Northern Stories 2021
Townsville City Council and the National Australia Day Council presented Northern Stories from 15 to 26 January 2021.
Northern Stories were told from multiple locations through HALO – an immersive light show. It was an opportunity to come together and celebrate the things about our nation that we are proud of and grateful for, and to understand where we have come from, where we are today and where we go from here.
When reflecting on our history, respecting all cultures and celebrating together – we do this through storytelling. Telling stories is one of the most important ways to connect, educate and inspire. Stories express the culture, history and ideals that tie people together.
Dr David Wachenfeld
Dr David Wachenfeld is one of many dedicated professionals at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority who manage and protect the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park using the best available science.
Hear Dr David Wachenfeld, Chief Scientist for the Authority, share his personal story of passion for the reef, and offer advice on how individuals – living in the North or anywhere in the world – can protect the Great Barrier Reef as part of our Northern Stories Sessions for HALO.
Terry spent his entire 28 year army career within the Engineer corps disarming roadside bombs and unexploded ordnance all over the globe. He achieved the rank of Warrant Officer Class One.
Terry was one of two former Townsville Defence personnel responsible for the Light up the Dawn national movement for ANZAC Day 2020. Hear Terry share with you a personal story of his military career, his family, and the sacrifices they made.
Anne migrated from Germany to Australia in 2010. With a degree in Protestant Church Music and a Bachelor of Secondary Education, Anne soon became a respected choir conductor.
Hear Anne share her story on how her love of music helped her find her way into the community and make Townsville her new home.
Colonel David Burke
David and his wife Lynda first came to Townsville in 1990 on his first posting as an Army helicopter pilot. Over the years, they returned regularly to assignments with the 5th Aviation Regiment and along the way raised a young family in the relaxed Townsville lifestyle.
David retired from the Army after 30 years’ service in 2019. After a lifetime living around Australia and postings and deployments to the South West Pacific, East Timor, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States, it wasn’t a difficult decision to choose Townsville as home.
In 1996, Colonel David Burke landed his crippled Blackhawk helicopter after a tragic mid-air collision and is credited with saving the lives of seven men.
Hear Darren’s story on his life in the North.
Patricia Keenan Carr
Pat has 5 children, 4 stepchildren, 14 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren, and over the years has taught yoga, grooming and deportment classes, coached junior soccer teams, and was a qualified beauty therapist.
Pat has participated in various local musical productions, is a frequent contributor to local and national newspapers and has previously self-published three poetry booklets and two novels.
Patricia will share with you her memories of Townsville through floods and family, wars and happy times.
Tom Phirie & Chris Mushaya
Both guest speakers came from Zimbabwe in the mid 2000s and are now Australian citizens.
Tom is a married with 4 adult children, and works as a clinical nurse at a secure mental health rehabilitation unit. He is currently the Events Coordinator for Spirit of Africa, a group responsible for organising the annual African Festival in Townsville.
Chris is married with 3 children, works as a surgeon at the Townsville Hospital, and is current President of Spirit of Africa.
Tom & Chris talk about the importance of keeping African cultural heritage alive amongst their children and the community at large.
Mayor Jenny Hill
Hear Mayor Jenny Hill tell her story in the North.
Steve "Pricey" Price
Hear Australian radio broadcaster journalist and well-known Townsville personality Steve "Pricey" Price share his story of life in the North.
Hear Anne Taylor tell her story in the North.
Hear Bavelin Gill and her two sisters share their story in the North.
LTGEN John Caligari
Hear LTGEN John Caligari his story in the North.
Hear representative of the Emo 'y M'mbondo Community share stories with our community.
Dr Robert De Jong
Robert De Jong is the Managing Curator at the Maritime Museum. Born in The Netherlands, Robert has lived in South America and South Africa, where he studied History at the University of Pretoria, graduating with a doctorate.
Robert obtained a Post-Graduate Diploma in Museum Science and started a full-time career in museums in 1983, also working as a heritage consultant. He emigrated from South Africa to Australia in 2011, and after working at the Museum of Tropical Queensland and researcher and for the Queensland Government, became Managing Curator at the Maritime Museum of Townsville in February 2016.
Robert will be sharing the fascinating story of Townsville’s floating hotel, which operated in the late 1980s and eventually found its way to North Korea.
Uncle Russell Butler
Hear Uncle Russell share his story on living in the North.