Digital Stories of the Mind and Body
Stories of the mind and body are a tribute to the resilience of the human mind and spirit in dealing with the challenges of the body.
The Australia Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) has developed its digital storytelling program in partnership with many health and community advocacy organisations to serve people with special needs or life issues.
Participants associated with these organisations have taken part in the ACMI digital storytelling workshop to tell their unique stories of courage and survival. These personal narratives have provided an opportunity for the participants to use their creativity and voice as a centrepiece for health promotion and social justice efforts.
Tennis in Pictures
Today, for many Australians, especially Melburnians, watching and attending the tennis, and supporting favourite players is a popular aspect of summer.
What was it like to be a top player in times past and how has every aspect of tennis - the travel, the venues, the people, the social context - changed over time?
Tennis Australia collects and preserves items of tennis heritage as a way of safekeeping the history of Australian tennis. Among its holdings are a large number of historical images. It also fosters relationships with champions of the past so that emerging players can learn from their experience.
In 2015, two of these champions - Thelma Coyne Long and Neale Fraser - shared their memories of significant images in the Tennis Australia collection.
The result is this story: Tennis In Pictures, in which two tennis greats reminisce and share in a very personal way their memories about fascinating moments in our sporting history.
Thelma Coyne Long recalls the overseas trip in 1938 with three other female team-mates, the long ship journey, the excitement and novelty of travel and the confining attitudes towards women and female athletes in 1930s Australia.
As he examines historic Davis Cup images, Neale Fraser is reminded of some of his greatest team and individual triumphs and fondest memories from a lifelong tennis career.
Football Stories from Country Victoria
Country Football. On one hand it's just a game. On the other, it's life or death...
Films in this collection are a record of living memory: how the game has changed; how it continues to evolve; and how football is inextricably linked with our communities.
These 21 films include stories of legendary games, long time campaigners, rivalries, reluctant mergers, and of things lost and lamented. Collected from all corners of Victoria.
Speed, Style, Spirit: The Rob Roy Hillclimb
"We have at last discovered a venue for a hillclimb par excellence. I cannot tell you about it in this issue but .... This I can promise you; that when the news is released, hillclimb enthusiasts will set to work on their cars with great zest".
The Car, October issue, 1935
In 1935, members of the Light Car Club of Australia inspected a property in Christmas Hills, some thirty kilometres north-east of Melbourne, known as Clinton's Pleasure Grounds, a picnicking venue which included the Rob Roy Shetland Pony Stud, a swimming hole, tennis courts, a cricket and football field, tea room and dance hall.
Their mission was to establish a Hillclimbing venue. Hillclimbing, a speed event in which drivers compete, one at a time, on an uphill course against the clock, is one of motorsport’s oldest events; the first was held at La Turbie near Nice, France, in 1897.
Opening on February 1, 1937, the Rob Roy Hillclimb was the first purpose-built Hillclimb in Australia. Cut out of the bush, it included an uphill half-mile, graded dirt road, a judges box and telephone boxes at the start and finish. In 1939, the track was sealed and became one of only three bitumen-surfaced purpose-built hillclimbs in the world, the other two being the Shelsley Walsh and Prescott courses in the UK.
The Rob Roy Hillclimb has a special place in Australia’s motoring history, with eight record holders going on to become Australian Grand Prix winners and one – Jack Brabham – a triple F1 World Champion. The roll call of other drivers who displayed their skills at the Rob Roy includes Harry Firth, Stan Jones, Lex Davison, Bill Patterson, Doug Whiteford, Peter Whitehead, Reg Hunt, Diana Davison Gaze, Tony Gaze and Len Lukey.
The Rob Roy Hillclimb was more than a racing event, it was a culture. Connected to Formula One racing, celebrities, champion drivers, patrons, collectors, and prestige and iconic cars, the Rob Roy had an aura of glamour, and club meets were social occasions, with drivers adhering to collar and tie dress codes and picnickers fashionably attired.
Nevertheless the cars were central. Over the years Bugattis, Jaguars, MGs, Falkenbergs, Oldses and Altas have competed with Australian makes such as Holdens, Fords and Elfins, from road cars to specialist cars. Many Australian cars started or developed their racing history at Rob Roy, including the Chamberlain, Maybach, BWA, Wyliecar, Klienig Special, the Walton JAP, and numerous other Australian Specials.
