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)

KHS now has an Events Page

posted 25 Feb 2012, 13:56 by Kununurra Museum   [ updated 25 Mar 2012, 20:21 ]

View up-coming events that are happening from a new page hilighting KHS Museum events in 2012.

2012 Events

Go to the KHS Events Page to see what's happening in more detail.

70th Anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin

posted 17 Feb 2012, 20:41 by Kununurra Museum   [ updated 25 Mar 2012, 20:46 ]

Today, February 19th 2012 it was 70 years since Australia was attacked by the Japanese. The Northern Territory Police Museum Historical Society (NTPMHS) have put together an interesting video which describes the bombings, with personal accounts by police officers of the day.

NTPMHS YouTube Video

To view the video in full screen mode click the "four cornered gadget" in the lower right hand corner of the view screen. The quality can also be changed. At the end of the this various other videos will be available from other institutions/people which also show early days in Darwin and the NT. View the video from

Thanks to John Pini of NTPMHS for sending this on.

You can visit the NTPMHS website from...
NT Police Museum & Historical Society

All KHS Library Accessions are now OnLine!

posted 4 Feb 2012, 01:15 by Kununurra Museum   [ updated 5 Feb 2012, 03:00 ]

Thanks to great work undertaken in 2010 by KHS volunteer Senja and other dedicated volunteers, all KHS Library Accession listings are now available to search on this site. Type in your name and see if your book or? is here?

Much other work has recently been completed on the site. Along with the new Library Accession pages is a new page on the Carlton Reach Pump Engine, first in use by Kim and Bill Durack at Carlton Reach in the dry season of 1942 (70 Years ago in 2012).

As well these pages have had major overhauls and are now easier to navigate using a page contents link; 1921 WA/NT Border Determinations - Intro ; 1921 WA/NT Border Determinations (Main Page) ; Naming Kununurra ; Info for Non Profits ;

Much work goes into this project to make this KHS information "Accessible to ALL!" - We hope you enjoy it and can help support the presentation of more work like this, that KHS would like to see made more accessible. You may be able to help as a volunteer or you would also be supporting the work of the society and receive regular updates if you Join KHS Now!

KHS now has eMail domain - Set Up!

posted 4 Feb 2012, 00:50 by Kununurra Museum

Have finally managed to set this up on the same day as the web site's 1st birthday (31st January 2012 - see post on News Page) through the FREE (for reador Non-Profits) Google Apps - Let KHS know if you need help. Read more at our page on Information for Non Profits (Here on this site! :). While on that subject, and on the same day KHS also registered our FREE (for Non Profis - See Google Grants at the link above), newly DL'd version of "Google Earth PRO," which looks to be far more useful than the standard version. Already new discoveries have been made using this, during new research into the history of naming the Kimberley Region.

You can now email for all enquiries.

KHS Website is 1 year old!

posted 1 Feb 2012, 06:41 by Kununurra Museum   [ updated 1 Feb 2012, 08:08 ]

The KHS web started on January 31st 2011. - - Making Archive Accessible to ALL!

The KHS Flickr site is just a little older by a month or two, and on January 11th 2012, reached over 100,000 image views. Today when this was posted the total had reached ~108,000.

(Go to the post to leave a comment :-)

Making History!

Accessible to ALL! Wherever you may be - Welcome!

Carlton Reach Pump Engine

posted 20 Jan 2012, 12:35 by Kununurra Museum   [ updated 22 Jan 2012, 01:48 ]

The 1st Industrial Pump Engine on the Ord

Kununurra Historical Society Inc. - Archive & Museum (In Text) A 2010 view looking up-river from the high east bank over the Ord River with a majectic boab to the right. There is a rusted looking industrial pump engine on a concrete pad surrounded by grass. The pump engine, is a Petter's "Atomic" Diesel Engine  used at Carlton Reach by Kimberley Michael Durack in 1941 for the first) Added a new page about the pump engine used at Carlton Reach, Ord River Experimental Station, by Kimberley Michael Durack and his brother William Aiden Durack. It was in use from installation late in 1941 through to 1946, when the station was moved, lock, stock and barrell, to the new blacksoil site at Dillon's Bottle Tree, to become the Kimberley Research Station.

Have a read at the...

Carlton Reach Pump Engine page.

There are plans to have this pump engine placed near the entrance gate of the Kununurra Museum, to make this more accessible to all, and to help show the local, State, and National significance of tropical agriculture to the history of the region.

Happy New Year 2012

posted 30 Dec 2011, 23:38 by Kununurra Museum   [ updated 31 Dec 2011, 01:04 ]

On the eve of the New Year 2012 - Take a look back...
For an interesting view of what was happening in 1962 - 50 Years ago in the fledgling town of Kununurra.

Try this interesting method of extracting images from Flickr via FlickrRiver
[As you scroll down further more and more images appear. - Click on images for details.]

This includes images from other Flickr members as well as KHS - Some great photographs here from the busy year of 1962.

Also see the KHS Decades "1960s" Set for other relevant KHS archival images.

Christmas in Kununurra 50 Years Ago

posted 24 Dec 2011, 18:08 by Kununurra Museum

Merry Christmas to all KHS supporters and friends and may you have a happy and prosperous 2012. Please enjoy viewing some photographs of Christmas in Kununurra 50 years ago.

KHS Christmas Set on Flickr.

