RUNNING THE GAMUT of Adelaide and
South Australian culture 
from A to Z


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. 


ADDING ADELAIDEAZ –  plus identities, innovations, incidents, idiosyncracies and issues – to the stories of Adelaide Zeitgeists

of Adelaide/South Australian categories – and their connections 

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From Halifax furnace to Wingfield rubbish dump to centre to treat/sort Adelaide's metro waste

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 mighty rubbish furnace heat and byproducts put to good uses from 1909

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.

Lincoln Gap near Port Augusta to have wind, solar, battery and hydro pumped possibilities

Lincoln Gap, 12 kilometres west of Port Augusta, is set to become a renewables hotbed with two major projects. The Goat Hill closed-loop inland pumped storage hydro project moved into detailed design and contract phase in 2018 after South Australian government approval. And the 212MW Lincoln Gap wind farm moved into stage two of construction in 2018, adding the final 24 turbines and 86MW of generation. Singapore-based project developer Nexif Energy secured funding for  the second stage of the $480 million wind farm, after a $160 million debt deal was closed with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and infrastructure investment company Westbourne Capital. Stage two would add to the 126MW from 35 wind turbines constructed by Senvion. Once completed, the wind farm would have 59 Senvion 3.6M140 turbines and a total capacity of over 212MW, producing enough energy for 155,000 South Australian homes. Siemens/AES joint venture Fluence would deliver a 10MW/10MWh battery storage system to integrate the wind farm’s output to the National Electricity Market. Lincoln Gap is one of the first hybrid renewable and storage projects to secure non-subsidised financing. It has potential to expand by adding solar to the wind energy and battery storage to create a genuine hybrid energy hub. The 230MW/1840MWh Goat Hill pumped hydro project at Lincoln Gap needed investment of about $410 million. Delta Electricity had the development rights, with Altura Group as the project developer. The South Australian government committed $4.7m to allow final project development.

Pollution rife and tons of rubbish dumped in parklands before city council buys furnace

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.

Jane Goodall announces addition to Monarto Zoo chimpanzee troop during her visit in 2019

Jane Goodall, the world-renowned primatologist, visited Adelaide Zoo and its sister zoo Monarto Zoo in 2019 to announce that its chimp Zombi was pregnant. Dr Goodall visited the expectant mother and met and named Hope, another recent baby chimp baby at Monarto. The visit coincided with the 10th anniversary of the chimpanzee enclosure at Monarto Zoo, opened by Goodall in 2008. Zoos SA works to help save chimps from extinction through involvement in international breeding programs and by supporting Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Sierra Leone and the Jane Goodall Institute Australia. Goodall acknowledged the importance of captive breeding programs with wild chimp populations thought to have decreased by 90% over  20 years. She endorsed Zoos SA’s work with PhoneCycle to recycle or refurbish old mobile phones, eliminating the need to extract new raw materials (often mined in areas of chimpanzee habitat) and providing phones to those who can’t afford them. All funds raised supported conservation work at the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Jane Goodall Institute of Australia. Monarto Zoo was home to 10 chimpanzees at the start of 2019. The females are alphas Zombi and Galatea, both born at Burgers Zoo in the Netherlands and arriving at Monarto in 2010. Hannah and Lani came to Monarto in 2018 from Sydney’s Taronga Zoo. Zombi’s daughter Zuri in 2012 was the first chimpanzee born at Monarto. Little brother Enzi followed in 2015. Tsotsi (alpha), Sandali, Boyd and Gombe were the males troop at Monarto.

