A Southern Queensland time capsule

The New Ipswich (1947) Film Australia Collection. © NFSA.

There are many film and sound titles relating to Southern Queensland in the NFSA collection. This includes historic footage of Brisbane, Kingaroy, Ipswich, Toowoomba, Maryborough and Doomben. To celebrate Big Screen’s upcoming tour to Nanango, here is a sample of the collection (including sound, documentary, newsreel and home movies) dating from 1938 to 1994. The sample features snapshots of local towns depicted as industrious and prosperous centres of agriculture, industry and sports, and a rarely seen depiction of slum housing in Brisbane before World War II.

Throughout 2013 the NFSA is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Film Australia Collection, which preserves and provides access to the nation’s documentary record – our collective memory.

If you have any information about the people or places in these films, we would love to read your comments.

First, to get you in the mood for this step back in time, here is a cheeky tune about the region performed by Gwen Ryan and Claude Carnell’s Orchestra.

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It’s Hot in Brisbane but it’s Coolangatta (1953), Gwen Ryan and Claude Carnell’s Orchestra – Coolangatta’s Souvenir Record MX54594. NFSA title 338421.

 

The Maryborough Railway Employees’ Picnic (1938) NFSA title 209891_Clip 1

The Maryborough Railway Employees’ Picnic (1938). NFSA title 209891.

This silent footage shows the Maryborough Railway employees’ picnic held at Scarness, Queensland on 20 March 1938. Children and families from Gympie, Bundaberg, Kingaroy, Childers and other south-east Queensland areas all attend. It includes scenes of children boarding trains at Maryborough, the ‘Belle of the Beach’ beauty contest and happy children eating ice-creams supplied by Maryborough Railway. The railway line at Scarness closed in 1994.

You can read more about this film on the NFSA’s australianscreen website.

 

A Brief Survey of the Activities of the Brisbane City Mission (c.1939) NFSA title 9074_Clip 1

A Brief Survey of the Activities of the Brisbane City Mission (c.1939). NFSA title 9074. Clip courtesy of Mission Australia.

This promotional documentary made by the Brisbane City Mission surveys the Mission’s activities and services during the late 1930s and the relief they provide for thousands of the city’s urban poor. It details the distribution of meals, clothing and blankets to the needy, and the preparation of Christmas parcels for families with young children.

Watch excerpts of the film and read more about it on the NFSA’s australianscreen website.

 

Australian Diary: Peanuts At Kingaroy, Episode 2 (1947). Directed by Jack S Allan. Produced by the Department of Information and the Australian National Film Board. Part of the NFSA’s Film Australia Collection. NFSA title FP00068.

Kingaroy is a town famous for its nuts and this film shows how they are grown, harvested and processed providing Australia with 90% of its peanut needs.

 

Aust. Diary: Australia's Richest Horse Race 1947

Australian Diary: Australia’s Richest Horse Race, Episode 2 (1947). Directed by Jack S Allan. Produced by the Department of Information and the Australian National Film Board. Part of the NFSA’s Film Australia Collection. NFSA title FP00068.

Racehorse Bernborough wins the 1947 Ahern Memorial 10,000 at Doomben.

 

Aust. Diary: Grain Sorghum Relieves Wheat Shortage 1947 nfsa title 67105

Australian Diary: Grain Sorghum Relieves Wheat Shortage, Episode 10 (1947). Directed by Jack S Allan. Produced by the Department of Information and the Australian National Film Board. Part of the NFSA’s Film Australia Collection. NFSA title FP00068.

A look at the growing and harvesting of sorghum in the Darling Downs, Queensland.

 

The New Ipswich 1947 NFSA title 14065

The New Ipswich (1947). Directed by Eric Thompson. Produced by the Department of Information and the Australian National Film Board. Part of the Film Australia Collection. NFSA title FP00046.

A look at life in the industrial centre of Ipswich, Queensland. Featuring railway workshops, woollen and timber mills, coal mining, schools, housing, food, local shops and sports.

 

Aust. Diary: Queensland - Baby Parking Station 1947 NFSA title 67090

Australian Diary: Queensland – Baby Parking Station, Episode 3 (1947). Directed by Hugh McInnes. Produced by the Department of Information and the Australian National Film Board. Part of the NFSA’s Film Australia Collection. NFSA title FP00068.

One of the country’s early childcare facilities, in Brisbane. The narrator says wryly, 'You can leave your baby by the hour or the day, but not permanently’.

