The story of the Mount Kembla Mine Disaster is, at its essence, one of ordinary people enduring catastrophe of the most extreme kind. When I first contemplated writing something about the Disaster, I knew it had to be about the human experience of those involved. It was the human dimension of the disaster that had struck me so forcefully back in 1977 at the time of the 75th Anniversary when I first seriously encountered the Disaster Story. I wanted to record the stories that lay behind the names on the monuments and headstones, and to let the miners and their families live; to have them speak something of their lives, their experience of the disaster, and of life afterwards… And in their telling their stories I hoped that perhaps they might help us understand the disaster experience at least a little—what it means to experience such a traumatic event and what the Kembla Disaster means for us 100 years on.
Recommended CitationFitzpatrick, C., The Voices of Kembla, Illawarra Unity - Journal of the Illawarra Branch of the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History, 3(1), 2003, 11-21.