Oral Histories

Long term residents of the Sutherland Shire have been interviewed about their time in the Sutherland Shire, providing a rich insight into how the Shire has changed over the last 50-100 years.

All Oral Histories

  • Florence Woodcock portrait

    Florence Woodcock

    Flo Woodcock moved to Sutherland when she was about 16. She lived with her mother in a rented house on a poultry and peach farm in Willarong Road, Caringbah and later moved to Sutherland.

  • Dot's father had a mixed business shop in Flora St, Sutherland, selling groceries and produce. She grew up through the Depression years.

  • Arthur Corbett was born in 1908 and grew up at Willarong Road, Caringbah. He was a foundation member of the North Cronulla Surf Club.

  • Amy Keats was born in November 1914. Her mother died 12 months later and she was raised by her grandmother in Sutherland, who was a well known midwife in the area - Nurse Lobb.

  • Phyllis Rugless grew up in a house her father built on the corner of Coorong Road and Gymea Bay Road, when it was a winding dirt track.

  • Mary Parker was born in September 1917 and lived on Flora Street in Sutherland. Her father died in 1919 when she was very small and her mother took on borders in the house to make ends meet.

  • Molly Honeyman was born in 1913. Her family started coming to Yowie Bay for weekends, where her father built a boatshed, when she was a young child.

  • Noel le Clerc was born on 25 December 1912. His family lived at Waterfall, where his father worked at the railway station.

  • Bert Walker was 10 years old when his family moved to Jannali from Drummoyne in 1932, for 'a better life'.

  • Daphne Bloom was born on 8 January 1926 and lived at Sutherland. She grew up on land her grandfather bought and subdivided, on what is now part of the Acacia Road bypass.

  • After WWI Bill's family moved to a house on the corner of Auburn Street and what is now the Princes Highway, when there were only 3 or 4 houses between them & the dozen or so shops at Sutherland.

  • Born on 6 October 1910 when his family lived at Taren Rd, Miranda, Bill Mondel recollects the early days of the Shire. The Mondels were one of very few German families living here during WWI.

  • Before marrying Ray Farleigh, Phyllis Stroud was crowned 'Surf Queen' at Cronulla in 1927. Her family was heavily involved in the Cronulla and North Cronulla Surf Clubs.

  • Aside from his war service, Richard Owens has lived for all of his 86 years within a block bounded by Burraneer Bay Rd, Trickett Rd, Hill St and Connels Rd at Cronulla.

  • Connie Derrey grew up on a poultry farm on the corner of Gymea Bay Road and Forest Road. In this interview she recounts her experiences in the Shire including the depression years.

  • Jean Greaves was born in 1922 in Sutherland. In this interview she recalls the early days around Sutherland.

  • Alistair Gardner's mother came to Sutherland in the very early days in 1887. Alastair himself was born in Sutherland in June 1928. In this interview he talks of his life growing up in the area.

  • Dorothy Nixon was born in 1926 and moved to 'Bayview' in 1942, which had previously been an early hotel at Yowie Bay.

  • John and Marj Crowley built their house in Caringbah in the 1950s, when it was 'all bush'. "It was just heaven. When I had the children I used to have to push them through the mud up to Caringbah".

  • Joseph Carey, and his father before him, were butchers in the Sutherland Shire. His father had a shop in Sutherland during the early part of the century and Joe's shop was in Como near the hotel.

  • In 1953 Ted Smith opened a pharmacy with his soon-to-be-wife Elsie in Raliway Crescent Jannali. What had begun as a short term enterprise in Jannali lasted until the Smiths’ retirement in 1999.

  • Georgette Wall's father worked as the live-in groundskeeper at Cliffhaven in Yowie Bay for years, where she spent much of her childhood. In this interview Georgette recalls those years.

  • Harry Mondel was born on 12 October 1918. In this interview Harry recollects the early days of the Shire during the depression.

  • Want More? Tell us who to add next

    We are in the process of digitising our Oral History Collection and you can help us decide who to add next. Look through the full list on the library catalogue and if there's an oral history you want online tell us who and why in the comments below or drop us an email. We will try to get to your suggestions first.

More Information

Local Studies Librarian
Phone 9710 0225
Email library@ssc.nsw.gov.au