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Record 33 of 65
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Helmut Stessl and Sue Stessl interviewed by Alex Hood and Annette Hood in the Alex Hood folklore collection [sound recording]
Bib ID 5058218
Format AudioAudio [sound recording]
Stessl, Helmut, 1936-, Interviewee
Access Conditions Access open for research and personal copies; written permission for public use during the lifetime of the interviewee. 
Description 2010 
2 sound files (ca. 128 min.) 

Alex Hood folklore collection.


Folkloric recording. Helmut Stessl talks about his parents' backgrounds; the aftermath of WWI; his family's many moves, finally to Austria; his schooling; the loss of school time due to WWII; conditions in Europe at that time; his apprenticeship as a fitter and turner; the move to Australia (1956); being sent to the Migrant Camp at Bonegilla, Vic., absconding; obtaining work as a toolmaker; how work in Tasmania, led to work on the Snowy River Scheme. Sue Stessl talks about how she arrived in Cooma, N.S.W.; her schooling in Sydney doing a shorthand/typing course; how she met Helmut and her working life. Helmut describes work conditions e.g. shift work, contract work, penalty and bonus schemes, taxes and wages; he describes the tunnels and methods of work. Sue talks about the social life; her involvement in musical shows; the problems with lonely men; gambling; prostitution. Helmut discusses deaths and injuries underground; the 'buddy system'; his first days on the Snowy River Scheme; the class and nature of workers, shift work; Cooma in boom times; history of Ski fields, huts and lodges; leaving the area for a job in Sydney and later move to Newcastle; their family. Sue talks about her family background; her father working at Mt. Magnet as a General Practioner (Dr.).

They talk more about the Snowy and Sue City, a company town and work place, its construction and demise; the lack of knowledge of Snowy Scheme today, achievements of scheme. Helmut describes his work in Mt. Isa; the changes in techniques, 'fly in, fly out'; work on the Ord River and American operations. They talk of cultural differences; the loss of expertise after Snowy Scheme. Helmut speaks of old friends; the Snowy Anniversary; Jindabyne; bushfires and aftermath; the removal of cattle from the Snowy; his night work experiences, the wildlife; the loss of life on the Snowy scheme and tragic deaths; occupational and safety methods today.


Recorded on 9 December 2010 in Valentine, N.S.W.

Digital master available National Library of Australia;

Index/Finding Aid Note Timed summary (3 p.) 
Subjects Stessl, Helmut, 1936- -- Interviews.  |  Stessl, Sue, 1937- -- Interviews.  |  Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme -- History  |  World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives.  |  Snowy Mountains Region (N.S.W.) -- History.
Other authors/contributors Stessl, Sue, 1937-, Interviewee  |  Hood, Alex, 1935-, Interviewer  |  Hood, Annette, 1948-, Interviewer


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    Details Collect From
    ORAL TRC 6170/13
    Copy: Recording
    Special Collections Reading Room
    ORAL TRC 6170/13 (summary)
    Copy: Summary
    Special Collections Reading Room

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