About the NBN Television Collection

Contributions of photos and storytelling are welcomed, with your generosity, that we might fully tell the story of NBN Television. Comments are opened on the NBN article pages and everyone is invited to add anecdotes, memories, and corrections.

The photographs

Photos in this series of articles are from various NBN staffers, private collections, and historic archives. Viewers past and present finally get to see the operations of “Channel 3” (as it was fondly known) and the daily tasks of those who worked there. 

These photo essays look inside Australia’s most successful regional television station, one that out-performed even larger metropolitan networks in its six decades of largely independent operation.

Quotations, some insider knowledge, and educated guesswork fill the spaces between our increasingly spectral images. As the station’s pioneers fade into history along with crumbling celluloid records, memories of still-living staff grow blemished by time. 

Within a decade or so broadcast media will be an irrelevant curiosity. The young will ask why so much time, effort, and equipment was spent on such elaborate video podcasts. They should know that broadcast television is the founder and fabric of their online culture and the yet inconceivable milieu to follow. As radio preceded television, and print media antedated it. In curiosity they might look at this musty archive... in wonder.


Early in-house photography was performed by Des Barry and Lloyd Hissey. Many other people would have assisted in that role, and we would like to know of any deserving credit. For example, Steward Osland and Robert Stubbs took a great deal of photographs, both for sales and promotions use. Their names surely belong to many images. 

During early decades, the expense of high-quality cameras confined this record to what are clearly official recordings. A staff photographer would accompany a commercial shoot, or an outside broadcast, and record "behind the scenes" as an observer of the physical and technical process. These invaluable collections provided the material for such essays as "The Monochrome Years" and "Preparing for Colour" and suchlike. 

When digital cameras gained popularity, almost every department and every staffer could easily generate 'local' collections. These typically remained on computers or memory devices and never made it into the station's history. Therefore, the 'official record' dissipated into chaos after year 2000. Imagery had become a cheap commodity. Nothing celluloid exists for this century, and the few digital snaps that have been supplied will mostly illustrate the Mosbri Crescent studio surrounds and internals - not the making of iconic shows in the studio or field, their record to exist only in the memories of viewers, not in these pages.

Terms of Use

Almost the entire collection presented here was scanned from original negatives, taken before digital cameras became commonplace. They are watermarked Newcastle on Hunter with a Creative Commons share-alike non-commercial licence.

Watermarking verifies our source was a physical negative, and not copied from the Internet. It establishes Creative Commons status for those wishing to re-use images. Should you wish to use these on the Internet you are free to do so under the same Commons licence conditions. A link back to this site, or to the article, would be appreciated. If reproduced elsewhere, an acknowledgement would be nice. 

If you want a particular photo without the watermark, please ask throsby at newcastleonhunter dot org. He will assent. 

But ~ Under the licence ~ you cannot use any imagery from this web site commercially. However, businesses appearing in photos can reasonably use them to illustrate their own history in the region. Naturally, duplicates were widely distributed by the company over the years and might appear on other websites and Facebook groups, especially from former staffers.

Note 1: Images were scanned in high resolution, many in TIF format, but were heavily compressed to JPEGS for this website. Artifacts therefore will be absent from originals, should you require one.

Note 2: The publish date for these articles is not actual, of course. It is meant to reflect the time period of the original prints, or the era that they illustrate.

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Additional information, anecdotes, etc., or corrections are welcome.

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