Monday, July 25, 2016

Adelaide workshop report

 The Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) and University of Queensland (UQ) conducted a workshop in Adelaide on 9/10 July 2016 for the Wikipedia Paralympic history component of the History of the Paralympic Movement in Australia (HOPAU). This weekend also coincided with the launch of Don Worley’s films by the APC and the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia on Monday 11 July. On the second day of the workshop, Adelaide Paralympians joined the group for lunch and a panel discussion that further explored aspects of Paralympic history.

Goals and strategies

·        Increase the number of editors involved in the Wikipedia dimension of the Paralympic History Project by recruiting existing editors to the project, training new editors and training existing, interested supporters as editors.

·        Up skill existing editors.

·        Create excitement around the project before the Rio Games

·        Create a connection between Don Worley’s footage and the Paralympic History Project

Key strategies to achieve these goals: 

·        Conduct a workshop in the months leading up to the Rio games

·        Use Adelaide as a venue, because no HOPAU workshops had been conducted there and there is a strong disability sport following in Adelaide

·        Promote the workshop as widely as possible within potential target groups using social media and networks of supporters.

·        Show how Don Worley’s films can be utilised to create more dynamic content for the Paralympic History Project

·        Find the requirements for putting clips from the Don Worley films into Wikipedia articles

·        Past Paralympian panel discussion


The State Library of South Australia was very cooperative and negotiated a discounted rate for the use of their Heztel Lecture Theatre. Essential venue requirements were Wi-Fi access, wheelchair access, tables and chairs, catering and projection facilities.

The venue location was perfect, central for those staying at the group hotel and those who lived locally, close to parking areas


Twelve participants in total – with an additional 5 on the Sunday for lunch and a panel discussion:

·        Elizabeth Edmondson – 1964 and 1968 Paralympian. HOPAU member. (Perth based)

·        Lyn Lillecrapp – 1976, 1988, 1992 Paralympian. HOPAU member. (Adelaide local)

·        Julie Russell - 1980, 1984, 1988, 1994, 1998 Paralympian, HOPAU member, (Adelaide local)

·        Greg Blood – HOPAU member from Canberra and prominent Wikipedian, (Canberra based)

·        Ross Mallett- prominent Wikipedian (flew from Melbourne to attend)

·        Murray Phillips – UQ sports historian responsible for writing the History of the Paralympic Movement in Australia, (Brisbane based)

·        Gary Osmond – UQ Sports historian working on the History of the Parylmpic Games Project, (Brisbane based)

·        Ciara Mahady – UQ research assistant and event convenor, (Brisbane based)

·        Lauren Robertson – Australian Paralympic Committee Public Relations Intern, (Sydney based)

·        Tony Naar – Facilitator of the History of the Paralympic Movement in Australia Project and Organiser of the Don Worley Film Exhibition, (Sydney based)

·        Patricia Ollerenshaw – HOPAU member and APC Volunteer Historian, (Sydney based)

·        Don Worley – Creator of historic Paralympic footage , (Adelaide local)

Sunday only – Paralympians panel and lunch:

·           Libby Kosmala

·           Stan Kosmala

·           Sue Twelftree

·           Troy Andrews

·           Kevin Munro


·           Advertising of event could have been expanded to attract additional local disability sport groups

·           There was a lack of existing HOPAU editors in Adelaide to build the workshop around.

·           Attempts were made to target new contributors to attend, but this remains an ongoing issue.


·        Participants were provided with an overview and update on the progress of the History Project: the written book, the Ehistory and the Wikipedia articles.

·        The contributions of attendees to the development of Wikipedia articles were summarised and documented.

·        The contributions of Wikipedia editors working at the University of Canberra and the University of Queensland were summarized and documented. Plans for the development of future Wikipedia articles from the Universities of Canberra and Queensland were discussed.

·        Existing HOPAU members were up skilled and now have the confidence and capacity to upload images and edit articles.

·        The State Library of Adelaide has been identified as an excellent venue for future events and a relationship has been established with the venue manager.

·        After a considerable break since the previous workshop, the project has developed new momentum through the workshop.

·        A connection between film and print information was highlighted

·        Past Paralmpians gained knowledge about the Project and were able to have input about the direction

·        Requirements for putting clips from the Don Worley films into Wikipedia articles were identified as follows:

o     OGG standard

o     Length of clips- limited by MB capacity, larger clips to be uploaded through WMF

o     Most films just 3-6 seconds of individuals – who will be responsible for this?

o     Films linked through articles – i.e. games articles linked to YouTube channel

o     Copyrights/ Music Copyrights

o     Potential uses for the E-History

o     The need for ongoing collection of additional videos


·       UQ and the APC to put together a program of workshops and other events for the remainder of the project.

·       Conduct the next workshop in Perth in late 2016. Initiate preliminary work for the preparation of the Perth Wikipedia workshop.

