Mountains, Mud and Migrants

In 2008, members of the West Moonah Community Precinct began to explore the possibility of a history project.

They approached the Arts & Cultural Development Unit of Glenorchy City Council who offered their support in the development of an exhibition at the Moonah Arts Centre in 2009. A working group with representatives from the Precinct, local schools, the Glenorchy Historical Society, Glenorchy City Council staff and others was formed. The group decided to focus in particular on the history of the West Moonah area from the time of the ‘Springfield Estate’ development proposal in 1917.

Three artists worked with schools and community to generate material, create artworks and research and interview older members of the community. The artists were writer/historian Bernard Lloyd, visual artist Caroline Amos and photographer Louise Conboy. What resulted – Mountains, Mud and Migrants: A History of West Moonah – was a celebration of place, an exhibition of photography, sound, artwork, local history and interviews at the Moonah Arts Centre. The exhibition opened on Wednesday 5 August and ran until Wednesday 19 August 2009. These pieces tell the rich story of West Moonah/Springfield – the failed ‘Garden City’ development in the first half of the 1900s, the influx of post war migrants who purchased cheap land to build their homes in a new land, the mud and sewerage legacy of the failed subdivision and finally the tenacity and commitment of a community to their home and suburb as they fought for their right to the basic services that the rest of Hobart enjoyed.

Chapter 1

In the Beginning

Merve Kozikas takes us back to the beginning, in 1950, when all this was bushland.

Chapter 2

The Happy Place

Phyl Pears talks about the happy place.

Chapter 3

The Can Can

Ted Christie remembers an incident with the Can Can.

Chapter 4

Dusty Springfield

Danuta Drozdz talks about the dust — the clouds of dust.

Chapter 5

Black Eyes

Vol Korotki remembers school bullies in “Little Poland”.

Chapter 6

Ban the Can

Marie and Harald Lietz explain what to do when “they only come once a week”.

Chapter 7

Eels and Vodka

Merve Kozikas talks about eel fishing and home distilling.

Chapter 8

The Samaritans

Ted Christie remembers rescuing a bogged vehicle.

Chapter 9

The Tank

Merve Kozikas tells about the time they lost the tank.

Chapter 10

The Great Wall of China

Tom Dempsey describes the wall on Second Avenue.

Chapter 11

The Empty Night Cart

Anna Korotki describes building her house.

Chapter 12

Tom Dempsey

Tom Dempsey describes an explosion.

Chapter 13

Mud Chronicle

An illustrated interview with Ted Christie.

Chapter 14


Garden city vision to civil action.

With thanks to

The project was presented by Moonah Arts Centre. The material on this page has been compiled from material presented as part of the exhibition, Mountains, Mud and Migrants- a history of West Moonah, initiated by the West Moonah Community Precinct, developed by the Glenorchy City Council, and presented at the Moonah Arts Centre in August 2009.


Producers: Eleanor Downes & Seán Kelly

Writer & Digital Presentation: Bernard Lloyd

Music: Teresa Drozdz

DVD Production: Move Media


Producer: Eleanor Downes

Exhibition Design & Installation: Seán Kelly

Community Liaison: Andrea Marquardt

Writer / Historian: Bernard Lloyd

Visual Artist: Caroline Amos

Photographer: Louise Conboy

Exhibition Assistants: Kate Lazenby, Robyn Oh & Sabina Bickley

Project Working Group

West Moonah Community Precinct: Phyl Pears, John Green, Harald Lietz & Marie Lietz

Local Historian: Irene Schaffer

Glenorchy Historical Society: Phil Butler

Cosgrove High School: Kim Jansen

Hilliard Christian School: Susan Matthews

Thank you to the following people for sharing their stories, photographs and artmaking:

Helen Angus, John Aitchison, Banovich Family, Fran Bladel, Edward Christie, Cliff Deegan, Thomas Dempsey, Sally Docherty (Clark), Danuta Drozdz, Teresa Drozdz, Alex Dziendziel MBE OAM, Susan Gardner (Ashlin), Don Glover, John Green, Sigrid Haigh, Anna Harasymyszyn, Peter Harasymyszyn, Tony Harrison, M. Hodgson, Stan Holloway, Hannelore Holloway, Ann Korotki, Vol Korotki, Merv Kozikas, Lilo Kuhn, Tony LeFevre, Marie Lietz, Kateryna Mikelaitis, Janina Mozdyniewicz, Sandra Mundy, Phyl Pears, Henry Pears, Frank Phythian, John Radcliffe, Lorna Rowlands, Russel Rowlands, Elisa Ryan, Dawn Sansom (Kairys), Arnolds Saulis, Jurgen Schupp, Marlen Sulikowski, Sue Vincent, and students from Cosgrove High School, Springfield Gardens Primary School, Hilliard Christian School and Moonah Primary School.

Thank you to the following people and organisations for their assistance:

Frank Bansel, Artists in School Program, Education Department of Tasmania

Bill Kelly, Cosgrove High School

Shaun Pearce, Springfield Gardens Primary School

Dianne McGuinness and Karen Hudson, Glenorchy City Council

Ann Burnett, Christopher Lawrence and Ryk Goddard, ABC Radio

Peter West, Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery

Elisa Ryan, West Moonah Community House

This project benefited greatly from the following books:

‘From Amber Coast to Apple Isle’ by Ramunas Tarvydas

‘Glenorchy 1804 – 1964’ by Alison Alexander

‘Glenorchy 1964 – 1998’ by Alison Alexander

This compilation is dedicated to the memory of Alex Dziendziel MBE OAM, 1926 – 2010, acknowledging his contribution and commitment to the Polish community in Hobart and to the community of Glenorchy.

The project has been made possible through generous support from:

John Radcliffe – Radcliffe Transport

Bendigo Bank Glenorchy

Marlen Sulikowski

Heritage, Arts & Cultural Development and Community Participation – Glenorchy City Council

©2010 Glenorchy City Council