Kununurra Museum   [ updated 16 Aug 2017, 12:04 ]

 A great new collection of 193 photographs have been derived from the album made by Henry Hall, who was in charge of Operation Ord Noah during the 1971-72 wet season, which saw Lake Argyle fill for the first time. Henry was part of the wildlife group Western Australian Wildlife Association (WAWA so when you see WAWA on boats in this collection that is nothing to do with the Water Corporation's former title post PWD, Water Authority of Western Australia - WAWA).
 Clicking album page below will take you to the Album collection, once there click on an image then scroll down for further information or view ALL as a slideshow (only available from main album page - near top right of page). 
Page from the Ord Noah Henry Hall Album has 2 x photographs - Above is Bob Dear, Malcolm Douglas&lt; David Oldmeadow and Neville Beeck unscrew &quot;Pumpkins Plaque&quot;. - Photograph below shows Harry Butler handling a King Brown snake in flood waters beside an aluminium dinghy.
 This adds to our collections online, with more than 2,400 photographs available in our collections on Flickr, which now, have had over 2,100,000 views (since 2011), so what otherwise would have been seen by nobody, languishing in the archive, have been made "ACCESSIBLE to ALL!" and are being made more and more "DISCOVERABLE" through social media avenues. On behalf of the Kununurra Historical Society, we hope you enjoy.

A Royal LIKE of Kununurra Museum on fb

posted 17 Apr 2017, 08:43 by Kununurra Museum   [ updated 17 Apr 2017, 17:04 ]

 On Saint Patrick's Day - March 17th 2017, which was the day of the 1963 Royal Tour to Kununurra, I decided to post on the Royal Family's Facebook Page, which got a Royal response from a possible future Queen. [I was impressed! Thank you Kate (and family! :^) from the KHS.]

A montage of fifteen or so photographs of the 1963 Royal Tour to Kununurra in a montage with 2017 Facebook Like by HRH the Duchess of Cambridge and family of the Kununurra Historical Society Post to the Royal Family&#39;s Facebook page on March 17th 2017. 

News! The Great Kevin Richards 16mm colour film of the 1963 Royal Tour to Kununurra

A great piece of #KimberleyHistory
This pristine looking 16mm colour film was made by cinematographer (& WA Ag. Dept. Entomologist), Kevin Richards and was added to YouTube in April 2017 (after the Royal Like - Will have to post this one to the Royal Family's fb page! :^)
Our friends at the Northern Territory Police Museum & Historical Society (NTPMHS), who first suggested using Google Sites, the base from which I have tweaked and hacked more functionality out of, for this Google Hosted (Apps for non-profits) website, ever since we started in late 2010. Thanks John! - I found on the NTPMHS cool YouTube Channel, that they had footage of the Royal Yacht Brittania arriving in Port Darwin in March 1963 as well as the Royal Party arriving at the RAAF 'drome Darwin. An 8mm home film from the NTPMHS Mannion Collection.
(Courtesy of the NTPMHS YouTube Channel, embedded here to view now! :^) Hope you enjoy this great bit of #PortDarwinHistory

War in the Kimberley-75 Years in 2017

posted 27 Feb 2017, 07:28 by Kununurra Museum   [ updated 28 Feb 2017, 05:34 ]

Wirraway-Challenge Week - March 20-26 2017 - 75 Years

Some Kununurra Museum News of new research web pages and information on coming events to commemorate 75 years!

'Wirraway-Challenge' Display at the Kununurra Museum with photograph of RAAF 12 Squadron, Pilot Sergeant Lew Dwyer - "We had no 'Mae West' (Life Vest), No Dinghy, and we were going half way to Timor on anti-sub'[-marine] patrols!" with another photograph of RAAF Pilot Sergeant Warwick Carmody standing on the wing of force-landed RAAF CAC Wirraway A20-62 (notice the mud from the wet saltmarsh). On the right hand side of that photograph has been superimposed a colour photograph taken at the site showing the cockpit canopy on the dry saltmarsh as it was in 2014 before salvage. Montage AB for KHS.

 At this time 75 Years ago, war came to Australia, starting when the Japanese attacked Darwin on February 19th 1942. After this day many attacks were to be made on the Top End, the Kimberley and Queensland, especially devastating in the Kimberley during March 1942.