·       Ensure sufficient experienced editors attend each workshop to provide one-to-one time with inexperienced editors so that each person can develop skills at their own pace and focus on the specific areas of interest to them. This proved to be a great advantage of this workshop compared to previous workshops, where the inexperienced felt somewhat overwhelmed.

·       Clearly identify the specific history project needs which can be addressed by HOPAU project participants and be ready to work with them to achieve those by developing the requisite skills at workshops.

·        Provide sufficient notice to maximise participation at workshops.


·        Steve Burrows, Administration and Venues Coordinator, State Library of Adelaide

·        All attendees for giving up their time to participate

·        Libby Kosmala, Stan Kosmala, Sue Twelftree, Troy Andrews, Kevin Munro, Lyn Lillecrapp, Julie Russell, Elizabeth Edmondson for attending and sharing their insights

Report prepared by Ciara Mahady.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


The next Australian Paralympic History Project workshop for Wikipedia editors and future editors will be in Adelaide on the weekend of 9-10 July.

As we count down to the Rio Games, this will be a fantastic opportunity to reconnect with existing HoPAu contributors, introduce new contributors and get up to date with the latest developments in the Australian Paralympic history project.

Adelaide is a beautiful city and home to many of our greatest Paralympians.

Adelaide has also been home to a very special collection of Paralympic films. The films were made by Don Worley, who attended every summer Games from 1972 to 1988. Don filmed the action at all but the last of these (when that job was done by the ABC). He then went into a studio and produced documentaries from each Games. Don recently donated all his films to the National Film and Sound Archives under Creative Commons license. The NFSA has digitised Don’s films and the APC and NFSA will officially launch the collection with Don in Adelaide on Monday 11 July.

Prior to the launch, the NFSA will make the video available to participants at the workshop so that clips can be incorporated into Paralympic history project articles. Don has agreed to come along to the workshop to talk about his films and how they were made.

This is a rare opportunity to utilise Paralympic video that is available under Creative Commons.

The video will also fill gaps in the APC’s video collection from Paralympic Games. It means that there is – however brief – footage now available of Australians at every summer Paralympics except 1968.

In addition to this opportunity, the workshop is also a chance to:

1.         Reconnect with other contributors to the project, find out what they have been doing, and get all excited again!

2.         Hear about the progress on the overall Paralympic history project, especially access to more resources, the e-book and how it relates to the Wikipedia articles.

3.         Recruit and train new editors from Adelaide.

4.         Discuss the priorities for the Wikipedia articles in the lead-up to the Rio Games and for the rest of the year, including who is doing what.

If you want to know more about Don Worley and his priceless films, you can listen to his story here:[format:Audio]&offset=3&max=56

Times for sessions and the venue are still being finalised, but we are organising a central Adelaide venue that is accessible, with sessions starting on Saturday afternoon and then again Sunday morning into the early afternoon.

We hope to see you at the workshop!

The Australian men's 4X100m amputee relay team won gold at the 1988 Seoul Games.

Friday, May 27, 2016


Not before time maybe, photos from the London 2012 Paralympic Games have been uploaded into Wikimedia Commons.

These are 524 high quality images from the APC's official photographer in London, Sport the Library. The photos were selected by Nick Gregory-Roberts and re-named, uploaded and categorised by Lauren Robertson.

We have tried to ensure that there is at least one image of every athlete who competed in London.

Still to be added are overall shots of the Games, including opening and closing ceremonies.

Please contact with any questions or issues about the images.

Many athletes from London will be in Rio and these images will enhance their Wikipedia articles.

You can view them here.

The APC recently acquired about 700 images from the 1988 Seoul Games from South Australian Don Worley. These will be digitised between now and the end of June and then uploaded into Wikimedia Commons once each photo has been identified and metadata has been added.

We are currently working on images from the Beijing 2008 Games, Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014.

Negotiations are also underway to enable us to upload images from Athens 2004.

Watch this space!

In the meantime, all images from the Australian Paralympic Committee in Wikimedia Commons have been categorised to make it easier to find images from specific Games and to assist us to target those Games and athletes where there is a shortage of images.

If you haven't checked out the image library lately, there are now 2,622 photos available for use from here.

File:060912 - Sue Powell - 3b - 2012 Summer Paralympics.jpg

Monday, April 18, 2016

It's ALL happening!

With the Rio Paralympics fast approaching, there's been lots of action behind the scenes on the Paralympic history project.

In Canberra, Greg Blood and Liz Watt are supervising a team of students from Canberra Uni, focusing on articles about the athletes who will be in Rio and updating sport and athlete articles as selection events (such as swimming last week) are completed.

