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Research Guides


Commonwealth Government Records about South Australia


Prominent South Australians - K to Q

Sir Sidney Kidman (1857–1935)

Pastoralist Sidney Kidman was born in Adelaide and spent his younger years as a drover and stockman in central Australia. In 1886 he bought his first station, and by World War I had acquired a chain of stations greater in area than England and was a millionaire. This vast network of stations stretched from the Gulf of Carpentaria to the Flinders Ranges and across to New South Wales. His huge pastoral business, including more than 100 cattle stations, comprised an area of more than 3 per cent of the total land mass of Australia. On his death, Kidman's enormous estate was mostly inherited by his family although much was bequeathed to charities.

SELECTED ITEMS RELATING TO SIR SIDNEY KIDMAN
Canberra
Agreement with Sir Sidney Kidman for the supply of water from Wire Creek Bore, 1927–29 A3280, P9122
Emmanuel, Kidman and Richards apply for protection of portion of a block of land, 1902 A1640, 1902/345
Messrs Emmanuel, Richards and Kidman applying for pastoral block, 1901 A1640, 1901/77
Emmanuel, Kidman and Richards, application for pastoral lease, 1901 A1640, 1901/100
Emmanuel, Kidman and Richards applying for part of two pastoral blocks, 1901 A1640, 1901/253
Emmanuel, Kidman and Richards applying to surrender pastoral leases, 1901–02 A1640, 1901/261
Emmanuel, Kidman and Richards applying for part of pastoral blocks, 1901 A1640, 1901/311
Crown Solicitor's Office – Salisbury SA – claim of executors of late Sir S Kidman, 1941 A6074, PO3638

Charles Cameron Kingston (1850–1908)

Charles Kingston was born and educated in Adelaide, and admitted to the South Australian Bar in 1873. He joined the South Australian Parliament in 1881 and was twice appointed Attorney-General (1884–85 and 1887–89). Kingston was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1888 and the same year represented South Australia at the Australasian Federation Conference, where he was influential in shaping the White Australia Policy. He attended the 1891 convention and was elected President of the 1897 Adelaide Convention. Kingston became Premier of South Australia in 1893 and his ministry, credited with several reforms, remained in office until 1899. In 1900 he went to London with Alfred Deakin and Edmund Barton to see the Commonwealth of Australia Bill pass through the British Parliament. Kingston was elected to the House of Representatives in the first federal election in 1901, but retired due to ill health in 1903.

SELECTED ITEMS RELATING TO CHARLES CAMERON KINGSTON
Canberra
Roll of the National Australasian Convention, 1891 M115, 1
Copy of Federal Constitution under the Crown framed and approved by the Australasian Federal Convention, at Adelaide, South Australia, 22 March to 23 April, 1897 CC Kingston, President EG Blackmore, Clerk, 1897 R216, 162
Photograph of the first Commonwealth ministry, Melbourne, 1901 A8120, 1C
Photograph of the ministry of the Barton government, circa 1902 A1200, L13365
Adelaide
Photograph of Honourable CC Kingston sitting in Speaker's Chair, House of Assembly, 1897 D4477, 349

Esmond Gerald 'Tom' Kruse (1914–2011)

Born in Waterloo, South Australia, Tom Kruse was a mail carrier on the Birdsville Track from 1936 until 1957. He became well known as a result of a 1954 documentary film about his life entitled Back of Beyond, by John Heyer. In 1955 Kruse was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire, and in 2003 he and his Leyland Badger truck were nominated South Australian icons by the National Trust of Australia.