Kununurra Museum on Social Networking

[ f]
KHS has been active in the lead up, posting day by day snippets to our social media and sharing these posts. 
Have a look at the Kununurra Museum Facebook page from...
 As well in the past few weeks Kununurra Museum now has a Twitter presence now linked to the Facebook page, so that posts are shared between the two. Kununurra Museum on Twitter from...
 This has been useful, by following Archives and Museums from all over the world on Twitter, feeds come in about new collections, like the Bio-Diversity Heritage Library, who have digitised thousands of documents, all freely available to download in eBook formats, PDFs or as images. 

John Gould (1804-1881) - The Birds of Australia (1848) - FREE!

 Things like all of John Gould's original 1848 'The Birds of Australia' - All seven volumes have been digitised and are freely available [All DL'd for KHS digital archive to extract all Kimberley birds for the Museum Slideshows!] - See    

New KHS Website Pages

The main reason of this post is to draw attention to some new pages added to the website in recent weeks.

The Miles of Wyndham

 This is about an oral history made with Maggie Lilly in 1986 by Ursula Brimble, who inaugurated the meeting to form the Kununurra Historical Society in that year. This is one of our earliest archives that is shared with Battye Library, who digitised this in recent years. The page has an extract to listen to about 'the Miles of Wyndham - 3 Mile - 4 Mile - Six Mile - Seven Mile - Nine Mile - 12 Mile & 20 Mile - What a classic!  As well as a synopsis of what Maggie discusses, near the end are links to each of the digital audio files at the State Library of WA. Have a read and a listen to the wonderful tale from Maggie Lilly about 'the Miles from Wyndham'. [Goes to the new page on this site] or an extract and new photograph added today (Feb 28th 2017) of extending the Wyndham Aerodrome circa 1930, as follows.

1930-ca - Extending the Wyndham Aerodrome

8m 24s - Marriage and Children - Edwin James [Liljengvist] known as, 'Sam Lilly' was born at Derby [CHECK year?]
Sam Lilly - Went to Wyndham in 1924
        Sam helped build the airstrip in Wyndham.
[KHS Note]
A photograph found at the State Library of New South Wales (online).
1930-ca Extending aerodrome Wyndham - ex SLNSW bcp_05819h
1930-ca - Extending the aerodrome at Wyndham - DLd for KHS ex SLNSW bcp_05819h
1930-ca - Extending the aerodrome at Wyndham - DL'd for KHS from the State Library of New South Wales (SLNSW) bcp_05819h
The State Library of NSW has some great digital archives, I found out talking to staff there a few years ago, that they had a very progressive and dynamic directive, thanks to an attitude of, no hesitatation just digitise it and ask questions later! This image for example is freely available as follows.
Title Extending aerodrome - Wyndham, WA
Call Number At Work and Play - 05819
Digital Order No. bcp_05819
This image may be used freely without requesting permission. Please acknowledge that the image is from the collections of the State Library of NSW. (OK - Thanks SLNSW! :^)

The Wyulda - Scaly Tailed Possum & Violet Valley

 Here some old information in the form of a 1922 news article about the 'Wyulda' found circa 1919 by Mr Rademy (pictured below), who at that time was at Violet Valley, as well as some more recent information as the Wyulda was recently discovered in other Kimberley locations for the first time. Read more about The Wyulda with photographs of Violet Valley thanks to SLWA

[Image links to the Wyulda Page]

1920 ca Ambrose and Nance Durack Young Ambrosine Rademy and his Wife at Argyle Downs -Crop - KHS-2011-11-PD-20 1920 ca Ambrose and Nance Durack Young Ambrosine Durack, with Mr Rademy and his wife, Elizabeth (nee Webster) at Argyle Downs - Elizabeth Durack personal photographic collection courtesy of the Clancy and Durack families. KHS Archive Number KHS-2011-11-PD-20.

History of Thompson's Spring

A History of Thompson's Spring - Named in 1886 by Tom Kilfoyle is presented on this page - September 1886 - Charly found a spring I called it Tomsons spring." Also has some history about the masonry dam added at a much later date!

