University of Newcastle Library Guides

Tom Farrell Papers:  Tom Farrell Papers

Guide to the R.E. (Tom) Farrell (1904 - 1996) archive held by Cultural Collections.

Archives : Tom Farrell

The Tom Farrell Papers

Upon his death in July 1996, Mr R.E. (Tom) Farrell (1904 - 1996) was described as an "extraordinary powerhouse of a man" who used his considerable energy and inspiration to make the Hunter Region a much more wonderful place to live in. Could we imagine Newcastle and the Hunter without a University? Or perhaps imagine Newcastle and the Hunter without our public nature reserves such as Blackbutt, Barrington Tops and Mt Sugarloaf? If we can appreciate these things, then we also need to thank people like Tom Farrell who through their courage, persistence and actions helped make these public places a reality.

Tom Farrell was born in Brisbane in 1904 and came to Newcastle as a child, attending Cook's Hill Junior High School. He started work at R. Brickenridge Timber Merchants, which was located on the site of the present Civic Park, and left in 1920 to work as a Junior Clerk at the State Dockyards on Walsh Island. He left the Dockyards in 1921 to accept an appointment at the Newcastle Abattoirs, where he remained for the rest of his working life. He remained an officer of the Newcastle Abattoir for 47 years, a qualified meat inspector and accountant, and was appointed General Manager in February 1966. He retired in November 1968.

Tom was an astute businessman, being a Director of the Greater Newcastle Building Society for many years.He was also a keen surfer and footballer, being an active member of the Cook's Hill Surf Club from 1920 to 1932, and representing Western Suburbs and Central Clubs as a life member of the Newcastle Rugby League. In 1942 he enlisted and served with the R.A.A.F. until 1946, where, upon discharge he held the Rank of Flight Lieutenant.

Tom Farrell may also be regarded as one of the "founding fathers" of the University of Newcastle, using his considerable influence among business and civic leaders to exert pressure on the NSW Government to establish a University College in Newcastle in 1951. Later, he was instrumental in having the State Government acquire land at Shortland, thus opening the way for the University to move from the overcrowded site at Tighes Hill to the campus at Shortland. In 1988 the University granted him an Honorary Master of Arts.

He was one of Newcastle';s early environmentalists. When a branch of the National Parks Movement was formed in Sydney during the early 1920s, he joined it, and was for many years the only member that lived outside of Sydney. He was an active member of the Northern Parks and Playgrounds Movement, serving as Vice President, and was closely associated with Hunter Valley National Parks Association. He was responsible for bringing the Movement to Newcastle in 1952, where it continues to work at safeguarding the environmental heritage of the region.

During the 1930s, he and Joe Richley successfully lobbied New Lambton Council to have the area known as Blackbutt Reserve set aside as public recreation space. Later, in the 1960s and early 1970s, he was prominent in the campaign which was successful in preventing a highway being built though Blackbutt Reserve. He remained a member of the Blackbutt Reserve Committee, and for many years spent much time and energy ensuring that the bushland reserve was protected. As his obituary in the Newcastle Herald (ref. 29th July 1996 p.10) stated:

"Many of the major parks and reserves that are taken for granted today by the people of the Hunter might never have come into existence were it not for Mr Farrell and those whom he inspired with his indomitable energy. Blackbutt Reserve, Mt Sugarloaf, Barrington Tops and Myall Lakes - all of these were wrestled against great odds from reluctant authorities with the help of Tom Farrell's relentless insistence. Newcastle has borne many fine children, Tom Farrell was one of its finest."

The Papers of Mr Tom Farrell were deposited with the Archives, Rare Books and Special Collections Unit (now the Special Collections Unit) by his daughter, Bev Hincks in January 1996. They were later accessioned by Mr Gregg Heathcote and Mrs Josie Stevenson and completed in August 2000.

