ADELAIDEAZ connects vertical and horizontal threads of Adelaide and South Australian culture in the context of past, present and future. It explores how a small city, as capital of a state often
mistakenly perceived as a dry, poor and empty backwater, has so many extraordinary, often exceptional, patterns running through the tapestry of its A-to-Z categories.
Frances Margaret Anderson, who made her acting debut as a teenager with Adelaide Repertory theatre company, had an international career in stage, film and television, honoured with two Emmy awards, a Tony award, and nominations for a Grammy and an Academy award (for her role in Rebecca) as Judith Anderson. Born in Adelaide in 1897 and educated at Rose Park, she made her professional acting debut, aged 17, at Sydney’s Theatre Royal. Trying her luck in the USA, she made her Broadway debut in On the stairs in 1922. Anderson started in films with a supporting role in Blood money (1933), followed by Rebecca (1940), Otto Preminger's Laura (1944), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), A man called Horse (1970) and Star Trek III (1982). On stage, Anderson played Lady MacBeth in notable productions with the Old Vic Company in London opposite Laurence Olivier and in New York opposite Maurice Evans. In 1948, Anderson won a Tony for best actress in Medea with John Gielgud. Anderson was guest of the 1966 Adelaide Festival of Arts doing excerpts from Medea and MacBeth. At 73, Anderson played Hamlet in a USA tour. An Off-Broadway theatre was named after Anderson in 1984. She was given a Living Legacy Award by the Women's International Centre in 1986. Anderson's ashes are buried at the Adelaide Festival Centre.
As a young girl, Greta Bradman went to her grandparents' Kensington Park house every day after school where she was surrounded by her grandfather’s passion for music. Don Bradman had been a boy soprano in his school choir and played piano. At the Bradman centenary dinner in 2015, Greta sang his 1930 composition “Every day is a rainbow day for me”. Greta's grandmother Jessie Bradman was also musical, her father was a talented jazz musician and her maternal grandfather an opera singer. Greta studied music at Elder Conservatorium when she was also a soloist and member of Adelaide Chamber Singers. She won the Australian International Opera Award in 2013-14 allowing her to move to Cardiff to train with the Wales International Academy of Voice. From there, Richard Bonynge selected Bradman to sing the title role in a performance of Handel’s Rodelinda in 2014. Greta Bradman has recorded for Sony, ABC Classics and independently.
The Christmas pageant – the biggest parade of its kind in the world – is an Adelaide tradition born in 1933 from an idea of Mr Bill (Edward Hayward), chairman of John Martin’s department store. The pageant has been staged every year (except during World War II) through the city centre on the second Saturday morning of November. Inspired by the Toronto Santa Claus Parade and Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, Hayward decided to mark the lifting of the Depression – and only two years after the Beef Riots in Adelaide – with a parade of fairy tale and nursery rhyme characters leading Father Christmas to John Martin’s store. From its start with just eight floats and four bands has grown to attracting crowds up to 400,000 and being televised nationally to millions more from 2015. The 2018 parade had 63 floats, 15 bands, 250-plus clowns, nine walking sets,11 dance groups and four choirs. With the closing of John Martin’s store in 1998, the pageant has been owned and managed by the state government, and supported by the credit unions of South Australia for 23 years.
Adelaide city corporation was proud of its Halifax Street incinerator as the most “perfect destructor in Australasia” that would “materially add to the health and general wellbeing of the city”. The destructor, operating from 1909, became a profitable and effective way of cremating the rubbish from 11 metropolitan council areas. But the emissions from its chimney were a new source of city pollution. Adelaide city residents constantly complained about its smell. They had to wait until 1952 when the Adelaide town clerk proposed closing the Halifax Street operations and a committee decided the “landfill method of refuse disposal (will) be instituted at Wingfield as soon as possible.” Wingfield rubbish dump, nine kilometres north of Adelaide city centre, was leased from the federal government in the 1950s and bought in 1986 when its 94 hectares received 70% of metropolitan Adelaide waste. But Wingfield involved Adelaide City Council in new pollution problems with large fires at the dump. In 1999, state parliament passed the Wingfield Waste Depot Closure Act, requiring all waste landfilling to stop by 2004. In response, the Wingfield Waste & Recycling (formerly Eco-Resource Management: WERM) Centre was started. It sorted all waste into recyclable products or waste products. The waste was transferred to landfill sites at Dublin and Inkerman, north of Adelaide near the Port Wakefield Road. The Wingfield centre operates as a “collaborative cluster" of commercial businesses, including Adelaide Resource Recovery that remediated thousands of tonnes of cleanfill soil used to cap the Wingfield rubbish dump.
