Shacks of the Royal National Park

The Shacks of the Royal National Park Project was initiated by Edie Swift. Edie has captured the history of the shacks and their owners through her interviews. Click on the residents’ names or photos for more information and to listen to their stories.

Edie also conducted a number of interviews with earlier shack owners in 1992 and 1995, which are housed in the National Library of Australia. The records can be viewed here.

A book based on interviews by Ingeborg van Teeseling is also available at Wollongong Library:

Shack Life : how three small communities survived everything from the Great Depression to the NSW State Government by Ingeborg van Teeseling


Shack life cover imageShack Life: one community’s battle

Shack Life is a documentary film by catanddogfilms.com.au which portrays one community’s struggle for recognition of their emotional connection to land and the heritage value of a rapidly disappearing way of life.

 

Watch Shack Life here.


John Arney
Bulgo

John first built a shack at Bulgo in 1962 before buying another one on the beach in 1975.

Listen to John’s story here.

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Brian Bell
Bonnie Vale

Brian’s family stayed in a shack at Bonnie Vale, which was built by Jimmy Delany. It was passed down to his Uncle George and continues to be enjoyed by the family.

Listen to Brian’s story here.

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Denis Brown
Burning Palms

Denis has been visiting his family’s shack at Burning Palms since he was a baby in the late 1940s. His family still enjoy this special place.

Listen to Denis’s story here.

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Les Edwards
Bonnie Vale

Les’s family bought an Army tent onsite at Bonnie Vale in the 1940s and his father built a shack there. He liked coming to Bonnie Vale by ferry every weekend and three generations of his family have enjoyed holidays there.

Listen to Les’s story here.

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Michelle Falson
Bonnie Vale

Michelle’s grandparents built their shack in the early 1960s and it has now been enjoyed by three generations. Michelle now takes her sons to holiday there.

Listen to Michelle’s story here.

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Joy Friend
Bonnie Vale

Joy went camping with her family before they built their shack. She has happy memories of their years there until they let the shack go and it was demolished by the National Parks and Wildlife Service in the late 1980s.

Listen to Joy’s story here.

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Joyce Gormly
Bulgo

Joyce used to travel to the shacks at Bulgo by horse when she was a child in the 1930s.

Listen to Joyce’s story here.

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Mark Green
Bonnie Vale

Mark enjoyed the simplicity of life while holidaying at Bonnie Vale and thinks it is a pity that the community has gone.

Listen to Mark’s story here.

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Paul Griffiths
Bonnie Vale

Paul first came to own a shack in the late fifties.

Listen to Paul’s story here.

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Sally Kelly
Bonnie Vale

Sally’s parents built their shack at Bonnie Vale in the mid-1950s and three generations of her family have enjoyed holidaying there.

Listen to Sally’s story here.

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Bob Marshall
Bulgo

Bob enjoyed holidaying at Bulgo his whole life and reminisces about community life at this special place.

Listen to Bob’s story here.

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Julie Poulton
Bonnie Vale

Julie’s family bought Shack 2 at Bonnie Vale in 1957 and three generations of her family have enjoyed holidays there.

Listen to Julie’s story here.

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Helen Scaife
Bonnie Vale

Helen has been staying at her family’s shack since 1952. It was built by her father, who later helped to construct the road.  She lived in the shack with her children in 1981.

Listen to Helen’s story here.

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Fay Connor
Bulgo

Fay has been staying at Bulgo all her life and hopes that the cabins will be kept for future generations.

Listen to Fay’s story here.

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Michelle Gilmour
Bulgo

Michelle talks about her childhood memories of her family shack in Bulgo.

Listen to Michelle’s story here.

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This is an ongoing project and we welcome your contribution. If you are interested in sharing your recollections of shacks of the Royal National Park please contact us.

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