Australian Left Review

Article Title

Slacky Flats


Karl Strom


The South Coast District of the Communist Party was bequeathed a manuscript written by Kari Strom from which this material has been selected. Strom was born in Sweden in 1901 and arrived by sailing ship in Melbourne In 1923. The manuscript starts in 1930 and was written "with the intention of telling you about the degradation, the suffering and the poverty I witnessed on the track, of the dole queues and of Slacky Flat.... I have lived a long life and have recorded my personal experiences truthfully, day by day. However, I am a carpenter, not a writer. That makes it hard. Not having mastery of the English language makes it harder still. But I have tried." MIKE DONALDSON has extracted, and slightly edited, sections of the manuscript that relate to Slacky Flat, one of the four main camps for unemployed workers in Wollongong in the 1930s.