The Specials were modified and home-built cars. Hillclimbs make particular demands – lightweight cars with loads of torque are ideal – and so engines were upgraded, bodies stripped, cars were made up of the most suitable parts or whatever one had access to. The Specials were evidence of the culture of creativity and passion that surrounded the Hillclimb. Many cars, some pre-war, and modified constantly over time, have passed from driver to driver along with their history, to compete to this day.
In 1962, bushfires ravaged the Rob Roy, and it lay unused for another 30 years until the MG Car Club of Victoria secured a lease on the property and faithfully restored the track to host a bustling schedule of Hillclimb events. Since 1993, the Rob Roy Hillclimb culture – the drivers, the cars, the inventive mechanics and the enthralled daytrippers – thrives in the Christmas Hills.
Sources: Leon Sims, A history of Rob Roy Hillclimb - 1937 to 1961 - The Hill, The Drivers, The Cars. And, the MG Car Club of Victoria
Mallee Sporting Heroes
Phil Crump, motorcycle speedway legend; Rachael Sporn, Olympic basketballer; Chris Brown, football stalwart; Dot Jenkinson, legendary lawn-bowler; Deserie Wakefield-Baynes, Olympic clay-target shooter; and Ron Gregg, acclaimed cricketer: they all hail from the Mallee, in Victoria's far North-west.
These delightful films let us in on their lives, their sporting histories, and the places which shaped them.
On Your Bike!
The Ballarat community has had a long-standing fascination with bicycles and cycling since the arrival of the first velocipede in the 1860s.
The first bicycles in Ballarat were met with a mixture of bemusement, curiosity and criticism from locals. Since then, this two-wheeled vehicle has captured our hearts and become a fixture on Ballarat’s roads and tracks.
On Your Bike! is a celebration of Ballarat’s love of cycling. It is a journey into the development of Ballarat’s cycling movement which has been assisted by improved bicycle technology, local manufacturing industry and cycling clubs.
Australian Racing Families
A study of families involved in racing reveals that racing is very much in the blood. This photographic essay captures the spirit of this phenomenon and showcases the lives of four families with racing in their blood: Hoysted, Chirnside, Hutchinson, and Inglis.
The blood horse or thoroughbred is a horse especially bred and trained for racing whose ancestry can be traced back with out interruption to forebears recorded in the General Stud Book. Every thoroughbred in the world today traces its male line back to one of three foundation sires: Byerly Turk, Darley Arabian or Godolphin Arabian, who were bred in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. The bloodlines of the horse are the backbone of thoroughbred racing. Horses are always referred to in the context of their lineage, particularly their sires and dams, and family is all important.
Whilst the forebears of the humans involved with racing today may not be listed in a General Stud Book, and the line is sometimes more tenuous, their 'ancestry' is no less impressive and enduring. A study of families involved in racing reveals that racing is very much in the blood. Punter, trainer, owner, jockey, breeder or bookmaker - irrespective of profession or level of involvement, racing, in one form or another, can often be found flowing from generation to generation. Family histories are enriched with colourful tales of great uncles who trained the outside chance, cousins who almost rode the champ, and big wins and tall tales.
This is an edited version of an essay 'In the Blood', written by Annette Shiell and Narelle Symes. The full text of the essay is provided in the attached section of this story.
The full series of essays and images are available in The Australian Family: Images and Essays published by Scribe Publications, Melbourne 1998, edited by Anna Epstein. The book comprises specially commissioned and carefully researched essays with accompanying artworks and illustrations from each participating institution. It was part of the exhibition project ‘The Australian Family’ which involved 20 local museums and galleries.
Koorie Heritage Trust
Indigenous Stories about Sport
Less well known is the fact that the first Australian cricket team to tour Britain was an all-Aboriginal team in 1868.
Against the express wishes of the Board of Protection of Aborigines, the Aboriginal 11 was smuggled aboard a ship bound for Sydney and then Britain. Between May and October 1868 they played 47 matches in Britain - they won 14, lost 14 and drew 19, a creditable outcome. A non-Aboriginal Australian team did not tour Britain until ten years later.
CULTURAL WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander users are warned that this material may contain images and voices of deceased persons, and images of places that could cause sorrow.