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Background Production Management Historic Research Corporate Writing Industrial Skills Associations Career
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Production Management

Peter has extensive experience in historic research and writing, in the field-survey of historic sites (the latest GPS technology and electronic map sets are available for mapping complex and extended sites), in comparative heritage assessment, and the provision of comprehensive reports (see Written Works).  Peter also prepares reports under the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986.

Peter’s speciality is industrial and forest history but is by no means limited to these fields.  He has a thorough knowledge of Lands, Forests, Company and genealogical records held by the PROV, and has conducted much oral history recording.  (The latest digital recording equipment is available for this task).  In addition, Peter has had charge of the restoration of heritage machinery for Parks Victoria, and has been involved in the refurbishment of heritage sites for the now Victorian Department of Environment & Primary Industry.

Written Works

Books:

Wooden Rails and Green Gold: a century of timber and transport over the Yarra Track (in prep).  Final version 146,000 words.  With the Light Railway Research Society of Australia Inc. for publication in 2021, A4 format, 350+ pages, hard cover, fully referenced. lrrsa.org.au

Sunbury: Australia’s Greatest Rock Festival.  Published by Melbourne Books, October 2017. Large format 210 x 270mm, hard cover, 240 pages, colour throughout, fully referenced. melbournebooks.com.au

Salt of the Earth: A history of salt harvesting at the Pink Lake, Lochiel, Victoria.  Published September 2016 by Mount Zero Olives.  In A4 format, soft cover, 28 pages, fully referenced.

From Fjords to Eucalypt Forests: Bjarne K. Dahl’s Journey.  Published August 2010 by the Bjarne K. Dahl Trust.  In A5 format, soft cover, 34 pages. Digital copy available for free download from https://www.eucalyptaustralia.org.au/about/bjarne-k-dahl/

Rails to Rubicon: A History of the Rubicon Forest.  Published by the Light Railway Research Society of Australia Inc. in November 1994.  In A4 format, 208 pages, hard cover.  Indexed and fully referenced.  Updated and reprinted November 2019 lrrsa.org.au

Tram to Paradise Plains; Tram Across the Range; and Alstergren's Bells Clear Creek Sawmill. In Secrets of the Forest by Tom Griffiths. Allen and Unwin, 1992.  Co-authored The Old Federal Mill with M. J. McCarthy in the same publication.

Papers in conference publications and articles in historical journals:

Lives of the Engineers: A. Roberts & Sons, Bendigo.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 213, February 2021.

Lives of the Engineers: Morgan Bevan John.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 212, December 2020.

The Mystery of the ‘John Donald’ Winding Engine. In Journal of Australasian Mining History, Volume 18, Australian Mining History Association, October 2020.

Lives of the Engineers: A Trio of Boilermakers (Catherall, Watson and Anderson).  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 211, October 2020.

Lives of the Engineers: Wright and Edwards.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 210, August 2020.

Copper, Platinum, Gold and Lime: The mines and tramways of Coopers Creek, Victoria.  In Light Railways 274, August 2020.

Lives of the Engineers: Cliff and Bunting.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 209, June 2020.

Lives of the Engineers: Humble and Nicholson.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 208, April 2020.

Lives of the Engineers: J. Porta, bellows manufacturer.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 207, February 2020.

The Melbourne Harbor Trust Steam Ferry (and the bridge that replaced it).  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 206, December 2019.

‘Sleeping on a Volcano’: Melbourne’s explosives magazines.  In Light Railways, issue 270, December 2019.

The Melbourne Harbor Trust Steam Navvy.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 205, October 2019.

Collins’ Union Woollen Mills, Geelong.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 204, August 2019. (Updated TOMM issue 206).

Lives of the Engineers: Goldsmith & Renshaw.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 203, June 2019.

Lives of the Engineers: Mephan Ferguson.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 202, April 2019.

Knox Brothers’ Quarry, Leongatha . In Light Railways issue 266, April 2019.

Lives of the Engineers: D. & R. Buchanan & Brock.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 201, February 2019.

