Austinmer & Coledale Stories

Everyone has a story. Listen to the memories of local residents as they recount their experiences of living in the Austinmer & Coledale areas.

The Austinmer Project began in 2011 as an Australia Street Company initiative with Sue Boaden. Further interviews conducted by Wollongong City Libraries Local Studies team are added to this collection.

Click on the residents’ names or photos for more information and to listen to their stories.

Col Bruton- Profile Image template (1)

Col Bruton

Col Bruton grew up in Coledale and shares his experiences and his historical knowledge of the area, including how electricity first came to Coledale.

Listen to Col’s story here.


Allan Heather icon

Allan Heather

Allan lived in Austinmer since he came as a baby in 1922. He recollects the suburb in the 1920s and 1930s.

Listen to Allan’s story here.


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Joy Lynch

Joy grew up in Austinmer and was a pupil at the local school, where she later came back to teach.

Listen to Joy’s story here.


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Jane Taylor

Jane worked at Cringila Public School between 1979 and 1984, as an ESL teacher at Wollongong University College from 1993 to 2016 and has been an activist in the Illawarra.

Listen to Jane’s story here.


Peter and May Sharman

Peter and May both grew up locally. Peter worked in the building trade, mines and then at The Outlook when it was a facility operated by the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association. Peter and May were resident managers there until 2011.

Listen to Peter and May’s story here.


Robert Woodhill & Peter Cuninghame

Robert and Peter are long-term residents of Austinmer. As a child, Robert planted an oak tree at the back of his house in Austinmer Street. The tree is now very large and was the subject of a community mural that was painted in 2020.

Listen to Robert and Peter’s story here.


Carol North

Carol shares great memories of life in the Illawarra as well as interesting experiences during her service in the Royal Australian Air Force in the early 1940’s.

Listen to Carol’s story here.


Val Mahoney

Val has lived in Austinmer since 1957 and has memories of the community and the shops in Moore Street.

Listen to Val’s story here.



Ashley Hay

Listen to Ashley’s story here.

Elaine Wilton (2) 11 1 2016

Elaine Wilton

Listen to Elaine’s story here.

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Mollie Armstrong

Listen to Mollie’s story here.

Kevin & Patsy Grew

Listen to Kevin and Patsy’s story here.

Jim & Roma Bates

Listen to Jim and Roma’s story here.

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Margery Gilleland

Listen to Margery’s story here.

Dot Craig Profile Icon

Dot Craig

Listen to Dot’s story here.

Don Bath Sept 2014

Don Bath

Listen to Don’s story here.