WAC (Bill) Wright (KHS Hon. Life Member) 35mm Originals

posted 9 Aug 2011, 08:18 by Kununurra Museum   [ updated 9 Aug 2011, 09:10 ]

 William Arthur Champness Wright, better known as Bill Wright was the MRD Engineer charged with raising the level of Ivanhoe Crossing during the dry seasons of 1952 and 1953. This was a major upgrade to the crossing, which raised the level about a metre from the earlier concrete work and is much as we see Ivanhoe Crossing  today.

 Bill later spent much of the later 1950's in Katherine as DMR Engineer during the construction of the new Katherine - Wyndham road (by-passing Jasper Gorge) and other roads in the NT. Bill also worked in the Snowy Mountains region.

 Bill spent many days at the KHS Museum in July 2011, when we recorded 3 hours of his Oral History. At age 89 his memories of events and people are remarkable. Bill also left this part of his collection of original 35 mm slides to be digitised by KHS. A few of the images are duplicated in earlier KHS collections, which would have been slides copied from these originals. These may contain new information and dates, which are included in descriptions. There are also many new photographs that were not in the KHS collection from a photograph of Ivanhoe Homestead area not long after the fire that destroyed the homestead to a model of Top Dam.

At the August 2011 KHS Meeting W. A. C. (Bill) Wright was made an Honorary Life Member of the Kununurra Historical Society Inc. for his contributions to the KHS archive over many years and his contributions to the history of northern development.

Thanks Bill!

1966-ca - Model of Ord River Main Dam - PWD hydraulics lab Perth - KHS-2011-46-cw-PD

1966-ca - "Public Works Department hydraulics lab Perth W.A. Model of Lake Argyle passing equivalent of 400,000 cusecs." [cubic feet of water per second]

[This was the first design with spillway next to dam that was not used - Original captions in quotation marks]

William Arthur Champness (Bill) Wright - 35mm Slide Collection

KHS Digital Archive Number: KHS-2011-46-cw-PD

Digitised and documented by KHS Volunteers.

See the collection from Bill Wright 35mm Originals - 52 photos

[The 35mm slide collection is gradually being uploaded year by year in reverse order, to get correct date information into the images and so the latest, 1967 was uploaded first and so on back to 1954, which is now online, with still 1953 and 1952 to go. So visit the KHS PhotoStream ( for the latest uploads.]

Complete Kevin Richards Collection

posted 31 Jul 2011, 04:10 by Kununurra Museum   [ updated 31 Jul 2011, 05:17 ]

The final series of photographs from 1959 were added yesterday, with 1960, 1961 and 1962 being added in days since the last news post. Some great new images making a total of 605 photographs in this collection (Mostly Kodachrome 35mm slides) now make around 2000 KHS archive images online that have been digitised and documented to be made accessible to all!

Kevin's earlier uploaded Print Collection and the 35mm Collection are available from the new...

Kevin Richards Collections

Or view in various other ways from the...

There are many ways to view the images and all (Within two weeks), will be available on the National Library of Australia's Trove search from this example Trove Search link...

(At the date of this post there were 40 or so images from Kevin Richards Print Collection that are already visible from the Trove link above but if you try this same link in about two weeks it will show over 600 results!)

Some other hilights from the collection can be seen from the selection of a few of the 60 Sets (In "Subject Themes" above) - See Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, photographed at Kununurra by Kevin, in March 1963 OR (Below) see Prime Minister Robert Menzies opening the Diversion Dam and viewing crops, five months later on July 20th 1963.

1963-03-17 Royal Tour Queen with WA Premier David Brand at Kununurra Airstrip - KHS-2011-31-120-2.45-P2-D

Royal Tour 1963

 16 photos

March 17th 1963 - "Queen arrives at Kununurra airstrip in private plane"

[Next to the Queen is WA Premier David Brand with Price Phillip and Mrs Brand behind. The RAAF fire tenders in the background and the Queen's car were flown in for the occasion on an RAAF transport plane.]

A recent archive sent by Melbourne visitor, David Rees, after seeing the "A20-62 Wirraway - Challenge Display at the KHS Museum earlier in July 2011, is an original 1986 publication commemorating 50 years of the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) Factory at Fisherman's Bend in Melbourne. David worked at the CAC Wirraway factory, where the Wirraways were assembled and tested.

On page 22 of the Booklet (32 pages - original) 1986 CAC 50th Anniversary [Hawker de Havilland Victoria Ltd.] - A picture of one of these RAAF fire tenders that were made at the CAC factory for the RAAF. Two of these were flown up for the 1963 Royal Tour.

KHS - Kevin Richards (KRS Entomologist) Family Collection

4. Royal Tour - Richards Categories

KHS Digital Archive Number: KHS-2011-31-120-2.45-P2-D

Digitised and documented by KHS Volunteers with the assistance of a grant from the Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley

1963-07-20 - Day PM Menzies Opens Diversion Dam - July 20th 1963 - KHS-2011-31-391-2.75-P2-D

Diversion Dam Opening Ceremony

 24 photos

1963-07-20 - The Day Prime Minister Robert Menzies Opened the Ord River Diversion Dam - July 20th 1963

[Prime Minister Menzies addresses the crowd at the Opening Ceremony for the Diversion Dam]

KHS - Kevin Richards (KRS Entomologist) Family Collection

13. Diversion Dam Opening Ceremony 1963 - Richards Categories

KHS Digital Archive Number: KHS-2011-31-391-2.75-P2-D

Digitised and documented by KHS Volunteers, with a grant from the Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley.

Richards Family & House

Richards Family & House





Dillon's Bottle Tree (KRS Boab)

Dillon's Bottle Tree (KRS)

Diversion Dam Construction

Diversion Dam Construction

Flowers & Trees

Flowers & Trees

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