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Hazel Hernsdorf and the ABC Toowong

By Guest Blogger Suzanne Mulligan | 7 September 2022

This year marks the 90th birthday of the ABC and it has grown a lot since those early days.  Television did not come to Brisbane until the late 1950s.  One of the first employees at the ABC Toowong site was Hazel Hernsdorf.  Her excellent shorthand skills were in demand for her position as secretary to the Electronic Engineer Kevin Bourke.  He was tasked with the construction of the studios. 

Hazel had not long returned from the USA, and she had brought their latest fashions with her.  The attire for she chose to wear for her interview raised eyebrows, but she got the job.  Hazel talks about her interview and what was involved in the building of the Toowong studios.  She has an excellent knowledge of the technology involved in transmitting a television signal.

You can hear Hazel Hernsdorf as she describes her experiences in the video below.

ABC Toowong staff in the early 1960s.

ABC Toowong staff in the early 1960s. Image courtesy Suzanne Mulligan

Hazel Hernsdorf and ABC, Suzanne Mulligan.

Before her career at ABC, Hazel had a number of jobs with the US Navy during the Second World War. You can learn more about her contribution to the war effort on the home front in our blog - Women at War.

The interview is part of the Suzanne Mulligan Oral Histories Archive held at State Library of Queensland. Access more recorded interviews on the Suzanne Mulligan Oral History Collection website.

For more information on recording oral histories, best practice, and methodology, visit Oral History Queensland Inc. online.

Suzanne Mulligan, Life Member Oral History Queensland (OHQ)

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Other blogs by Suzanne Mulligan


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