Ulrike Klein's Ukaria concert centre in Hills her chamber music gift to South Australia

Ulrike Klein funded the multi-million-dollar Ukaria Arts Centre, a 220-seat auditorium designed for chamber music and set at the summit of Mount Barker, opened in 2015. Horticulturalist Klein and her scientist and naturopath husband Jurgen had started a business in Germany using natural plant essences for skincare and wellbeing. They and their four children moved to the Adelaide Hills in 1983 and founded Jurlique cosmetics, made from biodynamically-grown plants, in 1985. When the marriage ended 20 years later, Jurgen Klein left Australia and Jurlique was divested to overseas interests. Ulrike Klein sold her remaining share to a Japanese buyer in 2012. Klein, who grew up in the German countryside as a child violinist, had previously hosted concerts in the seminar room at Jurlique’s Ngeringa property. With the sale of Jurlique, Klein announced the purchase – with help from public funding – of two violins, a viola and cello by the 18th century Italian instrument maker Giovanni Battista Guadagnini, valued at more than $6 million, to be loaned to Adelaide-based Australian String Quartet. (A fourth instrument was bought by Maria Myers.) Klein decided to have those instruments heard at their best in a European-standard concert hall in bushland at Ngeringa. She engaged Adelaide architect Anton Johnson and Cameron Hough from Arup advising on acoustics for the hexagon auditorium with a domed ceiling and four-metre window views of Mount Barker summit. The garden was redesigned by South Australian Winnie Pelz, with a centrepiece sculpture by Luke Zwolsman. 

Lance Ingram, 1950s world opera star, has German orphan start to life in South Australia

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.

Adelaide's TV 'Curiosity Show' bringing science to children for 20 years gets YouTube revival

Adelaide was the source of Australia’s longest-running successful television children’s shows with a science base. The Curiosity Show (1971-90), hosted by zoologist Dr Rob Morrison and Dr Deane Hutton, had 500 episodes produced by Banksia Productions for the Nine Network. In 1971, Banksia had added science segments to the popular children's series Here’s Humphrey (from 1965) with Morrison and Hutton, from the-then South Australian Institute of Technology. After positive reception, Banksia Productions and the Nine Network produced a spinoff, The Curiosity Show, presented by Morrison, Hutton, Ian Fairweather, Alister Smart, Belinda Davey, Gabrielle Kelly, Dr Mark Dwyer and Lynn Weston. Science was emphasised but included craft and music. From 1980, the show was cut to 30 minutes, presented by Morrison and Hutton on science, nature and environment. The Curiosity Show won national and international awards, including the coveted Prix Jeunesse in 1984. Four companion books were produced from 1991 by Jacaranda Press with scientific explanations and experiments for children. Hutton and Morrison published 11 books, including Supermindstretchers. A segment for The Curiosity Show on dingos at Uluru, led to involvement in the Morling enquiry into the Lindy Chamberlain case. In 2013, Hutton and Morrison bought the rights to The Curiosity Show from Banksia Productions. With Enabled Solutions, they launched a YouTube version from the show's 5000 segments for a new generation, with views jumping into the millions across more than 150 countries.


Australia's air safety introduced after 1938 ANA Kyeema crash shocks South Australia

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.

Gary Sweet establishes himself as a mainstay actor in a string of Australian TV series

Adelaide actor Gary Sweet, who joined the Australian Film Walk of Fame in 2011, is best known for television roles in series such as Alexandra’s Project, Police Rescue, Cody, Big Sky, Bodyline (as Don Bradman), Stingers and House Husbands. Sweet, who grew up in Adelaide suburban Warradale and attended Brighton High School, obtained a degree as Sturt Teachers’ College where he took up drama. His first role was in low-budget horror film Nightmares. In the 1980s, Sweet became recognisable and a Logie award winner as Leslie “Magpie” Maddern in the Crawfords television series The Sullivans. In 1984, Sweet had his first major role as Don Bradman in the Network Ten miniseries, Bodyline, aboutf the 1932–33 Test cricket series between England and Australia. In the the award-winning 1987 Australian TV movie The Great Bookie Robbery, Sweet played Chico White, the inside man trying to infiltrate the bank robbers. In 1994, he appeared in The Battlers with Jaqueline McKenzie. In 1990-96, Sweet’s time in drama series Police Rescue as Sgt. Steve “Mickey” McClintock won him several major television awards, including the Australian Film Institute’s best actor in a lead role in a television drama, the Variety Club Heart Award for TV Actor of the Year (1993), and two TV Week silver Logie Awards for Most popular actor and most outstanding actor (1992, 1994). In 2007, Sweet starred in the SBS miniseries The circuit and ABC television series Rain shadow with Rachel Ward. Sweet also has appeared in many stage productions, including David Williamson’s The club. 

