Presented by: Christine Norman
Review written by: Rory O’Brien

Christine presented a well-illustrated talk to a large gathering on Australian Inventions and World Firsts. Overall, there are literally hundreds of Firsts that can be divided up into at least twenty categories, far too many to mention in this brief summary.

Some of the highlights were as follows: Air Transport, The Black Box (orange actually) invented by Dr David Warren; Clothing, Ugg boots (those ugly boots that keep us warm in winter);Communication, Aerial mail; Entertainment, the Didgeridoo; Farming, the Combine harvester; Food and Drinks, Pavlova (challenged by the Kiwis); Garden and Shed, the Victor mower; Health, the Bionic ear (a very large category), Penicillin; Home, Dual flush toilet; Legal, the Torrens title deeds; Military, the Drip rifle; Mining, Synroc for nuclear waste; Pool, Saltwater pools; Ocean, Surf ski; Road Transport, Pre-mix cement trucks; Sport, crouch sprint start, and Wool, Footrot vaccine.

Many of the inventions were developed in Universities and the CSIRO (who appear to have tackled recurring problems experienced by the Australian society in earlier years). Other developments focused predominantly on Medicine, the Wool industry and Mining.

Horse-drawn wool wagon

Horse-drawn wool wagon

Overall, it may be concluded that Australians in many spheres of daily life turn their mind to making improvements to a broad range of matters and are very inventive overall.

Many thanks to Christine for an informative talk.