The Rose of Tasmania

The Rose of Tasmania was the name given to Katie Jennings, one of the first ABC women broadcasters, by one of her radio fans. Katie contributed to the National Womens Session which went to air twice weekly from Hobart between the years 1945 and 1948. Whenever you come on the air, I throw a rose and a kiss to the south wrote a male listener from Sydney. These broadcasts provide an insight into post war domestic life and into the social context of the period between the wars. Katie regaled her listeners with stories of her Edwardian childhood, tales of her travels in Canada, and her experiences as a young mother and wife in suburban Hobart. She had a free-flowing style with a distinct ability to describe, often humorously, whatever caught her eye, plus an uncanny ability to recall the past in detail. She was able to capture the essence of the shopping expedition, the bus ride, the conversation overheard in the hairdresser, and her many encounters in the course of everyday life. She thus had enormous appeal for her listeners who were able to identify whole-heartedly with her many adventures.

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Biographies Non Fiction

The Rose of Tasmania was the name given to Katie Jennings, one of the first ABC women broadcasters, by one of her radio fans. Katie contributed to the National Womens Session which went to air twice weekly from Hobart between the years 1945 and 1948.
Whenever you come on the air, I throw a rose and a kiss to the south wrote a male listener from Sydney.
These broadcasts provide an insight into post war domestic life and into the social context of the period between the wars. Katie regaled her listeners with stories of her Edwardian childhood, tales of her travels in Canada, and her experiences as a young mother and wife in suburban Hobart. She had a free-flowing style with a distinct ability to describe, often humorously, whatever caught her eye, plus an uncanny ability to recall the past in detail. She was able to capture the essence of the shopping expedition, the bus ride, the conversation overheard in the hairdresser, and her many encounters in the course of everyday life. She thus had enormous appeal for her listeners who were able to identify whole-heartedly with her many adventures.

Year Written: 1992

Word Count: 57784


Karen Darby

Karen Darby, the daughter of Ann Jennings, discovered her mother’s diaries by chance, in an ottoman, after her death. Her paternal grandmother Katie Jennings’ ABC radio broadcast scripts were found in an old trunk. Inside the Ottoman •2015 Varuna Publisher Introduction Program, shortlisted UWA Press •2012 Eric Dark Flagship Fellowship Award for non-fiction, Varuna Writers’ House, NSW. •2011 Varuna Publisher Introduction Program, shortlisted QUP •2010 Arts Tasmania studio space made available for regional artists. •2008 7RPH Community Radio production of The Rose of Tasmania: Broadcasts of Katie Jennings. •2007 Arts Tasmania literary grant assistance •2006 Wildcare Tasmania Nature Writing competition, runner-up prize for passages from Inside the Ottoman with publication in Island magazine, Issue 109. • 2004 Canadian Adventure published in Canadian magazine Reminisce •2003: short-listed for the NFAW Marian Eldridge Award The Rose of Tasmania • 1992 Scholar in Residence, Philip Smith Education Centre, Hobart Qualifications 1990 Graduate Diploma in Religion Studies, University of South Australia 1971 Diploma of Education, University of NSW 1969 Bachelor of Arts (Hons) English Literature, University of Sydney Publications •2014: A Tapestry of Bruny Island: Tales from Four Generations, Ginninderra Press •2005: excerpts from the diaries of Ann Jennings published by ABC Books in Forever Yours: Australia’s Hidden Love Letters; ABC Books •1996: selections from the ABC radio broadcasts of Katie Jennings: ‘Lines from My Grandmother’s Lips’, published 40 Degrees South, Issue 2; ‘Rabbit Hunting’, Issue 8. •1993: Striking a New Note: ABC National Women’s Session Broadcasts 1945-1948, compiled and edited by Karen Darby, Philip Smith Education Centre Hobart

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