Personal Stories

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Childhood and Other Memories – Woolgoolga Facebook group

This group is about sharing our memories and making new ones

Reminiscences of Gwenyth Patricia Swan, née Pollack, 1986

From "Who are the Pollacks?" (Jo and Allen Brown, editors, Aug 1986, privately published, pp71–76). This book is subtitled "The Phyl Brown Octenary Celebration Booklet", and was produced to celebrate the 80th birthday of Phyllis Marjorie Pollack, the eldest of seven children of Alfred John Pollack and Janet Laura, née Watson. Gwenyth Patricia Pollack (1916–2003) was their youngest child.

Read Gwen's story

Jackie Remembers

Jackie Ganderton was born 10 February 1916 at Grafton. Her family moved to Woolgoolga when she was just seven years old.

This seven minute interview was recorded on 28 September 2017, at the Woolgoolga Retirement Village, by Mitchell Huthnance. Norm Michener asked the questions. Jackie’s daughter, Denise Macgregor-Skinner, kindly helped to set up the interview.

My Time In Woolgoolga

Don Clinch, 2015


Ron Rediger Reflects on His Life in the Bush

Written by Don Clinch, August 2013

Ron has made a most significant contribution to the development of forestry in the region and the Woolgoolga community.

Read Ron's story

Click on the photos below to enlarge.


Doing the Messages

A memory of childhood from a resident, 2004

Read this story

Interview with Ron Gray, Woolgoolga

Don Clinch, 5th July 2012

This interview consists of a history of the Gray Family but also involves the history of the banana industry in Woolgoolga as it involved the Gray family. Ron has a distinguished record in the industry.

A Punjabi Sikh Community in Australia

Chapter 2: From sojourners to settlers

Rashmere Bhatti conducted a number of interviews during 2000 and early 2001 with people living in the Woolgoolga-Coffs Harbour area and elsewhere about the Punjabis when they first came to this area. You can read at this site the responses she received regarding Marjorie Hedges, Peter Newman, Peter's wife, Berril Newman, Earl Richards, Vivian Thomas Slater, Janice O'Connell, Harry Gale, Robert John Laugher, Frederick George (Dood) Unwin, Iris Unwin (Dood's wife), Jean Robinson and Harbhajan Kaur Bains (the granddaughter of Baba Ram Singh who died in 1983, aged 106 years).

A Personal History of Woolgoolga Art Group

by Dianne Collins

Read Dianne's story


with Jenny Storum

A Short Story of My Life

by Beryl Hubbard Finedon

Read Beryl's story


Annie Morrow (nee Alverson) and Florence Eunice Alverson

Roy Atkins and “The Meat Palace”

As told to Don Clinch and Doug Prendergast by family members and from personal knowledge, July 2013

Alice Jane "Ma" Whitton

As related by Marj Haines to Don Clinch 20.5.2013

Read Alice Jane's story

Harold "Peter" Thompson

Interviewed in 1984 by Dr John Kramer

Mark Twain jumps ship at Sandy Beach

Pip Wilson, 13th February 2005

The brilliant American author and humourist, Mark Twain, arrived in Australia on September 15, 1895, spent about three months here and wrote of his travels in Following the Equator. 

Read Pip's story (or click Pip's name to visit her blog)

Digital Stories from Aged Care Residents

Sawtell Catholic Care of the Aged is a dynamic, innovative aged care organisation offering quality living experiences to its resident community.

In 2016 SCCA they wanted to start to capture some of the amazing life stories of their wonderful residents. Sharing a life story can be a validating and life affirming experience for the storyteller and has been shown to have beneficial effects on well being from depression through to mental cognition.

SCCA collaborated with Coffs Coast Community College and volunteers who worked with the storytellers from the SCCA community. It’s sometimes been quite an emotional journey for the storytellers to revisit their pasts, but they all say it’s been a wonderful positive experience in so many ways.

SCCA’s intention is to continue their community collaborations next year and build on this pilot project. They’d love to involve schools and other community participants to capture more stories  for residents and their families as a way of building connection through generations and preserving this fascinating living history.

You can view the videos and there will be more to come!