SELECTED ITEMS RELATING TO ESMOND GERALD 'TOM' KRUSE
Canberra
'The Back of Beyond' and 'Down in the Forest', 1954–55 A462, 784/2/9
Sydney
Marree–Birdsville mail service, 1920–48 D5081, TRC 161
'Back of Beyond', 1954 C809, 067401
Photo album from the John Heyer collection – 'Back of Beyond', 1954 C5528, sleeve 92
Photo album from the John Heyer collection – 'Back of Beyond', 1954 C5528, sleeve 93
Photo album from the John Heyer collection – 'Back of Beyond', 1954 C5528, sleeve 94
Photo album from the John Heyer collection – 'Back of Beyond', 1954 C5528, sleeve 95
Photo album from the John Heyer collection – 'Back of Beyond', 1954 C5528, sleeve 96
Photo album from the John Heyer collection – 'Back of Beyond', 1954 C5528, sleeve 97
Melbourne
Photograph of South Australia, Birdsville track – Tom Kruse, mailman in centre, 1947 M914, SOUTH AUSTRALIA 3620
Photograph of South Australia, Birdsville – mailman and barber on the hotel verandah, 1947 M914, SOUTH AUSTRALIA 3610
Photograph of South Australia, Birdsville track – Tom Kruse, Birdsville mailman, 1947 M914, SOUTH AUSTRALIA 3621
Brisbane
Photograph of mail contractor, Tom Kruse, unloading the Leyland Badger at Marree, date unknown J3088, QPT453
Photograph of truck taking on the mail at Marree, 1920–60 J3109, 1/27
Post Office history file – Birdsville – includes photographs and photographic negatives of the Birdsville to Marree mail service, 1948–80 J3111, BIRDSVILLE part 2
Adelaide
Marree – Birdsville – road mail service and airlift during wet seasons, 1949–55 D961, C1949/220

Sir Douglas Mawson (1882–1958)

Douglas Mawson, geologist and Antarctic explorer, was born in England and migrated to Australia with his family in 1884. In 1905 he was appointed lecturer in mineralogy and petrology at the University of Adelaide. In 1907 Mawson met Sir Ernest Shackleton, leader of the British Antarctic Expedition, who was in Adelaide on his way to the South Pole. Mawson agreed to join Shackleton on the trip to Antarctica and on his return published significant material on his observations during the voyage. In 1910 he launched his own expedition – the Australasian Antarctic Expedition (1911–14). After the success of this expedition, Mawson was invited to organise further expeditions to Antarctica (1929–30 and 1930–31). His association with South Australia continued throughout his life, retiring from the University of Adelaide at age 70. He was awarded numerous honours throughout his lifetime, including his appointment as Knight Bachelor in 1914 and an Order of the British Empire.

SELECTED ITEMS RELATING TO SIR DOUGLAS MAWSON
Canberra
Photograph of Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911–14 – SY Aurora, Shackleton Ice Shelf, 1913 M584, 2
Photograph of Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911–14 – Douglas Mawson with the rescue party and members of Macquarie Island Base, 1914 M583, 17
Photograph of Sir Douglas Mawson, 1963–70 B950, PERSONALITIES EXPLORERS
Booklet by Dr Douglas Mawson – Australian Antarctic Expedition, 1911–14 A1, 1915/5159
Antarctic Expedition 1911–14 – Sir Douglas Mawson, 1916–47 A461, Q413/6
Professor Sir Douglas Mawson – request for advice re use of scientists on staff in war effort, 1940 A663, O130/1/164
Sir Douglas Mawson – state funeral, 1958 A463, 1958/3920
Return of relics of Sir Douglas Mawson to Australia, 1978 A3211, 1978/890
Melbourne
Offer of services of Sir Douglas Mawson (University of Adelaide) including a suggestion that he serve at the front in a scientific capacity, 1915–16 B5583, 12
Hobart
Crew list of members of Australasian Antarctic Expedition headed by Mawson, 1911 P2004, AURORA 2 DEC 1911

Dame Roma Mitchell (1913–2000)

Roma Mitchell was born in Adelaide in 1913. After graduating from law at the University of Adelaide in 1934 she worked as a barrister. In 1962 she became Australia's first female Queen's Counsel, and in 1965 became the first female judge in Australia when she was appointed judge of the Supreme Court of South Australia. Mitchell was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1971 and then raised to Dame Commander in 1982. In 1983 she became Chancellor of the University of Adelaide, the first woman in Australia to do so. In 1991, Mitchell became the first female governor in Australia when she was appointed Governor of South Australia.

ELECTED ITEMS RELATING TO DAME ROMA MITCHELL
Canberra
Photograph of Australia's first woman judge – Miss Roma Mitchell, 1965 A1200, L52938
Photograph of Justice Roma Mitchell, 1982 A6135, K26/3/82/40
Photograph of Her Excellency Dame Roma Mitchell, AC, DBE, CBE, Governor of South Australia, 1995 A12111, 3/1995/38B/69
Sydney
Boyer lectures – Justice Roma Mitchell, five audio tapes, 1975 C100, 77/7/587 M tape 1
Boyer lectures – Justice Roma Mitchell, five audio tapes, 1975 C100, 77/7/587 M tape 2
Boyer lectures – Justice Roma Mitchell, five audio tapes, 1975 C100, 77/7/587 M tape 3
Boyer lectures – Justice Roma Mitchell, five audio tapes, 1975 C100, 77/7/587 M tape 4
Boyer lectures – Justice Roma Mitchell, five audio tapes, 1975 C100, 77/7/587 M tape 5
Melbourne
Beneficiary of McCaughey Bequest – Roma F Mitchell, 1930–34 MP434/1, NN