Henry Butterfield's high Victorian gothic St Peter's Cathedral gets South Australian look

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.

C.E. Owen Smyth major influence on landmark public buildings for North Terrace, Adelaide

C.E. Owen Smyth, although not an architect, deeply influenced design, construction and maintenance of South Australia’s public buildings, especially along North Terrace, Adelaide, as their superintendent 1886-1920. North Terrace buildings overseen by Smyth include the Exhibition Building (1887) designed by Withall and Wells. Smyth himself designed the South Australian Museum north wing and an original version of the Art Gallery of South Australia. He oversaw drawings for the South Australian School of Mines and Industries (now Brookman) building, that opened in 1903, exemplifying Smyth’s concern “with designing the finest buildings possible within financial constraints” Smyth supervised Thebarton police barracks on Port Road, and he designed Margaret Graham Nurses Home (built 1910-11) on Frome Road, Adelaide, for the Royal Adelaide Hospital. Smyth had arrived in South Australia in 1876 and joined the civil service as a clerk to Edward J. Woods, architect to the council of education. When Woods became South Australia’s architect-in-chief in 1878, Smyth was his clerk. In 1886, the architect-in-chief’s department was abolished and Smyth made supervisor of public buildings to watch design and construction contracts to private architects. But Owen did all the works himself, calling them extensions or maintenance. With poor economic conditions in South Australia, he kept costs down by using cheaper red brick with more expensive limestone in the dressings. All materials were South Australian: bluestone from Auburn, marble from Angaston and bricks from Hallett’s yard  in Brompton. 

MPs' sexual morality concerns as South Australia's first drive-in cinemas open from 1954

Sexual morality concerned some South Australian parliamentarians in 1954 when debating laws relating to the looming phenomenon of drive-in film theatres. Labor MP for Hindmarsh, Cyril Hutchens, feared that “we shall see females attending in green French bathers, with their hair dyed red, and accessories to match. We should take all possible action to preserve the morals of our young people.” A young Don Dunstan disagreed: “If people are going to resort to motor cars for the purposes of immorality they are not likely to purchase theatre tickets and drive in beside other vehicles to do what they might otherwise do on some lonely country road”. The debaters were anxious that each vehicle at the drive had “capacity for three persons” – that is, room for a chaperone. The Act did provide that anyone who acted offensively could be asked to leave the drive-in. Starting with the 44-year run by the Wallis Blueline at West Beach from 1954, South Australian drive-in theatres, with operators such as the Shandon at Seaton, Elizabeth and Port Pirie, made the features of their cafeteries a big lure. Drive-ins survived black and white television but colour television, the video recorder and indoor multiplex theatres took their toll – along with daylight saving that made start times too late for families.The Blueline closed in 1998, followed by the Valleyline at St Agnes in 2003, leaving the Wallis Mainline Drive-in at Gepps Cross as the only one in the metropolitan area. The Riverland at Barmera survived until 2008 and the Coober Pedy outback theatre was still operatied in 2019 by community volunteers.

Stars, comets, rockets – but no explosives, please – at the Coober Pedy drive-in films survivor

A sky amassed with stars and the occasional comet or rocket –  plus a pre-show warning against the use of explosives ­– are part of the experience at Coober Pedy outback drive-in film theatre – one of the last two in South Australian in 2019. Coober Pedy drive-in, 850 kilometres from Adelaide, is among the world's most remote theatres. It’s been part of the opal mining town since 1965 and, in its early years, hosted eight sessions a week – one of the largest film turnovers in Adelaide – with productions in Greek, Italian and French reflecting the community’s multicultures. The drivein was prone to generate extra off-screen drama when miners, bored with a film, would create mayhem by letting off explosives under the screen. A “No explosives in the drivein” request is now screened before every show. Comets and rockets or missiles being tested from Woomera range flashing across the sky add to the unscheduled aspects of the screening. But the mass of stars against a deeply dark sky create an otherwise great viewing experience. The Coober Pedy drivein has been rediscovered as a valued community outlet. The theatre's monopoly on entertainment in Coober Pedy was lost in 1980 when the town received its first TV coverage. It opened sporadically in the 1980s before closing in 1995. Reopened briefly by a private operator, it returned to the control of community volunteers in 2000. The volunteer committee raised $120,000 to replace the cinema's 35mm film projectors with digital in 2015. Wallis Mainline at Gepps Cross, was the only other South Australian drive-in operating in 2019..

