Journal Entry 1: Steel, Austrians and Wollongong the Brave

I’m relatively new to Wollongong and I’m still adjusting to this surprisingly dense metropolitan. That said, I can’t help but feel a little superior to the first years I’ve met who are complete freshies to the wonders of Crown Street, hung-over bacon & egg rolls at the harbour or that little fountain near the art gallery that hooligans occasionally put bubble bath in. I initially used the word relatively because I have, as one of my neighbours, a man named Eric who emigrated directly from Austria to Wollongong in the 70’s and hasn’t moved since.

The man is a walking history. Though I haven’t had as many conversations with him as I would like, every time we meet I walk away with a story about the city, its people and its history. A great deal of my idea for a film comes from those conversations with Eric. I want to tell a story not just of how Wollongong has changed, but of how people from all over the world have wound up on its shores. I want to look at industry, the industries around Port Kembla and the university, and their international pull, I want to look at the city’s growth and I want to show how the city has, at least in my opinion surged toward becoming a diverse and cosmopolitan city.

I will rely extensively on the first hand accounts of people, old or new to the city, and historical data to provide slices of the city from different points in time all the way up to the present; in the process hopefully demonstrating why I appreciate this city so much.

Failing that I could just get 7 minutes of Flagstaff Hill, The Illawarra Hotel on a Thursday and Chefs Choice. That’d probably some it up pretty well too, I guess.


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