‘Does away with Tramways’: an early Victorian ‘skyline’.  In Light Railways issue 265, February 2019.

Lives of the Engineers: Robison Brothers.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 200, December 2018.

The Cheetham Chronicles, Part 6: Moolap and Laverton.  In Light Railways issue 263, October 2018.

Lives of the Engineers: McCall, Black, Anderson, Campbell, Sloss and McCann.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 199, October 2018.

Lives of the Engineers: David Forman’s Yarra Boiler Works.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 198, August 2018.

Lives of the Engineers: Thomas Fulton and the Langlands Brothers, Part II.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 197, June 2018.

Lives of the Engineers: Thomas Fulton and the Langlands Brothers, Part I.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 196, April 2018.

Lives of the Engineers: Alexander Lugton.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 195, February 2018.

Lives of the Engineers: James O’Grady.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 194, December 2017.

Lives of the Engineers: John Buncle.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 193, October 2017.

Water turbines of the Woods Point Goldfield, 1866-1867.  In Proceedings of the 19th Australasian Engineering Heritage Conference: putting water to work.  October 2017.

Lives of the Engineers: Enoch Chambers.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 192, August 2017.

A Safe Haven on the Shipwreck Coast: A Harbour for Port Fairy.  In Light Railways, issue 256, August 2017.

Puffs of Steam Part III: unusual boilers and fittings. In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 191, June 2017.

The Toorak Cable Tram Engine House.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 190, April 2017.

A Steam Leviathan: The Melbourne Harbour Trust’s Taylor crane.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 189, February 2017.

‘Good Historians need Strong Boots’: Narbethong sawmills and tramways, Victoria.  In Light Railways 252, December 2016.

Steam Amongst the Grasstree: The Heytesbury Experimental Farm of 1910.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 188, December 2016.

Cowley’s Eureka Ironworks.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issues 185, 186 and 187, June, August and October 2016.

Julia Marion Harvey Hale, Sawmiller.  In Proceedings of the Ninth National Conference of the Australian Forest History Society, August 2016.

‘A fine lot of timber fit for the saw’: Dumbrell’s timber tramway and sawmills in north-east Victoria.  In Light Railways issue 249, June 2016.

George Moss Evans, Engine Driver.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 184, April 2016.

The Albert Foundry, Ballarat.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 183, February 2016.

A picture’s worth a thousand words:  The St. Arnaud Silver Mines.  In Light Railways issue 247, February 2016.

From Pig Iron to Paddleboats: James Ivey’s Miners’ Foundry, Ballarat.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 182, December 2015.

The Wolfram Mine at Wilks Creek, Victoria.  In The Journal of Australasian Mining History, Volume 13, October 2015.

Tuck’s Industrial Packings.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 181, October 2015.

A picture’s worth a thousand words: Evans’ sawmill and tramway, Halls Gap.  In Light Railways, issue 244, August 2015.

Lane Bradford Coulsell, Engineer.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 180, August 2015.

Puffs of Steam Part II: Industrial Oddities.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 179, June 2015.

Puffs of Steam Part I: A Marine Miscellany.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 178, April 2015.

Paddle Steamer Hero.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issues 175, 176 and 177, October, December 2014 and February 2015.

Hewett’s Yarrowee Soap & Candle Works.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 174, August 2014.

G. G. Norman, Engineer & Machinist.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 173, June 2014.

Seasoning by Steam.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 172, April 2014.

Steam in the Archives Part IV: The Boiler Inspectors.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issues 170 and 171, December 2013 and February 2014.

Paving the Way: Steam Roller Manufacture in Victoria 1890-1940.  In Proceedings of the 17th Engineering Heritage Conference, Engineers Australia, Canberra, November 2013.

Day’s Historic Flour Mill and Farm.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 167, June 2012.

J. Bartram & Son: Pioneers of Dairy Mechanisation in Victoria.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issues 166, 167, 168 and 169; April, June, August and October 2012

The Baltic-Simplex ‘Jacko’ Boiler.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 165; February 2012.