Aboriginal filmmakers supported by South Australian corporation strategy 2015-20

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 straddles ancient/modern South Australian Aboriginal, environmental activism

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. 

Aboriginal filmmakers supported by South Australian corporation strategy 2015-20

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).

Four films from Peter Sellars' 2002 Adelaide Festival lead to funding for local productions

The controversial term of American Peter Sellars as director of the 2002 Adelaide Festival had its spinoff benefit for South Australian film making. Sellars commissioned five films to be made for his festival. Four of them, Australian Rules, The tracker, Beneath clouds and Walking on water, won awards. That success prompted the state government to provide the Adelaide Film Festival with a $1m production fund. The festival board selects project to be premiered at the event. The Investment Fund has backed more than 50 projects, including features, documentaries, short films and media. These have won almost 150 awards. Adelaide remains one of the few festivals with an investment fund. In 2011, the Museum of Modern Art in New York hosted a week-long festival of Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund films. The program included Look both ways, Ten canoes, Samson and Delilah, Stunt love, Boxing Day, Last ride, My year without sex and Mrs. Carey’s concert. Also in 2011, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation TV arts and entertainment and Adelaide Film Festival joined to create the Hive Production Fund that supported The boy castaways by Michael Kantor, I want to dance better at parties by Matthew Bate, and Tender by Lynette Wallworth. Adelaide independent film Girl Asleep took out the $100,000 prize at Western Australia’s 2017 CinefestOZ festival, beating Spin out, The death and life of Otto Bloom and Jasper Jones. Directed by Rosemary Myers, written by Matthew Whittet and produced by Jo Dyer, Girl asleep is a journey into absurdities of the teenage mind.

South Australian film creatives get access to Charlie's workspace in the heart of Hollywood

South Australian film producers, directors and writers have the chance to work at Charlie’s on Raleigh Studios in the heart of Hollywood under a two-part offer from the South Australian Film Corporation, Australians in Film and Adelaide Hills’ Bird in Hand Winery in 2019. One aspect of the offer is an eight-week Los Angeles residency at Charlie’s for a South Australian to receive mentoring, networking opportunities and access to Australians in Film’s industry program. The other part is opening access to a workspace at Charlie’s all year round for South Australian creatives. Charlie’s is a hub for business, collaborating and networking for the Australian screen community in Los Angeles. It's where Australians in Film holds its industry education programs. Founded in 2001, Australians in Film is a Los Angeles-based non-profit screen organisation supporting its members to develop careers and education include the Heath Ledger scholarship, Mentor LA, Village Roadshow/Animal Logic Entertainment Internship, Greg Coote Fellowship, Gateway LA and The Writers Room. Australians in Film is based at Charlie’s, a shared workspace at the historic Raleigh Studios. Charlie’s has become an unofficial Australian creative embassy for screen professionals visiting and working in the USA. Named after Charlie Chaplin, Charlie’s is in the heart of Hollywood where Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks made films and played cards. South Australian Film Corporation has joined Screen Queensland, Create NSW, The Australian Film, Television and Radio School and Film Victoria in funding access to Charlie’s.

