Gunning News | Pretty pendants, and preserving oral history

Creative Wire Wrapped

Usually the works on display at ‘Creative Gunning’ in the foyer of the old Picture Theatre in Gunning are inside with visitors browsing. But Christmas Eve was different with ‘Creating Gunning’ member Ian Middler showing his craft out in front of the shop as both a demonstration and showcase.

Ian Middler demonstrates his craft outside "Creative Gunning".

Ian Middler demonstrates his craft outside "Creative Gunning".

Ian creates his wire-wrapped pendants using stones and other elements sourced from fossicking during the northern Australian winter in Queensland and the Northern Territory. He then returns to Gunning to make the pendants as his contribution to the many varied crafts available from ‘Creative Gunning’. His works are unique and reasonably priced, which is a common theme of most the items available in the shop.

Lucky visitors may find Ian doing this of a weekend or other days on occasion, with Boxing Day being one of those.

I can appreciate his decision to fossick in northern Australian during winter and return to the Southern Tablelands during the warmer months as I would do the same to get the best of both worlds. Having the four seasons is great but not every hour of every day perhaps.

An Interesting Slant on Personal Oral Histories

A Gunning resident alerted me to a series of programs as part of the “Life Matters” segment on Radio National, which had an episode that aired on Monday, December 18 entitled “Oral histories illuminate Australian lives”.

The episode contained material from a recently published book titled ‘Australian Lives: An Intimate History’ by Alistair Thomson and  Anisa Puri published by Monash University Press. The book which draws on material collected as part of the interviews recorded for the Australian Generations Oral History project, a collaboration between historians at Monash and LaTrobe Universities, ABC RN and the National Library of Australia.

By capturing elements of the normal lives of Australian’s across a wide profile of age groups, socio-economic backgrounds and life experiences, it has created a deep well of material for research and understanding of how Australians have lived their lives and the impressions of it.

What is perhaps the most unique outcome of the project, and forming a companion to the printed book, is that the original recordings can be listened too through an e-book interface into the National Libraries oral history archive. So, you can see the transcribed text but also hear the voices of the interviewees so that the richness of their emotion and intonation is preserved along with their words.

To listen to the episode from Radio National, go to While the contents may not be Gunning specific, it provides a window on what may be possible as a mechanism to record past and present Gunning residents’ memories and perspectives on events that formed part of the daily lives and perhaps wider when in the district.


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