U3A Bulletin No.31

Coffee cup and beans on a white background.November Coffee Morning

Friday 8th November 2019

at Albury Wodonga Community College

10:00 am Tea/Coffee/Food in kitchen area

10:30 am Guest Speaker in room 9

19th Century Paddle Steamers of the Murray River

Presented by David Spurr

I am a native of Albury but spent much of my working life in Sydney as a Geography teacher and school administrator. On retiring at the end of 2001 I returned to live on the Border. I returned to University study and completed a degree in Cultural Heritage Science at Charles Sturt University. My research in that instance involved assessing the attitudes towards and knowledge of local cultural heritage in Albury. Subsequent to that I became involved in History at Latrobe where I am currently undertaking a research degree.

My current research, which I will discuss at your Coffee Morning, involves the Paddle Steamer trade to and in the Upper Murray (Echuca & Moama to Albury Wodonga) in the middle of the 19th Century. I am attempting to show how the steamer business began as a link in an international colonial trading system that took on local characteristics as a response to the particular biophysical and socio-political circumstances of this part of the world. I look at the origins of the trade, its operation upstream to Albury-Wodonga and its eventual demise as the railways took over. I will put an emphasis on the Albury-Wodonga end of the business.


U3A Bulletin No.30

Coffee cup and beans on a white background.October Coffee Morning

Friday 11th October 2019

at Albury Wodonga Community College

10:00 am Food & Tea/Coffee in kitchen area

10:30 am Guest Speaker in room 9

Reporting for a Regional Newspaper

Presented by Ellen Ebsary

I grew up on the Sunshine Coast, QLD, and studied at the University of the Sunshine Coast. My degree was a Bachelor of Journalism which involved placements at the local newspaper and projects with the ABC. As part of a minor in development studies, I also spent 6 weeks in Indonesia as a communications intern for an NGO.

Upon finishing my degree in 2015, I began applying for jobs. While I applied for a cadetship with Newscorp’s Courier Mail and almost had an interview with the NT News (it’s a long story), my preference was to work with Fairfax Media or the ABC as those media companies aligned better with my values. The Border Mail editor interviewed me via phone in October 2015 and I was lucky to be employed.

During my time since at The Border Mail, I have focussed mainly on issues of advocacy, reporting on elder abuse and other health issues. I researched and prepared a freedom of information request into the state of the Mt Buffalo Chalet and uncovered how an insurance payment received by the government was poorly spent, which I consider to be one of my greatest achievements so far.