The Driver – Australia and New Zealand on the back of a truck.

20160920_160053I first heard about this upcoming title some months ago whilst flicking through the free newspaper ‘Big Rigs’ when I stopped at a roadhouse on a regular drive to Victoria. I was pretty excited when it finally arrived on my desk at the Library last week. As a fan of anything automotive, it was great to see an excellent book that focuses on an industry that is under-represented in library collections. An industry that everyone in Australia relies on, yet generally knows so little about.

20160920_160304The author is professional photographer and entrepreneur Alice Mabin. Alice is no stranger to rural Australia having grown up on the land, and photographing Aussie rural life, much of which appears in her first book, The Drover.



The Driver – Australia and New Zealand on the back of a truck is literally a massive book, and it needs to be to even scratch the surface of an industry of the scale seen in Australia and New Zealand. It features 110 trucking families and businesses, of all sizes, truck makes and cargoes, providing very colourful and varied stories. It’s not just the trucks though, each spread also has the real-life experiences of those who drive the trucks, and superbly captures their passions and drives.

20160920_160232There’s 700 photographs, and Alice’s skill with the camera is clearly evident. Some were planned shots and stories, others occurred by chance as she travelled the country snapping the photo and then chatting with the driver.

20160920_160217Trucking life is certainly a culture unto itself and has suffered and triumphed through many changes and challenges since the pre-war period when trucks became a standard feature on and off of our roads. There is a timeline in the front of the book that highlights many of these important events.

Alice herself was struck by a truck whilst driving on the Sunshine Coast some years back and she accounts this incident as the trigger to understanding trucking life. Both of Alice’s books are available to borrow from SA Libraries and you can learn more about Alice on her website.

Stepping out of your comfort zone

Work experience student Holly recently spent one week with us at Tea Tree Gully Library. Not only did she learn about the library and all of the work that goes on behind the scenes, she also learned a lot about herself.

‘Hi, my name is Holly and I attended work experience at the Tea Tree Gully Library. I am going to be writing about stepping outside of your comfort zone.

What types of qualities do you need to step outside your comfort zone? Courage? Bravery? Persistence? Resilience? I think they pretty much cover it. This year, I have had to deal with stepping outside of my comfort zone a lot. I still am. Is it easy? No, of course it isn’t. A way to help me through a confronting situation is to think about the positive outcomes. Stepping outside of my comfort zone makes me more confident and independent in the long run, even if at the time I am really nervous or freaking out about it. I know that if I do the certain activity, I will be better off for it.

comfort zone

‘Stepping outside of my comfort zone makes me more confident and independent in the long run.’

One instance of me stepping outside of my comfort zone was whenever I had to deliver a speech to my class. Sure, it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but I can’t help but get nervous. When I get nervous like that, my hands shake and I talk really fast. I am sure that’s common. However, the more times I get up in front of people and talk to them, the more confident in speaking I will become. Over the year, I have gotten better at speeches in front of people. There is still room for improvement, but practice makes perfect. In all honesty, I don’t mind delivering speeches, but my shaking hands and pounding heart suggest otherwise. It must be a subconscious thing. To get rid of this subconscious worry, I will need to face the anxiety head on by delivering speeches. The more I do it, the more comfortable I will feel, which will decrease my nerves. I hope that in the next couple of years, I will get even better at public speaking.

Another instance of me stepping outside of my comfort zone is performing in front of my drama class. Don’t get me wrong, I love drama, but sometimes doubt seeps into my mind. What if I’m not good enough? I bet everyone else is better than me. This is so embarrassing, I look ridiculous! I don’t even want to know what people are thinking of me right now! Those are some of the thoughts that whirl through my mind as I try to perform. This results me in getting very nervous, my hands shaking, my heart pounding and me speaking my lines way too fast. Sometimes, my performance levels will drop because I’m too scared that I will look ridiculous. If I am holding a prop, it will be very obvious my hands are shaking. I have to do a monologue in drama for my exam in a few weeks and I find it very difficult to rehearse it in front of everyone, as my character gets a little crazy. However, the more times I do it, the more times I step out of my comfort zone, the easier it gets. My confidence has built so much since my first drama lesson this year. My teacher has noticed it too. I now can rehearse my monologue or other parts of the script without the nerves or fear of people watching me. Again, there’s still room for improvement, but if I keep persevering, I will get there. I love drama and wish to continue it throughout school and maybe even after it, so if I can build my confidence, which would enhance my skills, that would be amazing.