Adelaide city’s first major attempt at eliminating rubbish had a “waste not, want not” theme in making the most of recycling energy. In 1908, Adelaide City Council bought two acres between Halifax and Gilles streets, Adelaide, to erect a refuse destructor supplied by Heenan & Froude of Manchester. The destructor was to solve the problem that blighted Adelaide city’s parklands since colonial settlement in 1836: rubbish dumping. As late as 1910, 30 tons of rubbish daily were being dumped on 18 locations around the parklands plus many smaller ones. Before starting operations, the Halifax Street destructor, with its 38-metre 150,000-bricks chimney needed two months to heat the furnaces while masonry hardened to cope with 2000°F. It then burned 60 tons of refuse per day, around the clock, from the city and inner suburbs. The heat produced steam for an electricity generator that powered the site including a tin bailing press, clinker paver mill, a brewery, flour mill, biscuit factory, mortar mill, boot and vinegar factories and flag-making plant. The council charged Adelaide Electric Company £2,000 a year for excess power fed into street lights. The steam also was used to disinfect laundry. A quarter of an hour in the system was enough to sterilise garments and bedding. After steaming, items went into a steam laundry, followed by pressing with electric irons. For this service, individuals were charged a guinea per vanload and it was free for those too poor to pay. Residue from incinerated rubbish was milled and converted into concrete paving. A tar-distilling plant also made a road surfacing product.
The cloud hanging over all the improvements to Adelaide city in the 1880s was the pollution from its industries. Twenty-five years later, the Adelaide City Council 1908 annual report noted that “the ideal city …will be a city free from dust.” With the pollution problem, the corporation had sought new ways, under the Health Act, to create a clean and rubbish-free city. The corporation had powers to take over private city streets in poor condition or filled with rubbish. After deep drainage was installed in the 1880s, the corporation’s was confronted next with disposing of the city rubbish. By 1910, 30 tons of rubbish per day was being dumped into 18 locations around the parklands plus many smaller ones. This included Torrens parade ground, used as a city dump between 1855 and the early 1890s. In the 1900s, when the city corporation declared that the traditional way of rubbish dumping unsanitary, it invested in 20th Century technology from Manchester to build a rubbish incinerator. The Halifax-Gilles streets site was found to be the “only one in the city suitable and available for the purpose”. The corporation had intended to locate the rubbish incinerator alongside the city abattoirs (near where Bonython Park now is) but Adelaide citizens had become so politically active over protecting the parklands that the corporation changed to Halifax-Gilles. The city corporation was proud of its incinerator as the most “perfect destructor in Australasia”. Nearby residents were less impressed. The destructor was a profitable and effective way of getting rid of rubbish but its operations were a new source of city pollution.
Lance Ingram, who became one of the world’s great opera tenors in the 1950s as Albert Lance, had an upbringing steeped in Prussian German-speaking Lutheranism in the South Australian River Murray flats town of Cambrai. The name “Cambrai” was forced on what was previously Rhine Villa, close to what had been named Rhine River by Johannes Menge but, from 1918, became the Marne. Cambrai and Marne, part of mass German place-name changes by the South Australian government during World War I, pointed to one of Germany’s worst defeats in the war. Cambrai was a majority German town with intense Lutheranism and churches for three schisms. Lance Ingram was brought as a baby to the town, struggling with drought and Depression, in 1925. Ingram had been born at McBride Salvation Army Hospital in Adelaide and, because his Renmark father soon deserted his English mother, was fostered into the care of widow Maria Latz, who’d looked after more than 20 other child state wards. Ingram’s other influence in the household was Maria Latz’s Prussian-born father who’d arrived at Port Adelaide in 1847. He still spoke only Prussian German. Ingram’s father took him from his “Mutty” Maria to Adelaide in his teenage years. A near-death meningitis experience reunited him with his natural mother who, noticing his singing, sent him to Adelaide College of Music. This set off opportunities that saw Ingram crossing the River Marne by train on his way to being a Paris Opera star in the early 1950s, specialising in Italian tenor roles but just as comfortable with German parts.
