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Konrad Dimpel Home Movies

Konrad Dimpel’s 42 home movies capture family and work life in Canberra and its surrounds from the mid 1950s up to the present day.

The home movies in the Konrad Dimpel collection are both black-and-white and colour, and have been filmed on both domestic film and video formats. The images in these home movies are of interest for the details of domestic interiors, the record of public sites of recreation at a particular time in history, and their contribution to a recorded history of Canberra. In addition, Dimpel has recorded his family’s history over that time, providing a record of the growth of his children and their life in Australia.

Dimpel migrated to Australia in 1954 from Germany as one of the many ‘Jennings Germans’ who came out to work for the building company AV Jennings. The ‘Jennings Germans’ worked on a number of buildings in and around Canberra in the 1950s and 1960s.

Dimpel is an avid videographer and began depositing his home movies with the National Film and Sound Archive in 2000. He clearly values both the medium of the moving image and the written word as culturally important forms of remembrance and reflection, along with collecting institutions that preserve these artefacts. In 2005, Dimpel deposited a memoir in German called As I Remembered Things: My Life Since 1927 and its Roots in the Past with the National Library of Australia. He has continued to make amateur videos and home movies including a moving personal reflection on the impact of the 2003 Canberra bushfires, Burned Out Fields Along My Walking Ways.

Home movies often capture personal perspectives of history and public events. This makes them valuable as both a form of witness to living history as well as a contribution to public memory.

Titles in this collection

Dimpel, Konrad: Burned Out Fields Around My Walking Ways 2003

This home movie by Canberra resident Konrad Dimpel documents the bushfires that swept through the ACT in January 2003 and their destructive aftermath.

Dimpel, Konrad: Canberra and Snowy Mountains c1954

Most of this home movie footage captures scenes of sporting and leisure activities around Canberra, such as the woodchopping competition at a local show.

Dimpel, Konrad: German Christmas celebrations, Lutheran Sunday School picnic c1966

In this 1960s home movie, a curious baby kangaroo joins a Lutheran Sunday School picnic at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve outside Canberra.

Dimpel, Konrad: Jennings Germans c1960

Some of the first houses built by the ‘Jennings Germans’ are still standing in O’Connor, Ainslie and Yarralumla.

Dimpel, Konrad: Manuka Swimming Pool 1961

This silent 8mm colour footage provides a snapshot of Canberra social life in the 1960s.

Dimpel, Konrad: On the Voyage to Germany c1966

Konrad Dimpel has recorded his family’s history through home movies since his arrival in Australia from Germany in 1954.

Dimpel, Konrad: Red Hill 1964

This colour home movie, captured by Konrad Dimpel, shows his children quietly entertaining themselves over Christmas in 1964.