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Published on : Friday, June 3, 2016
In an Australian-first, new tourism displays using the latest ‘mist holographic technology’ will tell the story of the Northern Territory’s key role in one of the great engineering feats of the 19th century.
The construction of the Australian Overland Telegraph Line in 1870 from Port Augusta, South Australia to Darwin connected Australia to the rest of the world.
Tourism Minister Adam Giles said this important part of Northern Territory and Australian history will be now told to new audiences through holograms of those associated with the “OT Line”.
“The new high-tech displays at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station and Lyons Cottage in Darwin will provide an incentive for tourists to extend their Northern Territory holidays and leave with a greater appreciation of this little known facet of the development of Northern Australia,” he said.
“They will help the Northern Territory stand-out from the crowd and show visitors we are home to world-class tourism experiences.
“The new hologram displays will celebrate our pioneering spirit and bring to life the little-known stories of some of the people who were involved in this significant milestone in Australia’s history.”
Minister for Arts and Museums Gary Higgins said the holograms are located at historically significant sites that show how the Overland Telegraph linked the North with the South.
“The southern site chosen is the Alice Springs Telegraph Station, which is the best preserved relay station in the Territory,” he said.
“The northern site selected is the Lyons Cottage in Darwin, which was formally the residence of the British Australia Telegraph officials and the only surviving building linked to the Overland Telegraph in Darwin.
“The innovative and modern technology will ensure visitors and locals leave with a great experience as well as increased knowledge of the Northern Territory’s history and pioneering achievements.”
The hologram display will showcase five characters involved in the project:
John McDouall Stuart – the Explorer (1862). With individualised stories at each of the Alice and Darwin sites, Stuart takes visitors on his journey from SA to Darwin and highlights the challenges of early exploration. Stuart’s story also includes another well-known Territory identity – the saltwater crocodile – to remind visitors of what is in our water and the need to be CrocWise.
Laurence Wallace – the Morsecodian (present President of SA and NT Morsecodians Fraternity). With individualised stories at each of the Alice and Darwin sites Laurie provides an introduction to Morse code and its role in early communication.
Ah Hong – Chinese labourer on the Overland Telegraph line, cook and eat-house owner in Alice Springs (1950). Both Alice and Darwin sites. Ah Hong talks about his life in the Northern Territory and the varied jobs he had prior to settling down in Alice Springs.
Iris Bald – daughter of the Darwin Postmaster (1942). Darwin site only. Iris introduces visitors to some historic sites around Darwin that were popular with the pre-WWII population and provides a link with another unique facet of Territory history being the Bombing of Darwin.
Doris Bradshaw – daughter of the fifth Officer in Charge of the Alice Springs Telegraph Station (1908). Alice Springs site only. Doris’ story is based on her novel and introduces visitors to what life was like in a remote telegraph station in the early 1900s. She talks about her pride in being part of the development of Northern Australia through her involvement in the OT Line.
Mr Giles said the Country Liberals Government was working hard to rebuild the tourism industry after years of decline.
“This initiative is part of the Country Liberal Government’s plan to drive the development of North Australia and build a $2.2 billion visitor economy by 2020,” he said.