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'From the Outback to the Battlefront' memorial book launched in Blinman

The Minister for Local Government and Regional Development, the Hon. Geoff Brock MP, launched the Outback Communities Authority’s (OCA) historical record – From the Outback to the Battlefront – in Blinman last week.

From the Outback to the Battlefront documents the service history of Outback South Australian communities who served Australia in the many theatres of battle around the world during the late 19th through to the 21st Century.

Author and historian – John Mannion – has fully researched records of those who served in all conflicts and peacekeeping operations from the Boer War through to Afghanistan.

Chair of the OCA, Cecilia Woolford, said that she hopes the book will highlight the Outback’s response to the ‘Call to Arms’ from our Country during some of our darkest hours and in their times of need. “This is a project that we have held close to our hearts; we are proud that From the Outback to the Battlefront contributes to a growing body of knowledge about how South Australians have contributed to our war effort,” she said.

“We also hope it will spur new research and unearth new stories to honour the people of the South Australian Outback who served their country, in whatever capacity. “We were fortunate to work with John Mannion on this book – he has left no stone unturned, uncovering significant remnants of local history and gathering stories about notable soldiers.

“The OCA will undertake one more important task in this context: to build a memorial in the SA Outback that honours all that served and contributed.”

Community members from across the outback gathered at the Blinman Memorial Hall on Thursday, 10 November for the launch, a day ahead of National Remembrance Day.

Copies of the book are available for purchase from the OCA by calling 8648 5970 or via email to

The book will also be sold by community organisations and donated to each community library in the unincorporated areas of Outback South Australia.

Click here to view more photos from the launch.