Today we look at the founding of Tennant Creek, the small gold mining town 500 miles north of Alice Springs, which was born during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Goldfield life emerges through the letters of Francie Udall, reputedly the first white woman there. She lived in the town from 1930 to 1942. We also hear the adult memories of Kevan Weaber, who grew up on the goldfields as the son of one of the town’s wealthiest miners.

This programme was produced by Megg Kelham.

Complete copies of Francie’s Udall’s letters and photographs can be found in the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory in The Havard Collection.

Kevan Weaber’s Oral History Interview was recorded by Hilda Tuxworth, one of the Northern Territory’s oral history pioneers, in 1981. It can be found in the Northern Territory Archives Service, NTRS 2313 CD13-01 & CD13-02

For more information about Kevan, Francie and the early history of Tennant Creek checkout:

A Very Short History of Tennant Creek from a Woman’s Point of View –

A Tennant Childhood: Kevan Weaber Remembers 1932 -1940

Discovering Local History at the Battery Hill Mining Centre Collaborative Museums Education Project 2007 at

Margot Miles talking about life in Tennant Creek in the 1930s

And or visit Freedom, Fortitude and Flies at the Battery Hill Mining Centre, a social history exhibition at the Battery Hill Mining Centre, Peko Road, Tennant Creek