Sir Douglas Ralph 'Doug' Nicholls (1906–88)

Born at Cummeragunja Reserve in New South Wales, Yorta Yorta man Doug Nicholls was well known as a professional sportsman, pastor and campaigner for reconciliation. He enlisted for service in 1941 but was released to continue his pastoral and social work with the Aboriginal community in Fitzroy, Victoria, later becoming pastor of the first Aboriginal Church of Christ in Australia. He later worked with the Aborigines Advancement League and promoted public and political awareness of Aboriginal issues. He was the first Aboriginal to be appointed to vice-regal office when he became Governor of South Australia in 1976. Sir Douglas Nicholls was then the first Aboriginal person to be knighted when he was appointed Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in 1977.

SELECTED ITEMS RELATING TO SIR DOUGLAS RALPH 'DOUG' NICHOLLS
Canberra
World War II service file – Douglas Nicholls, 1939–48 B884, V125308
ASIO file – Nicholls, Pastor Douglas Ralph volume 1, 1926–69 A6119, 1091
ASIO file – Nicholls, Pastor Douglas Ralph volume 2, 1969–73 A6119, 3548
Inquiry into 'The Environmental Conditions of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders and the Preservation of their Sacred Sites', 1971–73 A13154, ATS 35
Inquiry into 'The Environmental Conditions of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders and the Preservation of their Sacred Sites', 1971–73 A13154, ATS 36
Inquiry into 'The Environmental Conditions of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders and the Preservation of their Sacred Sites', 1971–73 A13154, ATS 37
Photograph of Sir Douglas Nicholls on telephone, 1972 A6180, 22/6/72/5
Photograph of Sir Douglas Nicholls, 1980 A6180, 21/2/80/1
Sydney
Sir Douglas Nicholls – investiture as Governor of South Australia, sound recording, 1976 C100, 88/7/1755 M

Sir Marcus Laurence Elwin 'Mark' Oliphant (1901–2000)

Mark Oliphant was born in Adelaide and studied physics at the University of Adelaide. In 1927 he took a position at the University of Cambridge where he could participate in ground-breaking research in nuclear physics. His contribution to the discovery of nuclear fusion was important, although coincidental as he was purely interested in understanding the structure of the atom, not the creation of hydrogen bombs. Oliphant became involved in the development of nuclear weapons during World War II but, having witnessed the devastation caused by an atomic bomb, became a lifetime critic of their use. He returned to Australia in 1950 and continued his research at the Australian National University. After retiring in 1967 he was appointed Governor of South Australia and served from 1971 to 1976. He was knighted in 1959 and made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1977.

SELECTED ITEMS RELATING TO SIR MARCUS LAURENCE ELWIN 'MARK' OLIPHANT
Canberra
Atomic energy – Professor Oliphant's memo, 1941 A3300, 218
Professor Marcus v Elwin Oliphant, 1942–44 A8520, PH/OLI/8
War section – visit of Professor ML Oliphant to Australia, 1942–43 A1608, AS65/1/2
Oliphant, Marcus Lawrence Edwin, 1945–54 A6119, 451
Oliphant, Marcus Lawrence Edwin, 1945–54 A6119, 452
Oliphant, Marcus Lawrence Edwin, 1945–54 A6119, 453
Press cuttings – atomic energy research, visit of Professor Oliphant 1947, 1946–52 A5954, 2164/1
Visit of Professor ML Oliphant, Professor H Florey, Professor WK Hancock and Professor R Firth, 1946–48 A461, 748/1/842
Professor Oliphant, 1947–48 A461, BL340/1/1
Appointment of Sir Mark Oliphant as Governor of South Australia, 1972 A463, 1972/366

Jozef Stanislaw 'Stan' Ostoja-Kotkowski (1922–94)

Stan Ostoja-Kotkowski arrived in Australia from Poland in 1949. He settled in Stirling, South Australia, and practised as one of the world's first artists specialising in laser, sound and image technology. Ostoja-Kotkowski presented his first 'Sound and Image' production at the Adelaide Festival of Arts in 1968, one of the first times that a laser had been applied to a theatrical performance anywhere in the world. Among other awards, he was appointed Member of the Order of Australia in 1992. His work was influential worldwide in terms of the development of kinetic art and chromasonics.

