Hi. My name is – obviously! – Kathy De La Rue, and I am passionately interested in Australian history.
My first book, Pearl Shell and Pastures, was published in 1979 as part of the WA’s sesquicentenary celebrations. It is a history of the Pilbara region in Western Australia. At the time I wrote it, my family and I were living in Karratha, where my husband Colin was working as a padre with the Australian Inland Mission.
We moved to the Northern Territory in 1981 and I joined the work force as a librarian for a number of years, so I had no time for any in-depth research. In 1998, after a few years when I was too ill to do anything, I started studying at Charles Darwin University, and finished up with a Graduate Diploma in History. I then continued my research, and The Evolution of Darwin, 1869-1911 was finally published by the Charles Darwin University Press in 2004. The date range of my book is significant: these are the years in which the Northern Territory was administered by South Australia. In 1911, the Commonwealth government took control of the Territory.
I am now a PhD candidate doing research on the years 1911 to 1978 when the Commonwealth administered the NT. Once again, I am concentrating on the urban history of Darwin. That is the reason I have set up this very amateurish blog. I am very keen to hear from anyone who lived in Darwin during those years. Do you have any stories to tell? Did you work there? What was your house like? Anything and everything about Darwin is of interest to me.
I am also very interested in obtaining any photographs of Darwin at this time. The Northern Territory Library has some fantastic images – see picturent or pictureaustralia and you will see what I mean. But these images have been used countless of times in articles and books about the Northern Territory, and I am hoping I will find some new ones for my thesis.
Once my thesis is finished, I hope to re-write it and publish it as a companion volume to The Evolution of Darwin. If you send me any usable images I will be asking your permission to use them – with suitable acknowledgement – in both my thesis and my book.
If you think you can help me, please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you.