History: Looking Back

Looking Back history feature: The Chamberlains and the Bulli jetty

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Looking Back

The Bulli Jetty after a section fell into the sea in 1907 The Bulli Jetty after a section fell into the sea in 1907


Updated January 2020

George Chamberlain George Chamberlain

THE late Peter Chamberlain had vivid memories of his dad telling him yarns about working on the Bulli Jetty.

I interviewed Peter, who lived with his wife Bronwen on Bulli Hill, back in the 1990s. He sadly died in 2019.

Peter told me about his father George, and Grandfather, Arthur Chamberlain, who both earned a living as bridge and wharf contractors, moving around the country in search of work early last century.

George was born in Richmond Victoria in 1893, the first child of Arthur and Isabella Chamberlain and was destined to follow in his father’s foot steps.

Peter said his grandfather, Arthur worked on Australian icons such as the Circular Quay wharves and Sydney Harbour Bridge. His grandfather’s first visit to the Illawarra was when he supervised the construction…

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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.


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