Lake Macquarie History

The human face of coal: an oral history of the early years of coal mining in Lake Macquarie

Coal is inextricably woven throughout the history of many Lake Macquarie families and 1991 marked the bicentenary of the European discovery of coal in the area. In order to celebrate this event, Lake Macquarie City Council produced an oral history of the early years and development of the coal industry in this City.

photo: human face of coal: cover

Local collieries provided the expertise of their representatives, and 2NUR-FM was engaged to produce an eight part oral history series, entitled The Human Face of Coal. The project was wholly funded by sponsorship from the industry and associated unions and organisations.


  • Dr John Turner
  • Mr Bill Fitzpatrick
  • Mr Bob Jefferson
  • Mr Doug Graham
  • Mr Ed Tonks
  • Mr Ernie Cairney
  • Mr George Perry
  • Mr Harold Sessions
  • Mr Hilary Fallins
  • Mr Ian Sumner
  • Mr Jimmy Comerford
  • Mr John Grothen
  • Mr John Shoebridge
  • Mr Keith Clouten
  • Mr Norm Monger
  • Mr Tom MacDonnell
  • Mr Tommy Winton
  • Mrs Lil Henderson
  • Mrs Marj Jefferson
  • Mr Arthur Dews
  • Mrs Doris Dews


Bell, John & Driscoll, Judy & Lake Macquarie (N.S.W.). Council & 2NUR-FM (Radio station : Newcastle, N.S.W.) 1991, The Human face of coal : an oral history of the early years of coal mining in Lake Macquarie, Lake Macquarie City Council and 2NUR-FM, [Speers Point, N.S.W.]

Acknowledgement of Country

We remember and respect the Ancestors who cared for and nurtured this Country. It is in their footsteps that we travel these lands and waters. Lake Macquarie City Council acknowledges the Awabakal people and Elders past, present and future.

Council acknowledges traditional custodians throughout Australia. We commit to listening deeply to and collaborating with First Peoples in our work.

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