Tag : audio-files

New version of ABC Local

In February 2010 we launched the most recent iteration of ABC Local, by my calculation the fifth I’ve been involved in.

This time the project took 14 months but when you consider there are 54 sites and hundred of thousands of pages, along with significant photo, audio and video media files this is not as long as you might think.


History of “The Backyard”

History of the Backyard

backyard poster

Poster from launch of Backyard in 1999

The Backyard story is one of people, place and communication.

It began in the mid to late 90s when Local Radio staff started dabbling with emerging technology. At that time it was a cottage industry and most of the dabblers learnt web production in their own time and in their own way.

Straw Bale House

In the late 1990’s I stopped off in Maleny, Queensland where I interviewed architect Ahtee Chia about the straw bale house he had built.


Talent: Ahtee Chia, architect and builder

( To air: Weekends, 6 March 1998, Duration: 04:56 )

Robert Jordan, author

In 1993 I interviewed, Robert Jordan, a fantasy author from the United states.

Probably best known for his mammoth series “The Wheel of Time“, he also wrote a number of the “Conan the Barbarian” books, and is less well know for a period romance trilogy “Fallon


[audio:http://www.raeallen.net/audio/robert-jordan.mp3 | titles=His background and his books | artists=Robert Jordan]



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Charles Perkins, activist

It would be difficult to work in the Northern Territory in the last half of the 20th century, and not have come across Charles Perkins.

Born in Alice Springs in the late 1930s, Charles Perkins career reads like a template for indigenous activism, from the Freedom Rides of the 1960s to his work with the Department of Aboriginal Affairs in the 1970s and his role as Commissioner and Deputy Chair, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Commission in the 1990s.

Molly Ferguson, teacher, School of the Air

I’ve always enjoyed it when I get the chance to happen upon a bit of living history.

In 1991 the Alice Springs School of the Air celebrated its 40th anniversary, and one of the people who turned up to share her story was one of the original teachers, Molly Ferguson.

Her story however was as much a picture of our society in the 1950s as it was about her work at the School of the Air. Molly spoke of her stint as acting Principal, and that being a woman she could only be an acting Principal as at the time only men could get the job full time.

Winston Peters, MP

I met Winston Peters in 1990 while he was traveling through the Northern Territory.

At the time he was a Maori member of the NZ National Party, and his star was such he was tipped to become New Zealand’s first Maori Prime Minister.

Unfortunately the highest he flew was Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, when his New Zealand First party held the balance of power following the 1996 election.

Larapinta trail

Larapinta trail

Taking a break on the Larapinta trail

While many think of Central Australia as a desert, there is real beauty in this arid environment.