Broken Hill Stories

The People Of Broken Hill – Adrian Bennett, Owner, Mad Max 2 Museum

The People Of Broken Hill – Adrian Bennett, Owner, Mad Max 2 Museum

When you’re first introduced to Adrian Bennett, creator of Silverton’s Mad Max 2 Museum, it will most likely be accompanied with the explanation that he is “the world’s biggest Mad Max fan”. But a squint underneath the hood reveals that Adrian is so much more than just an over-eager film b…Read More
The People Of Broken Hill – Ron Hill, Leather Craftsman

The People Of Broken Hill – Ron Hill, Leather Craftsman

Ron Hill is, without any shadow of a doubt, a man of many talents. As proprietor of Broken Hill’s famous store, Outback Whips & Leather, he’s one of the country’s finest leather craftsmen, making everything from boots and hats to custom-made saddles. However, if he’d had his way back in the …Read More
The People Of Broken Hill – Emily Keenan, Barista & Café Owner

The People Of Broken Hill – Emily Keenan, Barista & Café Owner

Emily Keenan left Broken Hill to pursue her dreams, one of which was to learn about everything that went into the perfect cup of coffee. Many years later, she brought that knowledge and passion back home, and now runs one of the brightest and busiest spots on the Broken Hill café scene.Read More
The people of Broken Hill – Lee Cecchin, Chef

The people of Broken Hill – Lee Cecchin, Chef

Lee is an award-winning chef who has worked all over the world, cooking for Governors, Prime Ministers, celebrities, Archbishops and even HRH Princess Mary of Denmark. But right now there’s only one place Lee Cecchin would rather be – inspiring the next generation of master chefs at TAFE Western…Read More
The people of Broken Hill – Gary & Steve Radford, Earth Movers & Philanthropists

The people of Broken Hill – Gary & Steve Radford, Earth Movers & Philanthropists

In addition to its many claims to fame, Broken Hill is also home to one of the most successful family businesses in the region, made even more remarkable for the fact that it has been in operation for over a century – under the stewardship of Gary and Steve Radford.Read More
The people of Broken Hill – Chris Fraser, Motorcycle Champion

The people of Broken Hill – Chris Fraser, Motorcycle Champion

If there’s a checklist of all the archetypal things that define Broken Hill, Chris Fraser has done them all –mines, pubs, cars, and bikes While he sees it all as fairly typical, there are probably very few people out there who have an outlawed a bike they took thirty years to build. Read More
The People Of Broken Hill – Cherie von Hӧrchner, Reporter & Aviatrix

The People Of Broken Hill – Cherie von Hӧrchner, Reporter & Aviatrix

You just don't often get that opportunity, to live in a place where every day you’re tapping into the romantic idea of being an explorer, and that's how it is out here.Read More
The People Of Broken Hill – Steve Abbott aka The Sandman, Comedian

The People Of Broken Hill – Steve Abbott aka The Sandman, Comedian

As comedian Steve Abbott – aka The Sandman - is fond of saying, he was born in Broken Hill “at 3 minutes past 8 during a dust storm”. Even though his career took him away from the town for decades - through several popular TV shows and national standup tours - when he came back, he was surpris…Read More
The People Of Broken Hill – Andrew Olesnicky, Doctor

The People Of Broken Hill – Andrew Olesnicky, Doctor

When Dr Andrew Olesnicky arrived in Broken Hill seven years ago, he wasn’t sure what he was in for. He certainly didn’t expect to end up as the “hot Doc” of the ABC reality television show Outback ER, which has helped to cast the hospital, the townspeople and the land in an entirely new ligh…Read More
The People Of Broken Hill – Marina Morris, Olympian

The People Of Broken Hill – Marina Morris, Olympian

At the age of just 16, young gymnast Marina Sulicich took to the floor at the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. By her own admission, there was a lot to take in – Romanian gymnastic superstar Nadia Comăneci was standing in the wings, the legendary ‘Mean Machine’ Australian relay team were only a fe…Read More
The Future of Broken Hill

The Future of Broken Hill

The moment Broken Hill become Australia’s first National Heritage city earlier this year, there was only one question on everyone’s lips - “what does this mean for the future of the city?” Read More
The Pubs of Broken Hill