SELECTED ITEMS RELATING TO JOZEF STANISLAW 'STAN' OSTOJA-KOTKOWSKI
Canberra
Migrant selection documents – Stanislaw Kotkowski born 28 December 1922, 1949 A11753, 1122
JS Ostoja-Kotkowski – re financial assistance, 1971–72 A3753, 1972/621
Photograph of Stan Ostoja-Kotkowski at his Laser Chromason II, 1974 A6135, K13/6/74/6
Photograph of Stan Ostoja-Kotkowski at his Laser Chromason II, 1974 A6135, K13/6/74/7
Photograph of Stan Ostoja-Kotkowski at his Laser Chromason II, 1974 A6135, K13/6/74/8
Photograph of Stan Ostoja-Kotkowski at his Laser Chromason II, 1974 A6135, K13/6/74/9
Photograph of Stan Ostoja-Kotkowski at his Laser Chromason II, 1974 A6135, K13/6/74/10
Photograph of Stan Ostoja-Kotkowski at his Laser Chromason II, 1974 A6135, K13/6/74/11
Photograph of Stan Ostoja-Kotkowski at his Laser Chromason II, 1974 A6135, K13/6/74/12
Photograph of Stan Ostoja-Kotkowski at his Laser Chromason II, 1974 A6135, K13/6/74/13
Photograph of Stan Ostoja-Kotkowski at his Laser Chromason II, 1974 A6135, K13/6/74/14
Photograph of Stan Ostoja-Kotkowski at his Laser Chromason II, 1974 A6135, K13/6/74/15
Photograph of Stan Ostoja-Kotkowski at his Laser Chromason II, 1974 A6135, K13/6/74/16
Photograph of Stan Ostoja-Kotkowski at his Laser Chromason II, 1974 A6135, K13/6/74/17
Photograph of Stan Ostoja-Kotkowski at his Laser Chromason II, 1974 A6135, K13/6/74/18
Photograph of Stan Ostoja-Kotkowski at his Laser Chromason II, 1974 A6135, K13/6/74/19
Photograph of Stan Ostoja-Kotkowski at his Laser Chromason II, 1974 A6135, K13/6/74/20
Photograph of Stan Ostoja-Kotkowski at his Laser Chromason II, 1974 A6135, K13/6/74/21
Photograph of Stan Ostoja-Kotkowski at his Laser Chromason II, 1974 A6135, K13/6/74/22
Photograph of Stan Ostoja-Kotkowski at his Laser Chromason II, 1974 A6135, K13/6/74/23
Photograph of Stan Ostoja-Kotkowski at his Laser Chromason II, 1974 A6135, K13/6/74/24
Photograph of Stan Ostoja-Kotkowski at his Laser Chromason II, 1974 A6135, K13/6/74/25
Photograph of Stan Ostoja-Kotkowski at his Laser Chromason II, 1974 A6135, K13/6/74/26
Photograph of Stan Ostoja-Kotkowski at his Laser Chromason II, 1974 A6135, K13/6/74/27
Sydney
Application for naturalisation – Stanislaw Ostoja Kotkowski, 1957–63 D400, SA1963/2885
Who Needs Art? Featuring Leonard French, Brian Adams, Stan Ostoja Kotkowski, John Hopkins, Peter Sculthorpe, 1970 C612, WHO NEEDS ART? 1970
Adelaide
Alien registration card – Stanislaw Ostoja Kotkowski, 1949–76 D4881, OSTOJA KOTKOWSKI STANISLAW
Alien registration form – Stanislaw Ostoja Kotkowski, 1949–57 D4878, OSTOJA KOTKOWSKI S

Thomas Playford II (1837–1915)

Thomas Playford II was born in London and migrated to South Australia in 1844 with his family. He served as Premier of South Australia from 1887 to 1889, and again from 1890 to 1892. Playford was involved in planning the federation of Australia and drafting the Australian Constitution, attending both Australasian Federation Conferences in 1890 and 1891. He then became a Senator in the first federal parliament and later Minister of Defence. His grandson, Sir Thomas Playford IV, also became Premier of South Australia.

