The History of Irrigation
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Personal Memories

Murray Irrigation’s project to record the history of irrigation development in the region has included the collection of oral histories to preserve memories of irrigation from a number of different perspectives. Themes common to many of the oral histories include the impacts of droughts and floods, World War II, the potential of the region with irrigation and community development. The histories can be grouped into the following general categories, although there is significant cross over between the categories.

People who helped to build and operate the system
 Ian Dawe – WC&IC construction contractor and farmer
 Adrian Douglas – WC&IC engineer
 Rod Druitt – WC&IC plant operator and landforming contractor
 Kevin Huntington – WC&IC channel attendant
 Tibby Kelly – Landforming contractor
 Shirley Powell – WC&IC office worker
 Jim Todd – WC&IC engineer
 Bill van Niel – Dutch migrant labourer
 Tony Vidal – WC&IC –engineer

 Shirley Durrant – Grazier, irrigator, Bunnaloo
 Wynne Hawkins – Grazier, irrigator, Finley
 Neil Hollins – Grazier, Irrigator Wakool
 Pat Murphy – Soldier settler, Blighty
 George Rathbone – Irrigation share farmer, Wakool
 Kath Sheldrick – Tullakool Irrigation Area settler, Tullakool

Business and other community members
 Sylvia Baker – Local business woman and councillor
 John Rourke – Farmer involved in privatisation of irrigation
 Theo Walle – Son of migrant family working for WC&IC

Not all of the oral histories recorded have been included on the website. The interviews provided here have been edited for clarity and conciseness, and parts of interviews unrelated to irrigation have been omitted. Murray Irrigation retains full transcripts and sound recordings of all interviews. Individuals and organisations contributing to this project have been listed the credits page (see site credits) of this website, along with some of the references used in compiling the history provided on this website.

Historic Irrigation Launch

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