One of the biggest examples of me stepping outside my comfort zone is when I volunteered to go to my school’s Sri Lanka mission trip. At first, I was just very excited. I haven’t really been overseas before, aside from a cruise to the Pacific islands with my family. I have never been on an international flight. I haven’t been that far from home before. This would be the longest time away from my family and most of my friends. As the time got closer, I started to feel more nervous, doubts creeping into my mind. It was feeling a lot more real to me now. What if I couldn’t do something that the team wanted me to do while I was away? What if I humiliated myself? What if something goes wrong? What if people in the team didn’t want to talk to me? What if I became lonely? What if the kids at the homes don’t like me? These questions were clouding my mind, making me feel more anxious about the trip. Even with all of my doubts, it didn’t stop me from wanting to go. I still wanted to make a difference to the kids’ lives. I leave for Sri Lanka this Sunday, which is both exciting and scary. I need to step outside of my comfort zone and deal with any problems that come my way the best that I can. I have pushed out all of the negative thoughts and try to focus on the positive. Just because it’s a new situation doesn’t mean that it will be bad.

The most recent instance, which also includes the time that I was writing this, is my work experience. I applied to the Tea Tree Gully Library. I thought it would take a while for them to contact me, but it only took about a week or two, which was a pleasant surprise. I have to be honest here. I, like almost the entire Year 10 cohort at my school, did not find a work experience placement at the start of the year when we were handed our forms. My reasoning was that the places I already looked up either didn’t accept Year 10’s, didn’t have the correct days, or already had work experience students. I am glad that someone suggested I should try the library, as I do like to read myself. It’d be interesting to see what is going on behind the scenes of a library.  Right up to the moment I stepped into the library, I was feeling extremely nervous. I had no idea what to expect or where to go. The same could be said for the interview process. I was worried because I had just come from school and was still in my PE uniform! I had wished I had time to change. At least when I went into the work experience week, I had time to make myself look presentable.

Once I got to the council, one of the librarians came and got me and brought me down to the work room. This was when I was most nervous, but I pushed through it and carried on. There were a few little introductions. I knew I wouldn’t remember anyone’s names straight away because I am not really good at names. Michele talked me through the introduction to the library and gave me a tour. I started to feel more relaxed, but I still felt a little bit nervous. Soon enough, I got into some work. I started off at the chute with Chris G. I enjoyed it, especially since I got to know Chris a little bit better. I think that’s what I like most about each job. I get to talk to and learn more about the workers here at the library. This helped me feel more relaxed. My favourite job on Monday was probably being at the customer service desk. You can interact with customers as well as the staff around you. Even though checking in lots of books and sorting them into the right boxes and trolleys may seem tedious and a little boring, I didn’t mind it. I found myself getting into a rhythm. By the end of the first day, I was really tired. I wasn’t used to this type of work day. I went home tired, but looking forward to coming back for the next few days.

Tea Tree Gully Library

‘I am glad that someone suggested I should try the library, as I do like to read myself. It’d be interesting to see what is going on behind the scenes of a library.’

On the Tuesday, I had to find my own way to the library, so I decided to take a bus, which is something I don’t normally do. I really didn’t want to get there late because there was a staff meeting, so I decided to get an earlier bus than I had planned. I was a little nervous, but I decided to step out of my comfort zone and have a little faith in myself. It was the right choice. I got to the library in plenty of time. The staff meeting was right at the start of the day and I had a chance to look at all the staff, as I had not met everyone yet. My favourite activity of the day was helping run the ‘Facebook/Messenger on your tablet’ session. Even though I don’t use either application myself, I managed to help some of the people in the session, which was great. This session was a lot different compared to the other jobs that I had done so far. I even learned some things from attending that session. Just like the first day, I put 100% effort into everything I did, even with the more tedious tasks, like labelling wine bottles.

