About Us

Memory Man Beginnings

Bob Mitchell‘s first interview was in 1996, a very personal one which captured the memories of a dying father. The oral recordings led to a book ‘Scone Larrikin’ which was both self published and published by the NSW branch of the Oral History Association Of Australia (OHAA) in 1997.

Two years later the State Library published a special Memory Man technique which explains the process by which life story audio recordings can be published as a book. These events led to an ongoing association with OHAA and a mission to help families capture precious family oral histories before it is too late.

Training & Experience

Interviewing skills and technical skills using audio recording equipment were acquired through attending seminars and workshops at the NSW State Library since 1996. Writing skills came from over 20 years experience as a business analyst, corporate board reporter, ministerial correspondent and author.

Experience gained from attending State Library oral history courses and business Influential Writing & Presentation Courses in the 1990s have resulted in over 200 Memory Man oral history presentations, community college courses, and private family history commissions to date.

Benefits of Oral Histories

The sharing of stories is one of the main elements that bind families and communities together and once captured become available for the generations to come. Oral history is perhaps the simplest of recording mediums, but conveys so much more than the written account. It is impossible, for example, to replicate in writing the humour, timing, idiosyncrasies, etc, of the human voice. Nevertheless the recordings are most effective in providing the raw material for a book.

Audio recording are more informal and less obtrusive than being confronted by a movie camera and as a means of recording memories far less expensive.

Full time oral historians in Australia are few and in the uncertain climate of today’s society it is little wonder that the importance of oral histories to families and communities is on the rise.

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