Wollongong Town Hall

A social history of the Wollongong Town Hall: evolution of a public space

The Wollongong Town Hall project was designed to capture a slice of Wollongong’s history through its people’s interactions with a building that has represented a central core of the community.

In 2009 Wollongong City Counicl’s Cultural Services division contracted a Project Coordinator, Kirstin Bokor and Project Support Officer, Darian Zam to research the social history of Wollongong Town Hall. Research was carried out by conducting oral history interviews, together with viewing and copying photographs and other memorabilia. Whilst desk research was carried out the major focus of this research assignment was directed towards interviews with members of the public.

Click on the participant’s photos for more information and to listen to their story.

TH2Marcia & Karren Belcher

Marcia and Karren discuss the social life of living in Wollongong.

Click here to listen to their story.


Judy BourkeJudy Bourke

Judy Bourke grew up in Wollongong went to St Mary’s High school, worked in and for the council over the years in various capacities. She now lives in Thirroul.

Click here to listen to her story.


Janet Bitters
Janet Bitter & David Bryars

Dave Bryars and Janet Bitter, members of the Arcadians Theatre group, Lamplighters and the Arcadian Minstrels since the late 1960’s, talk about auditioning, rehearsing in Wollongong and performing at Town Hall.

Click here to listen to their story.


Aunty Jack Portrait imageGrahame Bond

Grahame Bond AM is an Australian actor, writer, director, musician and composer, known primarily for his role as Aunty Jack.

Click here to listen to Grahame’s story.


TH1Jeanette & Lawrence Bond

 Lawrence and Jeanette (nee Pepper)  Bond were central members of The Workshop Theatre, which staged many of their plays in the Wollongong Town hall Annex from 1964 to 1969.

Click here to listen to their story


Sandy Brenchley

Sandy moved to the Illawarra as a young teacher in 1951 and has lived here ever since.

Click here to listen to Sandy’s story


TH2Helga Christie-Burnett

Helga Christie-Burnett describes her life in Wollongong as a Pianist, member of the Illawarra Choral Society, music teacher and secretary for the City Engineers Department of Council.

Click here to listen to Helga’s story.


TH1James Cook

James Cook recounts his story of seeing a female apparition in what is now the Tourism Information Offices in 1993.

Click here to listen to James’ story.


TH3Maurene Dredge

Maurene Dredge, a lifelong Wollongong resident, has been frequently involved in events held at the Wollongong Town Hall through the many organisations she has belonged to such as The Illawarra Choral Society, Music Illawarra and the Arcadians.

Click here to listen to Maurene’s Story


TH2Alan Flanagan

Alan Flanagan, a Unanderra resident, visited the Crown, Savoy and the Civic Theatres all through 50’s and 60’s to see the movies and meet people. Second part of interview is brief overview of Alan Flanagan’s life in Wollongong.

Click here to listen to Alan’s story.


Robyn Hutton

Robyn Hutton, a member of the Illawarra Choral Society since 1959, gives a history of the Choir and her many varied experiences and memories surrounding the Wollongong Town Hall.

Listen to Robyn’s story here



Ann (Simpson) James

Ann James, whose grandfather was Alderman W. A. Lang Wollongong Mayor in the 30’s and 40’s, relates many colourful memories of events held at the Wollongong Town Hall.

Click here to listen to Ann’s story


Robyn Letham & Sheelagh Geraghty

Robyn Letham and Sheelagh Geraghty are both Life members and longtime members of the Wollongong Eisteddfod Committee.

Click here to here their story


Sue Meehan (nee Woolley)

Sue Meehan is the president of Catholic Women’s League of Illawarra has a long history with Wollongong Catholic associations attending many functions and balls at the Wollongong Town Hall.

Click here to listen to Sue’s story


Margaret Reeve
Margaret Reeve

Margret Reeve talks about her life in Wollongong as a champion ballroom dancer and teacher, running a successful dancing studio with her husband Ray Reeve until 2006.

Click here to listen to Margaret’s story.


TH3Joseph (Joe) Smith

Joe Smith was a much respected swim coach at Thirroul, Corrimal & Wollongong Continental Pool & a former Wollongong City Council Labour alderman, 1971-74 and President of Corrimal branch, Australian Labour Party.

Click hereto hear Joe’s story


TH2Doris Stewart

Doris Stewart of Bulli is a long-time member of the Country Women’s Association of New South Wales.

Click here to hear Doris’ story


TH1Ada Raynor & Stephen Zantiotes

Ada Raynor and Stephen Zaniotes both long term members of that City of Wollongong Symphony Orchestra (WSO) played often in the Wollongong Town Hall.

Click here to hear their story


TH3Jan Waples

Jan Waples talks extensively about the changes and locations of the various Wollongong Council departments, immunization programs, the Wollongong Town hall organ and the Queen’s visit to Wollongong.

Click here to listen to Jan’s story



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