On the Wednesday, I caught the bus again, but I decided to catch a slightly later one. I still made it to the library in plenty of time. The first task I did was to find the expired holds. There wasn’t too many to do, so I spent about 45 minutes also just shelving books. After morning tea was the fun part. I got to attend the ‘Baby Bounce’ and ‘Toddler Time’. A couple of staff members and myself sat in the corner of the library in front of a crowd of kids and their parents. The 10:30 session was for babies and the 11:30 session was for toddlers. What we had to do was sing songs to the kids and do the actions to them. I was nervous and uncertain about it at first, but I quickly got into it. These sessions were something that I have never done before, but I really enjoyed them. The little kids were so cute!

Baby Bounce

‘What we had to do was sing songs to the kids and do the actions to them. I was nervous and uncertain about it at first, but I quickly got into it. ‘

I then spent a couple of hours at the customer service desk. I got into a steady rhythm. After the customer service desk, I had some time to continue this blog. While I was working, one of my school teachers came to see how I was going. We had a quick chat about what type of jobs I was doing. I then went back into the work room to continue writing. After the allocated project time, I attended an early development and index meeting with Holly, another librarian. Throughout the week, it would be disorientating when someone would call my name, but not be talking to me. I have rarely come across someone with the same name as me before. During the meeting, there was a power outage, so a lot of people left early, including me. It turns out the whole state had a power outage.

On Thursday, I started the day by doing holds. However, I only had time to do a few because at 9:15am, there was a morning tea for a staff member’s birthday. That lasted until 10am. I then went to help David for a couple of hours around the library. After that, I did some of the pick list with Stephen. I then spent another couple of hours in the toy library, which was interesting. It was good to interact with Lyn and the volunteers there. After that, I went back to the chute for a while with Pam. We also managed to do some of the pick list as well. To finish the day off, I had more time to work on my blog.

On Friday, my last day of Year 10 work experience, I came into the library early once again. It gave me time to look over my schedule. I started the day by doing some admin with Nicolle. It was a little bit confusing, but if I had more time for it, I am sure that I would have got it. I then went to story time with Kim and Julie. I listened to them read stories to the kids, helped hand out the crafts stuff and joined in with any actions for the songs. The kids were really cute and excitable. After story time, I went back to help Nicolle with admin. After lunch, I worked in the chute and customer service desk one last time. At the end of the day, I had a final catch up with Michele to talk about the week.

Now that the week has ended, I can say that I’m glad that I applied for the library. It gave me a good variety of tasks. It would probably be boring if I did one thing for the whole week. Work experience in general is a great way for kids to break away from their school life and have a glance at the real world. It may be outside of their comfort zones, but it does prepare them to do well in their futures when they do have full time jobs. Work experience gives you more independence and confidence, so I definitely recommend you doing it. Tea Tree Gully Library is a good option if you are unsure of where to go. It gives you a taste at a range of different jobs.

In conclusion, nothing worthwhile in life is easy. You will feel much more joy if you have to put a lot of effort into achieving something. If you could do anything without much thought or effort, the impact of the achievement will be a lot less. Something may be outside of your comfort zone, but don’t let that stop you. Be brave. Be resilient. Be persistent. Have courage.’

Way back when, Wednesdays

Not the swinging 60s

‘Fifty Fifty’ was a column in the Messenger newspaper in which “men and women from all over Adelaide speak their minds freely on their hopes, their problems, their fears and what they really think of each other. If you think your parents have complained about how often you go out and how late you get home, spare a thought for this poor woman. Her mother is complaining about her ‘inconsiderate’ behaviour in the North East Leader Messenger, on page 14 of the 2 December 1965 edition.

It was common for young people to live with their parents until they got married, which really wasn’t very long. In 1965, the average age for women to marry was 21 and men 23 It looks like this lady’s parents have gotten the idea that their unmarried daughter was set to look after them for the longterm, rather than having a life of her own.