Wirraway-Challenge Week (March 20th to 26th) - Kununurra Museum

 It is 75 Years on March 20th 2017, since RAAF 12 Squadron Pilot Sergeants, Lew Dwyer and Warwick Carmody, had engine failure over the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf, while on a mission to Drysdale River Mission, fling their first leg between Batchelor and Wyndham. They had to turn south and 'head for Australia' in Lew's words. They only just made it to the widest part of the Ningbing saltmarsh, with a textbook wheels-up landing, as it was too wet to land on the coastal saltmarsh, just 5 km inside Western Australia, adjacent to the WA-NT border (Longitude 129 degrees East of Greenwich). Read more and see 8 x Parts from a DVD about the forced landing of CAC Wirraway A20-62, for a story of Survival & Rescue by Aboriginal stockmen from Carlton Hill station, organised by pedal radio from Wyndham. Go to the Kununurra Museum's - Wirraway-Challenge Display - Page (Wirraway means Challenge! :^) All of the YouTube digital videos (DVs) are embedded lower down on that page or go straight to the...
Kununurra Museum's YouTube Channel  [Opens in a new tab]

1971-72 - KHS - Bert Lee Operation Ord Noah Collection

[Image below opens the collection in a new tab or window]
  1971-72 - Operation Ord Noah - L-R Graeme Bell - Chopper Pilot - Henry Hall - KHS-2013-31-b-P-BD-14
1971-72 - Operation Ord Noah - L-R Graeme Bell - Chopper Pilot - Henry Hall - KHS-2013-31-b-P-BD-14

 This great collection was placed online in the past month and shows some interesting wildlife rescue scenes when the Main Ord River ("Top") Dam first started holding water and Lake Argyle filled for the first time. Bert visited the Kununurra Museum some years ago and his visit led to this collection and thanks to meeting Bert and his late wife Belle, this led to KHS contacting the leader of Operation Ord Noah, Neville Hall, a wonderfully alert Nonogenarian (94 IIRC) in 2014 when I contacted him. Neville also sent his collection which was digitised and documented, then had the pleasure of visiting and meeting Neville and his family in 2015 at his home in Perth, where, in ensuing years after Ord Noah, he had a great deal to do pioneering the Sea Rescue group at Hillarys. The Neville Hall Ord Noah Collection is much more extensive than the Bert Lee collection and will be going online soon. I contacted Bert Lee, who has moved to Townsville (from Safety Bay) to be near his daughter. As Neville Hall has since passed away, his son Ian and Bert may be the last left of the Ord Noah crew - Others now passed away - Harry Butler, Malcolm Douglas, Neville Beeck were part of Ord Noah in 1971-72. 
See the KHS - Bert Lee - Operation Ord Noah Collection (on Flickr) [Opens in a new tab]

Bert Lee 1971-72 Operation Ord Noah

posted 15 Feb 2017, 12:07 by Kununurra Museum

KHS - Bert Lee Operation Ord Noah Collection is now online!

Embed gadget

After distressing scenes when the Aswan Dam in Egypt first filled the WA Government did not want a repeat here, so the WA Wildlife Authority (another NLA) got involved to rescue and relocate animals caught by the Ord in flood filling Lake Argyle for the first time. Thanks Bert (in Townsville)!

Bert Lee - 'Operation Ord Noah' Collection
[As embedded Slideshow here on this page >>> ] - Use the '4 cornered' gadget in lower right hand side to go full screen - Once there use controls at top right to show full documentation for all of our  archival photographs on Flickr!  This collection, placed online last night has been included in the Trove Australia Group on Flickr, so are now also accessible to all via a NLA Trove search!


WA Historic Number Plates Database

posted 25 Jan 2017, 08:51 by Kununurra Museum   [ updated 25 Jan 2017, 10:34 ]

Great New Searchable Database

To search for eg. WY (Wyndham) or any WA country town number plates the Carnamah Historical Society now provide this outstanding tool for WA history researchers - Thank You! See the post here from the KHS Kununurra Museum - FaceBook page...

Historic WA Country Number Plates


2 Million Views on Flickr

posted 7 Jan 2017, 22:50 by Kununurra Museum   [ updated 25 Jan 2017, 10:59 ]

KHS on Flickr Our 2nd Millionth View

 In December we had our 2nd Millionth view of our archival photographic collections on Flickr!  KHS has over 2,000 images online which can be viewed in various ways. Our first Million came in August 2014 which took 3 years and six months from when we started on Flickr in 2011. Our 2nd million views took 2 years and four months from August 2014 (1st Million).

 If these photographs had not been digitised and placed online, they would have still been in the archive and virtually nobody would have seen them. KHS - Making archives accessible to show the significance of this Kimberley History to anyone, anywhere in the world! Enjoy!

Montage KHS images on Flickr had 2,000,000 Views in Dec. 2016
The best way to view KHS collections on Flickr from...
KHS Subject Themes - 100 albums (Linked to Image Above - Click Image)

or view as individual Albums from here...
KHS Albums on Flickr - Page 1 - Decades then A-F 

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