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John Overall interviewed by Mel Pratt in the Mel Pratt collection [sound recording]
Bib ID 2264419
Format AudioAudio [sound recording]
Overall, John, Sir, 1913-2001 interviewee
Access Conditions Access open for research, personal copies and public use. 
Description 1973 July - Sept 
2 tape reels (ca. 340 min.) ; 5 in. 

Mel Pratt collection.


Sir John talks of studying architecture at Sydney Technical College; Robertson and Marks; Stevenson and Turner; enlistment in World War 2; 6th Australian Division; Royal Australian Engineers; experiences in the Mediterranean; the parachute battalion; South Australian Housing Trust; Overall and Walkley; Chief Government Architect for the Commonwealth; training in England; Commonwealth Dept. of Works; Wilfred Kent Hughes; National Capital Development Commission; Menzies; Mr Fairall; deficiencies in Canberra in the 1950s; Administrative Building; R.B. Lansdowne; Bill Andrews; Glen Rudduck; Neil Caffin; Clive Price; Peter Funda; three initial recommendations of the NCDC; Alan Fairhall; Menzies; establishment of the Commission as a statutory authority; relationship with the Dept of the Interior and Dept of Works; Mr McLaren; National Capital Planning Committee.

Overall speaks about "Tomorrow's Canberra"; the lake; private development; land development; 5 year programme; preoccupation with living conditions; Parliamentary Triangle; Parliament House; Belconnen, Woden, Tuggeranong town centres; Walter Burley Griffin; Y plan; rapid transit system; cars in Canberra; unplanned growth of areas around Canberra; success of NCDC; criticism by the public; Canberra's "lack of soul"; assessment of Canberra's architecture; Brazilia; Black Mountain Tower; Rocks development; National Trust; National Urban and Regional Development Authority; Cities Commission; Dept of Urban and Regional Development; personal interests; sculpture; Australian Institute of Urban Studies.


Sir John Overall made a significant contribution to urban living in Australia, firstly as Commissioner of the National Capital Development Commission, and then as Commissioner of the Cities Commission.


Recorded at the National Library of Australia, 25 July and 24 September 1973.

Digital master available National Library of Australia;

Index/Finding Aid Note Timed summary and transcript available. 
Subjects Overall, John, Sir, 1913-2001 -- Interviews.  |  Australia. National Capital Development Commission.  |  City planners -- Australian Capital Territory -- Interviews.  |  Architects -- Australia -- Interviews.  |  City planning -- Australian Capital Territory.
Occupation Town planners.  |  Architects.
Other authors/contributors Pratt, Mel, -1986, interviewer


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    Details Collect From
    ORAL TRC 121/45
    Copy: Recording
    Special Collections Reading Room
    ORAL TRC 121/45 (transcript)
    Copy: Transcript
    Special Collections Reading Room
    ORAL TRC 121/45 (summary)
    Copy: Summary
    Special Collections Reading Room

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