Jacob Santin according to Ivan Southall in his book Woomera Santin was the mail man form Dutch origin in Woomera in the 1940s. The documentary The Back of Beyond (1950) about Tom Kruse (what’s in a name), a famous mailman in a neighbouring area of Woomera, gives a good impression of the daily work of Jacob Santin.
Jef Beck English rock guitarist. He is one of the three noted guitarists to have played with The Yardbirds (the other two being Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page). Beck also formed The Jeff Beck Group and Beck, Bogert & Appice.
John Fullerton Evetts (1891-1988) Lieutenant-General, commissioned by the British government in 1946 in the context of the so called Anglo-Australian Joint Project. This was the predecessor of the Long Range Weapons Establishment (LRWE ) in Salisbury (Adelaide) and the Woomera Rocket Range. In 1946 Evetts traveled to Australia as the leader of the British Experimental Rocket Bomb Mission to find the perfect place for a rocket range.
John Henry Davies died in the outback and was buried at Philips Ponds. His grave stone is a landmark in the landscape you cannot overlook. The headstone states: ‘Sacred to the memory of John Henry Davies, 12 January 1884, aged about 24 years. This stone is erected by his fellow bushman living at Mt Eba Station.’ Davies is believed to have died of thirst and dysentery. His headstone was ‘discovered’ by a couple of British soldiers searching for missile wreckage after a test launch in 1954.
John Hunter (1737-1821) officer of the Royal Navy, Governor of New South Wales from 1795 to 1800. In 1798 Hunter rigged an expedition to the Blue Mountains to end to the rumours about the existence of the so called White Colonies; camps in the jungle where escaped convicts would live together with Aborigines. Although Hunter was worried by ‘the troublesome nature of the Irish’ he showed sympathy and humanity, by the standards of the day, towards the convicts in general, and especially towards their wives and children. Hunter was as an explorer and a traveller; a keen naturalist and sent many specimens of Australian animals to England. He produced charts, sketches and writings, including An Historical Journal of the Transactions at Port Jackson and Norfolk Island, With the Discoveries that have been Made in New South Wales and the Southern Ocean since the Publication of Phillip's Voyage (London, 1793) and a book of sketches, titled Birds & Flowers of New South Wales Drawn on the Spot (1788).
Judith Durham (1943-heden) Australian jazz singer who in 1964 became the voice of The Seekers, the largely favoured folk group, that scored one world hit after the other in the 60s. In 1968 Durham left the band tot start a solo career.
According to tradition between 1964 and 1968 the Seekers really did play a gig in Woomera.
Quote from Deb Melrose (born Horsburgh):
‘I remember when Judith Durham came to Woomera. Judith came down to the swimming pool for a bit of time out. She was mobbed by people wanting her autograph and then they left her be. She sat down near me and she started talking to me. I honestly did not know who she was.’
Kingoonya desert town on the Transcontinental Highway, founded in early 1900, about 200 kilometres west of Woomera. Thanks to the high quality and large quantity of underground water it became the place to stop for the passing steam trains to refuel water. Known by the horse races that are held at Easter every year since time immemorial.
Kokatha The Kokatha People are the traditional owners of large section of the land in the north of South Australia. Kokatha country covers a large area in the west of the state of South Australia. It lays south of the Yankunytjatjara language, west of the Barngarla language and north of the Wirangu language. As soon as the Australian government decided to develop a rocket range in Woomera they were drive from their tribal lands.
In 2008 Isabel J. Dingaman writes:
‘I was born on Roxby Downs Station in 1952. My father (dec) is a full blood Kokatha man from the Western Desert Region of South Australia, and my mother (dec) is a Antikirinya woman from Ernabella in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands, also of South Australia. My father was born on Mt Eba Station which is in Kokatha Country. My father was born from full blood Kokatha descendants and has lived and travelled in, on and around his country for as long as he can remember. His parents and grandparents on his father's side were all born on Kokatha Country. He and his family have lived for hundreds and thousands of years on Roxby Downs Station and surrounding Kokatha countries. My father and his family continued to live, hunt and carry on with their way of life on their lands. They often travelled to Andamooka Opal Fields to mine opal. He often told me how he worried about losing his right to live and work on Roxby Downs Station, because of the Wuljballa man (white man). He could see way back then, before I was born, that a dispossession on a large scale was happening. “It was spreading like the dark shadow that moves over us when the sun goes down,” he always said. Aboriginal people were being slowly dispossessed of their country, their enjoyment of it and the freedom to live as they were used to. One day there were Americans “hanging around Woomera” he said. One of his grandfathers went to talk to them to find out what they were doing on their country, and to tell them that this was Kokatha country and it was his and that they must ask for permission to do anything there.’
Read: The Mirning: We Are the Whales. A Mirning-Kokatha woman recounts life before and after dispossession by Iris Yumadoo Kochallalya Burgoyne, published by Australia Magabal Books (2000).
Lake Hart dried up salt lake, flanked by the launch tower that was once used for launching ELDO rockets, now a silent tribute to Australia's once renowned position in space research and development that once saw Woomera as second only to Cape Canaveral in the number of annual rocket and missile launches.