Ross Edmonds and Gionni di Gravio
19th September 2001

The Tom Farrell Papers


A8285 (iii) Blackbutt Reserve - a file of clippings, photos, correspondence, guides and assorted papers compiled by Bob Power of "Hands Off Blackbutt Supporters".1959-1992
A8285 (iv) Newspaper clippings on Blackbutt Reserve, 1967-1978.
A8285 (v) Correspondence and papers concerning Blackbutt Reserve, 1959-1974.
A8285 (vi) Newspaper clippings on Birdwood Park, 1973.
A8285 (vii) Blackbutt Reserve and other proposed parks - papers and clippings, 1939-1984.
A8285 (viii) Blackbutt Reserve - clippings and papers, 1972-1979.
A8285(ix) Blackbutt Reserve - correspondence, 1936-1988.
A8285(x) Correspondence and plans concerning the history of Blackbutt Reserve, 1932-1988.
A8286(i) Blackbutt Reserve - correspondence, clippings and papers, 1938-1986.
A8286(ii) Transcript of evidence presented before the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Environment and Conservation enquiry into the impact of proposed State Highway 23 on Blackbutt Reserve. 16th March 1974.
A8286(iii) The consultants' preliminary report on the Blackbutt Reserve Management Plan. September 1988.
A8286(iv) Newcastle City Council submission to the parliamentary enquiry into the impact of proposed State Highway 23 on Blackbutt Reserve. 1974
A8286(v) Newspaper clippings concerning Doug Lithgow's career in local environmental activism and his winning of the 1987 University of Newcastle Board of Environmental Studies Environmental Achievement Award.
A8286(vi) Notice of a public meeting re Birdwood Park, 25th February 1973.
A8286(vii) Green Point press cuttings, 1983-1990.
A8286(viii) Green Point correspondence, papers and legal documents, 1956-1989.
A8286(ix) Green Point correspondence, submissions, papers, 1987-88.
A8286(x) Reports of the Newcastle City Council 18th January 1957.
A8286(xi) Reports of the Newcastle City Council 29th January 1965.
A8286(xii) Reports of the Newcastle City Council 4th November 1966
A8286(xiii) Reports of the Newcastle City Council 4th November 1966
A8286(xiv) Reports of the Newcastle City Council 4th November 1966
A8287(i) Staff Conference Reports 23rd February 1966-8th August 1968. Newcastle City Council - Abattoir. Spring-back binder.
A8287(ii) New England New State Movement, pamphlets, clippings, booklets 1949-1952.
A8287(iii) New England New State Convention report in Northern Daily Leader 21st August 1953 and newspaper The Times 6th March 1952.
A8287(iv) New England New State Movement Agenda and Papers for Sixth Annual Convention held at Grafton October 2nd and 3rd 1952. [15pp.] 2 copies.
A8287(v) New England New State Movement. Clippings, pamphlets, typescript, 1952-3.
A8287(vi) New England New State Movement. Correspondence, clippings, pamphlets, 1968.
A8287(vii) State and Local Government; New State Movement; University of Newcastle. Clippings, typescript, correspondence. 1952-1957.
A8287(viii) New State Movement and Newcastle Region. Correspondence, clippings, pamphlets. 1952-1986.
A8288(i) Pioneer family, a history of the Warlters Family by Mira McKay. 60pp. 1976.
A8288(ii) Newcastle Club Centenary 1985. 72pp. Photogrs. 1985.
A8288(iii) The Keyline Plan by P.A. Yeomans. Soil fertility. 1954.
A8288(iv) Shortland County Council Tenth Anniversary in conjunction with seventy-five years of electricity service to the community. 1967.
A8288(v) Changing the Constitution, proceedings of the All-Australian Federal Convention, 25th and 26th July 1949. Ed. By F.A. Bland. [197pp.]
A8288(vi) Safeguard your rights by Review of the Constitution, 1954. 52pp. Included.... Commonwealth of Australian Constitution Act and Constitution of the U.S.A.
A8288(vii) Current Affairs Bulletin v.6, no.12, 28th August 1950. - new states. P.194-207.
A8288(viii) Swans tours 1961, suggestions for your holidays. London. 112 pp.
A8288(ix) The Organisation of a New State by Colin Clarke, text of public address given ...;in Sydney on 30th September, 1952 on the eve of his departure from Australia, under the auspices of the Australian Decentralisation and New State Movement. 14pp.
A8288(x) Newcastle and the Seventh State. 1964. 16pp.
A8288(xi) Why New States are vital to Australia, the case for the Seventh State. Compiled by Ulrich Ellis. 1964. 72pp.
A8288(xii) The Liberal Party of Australia, Annual General Convention 1951, Agenda. The Sixth Annual General Convention will be held at the Assembly Hall, Margaret Street, Sydney on Thursday, Friday and Saturday 28th, 29th and 30th June 1951.