The Pubs of Broken Hill

Australians are amongst the highest per capita drinkers in the world, so it's a good job that Broken Hill has plenty of grand hotels, pubs and drinking dens to satisfy a thirst the size of the Outback – along with plenty of tall tales to raise a smile from even the most seasoned barfly.Read More
The women who made Broken Hill

The women who made Broken Hill

Whilst much has been written about the men who discovered Broken Hill and who pioneered the development of Australian mining, it is the women of the city who have made it what it is today – a place which embraces and celebrates equal rights and free speech. Read More
Broken Hill – the birthplace of Australian solidarity

Broken Hill – the birthplace of Australian solidarity

In January 2015, the City Of Broken Hill was crowned Australia’s first National Heritage city after a ten-year campaign. A key part of the Heritage listing was the debt that Australia owes to the city, for the role it played in establishing and strengthening workers’ rights across the land. Bu…Read More
The History of Broken Hill

The History of Broken Hill

The official Australian National Heritage list contains just over 100 locations such as Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef, Sydney Opera House ... and now Broken Hill. How did an outback mining town win such an accolade, and what does it mean? Read More
Broken Hill: Australia's First Heritage City

Broken Hill: Australia's First Heritage City

On January 20th, Broken Hill became Australia’s first National Heritage city. Whilst the accolade has a truly impressive ring about it, you’d be forgiven for asking, “what does that really mean?”Read More
One Week, Memories for a Lifetime

One Week, Memories for a Lifetime

At the end of a week in Broken Hill, Kate Hennessy reflects on her experiences - and marvels anyone could just stay one night.The journey can be as good as the destination. Flying may be quick but if you have a day spare, the 13-hour train trip from Sydney is a wonderful way to see the landscape fla…Read More
The Locations of Broken Hill

The Locations of Broken Hill

It’s known as the “Hollywood of the Outback”, and for very good reason, with countless iconic films having been set there. We spoke to two locals about how their slices of Broken Hill in to Australian film history; Esther La Rovere, Managing Director at the Palace Hotel, where most of The Adve…Read More
Broken Hill, Queen of the Desert

Broken Hill, Queen of the Desert

In 1994, cult classic The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert brought Australian film, and Australian landscapes, to a global audience. A twist on the classic road story, it follows professional drag queens Tick and Adam and transwoman Bernadette as they travel in a bus named Priscilla from…Read More
Christmas in Broken Hill

Christmas in Broken Hill

Every year around December, the city of Broken Hill lights up with Christmas cheer. While in the big cities a Christmas light competition or a Christmas pageant might sound a little run-of-the-mill, in Broken Hill they are something else entirely. And for some, the Christmas Pageant is a celebration…Read More
A Proud Union Past

A Proud Union Past

Rights we take for granted today – like a safe workplace, compensation and a 35-hour week – were topics of bitter industrial dispute in Broken Hill in the early 1900s. Kate Hennessy talks to a local whose father was always on her mind “when the whistle blew”. Read More
A Writer's Guide to Broken Hill

A Writer's Guide to Broken Hill

In this special guest post, walkley award-winning writer, journalist, and Australian literary bad boy Jack Marx gives us the low-down on the legendary Broken Hill pub scene.Read More
The Wheels of Broken Hill

The Wheels of Broken Hill

In the 1950s, Broken Hill had the highest number of motor vehicles per head of population anywhere in the world, second only to the Motor City – Detroit. These days, the car culture is still just as strong. We met up with a few locals whose passion for the engine is second to none.Read More
Going Green in the Red Desert

Going Green in the Red Desert

Eco-Tourism in Broken Hill: In the early 1900's Mining and grazing prospered in Broken Hill. But the environment, writes Kate Hennessy, did not. Enter Albert Morris: The man who saved Silver City from the sand.Read More
The Land of Broken Hill

The Land of Broken Hill

Driving just ten minutes out from Broken Hill leads you to the bush – the actual bush, the real bush – as far as the eye can see. It’s certainly remote, but for those who call it home, it’s everywhere else that’s just ‘away’. What is it about Broken Hill that draws people in andRead More
Anyone for Two Up?

Anyone for Two Up?

