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Monday 22 August 2022
1 to 3pm
Hetzel Lecture Theatre, Institute Building (Ground floor)
Free, bookings essential

Book now

About the presenter

The Institute of Engineering and Technology

Phone: (08) 8266 3664
State Library Supports

Celebrate 150 years of the Overland Telegraph Line with the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET SA & NT) Retired Engineers Group and IEEE (SA) Life Affinity Group.

You are invited to take part in an interesting afternoon of talks, a morse code demonstration, and films about the construction and importance of the Overland Telegraph Line.

1pm  Introduction by Don Grigg, Retired Engineer
1:10pm Brief history leading to the signing of a contract between the SA Government and The British – Australian Telegraph Company - Richard Venus, Engineering historian

The construction logistics - Don Grigg, Retired Telstra Engineer


A description of a telegraph circuit of the day – Bernie Challen Retired Telstra Technical Officer

2pm Health break interval

Morse code demonstration by “Morsecodians” (Telegraphists) of the message sent by Todd to announce the completion of the line. Morse code operators: – Denis Hughes and Barrie Barnes

2:25pm Video of today’s remnants of the original OTL South of Alice Springs. MP4 recording produced by Andrew Crouch, Overland Telegraph historian
2:35pm PMG film (digitised copy) 1972 “A Momentous Occasion”
2:50pm Close
3 to 4pm 4pm Invitation to the audience to view the Royal Geographical Society of South Australia Todd collection in the Mortlock Wing of the Library


How do I get to the State Library by public transport?

The 'State Library, Art Gallery, Museum' tram-stop is just outside the State Library. There are bus stops close by near the War Memorial on North Terrace. The closest train station is the Adelaide city station on North Terrace.

You can plan your journey via Adelaide Metro.

Is there car parking near the State Library?

The nearest car park is Wilson's Adelaide Central car park, 225 North Terrace, next to David Jones.

There is paid metered street parking along Kintore Ave and Victoria Drive.

Where is the wheelchair and stroller access?

Access to the Spence Wing first floor and the Mortlock Chamber is via the lift in the glass foyer entrance of the library.

There is on-street disabled parking available in the nearby roads. View more information and maps of Adelaide City Council's Disability parking for permit holders.

How do I check if the Mortlock Chamber is open when I plan to visit?

The Mortlock Chamber may close for private events, check our opening hours for any closure times.

When it is open you can visit the Mortlock Chamber on the ground floor to look at the exhibition bays.  The upper levels of the Mortlock Wing include quiet study areas.

Is there a cafe at the State Library?

Yes, the State Library Cafe is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 4pm and Saturdays from 12 to 4pm.

The Overland Telegraph Line - A 150 Year Celebration