Share your historical memories of Coffs’ Northern Beaches

Rob Mill, author of local history book, Coffs Harbour Northern Beaches, seeks your recollections of the region to complete his work in progress.

KORORA-based historian Robert Mill is releasing a work-in-progress version of his Northern Beaches EBook, telling the stories and lived experiences of past times along our coast, in an effort to inspire others to add their memories and recollections to build the book.

The local history project, which incorporates the known history of the area, covers Diggers Beach at the southern end and all the way through to Red Rock in the north.

The publication is now available in an incomplete – ‘draft form’ from his website:

News Of The Area asked Rob about his reasons for an early release of a work in progress.

“I have decided to release what I had in an effort to encourage more people to come forward with more stories about their recollections of the area’s history and I am hoping this encourages more of the community to send me their stories,” he said.

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“The other option was to publish what I already had and then have people contact me and say why didn’t you include this and this.

“As an EBook, in a .pdf format, I can keep adding more information at regular intervals as received right up to the final publication date later on this year,” Robert said.

“I really want the project wrapped up by the year’s end and the final book then released on the internet, free for anyone to download and enjoy.”

Author of the local Kororo Public School centenary book in 1993, Robert had a broad knowledge of the pioneering experiences of the first settlers.

“The new information coming in are stories in a similar flow, of a pioneering era, way back in ‘the beginning’ of an incredible era.

Robert is finding the work very satisfying.

“As a former journalist I have always loved getting the foundation facts from those who lived in ‘the times’.

“Natural recollections and stories about hardships, the development of the area in the early times and how this compares with today, with the land values here and huge housing estates taking over the old farmlands, which I first saw as a tourist from Sydney in the eighties,” he said.

The new work-in-progress book includes a section of photos of all the 16 main Northern Beaches, giving an insight and comparison between the beaches.

“All the photos were shot in June/July when there had been some incredibly low tides, which has enabled me to show the beach demographics better than in high-tide, huge-swell situations.”

Robert asked if people had information to share about the history of the area, to send him an email, so he can interview them and include it in the book.

“Help the community have something to reflect upon for your families and extended families in years to come,” he said.

“So much is hidden in people’s memories and never really told, but years later they comment ‘I wish someone had told the story’.

That is what Robert has set out to do.


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