Broken Hill is the only place in NSW where the game of two-up can be legally played all year round, and Friday night at The Palace is when the locals come out to spin. Kate Hennessy tries her luck at “the fair game”. When I front up at The Palace Hotel at nine sharp forRead More
A very Stable Atmosphere in Broken Hill

A very Stable Atmosphere in Broken Hill

An ABC Open documentary airing on October 28 follows the astronomical story of Broken Hill local Trevor Barry, who quit his day job for love. After working in the zinc mines for 34 years, Trevor now dedicates his life to his true passion, and even NASA is taking notice. Jumping headfirst into a new …Read More
Getting Primitive with Pots

Getting Primitive with Pots

Besides clay and wheels, Kate Hennessy is unsure what to expect from a decades-old potters society. So she does what savvy travellers do: asks a local. “The potters society?” replies local artist, Rick Ball. “Amazing. It is a highly-organised, committed group that’s been going for donkeys in…Read More
Christmas Puddings keep the RFDS Flying

Christmas Puddings keep the RFDS Flying

Every year in October, a small team from the Women’s Auxiliary gets together to embark upon a tremendous feat – the preparation of 2,000 Christmas puddings to raise money for the Broken Hill base of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. When we got in touch with Margaret Symes, President of the Broke…Read More
A Mine of Good Food in Broken Hill

A Mine of Good Food in Broken Hill

Food, glorious food! Broken Hill has a rich food culture, and these top picks are the best for even a desert-sized appetite. The Royal Exchange Pro Hart’s son John Hart is not only a local artist – he is the chef at The Royal Exchange Hotel. The hotel’s menu is small but carefully crafted with…Read More
Arts, Dolls and Teddybears Picnic

Arts, Dolls and Teddybears Picnic

Expecting dusty man-sized drills and old mannequins wearing headlamps, Kate Hennessy is thrilled to instead find a quirky double-act mining and dolls museum run by an iconic Broken Hill couple. One afternoon in 1971, Kevin “Bushy” White, then a miner with Zinc Corporation, came home to his wife …Read More
The Sheds of Broken Hill

The Sheds of Broken Hill

When is a shed not a shed? When it’s in Broken Hill it seems. Within these sheds you’ll find the fruits of lifelong obsessions – tools, historical relics, vinyl records (33s and 78s), exquisite vehicles – and these collections continue to grow by the day. We met a few of Broken Hill’s prou…Read More
Gear and Clothing on the Garage Sail Trail

Gear and Clothing on the Garage Sail Trail

Garage sales are a Saturday morning tradition in Broken Hill, a town with more than a few hoarders. When Kate Hennessy enters the fray, she finds herself outsmarted by a bunch of balloons. About nine vehicles are prowling Chapple Lane in Broken Hill NSW; drivers’ heads swivelling left to right, lo…Read More
The Outbacks Most Iconic Pub

The Outbacks Most Iconic Pub

Silverton Hotel: By Kate Hennessy Journalist Kate Hennessy popped in to the iconic Silverton Hotel for a beer, a chinwag with owners Peter and Patsy Price, and a look around the setting of films like Mad Max II, Razorback, Wake In Fright and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. “The o…Read More
Art of Broken Hill

Art of Broken Hill

Broken Hill serves as both a home and inspiration to a proud artistic community. We met up with photographer Robin Sellick, sculptor Badger Bates, painter John Dynon and craft artist Ann Evers to get to the heart of the art from the heart of the desert. Read More
Rivers of Time Flow through Broken Hill

Rivers of Time Flow through Broken Hill

An exciting new artwork to be unveiled in Broken Hill in winter 2015 explores time, space, and one of the most baffling stories in Australian history. In 1845, the ship of British explorer Charles Sturt ran aground in Broken Hill. Consider that statement. How does an ocean-faring ship reach the midd…Read More
Life and Times in Republic of Broken Hill

Life and Times in Republic of Broken Hill

For the book Life and Times in the Republic of Broken Hill, renowned Australian photographer Robin Sellick collaborated with Walkley Award-winning writer and author Jack Marx to explore the identities that make the region, where he was born, so unique. Sellick is widely regarded as the nation’s le…Read More
All Aboard the Train to Broken Hill

All Aboard the Train to Broken Hill

By Kate Hennessy Journalist Kate Hennessy undertakes a mellow start to her trip to Broken Hill, with a 13-hour journey on the Broken Hill Outback Explorer. From fresh scones to fields to canola, it’s an unreal trip unlike any other. Three hours into a 13-hour train trip through the Central West of…Read More
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