Adolf John Schulz gives his brilliance to training teachers from 1909 to 1948 in South Australia

Adolf John Schulz Schulz was deeply hurt by World War I anti-German bigotry in South Australia, including closing Lutheran schools. But he bore it with dignity and continued his long service to training the state's teachers. Born in 1883 at Stepney, Adelaide, to German parents, Schulz attended Flinders Street Lutheran Church School before spending a year with his mother, brother and sister at Harburg, near Hamburg, Germany, where he went to a higher primary school. After attending other Adelaide public schools, Schulz became a monitor and pupil teacher at Rose Park Public School. From 1902, he studied part-time at Adelaide University for a bachelor and master of arts and in 1904 entered the university's teacher training college. He won a scholarship to Zurich University for a PhD. On Schulz's way home from Germany in 1909, South Australia's education director Alfred Williams appointed him, at 25, as superintendent of students at the teacher training college. Academically brilliant, Schulz seemed grave in shunning smoking, drinking, dancing, sport and socialising but many students found him kind. Lecturing in psychology, philosophy, education and languages (he was fluent in seven), he taught education (1910-48), German (1920-51) and educational psychology (1922-48). Schulz led one of the earliest diploma of education courses in Australian universities. He emphasised a psychology of the self and others and intelligent personal morality. Schulz was first president of the South Australian Institute of Educational Research. His books included Morality and Moral Education (1929)

Adelaide Film Festival since 2003 scores world premieres plus strong Australian content

Adelaide Film Festival, over two weeks in October, has been listed by Variety magazine in its Top 50 Unmissable Film Festivals around the world. It has a strong focus on Australian content. The festival, started in 2003 by state premier Mike Rann, has presented the Don Dunstan Award for outstanding contributions to the Australian film industry to Andrew Bovell, Scott Hicks, Judy Davis, Jan Chapman, Rolf de Heer, Dennis O’Rourke and David Gulpillil. In 2017, the festival had the world premiere of South Australian-made zombie film Cargo, starring Martin Freeman with David Gulpilil and Adelaide actor Natasha Wanganeen, set in the South Australian outback. AnotheAustralian premiere  was Aboriginal  director Warwick Thornton’s period western Sweet country, starring indigenous actors with Sam Neill and Bryan Brown. A comedy drama about a family who reunite over the sale of the family home, F*!#ing Adelaide, created by Sophie Hyde and starring Adelaide actor Tilda Cobham-Hervey, had its world premiere, as did After the apology, a documentary about indigenous child removal, by Larissa Behrendt. The 2018 festival presented 17 world premieres and 30 national premieres and a strong lineup of films from Australian emerging directors. Besides featuring Adelaide director Athnony Maras's Hotel Mumbai and Jennifer Kent's The Nightingale, the festival presented Australian premieres of Venice award winners: including the Coen brothers' The Ballad of Buster Scruggs  and Mexican film Roma, by Academy Award-winning director Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity).

Fleurieu festival gives short-film makers the chance to express variations on a theme

Budding filmmakers have the chance to showcase their creativity at the Fleurieu Film Festival (2015-19, with the next scheduled for 2021) while celebrating the premium food and wine of the peninsula south of Adelaide in February at a McLaren Vale winery. More than 100 submissions were received from Australia, France, the USA and Russia for the 2018 community festival, with Australian actor Australian actor Erik Thomson who lives on the peninsula, as its patron. A shortlist of 10 films is chosen a particular annual theme. The 2019 theme was: “Climate change – hot topic/kool films”. The City of Onkaparinga and Resilient South were partners with Fleurieu Film Festival on that theme. The 10 films shortlisted for the 2019 festival at S.C. Pannell Winery included one from Aldinga local and director, producer and writer Barry Mitchell. His film Legacy was also submitted to the Elements Film Festival in Vancouver, Canada, and Colorado Environmental Film Festival in Golden, Colorado. Other finalists were Birthplace, directed by Sil Van Der Woerd and Jorik Dozy (Netherlands); Climate Change and The Community, directed by Craig Cooper and Onkaparinga Council’s Studio 20 Youth Centre (South Australia); Harvest, by Brodie Winning (South Australia); Mea Culp, by Tom Parolin (South Australia); Semblance, by Stephanie Jaclyn (South Australia); The Devil’s Bureaucrat, by Gina Cameron (South Australia); Who’s A Fly Bird, by Bianca Tomchin and Mathew Harvey ( NSW); Ursula, by Rick Davies (South Australia); Wind Giants, by Nick Thompson. 

Mario Andreacchio led way from Adelaide to China and other global film co productions

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. 

Anthony Maras's major work 'Hotel Mumbai' builds on his previous short film successes

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.  

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