Way back when, Wednesdays

Bridge of no return    

 Adelaide has recently experienced heavy rain and flooding, with more wet weather forecasted this week.   High water levels in the River Torrens have damaged bridges in the local area. If you travel on Kelly Road which crosses Valley View and Modbury (near the North East Road turnoff) be grateful that you don’t have to travel over this old wreck of a bridge. Probably built for a horse and cart to cross, it looks so old that it was and it could have had a troll living under it.

On page 1 of the North East Leader Messenger on 27 May, 1965 the newspaper reported that in the Spring, the District Council of Tea Tree Gully was set to replace the stone bridge which crosses a section of Dry Creek, with a solid structure made of steel and reinforced concrete. The bridge’s safety rails were falling down and drivers were advised not to travel over it or to reduce speed when doing so. Councillor V.O. Jacobsen, Chairman of the Council told the reporter that despite the safety rails falling over and the apparent poor condition of the bridge, all the timbers were in sound condition. If you cared to take the chance! Let’s hope that the bridge actually lasted the Winter of 1965 without any casualties incurred crossing it.

Driving over this section of Kelly road in 2016, you may not even notice that you have actually crossed a bridge.


3 minutes of poetic fame


The Writes of Spring

Open mic poetry readings at the Library

11800067 - microphone and swirling text

Wednesday 28 September 2016

6.30 – 7.30pm (spectators) 6.00 – 7.30pm (performers)

North Eastern Writers Inc. will be presenting a free evening of poetry at the Library ‘The Writes of Spring’ on Wednesday 28 September 2016.

Come along to the Relaxed Reading Area of the Library and hear a range of emotive poetry and prose readings from members of the North Eastern Writers and the general public.

Or if you are a budding poet why not perform your piece? It costs $5 to participate and there is a three minute limit for each performer.  Registration is from 6pm.  Bare your soul, make a social comment, make us laugh or rap.  Whatever your style of poetry, you will be welcome.

A wine and cheese supper will be served.  Book online or telephone the Library on      8397 7333.





Way back when, Wednesdays

Band, bugs or a Volksy?

The Leader Messenger reported on a pre-wedding function in the edition of 9 August 1967. We may never know if this party actually featured a Beatles tribute band (imagine, your event makes the paper but the reporter or typesetter makes an awful error). Maybe the couple were fans of the Volkswagen Beetle and this vehicle was also used as their wedding car! Or could it be that Miss Mary Christie and Dr John Dickens just loved beetles? Perhaps a shared hobby of amateur entomology brought them together? Did they decorate with colourful ladybird and scarab motifs and snack on Rowntree Hoadley’s Bertie Beetle chocolates?

Mary’s friends prepared her well for her new role as a 60s housewife, with gifts of money and a cookbook. Come to think of it, we still need money in 2016. Many couples set up a ‘wishing well’ at their weddings and home cooking is in fashion again.


Way back when, Wednesdays


Recently the Australian media has criticised our Olympians performance in Rio as they only won 29 metals, instead of the expected 45. Most of us have been brought up with the adage that it’s not winning that is important but competing in an event. The actual saying was coined by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the Olympics “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.”

Perhaps little Dawn Starick said something like that to her pet goat in March 1970, when they did not win a ribbon at the Golden Grove and Yatala Vale show. Along with “Never mind, I love you, you are still the most beautiful goat in the world.” I think they deserve a prize, even if it for Dawn being brave enough to stand up and compete with adults. At least they were rewarded by a photograph in the Leader Messenger on 24 March 1970. In the hot Adelaide weather it seems that little girls dressed pretty much the same as they do now.

Nowadays onlookers would have posted their smartphone photographs of this cute scene on Instagram or filmed it for YouTube. Newspapers use digital technology and desktop publishing software to produce each edition.

In 1970 a photographer from the Leader Messenger would have taken this image with a single lens reflex (SLR) camera. The film would then have been exposed on photo paper and in a tedious process set alongside typeface. A process camera operator then made the page into a large photographic negative, which was made into a metal printing plate, which in turn was mounted onto a printing press.