Looking Back - 1939 to 2011 - the Autobiography of Robert V. J. Padula, OAM

1941 - Bikes and Cars
1943 - Hiking - Hills and Coasts
1944 - Growing up in the War Years - Part 1
1944 - Growing up in the War Years - Part 2
1944 - Growing up in the War Years - Part 3
1945 - Auburn schooldays - Part One
1945 - Auburn Schooldays - Part Two
1945 - Auburn Schooldays - Part Three
1945 - Upwey and the Puffing Billy
1945 - Gramaphones and Record Players
1946 - Flinders St Station
1946 - Astronomy
1946 - Beach and Swimming Adventures
1946 - Going to the Pictures
1947 - Adventures at the Altona Bungalow
1947 -The Listener-In Magazine
1947 - Balwyn WIldlife Sanctuary
1948 - Fishermen's Bend Aerodrome
1948 - Radio Australia QSL cards
1948 - Excursions
1949 - Australian Rules Football
1949 - Radio Monitoring at Auburn
1950 -Trains and Ships
1950 - Radios for Communications
1950 - Radio Listening Clubs in Australia
1950 - World Radio TV Handbook
1950 - Shortwave Radio Propagation Research
1950 - Medium Wave Radio Propagation Research
1950 - Radio and Hobbies Magazines
1950 - Discovering shortwave radio at Auburn
1951 - Photography
1951 - Competitions on local radio stations
1952 - Camp Buxton - YMCA Shoreham
1952 Tennis and Ten Pin Bowling
1953 - Stamp Collectiong
1953 Camberwell High School
1954 - Royal Visit to Melbourne
1954 - Shortwave Radio reception at Auburn
1956 - Melbourne's Olympic Games
1956 - Trainee Telecommunications' Technician
1957 - Trainee Technician - field work
1957 - National Service Registration
1958 - Laverton Air Show
1958 - MOOMBA Parade
1958 - Trainee Technician - field work
1959 - The move to Mont Albert
1960 - Working at Deepdene Telephone Exchange
1963 - Trade Unions, Staff Associations, Industrial Relations
1964 - Senior Technician work in the Melbourne CBD
1964 - Project support for Radio Australia
1964 - Amateur Radio
1964 - Media Writing
1964 -Travels
1964 - Engineering Support for International Broadcasters
1965 - Professional Employment with PMG/Telstra
1967 - Professional Qualifications - Institution of Engineers Australia
1967 - Australian Radio DX Club Photo Gallery (to 1979)
1972 - Wireless Institute of Australia
1972 - Natural disasters in Melbourne
1980 - Australian Radio DX Club Gallery (to 1995)
1981 - Award of the Medal of the Order of Australia
1995 - Padula Books
SPECIAL CHAPTER - Oldtime Australian Radio Drama from the 1930s
SPECIAL CHAPTER - Radio Monitoring Clubs in Australia - 1920 to 1949
SPECIAL CHAPTER - Melbourne Picture Theatres - History - 1906 to 1970
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December 2011 - author at Harrietville

2011 - author, with cousin Coral

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I Still Call Australia Home

I Am Australia!

Welcome to my on-line autobiography "Looking Back - 1939 to 2011".

I am Robert V. J. Padula, OAM, of Mont Albert, Victoria, Australia. I was one of the first Victorian War Babies of the Second World War, having been born on September 6, 1939, in Melbourne.  On September 3, 1939, Britain and France declared war on Germany. Neville Chamberlain broadcast the announcement that the country was at war.

My Autobiography is a Journey, in words, pictures and sound, looking at the most important events and experiences of the greater part of my life, surrounding my interests and activities, much of it linked to my involvement in electronics, radio technology, the cinema, photography, bushwalking, travelling, and astronomy.

Much of this concerns my involvement in the monitoring of international shortwave broadcasting and research into high frequency long distance radio propagation

My Journey begins in the days of crystal sets and spark radios, and I will lead you through the succeeding years with articles, stories, images, and anecdotes about my hobby experiences in electronics and radio communications, which ultimately paved the way for my full-time employment as a Technician, and later a Professional Engineer, in the Postmaster's General Department (now Telstra).

After 41 years with the Company, I left Telstra in 1997, having reached the ranks of senior engineering management,  and since then I have provided expert professional advice and consultancy in fhe field of international broadcast engineering.

I am a Chartered Professional Engineer, and a  Life Member of the Institution of Engineers Australia.

In 1955 I undertook a Vocational Guidance program when I was in Year 10 at Camberwell High School - the assessment said that I should pursue a "Technical Career" - they were spot on!

I now invite you to share my experiences - join with me and smile when you read about my exploits and adventures!

Ericsson telephone c.1890

232 auto telephone 1945

This work is intended principally for my family, friends, past and present business associates, colleagues in the broadcasting engineering industry, college alumni members, and the many people with whom I am in frequent contact across the Internet.
No part of this work may be further distributed, in any form, without my specific advance written permission
The work contains over 1000 images, and 67 Chapters. Many images are from my private and family photograph albums - others are out-of-copyright material drawn from public websites.
In accordance with current journalistic practices, source attribution for out-of-copyright images and documents is not shown, except in special circumstances.

My own images are scans produced from size-620 and 2.5" by 3.5" black/white prints, and from 35 mm black/white and color transparencies, prints and negatives.

Images cited as pre-1940 are from the public domain - most of the others are from my own personal or family albums.

Automatic wall telephone, c.1935

1890 - PMG poster for telephone

Many of the events and actvities described in this work took place in or near Greater Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.:

1939 to 1959 - Auburn - an inner-eastern suburb, 8 km from the CBD
1959 to present - Mont Albert - an eastern suburb, 15 km from the CBD
Another location mentioned often in this work is the western suburb of Altona, 20 km from the CBD, where my family owned a bungalow in West Altona, near the beach. We owned that property from 1948 to 1959, where we spent many happy weekends and holdays.
See the Chapter designated as "2011 Epilogue" for some location maps!

This work is intended essentially for readers who are familiar with Melbourne, its culture, its character, its geography, and its history. Much of the narrative and imaging pre-supposes an awareness of Melbourne and its individuality, one of the great cities of the modern world!


This work is divided into many Chapters, all of which are shown in the Navigation Bar at the left side of each Chapter. Theyare generally arranged in chronological order of the year in which the interest or activity commenced, some of which span many decades. There are some SPECIAL FEATURES included.
There is a Search Engine at the top of this Home Page - enter the desired word or phrase and you will be taken to a new window where a listing, with links, of the page(s) containing your search query will be displayed. External links about your query will also be shown.
Robert V. J. Padula
December 2011


This Autobiography  is dedicated to the memory of my mother and father, without which many of the events and experiences in this work would not have been possible, and for my family and friends.


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