Logging by Steam in Victoria’s Forests.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issues 159, 160, 161, 162 and 163; February, April, June, August and October 2012.

Wright’s Folly: the Trawool Granite Quarry and its Tramway.  In Light Railways issue 225, June 2012.

Richards’ Winch: Conserving an historic site in a working forest.  In Proceedings of the 16th Engineering Heritage Conference, Engineers Australia,Hobart, November 2011.

A Ticket for Life: A short history of the Boiler Attendant’s and Engine Driver’s Certificates.  In The Old Machinery Magazine issues 154, 155, 156 and 157; April, June, August, October 2011.

A Traction Engine called George: A History of the Warrenheip Timber Reserve.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 153, February 2011.

Centenary of Rail into Alexandra.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 152, December 2010.

The A. G. Mumford Direct-Acting Rotative Pump.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 151; October 2010.

A Labyrinth of Gold: Steam Operations at Sovereign Hill.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 145, October 2009.

Steam in the Archives Part II: Boiler records for mining locomotives in Victoria 1929-1947.  In Light Railways issue 209, October 2009.  Another version with a heritage skew was published as Steam in the Archives part III in The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 158, December 2011.

Milling Australia’s Forests.  In Australia and New Zealand Forest Histories, Occasional Publications No.1, editor J. Dargavel, Australian Forest History Society, Canberra, August 2005.  Also published in IUFRO News of Forest History Nr.11 (35)/2004 2005, International Union of Forest Research Organisations (Forest History Research Group).  One of a series of papers backgrounding Australia’s forests for the IUFRO XXII World Congress 2005 conference held in Brisbane. IUFRO Secretariat, Vienna, August 2005.

The Great Wall of China: Catchment Policy and the Forests beyond the Yarra Watershed 1850-1950.  In A Forest Consciousness: Proceedings of the Sixth National Conference of the Australian Forest History Society.  M. Calver et al. (editors). Millpress Science Publishers, Rotterdam, Netherlands, April 2005.

Kelly & Lewis 5957 returns to Alexandra.  In Light Railways 181, February 2005.

Forest Fire and Funeral Pyre: Tragedies of the Victorian Bush.  In The Victorian Naturalist, Volume 121 (3), Field Naturalists Club of Victoria, June 2004.

Russell & Russell, Pressure Gauge Manufacturers.  In The Old Machinery Magazine, issue 104 and 105, December 2002 and February 2003.

Steam in the Archives: Boiler records for industrial locomotives in Victoria 1906-1935.  In Light Railways issue 160, August 2001.  Another version of this article with a heritage skew was published as Steam in the Archives part I and II in The Old Machinery Magazine, issues 111 and 112, 2004

Two Krausses and a ‘Koppel: The spoil tramways of the Port of Melbourne 1906-1909.  In Light Railways issue 156, December 2000.

The Yarra Track: An exploration of cultural sites along an early Victorian goldfields route.  In Historic Environment, Volume 14 Number 3, Australia ICOMOS, December 1999.

A Question of Influence: Agents for Krauss Locomotives and Bochum Union rolling stock in Australia.  In Light Railways issue 150, December 1999.

The Tarago Aqueduct Tunnel.  In Light Railways, issue 137, 1997.

Refuge From Fire: Sawmill Dugouts in Victoria.  In Australia's Ever Changing Forests III: Proceedings of the Third National Conference on Australian Forest History.  J. Dargavel (editor).  Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, Australian National University, 1997.

Assessing Heritage Values of Sawmills and Tramways in Central Victoria.  In Australia's Ever Changing Forests II: Proceedings of the Second National Conference on Australian Forest History. J. Dargavel and S. Feary (editors).  Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, Australian National University, 1993.

Recording Australia's Forest Heritage: Kirchhubel's West Tanjil Sawmill and Tramway.  In Light Railways issue 116, 1992.