SELECTED ITEMS RELATING TO THOMAS PLAYFORD II
Canberra
Photograph of the Australasian Federation Conference in Melbourne, at which the parliaments of all the colonies were represented, 1890 A6180, 7/12/78/21
Roll of the National Australasian Convention, 1891 M115, 1
Record of the proceedings and debates of the Australasian Federation Conference held in Melbourne in February, 1890 R216, 106
Official record of proceedings and debates of the National Australasian Convention, Sydney, 1891 R216, 167
Senator Playford to become federal execution councillor without portfolio, 1903 A6661, 1063
Senator Playford re Italian immigrants arriving in Western Australia, 1906 A1, 1906/785

Sir Thomas Playford IV (1896–1981)

Thomas Playford IV was born in South Australia, grandson of Thomas Playford II. He enlisted in the First Australian Imperial Force in 1915 and took part in the Gallipoli campaign before fighting on the Western Front. He returned to South Australia in 1919 where he grew cherries on the family property in the Adelaide Hills at Norton Summit. Playford was involved in many organisations and clubs, including the Liberal Federation. This eventually led to him becoming the longest continuously serving elected government leader in Australian history. He was Premier of South Australia from 1938 to 1965, a period of sustained economic growth in the state later referred to as the 'Playford era'.

SELECTED ITEMS RELATING TO SIR THOMAS PLAYFORD IV
Canberra
World War I service file – Thomas Playford, 1914–20 B2455, PLAYFORD THOMAS
World War I pay file – Thomas Playford, 1914–23 D2994, PLAYFORD, T 2ND LIEUTENANT
Visit – Honourable Thomas Playford, 1938 A461, 748/1/558
Personal papers of Prime Minister Curtin, including letters from Thomas Playford, 1941–43 M1416, 46
Ministerial statements – Honourable Thomas Playford, 1942 SP109/3, 362/24
Sir Thomas Playford – retirement, 1966 A463, 1966/3004
Photograph of Honourable Thomas Playford, 1956 A1200, L21724
Photograph of Sir Thomas Playford, 1957 A1200, L22269
Photograph of Thomas Playford and company outside General Motors Holden Plant at Elizabeth, 1960 A1200, L36930
Sydney
Sir Thomas Playford, audio tape, 1966 C102, POL78
State funeral for Sir Thomas Playford, motion picture film, 1981 D1815, AARCH 08F/0049
Melbourne
Department of Army – letter from Mr Thomas Playford, 1940 MP508/1, 82/712/734
Adelaide
Photograph of Stirling North to Marree Railway official opening – Sir Thomas Playford and Marree children, 1957 B3114, photograph 29 volume 5

Margaret Rose Preston (1875–1963)

Margaret Preston was born in Port Adelaide in 1875. She studied at the National Gallery of Victoria Art School under Frederick McCubbin and later returned to Adelaide to continue her studies at the School of Design under HP Gill and Hans Heysen. Preston established her own school in Adelaide and became an influential teacher with students who went on to become notable artists in their own right, such as Stella Bowen. After extensive travel and study she became a well-known modernist painter and printmaker, and was one of Australia's most prominent female artists of the 1920s and 1930s.

SELECTED ITEMS RELATING TO MARGARET ROSE PRESTON
Canberra
Presentation of Margaret Preston's painting to the Australian Legation, Washington, 1941 SP112/1, 9/1/8
Commonwealth Literary Fund – Margaret and WG Preston, 1948–49 A463, 1958/3418
Margaret Rose Preston – Artists Groundwork, 1944–45 A1336, 40650
Photograph of painter Margaret Preston, 1949 A1200, L1178
Sydney
Sturt desert pea and Aboriginal design by Margaret Preston, 1947 SP1336/3, ART/L1180
'Rose and Banksia' by Margaret Preston, 1947 SP1336/3, ART/L1181
Sunday Spectrum – Margaret Preston, magnetic sound film, 1980 C475, ARCH 01FV/1292
Margaret Preston and Australia's Modernist Movement, sound recording, 1979 C100, 80/10/1075.1 M
Margaret Preston and Australia's Modernist Movement, sound recording, 1979 C100, 80/10/1075.1 P
Margaret Preston and Australia's Modernist Movement, sound recording, 1979 C100, 80/10/1075.2 M
Margaret Preston and Australia's Modernist Movement, sound recording, 1979 C100, 80/10/1075.2 P

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Chapter 20
Prominent South Australians