Australian aviation was transformed by the fate of Australian National Airways (ANA) Douglas DC-2 aircraft Kyeema that took off from Adelaide’s Parafield airport on the morning of October 25, 1938. On its approach to Melbourne’s Essendon Airport through heavy fog, it crashed into the western slopes of Mount Dandenong, killing all 18 on board. Among the passengers was Charles Hawker, from the prominent South Australian pastoralist family, and a federal politician touted as a possible future conservative prime minister. Also devastating for the South Australian wine industry was the loss of three leaders: Hugo Gramp (G. Gramp and Sons), Tom Hardy (Thomas Hardy and Sons) and Sidney Hill Smith (S. Smith and Son, Yalumba.) Shocked by the loss of one of its own MPs, the federal government quickly set up a royal commission and an air accident investigation committee public enquiry started on October 30. The result was that civil aviation was taken out of hands of the defence department where it had been a poor relation. A separate civil aviation department was created. The Kyeema crash gave birth to Australia's system of air traffic control. A 33 MHz radio range system was recommended to give pilots accurate information. Australian National Airways (ANA) had been formed in 1936 when Adelaide Airways (an Adelaide Steamship Co. subsidary) merged with Holyman’s Airways from Tasmania. Ivan Holyman, as head of ANA, brought the first modern all-metal airliner (Douglas DC-2) to Australia and introduced air hostesses, free flight-meals and automatic insurance of passengers.
St Peter’s Cathedral at North Adelaide was the vision of Henry Butterfield, who is credited with starting the high Victorian gothic era of English architecture. Adelaide’s Anglican bishop Augustus Short selected Butterfield in the 1860s to design St Peter’s but delays in getting Butterfield’s drawings from England meant that Edward John Woods from Wright, Woods and Hamilton had to guide the project. Woods – influenced by the French gothic of Eugene Viollet-le-Duc – changed some of Butterfield’s ideas for design but also the materials. From the foundation stone – out of Glen Ewin quarry – onwards, the cathedral’s look was influenced by local materials such as Tea Tree Gully sandstone, from what is now Anstey Hill Recreation Park, or Glen Osmond stone. Adelaide materials created elements of a distinctive look for the colony’s early buildings. Limestone from quarries along the River Torrens was used for Government House, Adelaide Gaol, old parliament house, Holy Trinity Church and the Catholic bishop’s house on the West Terrace-Grote Street corner. Quarries in the Adelaide parklands provided plentiful clay for red bricks. Bluestone, from Glen Osmond, O’Halloran Hill and Dry Creek, was popular from the 1850s to 1920. The interior of the stone is usually pale grey or beige but is given coloured surfaces by ferric oxide and other minerals in joints and bedding planes. Parliament House, on the corner of North Terrace and King William Street, was built with Kapunda marble and granite from West Island off Fleurieu Peninsula.
The South Australian Film Corporation’s first Aboriginal Screen Strategy (2015-20) supported Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander filmmakers. The strategy was designed to grow and support the stories and creative voices of the Aboriginal screen sector and to develop skills and knowledge in filmmaking through production, mentoring and partnerships. The corporation set up Pirrku Kuu (The Story Room) at Adelaide Studios in Glenside as a hub for Aboriginal filmmakers’ work. The strategy was guided by corporation’s Lee-Ann Buckskin and then-chief executive Annabelle Sheehan. The film corporation’s Aboriginal advisory committee members for the strategy were • Erica Glynn (Arrente), director of TV’s Black Comedy, graduate of Australian Film Television and Radio School, whose short film My Bed, Your Bed was an international success and her documentaries include A Walk with Words with Romaine Morton and Ngangkari about traditional healers of the Central Desert region. • Major Sumner, an honoured Ngarrindjeri elder from the Coorong and Lower Lakes in South Australia. • Derik Lynch (Yankunytjatjara), who grew up in small town camp in Alice Springs. starred alongside of Trevor Jamieson in the theatre play Namatjira that toured England and Rotterdam; screen credits include Black Comedy and Deadline Gallipoli. • Natasha Wanganeen (Narungga), with film credits including Rabbit Proof Fence (2002), Black and White (2002), Australian Rules (2002) and, on television, Redfern Now (2013) and ABC’s The Secret River 2013).