Websites

Oral History of Landcare, onging project entitled Landcare Voices.  Comment from the client: I was very impressed with Peter’s interviews, he is excellent at making the person feel at ease, quite a feat. Interviews are available at https://www.landcarevic.org.au/groups/state/lvi/landcare-voices-30-years-of-landcare/

Research and writing for the new Steam Operations section of the Sovereign Hill Museums Association website http://www.sovereignhill.com.au/sovereign-hill/steam-operations/

Historical consultant and co-writer for the ABC’s innovative ‘Black Friday’ web site http://www.abc.net.au/blackfriday/home (archived, no longer available).  The task included the provision of text and relevant images to tight deadlines.  The site won the 2004 ATOM Award for Best Educational site in Australia and New Zealand, was a finalist in the AIMIA Awards under the Best Cultural section and also won the 2004 Fire Awareness Community Service Award for Excellence.

Wrote text and supplied images for the Alexandra Timber Tramway web-site http://www.alexandratramway.org.au as well as digital and actual interpretation material for use on site.

Unpublished reports:

Patent Chilean Mill.  An unpublished report to the Sovereign Hill Museums Association, August 2013.

Cowley’s Eureka Ironworks and Steam Roller 1214 of 1928.  An unpublished report to the Sovereign Hill Museums Association, January 2013.

Y112 of the Victorian Railways and the Phoenix Foundry.  An unpublished report to The Sovereign Hill Museums Association, August 2010.

A Study of Historic Sawmill and Tramway Sites in the Gippsland Forest Region, Victoria.  For Environment Australia and the Department of Natural Resources and Environment.  (40,000 words plus site gazetteer).  Completed January 1999.

A Study of Historic Sawmill and Tramway Sites in the West Forest Region, Victoria.  For Environment Australia and the Department of Natural Resources and Environment.  (50,000 words plus site gazetteer).  Completed December 1998.

A Study of Historic Sawmill and Tramway Sites in the North East Forest Region, Victoria.  For Environment Australia and the Department of Natural Resources and Environment.  (45,000 words plus site gazetteer).  Completed December 1997.

Brown & Cecil's Royston Mill: An Archaeological Survey.  For the Historic Places Section, Department of Natural Resources and Environment.  May 1997.

Forest Fire and Funeral Pyre: Historic Fire Sites in the Central Highland Forests of Victoria.  A report to the Historic Places Section, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.  (26,000 words).  Completed December 1993.

The Rubicon Hydro Electric Scheme.  A classification report for the National Trust of Australia (Victoria).  Versions of the same report with slightly different assessment methods to meet differing criteria were provided to the Australian Heritage Commission and the Historic Buildings Council.  October 1993.

A Report to the Australian Heritage Commission on Sawmill and Tramway Sites in the Central Highland Forests of Victoria.  For the Australian Heritage Commission.  Three volumes. (80,000 words).  July 1993.

A Report on the Steam Power Plant, Day's Mill and Farm, Murchison.  For Parks Victoria, June 1993 onwards.  Updated as work proceeds on the restoration of the plant.

Timber Extraction in the Dee River Watershed (Parish of Yuonga).  For APM Forests Pty Ltd. (7000 words).  July 1992.

Work in progress:

Good Hope Mine, Crooked River.  With Light Railways for publication.

Reconstructing Robb’s Reward: Light railway archaeology at a small Victorian gold mine.  with Light Railways for publication.

Tramways to Timboon: the timber, lime, coal and gravel of the Heytesbury Forest (in prep). No definite plans for publication as yet.  Currently 45,000 words with 90% of the mapping completed.

Black Saturday 2009: a post-fire survey of historic sawmill sites in fire affected areas.  An unpublished report in preparation for the Light Railway Research Society of Australia and Heritage Victoria.  (Heritage Victoria project 3544).

Individual Site Reports:

Vic Oak Mill and Tramway; Marysville Timber & Seasoning Company Sawmills and Tramways; Feiglin's No.1 and No.2 mills, Acheron Valley: F H Drain/William Cook Sawmill and Tramway; Buxton Sawmilling Company Mill and Tramway: and Wolfram Mine, Wilks Creek Track.  In Historic Sites in the Melbourne East Study Area by R. Supple, G. Perham and T. Griffiths. For the Land Conservation Council of Victoria.

 

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