 

Eventide and Westbrook Farm Home: Brisbane City Mission (1950) NFSA title 15573_clip 2

Eventide and Westbrook Farm Home: Brisbane City Mission (1950). NFSA title 15573. Clip courtesy of Mission Australia.

Operated through the Queensland State Government Department of Health and Home Affairs, the Eventide aged care facility is situated in the seaside suburb of Sandgate in Brisbane. In another area of the State, just outside Toowoomba in the Darling Downs, the rehabilitative Westbrook Farm Home for Boys houses male convicted juveniles and wards of the state. This short documentary promotes the work of the Brisbane City Mission, whose members provide support to the residents of Eventide and assist with activities at the Westbrook Farm Home.

Watch excerpts of the film and read more about it on the NFSA’s australianscreen website.

 

Carnival of Flowers, Toowoomba (1953) NFSA title 46186_Clip 3

Carnival of Flowers, Toowoomba (1953). NFSA title 46186. Clip courtesy of the Department of Natural Resources and Mines, Queensland.

This clip shows the crowning of the floral queen at the Carnival of Flowers in 1953. In 2011 the NFSA approached the community to find out the identity of the floral queen and other participants in the Carnival of Flowers shown in this film. We had a wonderful response, and the floral queen was identified as Val Edwards (nee Sinclair) of Toowoomba. Read more about this here.

You can view more clips from this film, including the floral parade and home garden displays, on the NFSA’s australianscreen website.

 

Overland Adventure: The Story of the 1954 Redex Reliability Trial, 1954, NFSA title 41927_clip 1

Overland Adventure: The Story of the 1954 Redex Reliability Trial (1954). NFSA title 41927. Clip courtesy of Cinesound Movietone Productions.

This is a Cinesound documentary about the Round Australia 1954 Redex Reliability Trial – a 15,450 kilometre motor endurance rally over rough terrain and unsealed roads. Overland Adventure follows the changing fortunes of some of the 246 entrants during the 18-day journey. In this clip the cars make it to the checkpoint at Maryborough before heading north through sugarcane country to Bundaberg.

Watch other excerpts of the film and read more about it on the NFSA’s australianscreen website.

 

Just Peanuts (1954) ASO clip 1, NFSA title 16700

Just Peanuts (1954). NFSA title 16700. Clip courtesy of Kingcroft Productions.”

This documentary filmed in Queensland details the growing, harvesting, distribution and processing of peanuts. It also features peanut-related products, 'ETA’ company vans advertising peanut butter leaving the factory, and children consuming peanut butter in school canteens.

Watch excerpts of the film and read more about it on the NFSA’s australianscreen website.

 

All Manner of Trains (1962). Directed by Malcolm Otton. Produced by The Commonwealth Film Unit. Part of the NFSA’s Film Australia Collection. NFSA title FP01427.

An overview of Australia’s railways in the early 1960s, before gauges across the country were standardised. You can watch the section of the film which features the journey from Cairns to Western Australia via Brisbane here.

 

Life in Australia: Brisbane (1964). Directed by Robert Parker. Produced by the Commonwealth Film Unit. Part of the NFSA’s Film Australia Collection. NFSA title FP01727.

A picture of life in the Queensland capital of Brisbane in the mid 1960s.

 

Viewpoint on Brisbane 1975 NFSA title 20494

Viewpoint on Brisbane (1975). Directed by Barry Williams. Produced by the Department of Labor and Immigration. Part of the NFSA’s Film Australia Collection. NFSA title FP27119.

The city of Brisbane, Queensland as seen through the eyes of European migrants.

 

Brisbane Dreaming (1994) Clip 1 ASO, NFSA title 275834

May contain names, images or voices of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Brisbane Dreaming (1994). NFSA title 275834. Clip courtesy of Meanjin Productions.

This documentary is about the original Indigenous custodians of the Brisbane area. Watch excerpts of the film and read more about it on the NFSA’s australianscreen website.

 

Other titles relating to Southern Queensland in the NFSA collection include:

You can view other titles relating to Queensland on NFSA’s australianscreen.

The films Unfinished Sky and The Proposition were both shot in Southern Queensland and feature the region.

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Comments

It was great to see Brisbane (where I was born 1935) in those early years and reminisce about those early years of my youth.

Casey Conway on 05 Feb 2014, 2:44 p.m.

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