A8288(xiii) The Liberal Party of Australia, Annual General Convention 1953. Agenda. The Eighth Annual Convention will be held at the Assembly Hall, Margaret Street, Sydney on Thursday and Friday, 15th and 16th October, 1953. 17pp.
A8288(xiv) Self-Government in the 70's, the case for Northern New South Wales. by Ulrich Ellis. 1970. 68pp.
A8288(xv) New States for National Security. Compiled by Ulrich Ellis. 1954. 46pp.
A8288(xvi) New England the Seventh State. By Ulrich Ellis. 1957. 56 pp.
A8288(xvii) [Liberal Party of Australia (NSW Division) Convention 1950.] 71pp. (Cover missing).
A8288(xviii) Current Politics v.4. no. 1, May 4, 1953. Banking Legislation Protects Trading Banks. 19pp.
A8288(xix) New State Movement Fifth Convention held in the Town Hall Maitland on 22nd and 23rd October, 1951. Agenda . Various pagings.
A8288(xx) New England New State Movement Report and Minutes of the Annual Convention held in Grafton on October 13 and 14, 1961. Various pagings.
A8288(xxi) Greater Newcastle Co-operative Building Society; The Hunter River No ... Co-operative Starr-Bowkett Limited. Correspondence, Statistical information. 1986
A8288(xxii) Submission to Lake Macquarie draft local environmental plan. 1982
A8288(xxiii) New State Movement. Typescript, Clippings. 1950-1953.
A8288(xxiv) Bellingen Shire, Bellinger Valley, Dorrigo Plateau, tourist and development guide. Supplement to The Bellinger Courier-Sun. August, 1985. 63pp.
A8288(xxv) How It All Began: BHP in its 100th Year. Sent to Shareholders 1985. 56pp.
A8288(xxvi) Address delivered at the Opening of the First Session of the Thirty-Second Synod of Diocese of Newcastle, on Tuesday 20th May, 1957 by Francis, Bishop of Newcastle. 17pp.
A8288(xxvii) Supplement to Euromoney February 1986: Australia ready for the competition p161, and Abbey National Building Society offering circular, 35pp and letter from Samuel Montagu & Co (Jersey) Limited. 1986.
A8288(xxviii) Australian Overseas Investments Limited. Prospectus. 1985.
A8288(xxix) New England New State Movement. Typescript, The Spotlight issues, clippings, correspondence. 1949-1958.
A8288(xxx) Power generation; flood mitigation. Clippings. 1950-1952, 1971.
A8289(i) Newcastle District Abattoir Board, Hunter Street, Newcastle. (Part of Royal Newcastle Hospital (York Building?) in background). Photograph taken by Greenham Studios. [Label on Photograph Mount]. B&W.
A8289(ii) Newcastle District Abattoir Board, 11th Annual report. 1923. [23pp].
A8289(iii) Report of the Royal Commission of Enquiry (Captain W.J.Wade, MBE) Into the Newcastle District Abattoir Board Administration. 1930. 35pp.
A8289(iv) Transport - Road, Rail, Sea. Clippings, correspondence. 1949-1990.
A8289(v) Newcastle District Abattoir. Correspondence, reports, clippings. 1939-1987.
A8289(vi) Taxation; Northumberland County Council; Housing; Football. Clippings. 1950-1986.
A8289(vii) Newcastle Council elections. Correspondence, maps, pamphlets, clippings. 1968-1987. New South Wales State Election, 1959. Correspondence, clippings.
A8289(viii) Newcastle University establishment. Correspondence, clippings. 1950-1986.
A8290(i) Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Question of the Constitution of a Greater Newcastle together with copy of Commission minutes of proceedings, evidence and appendices. 1919. 133pp.
A8290(ii) Greater Newcastle. Proposals submitted to Newcastle City Council by Aldermen H.L. O'Neill and C.J. Parker on 12th May, 1930. 40pp.
A8290(iii) Greater Newcastle Council. Correspondence, reports, clippings.
A8290(iv) Newcastle Region - Parks and Playgrounds. Clippings, correspondence, typescript, reports. 1950-1989.
A8290(v) North Rothbury - Land Sale. Correspondence, maps. 1964-1984.
A8290(vi) Political topics. Clippings, correspondence, pamphlets. 1950-1986.
A8290(vii) Sydney improvements. Clippings. 1949-1952.
A8290(viii) Correspondence (2-ring folder). 1952-54, 1989.
A8291 Briefcase - "Mr.R.E.Farrell New South Wales" - received from the International Union of Building Societies and Savings Associations. 11th International Congress, Sydney, Australia, 1968. Also badge in shape of Australia for " Mrs. R.Farrell New South Wales", in pocket inside. Green plastic, metal lock.
M4504 Map advertising auction of land at New Lambton, near Kotara Railway Station, 1932. Creer & Berkeley, Auctioneers. Linton, Palmer & Turner, Surveyors, Newcastle.


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