Major Sumner has been active in both the ancient Aboriginal and modern spheres during the 21st Century in South Australia. A Greens party candidate for both the Australian parliament’s senate and the Adelaide Hills seat of Mayo, Sumner has been a world renowned performer and cultural ambassador for the arts, crafts, martial arts and culture of the Ngarrindjeri, traditional Aboriginal people of South Australia’s lower Murray River, western Fleurieu Peninsula and the Coorong. His work spans performance, traditional dance and song, cultural advice, and arts and crafts, such as wood carving, and martial arts techniques using his handcrafted traditional shields, clubs, boomerangs and spears. He also is a strong supporter of innovative art and has featured in many media productions and cultural collaborations. In 2011, Sumner crafted the first Ngarrindjeri bark canoe on Ngarrindjeri/ Boandik country for more than 100 years, reconnecting with traditional canoe-building while using a high-tech cherry picker to get up the tree. In 201, he initiated the inaugural Ringbalin Murrundi Rover Spirit project, reigniting the ceremonial fires along ancient trade routes of the Darling and Murray rivers. Sumner has served as a Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority board member, as board member of Black Dance Australia, Tal Kin Jeri dance group artistic director and on the advisory group for the South Australian Film Corporation’s Aboriginal film strategy. Sumner was involved in bringing ancestral remains from London and Scotland back to Ngarrindjeri country. He is a member of the World Council of Elders.
Mario Andreacchio is an Adelaide independent outsider film maker who has blazed new ground in international links from the 1980s and into the 21st Century. Through his Norwood-based AMPCO (Australian Motion Picture Company) Films, he has directed feature films, TV specials, telemovies, children's miniseries and documentaries. After working with investors from Germany, France, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Canada and Japan, Andreacchio threw himself into the first Australian co-production with China: the children’s film The dragon pearl in 2011. Australian actor Sam Neill played a lead role but Andreacchio impressed the Chinese by making a dragon the star of the film. Adapting to the Chinese ways of doing things, Andreacchio has joined other Chinese co productions including romantic comedy Tying the knot and action film Shimalaya. Born to Italian migrants in South Australia’s then-coal mining town of Leigh Creek, Andreacchio studied experimental physics then psychology before switching to film at Flinders University and ending at the Australian Film Television and Radio School. Andreacchio ventured into featured films in the 1980s with Captain Johnno (1988) winning an International Emmy. Another successful children's film, Napoleon, the adventures of a golden retriever pup and parrot friend Birdo Lucci, was a venture with Japanese company Herald Ace. Sally Marshall is not an alien (1999), an Canadian-Australian co-production, had strong reviews and was the second highest grossing Australian film of the year.
Hotel Mumbai, directed and co-written by Adelaide’s Anthony Maras, was one of the biggest film productions to come out of South Australia, released in 2019 with a world premiere at Toronto International Film Festival. Hotel Mumbai delves into the story of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks. The thriller focuses on the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. Maras did copious research to produce the film. Hotel Mumbai was mostly shot at Adelaide Studios and partly funded by the Adelaide Film Festival where it had another premiere. English actor Dev Patel, known best for starring in Slumdog Millionaire and Lion, was a lead in Hotel Mumbai along with Adelaide's Tilda Cobham-Hervey. Anthony Maras’s earlier short film The Palace was a multi-award winner. It won best short film at other film festivals and awards ceremonies including the 2012 Beverly Hills Film Festival (also best director), 2011 Sydney Film Festival 2011, Melbourne International Film Festival (best Australian short film), 2012 Flickerfest International Festival of Short Films (best Australian short film), 2011 IF Awards (rising talent), 2012 Shorts Film Festival, 2012 Australian Film Festival and 2011 Adelaide Film Festival (audience award). It won best screenplay in a short film at the 2012 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) awards. This marked Maras’s third AACTA Award, having won best short fiction film for his Spike Up. He was nominated for the same award for his first film Azadi. Maras was an associate producer on Last ride (2009), debut feature of Palme d'Or-winning director Glendyn Ivin and starring Hugo Weaving.