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Oral History Collection

Our community is made up of many diverse and interesting people, from just as many diverse cultural backgrounds. Goulburn Mulwaree Library would like to capture and share these stories of people who live and work in our community.

If you have a story to tell, or know someone who does, and would like to share it with our community and beyond, contact the Oral History team on (02) 4823 4435 or email us at

Listen to our oral history interviews below:

Alphonso Karbehl

Alphonso Karbehl was born in 1990 in the small West African state of Liberia, one year after the civil war began. He grew up amid warfare, and spent his teenage years with what was left of his family in a refugee camp in Ghana.

Eventually the family came under the care of the United Nations, and Alphonso arrived in Goulburn in 2009 on a refugee humanitarian visa.

Alphonso now has a family of his own, is continuing his studies, and shares his life story in the hope of raising awareness of refugees within our community, and to provide a message of hope. Alphonso is determined to use every opportunity to build a life he has always dreamed about.

Listen to his story.

Tony and Adriana Lamarra

Tony and Adriana Lamarra emigrated to Australia with their respective families from Italy in the 1950s.

Eventually they met, fell in love, married, and settled in Goulburn where they raised a family and established a successful long term business.

Tony became an Alderman in 1974, and was on Council for 26 years. For part of that time he was Deputy Mayor, and from 1985-1991 was Mayor of Goulburn City Council.

Listen to their story.

Dan McSweeney

Dan McSweeney has led a colourful, rich life, filled with travel and adventure.

From sleeping in caves on Crete, to nursing dying soldiers in Lebanon, Dan has recorded just a fraction of his amazing life in this oral history interview.

Listen to his story.

Alfie Walker

Alfie Walker is a proud Wiradjuri and Yuin man from Goulburn, with a long family history in the area. He is an Aboriginal leader within the Goulburn Mulwaree community, and a member of the Pejar Local Aboriginal Land Council.

Alfie is an elected Councillor of Goulburn Mulwaree Council, a cultural awareness facilitator, and an active member of Goulburn's arts community.

Alfie is passionate about the Goulburn community, Aboriginal heritage and culture, and his strong family values.

Listen to his story.

Dorothy McCabe

Dorothy McCabe, 96 years young, is a vibrant Crookwell local, who has lived her entire life in Crookwell and Goulburn.

Dorothy has lived through almost a century of local and world events, including two world wars, the Great Depression, and countless more.

Dorothy, the eldest of 9 children, grew up as a typical country girl, before moving into Goulburn after World War II. She tells a wonderful story of a typical life in the area over the last 100 years.

Listen to her story.

Memories of Kenmore

Memories of Kenmore is a look back at the lives of some of the nurses who worked at Kenmore from the 60s to 90s.

Join retired nurses Maureen Williams, Bev Barden, Lorraine Hyde, and Leone Morgan as they remember their training and working lives as psychiatric nurses at Kenmore Hospital.

Their care and regard for their patients and for each other, and their fond memories of life at Kenmore Hospital bring a different light to our understanding of one of Goulburn's most well-known orgnisations.

Listen to their story.

The Performing Arts in Goulburn

The Performing Arts in Goulburn have an extensive history and rich community today. To celebrate the opening of the Goulburn Performing Arts Centre, we spoke with a number of our local performing arts practitioners. Find out just how important the arts are to the Goulburn community, and how the arts contribute to the very fabric of our society.

Listen to their story.

Dr. Paul Paviour, OAM

Dr. Paul Paviour, OAM is a Goulburn-based composer, organist, and conductor. Order of Australia Medallist and recipient of the Fellowship and Harding Prize by the Royal College of Organists, Dr. Paviour was the first director of the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium of Music, now Hume Conservatorium. His life and career takes him from Birmingham, England in 1931, to Bathurst, and eventually to Goulburn. He has performed and conducted all over the World and taught countless local musicians along the way.

Listen to his story.

Pat Alford

Pat Alford, who grew up at Rossiville, is a direct descendant of the MacDonald family who undertook Australia's longest recorded overland cattle drive from Clifford's Creek near Goulburn to Fossil Downs in the Kimberleys, Western Australia. Pat recalls a wonderful adventurous life growing up in the Goulburn region in the 1930s and 40s, supplying peacocks to the Queen, undertaking a nursing career in hospitals and with the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and making a visit to the iconic Fossil Downs.

Listen to her story.

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