Lauren Robertson is an intern from Macquarie Uni and working out of the APC office. Lauren is uploading the latest portrait shots of athletes and team officials from the 2016 team processing sessions into Wikimedia Commons so that they can be used with the relevant Wikipedia articles. You can find them here:

Lauren is also uploading images from the London Games. The aim is to have two images of every Australian athlete, plus a range of general photos of the Games. Once they are uploaded, you will be able to find them here: As there are many London athletes on the Rio squad, it they will assist in enhancing the articles for those athletes.

In no particular order, here is a rundown of other news about the project:

South Australian Don Worley, who attended the Games from 72-88 as an athlete escort and videographer (or whatever it was called in those days) has donated film of 4 Games from 72-84 to the National Film and Sound Archives under Creative Commons. The NFSA is currently digitising Don's films and the NFSA and APC will 'launch' the collection in July. This will add greatly to the project and we are also hoping it will be possible to extract still images. Don has also donated 700+ photos from the 1988 Games in Seoul. These will be digitised and added to the Wikimedia Commons collection.

The NLA Paralympic oral history interviews are a good source of information and content for Wikipedia articles ( Many of the interviews have been indexed, so it is easy to find interesting and relevant sections. At a meeting last week, the team at the NLA reiterated that they are happy for audio clips from the interviews to be used in Wikipedia articles - a great way to add interest to articles!

It's old news, but not many may realise that Ross ( and Laura ( achieved Good Article status for every article about the Australian Team performance at the 2014 Sochi winter Paralympics, including all the athlete articles and all the winter classification articles. That's setting a pretty high benchmark! See as a jumping off point.

The APC is working with the National Sports Information Centre to create a 'home' for material that can be useful to people writing articles for the Paralympic History Project. This can include newspaper clippings, event programs, personal correspondence and other items. A test folder has been created. Once we have ironed out any bugs, these materials will be available to members of the HOPAU group through the Clearinghouse for Sport (

Save the date: The APC has scheduled the Rio Team Announcement for 20 June at Parliament House in Canberra. On that day, the full team will be announced formally.

Friday, November 13, 2015

We're back!

And the plan is to re-commence updating this blog as the source of news and information about the Australian Paralympic history project.

Although it's been a three year break since this blog was maintained, there has been lots of activity on the Australian Paralympic history project in that time:
  • 836(+) Wikipedia articles have been created (more on them below).
  • 46 oral history interviews have been recorded under the National Library of Australia's Paralympic project as part of its oral history and folklore program.
  • 1,902 images from the Australian Paralympic Committee's collection of more than 40,000 have been digitised and uploaded to Wikimedia Commons for widespread use.
  • The APC's audio-visual collection has been digitised and catalogued by the National Sports Information Centre. The catalogue is fully discoverable online and the NSIC manages all requests for access under an agreement with the APC.
  • Athletes and other members of past Paralympic teams have loaned or donated scrapbooks, medals, uniforms and other memorabilia to the APC.  Loaned items have been scanned or photographed and returned. Donated items are also scanned or photographed and stored in the APC's archives.Agreements with organisations such as the National Sports Museum mean that some of these items are on display in significant national collections, pending the establishment of a permanent Paralympic display.
  • The APC library in the APC Sydney office is a unique collection of 1,312 items, including books about Paralympic sport and Paralympians, results from international competitions, magazines, reports, submissions and proposals relating to the APC and Paralympic sport. The library is catalogued through the NSIC and the Clearinghouse for Sport, which means that all items are fully discoverable online, with subsequent access controlled by the APC.
  • The APC archives contain more than 600 boxes of documents that date back to the foundation of the APC in 1990, plus uniform items and memorabilia that have been donated or have been archived from Games teams since 2000. While these are sorted and indexed, there is still a large task to curate the important historical documents so they are available to those involved in the Paralympic history project and other researchers. The National Library has agreed to accept the curated core collection into its national collection, to ensure its ongoing preservation and access to future researchers.
  • Work is proceeding on the written history of the Paralympic movement in Australia, which will include an online format with links to the Wikipedia articles, photos, videos, oral histories, the library and physical collections. The written history is due for completion in 2017.
The Wikipedia HOPAU project has been one of the great success stories. In October 2015, the articles created through the project were collectively viewed 114,974 times. These were the 20 most popular articles: 

2000 Summer Paralympics - 1477
Ashley Adams - 1445
Australia at the 2000 Summer Paralympics - 1367
Disability sport classification - 1347
Australia at the 1992 Summer Paralympics - 1319
Ellie Cole - 1137
Kurt Fearnley - 1064
Daniel Bell (Australian swimmer) - 1019
Para-athletics classification - 984
Australia at the 1976 Summer Paralympics - 951
T44 (classification) - 947
T35 (classification) - 842
Elizabeth Edmondson - 797
T20 (classification) - 715
T37 (classification) - 713
Para-equestrian - 689
Kelly Cartwright - 684
Australia at the 1972 Summer Paralympics - 679
T38 (classification) - 662
T12 (classification) - 647