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When Darwin was flattened by Cyclone Tracy on Christmas Eve 1974, the Northern Territory News was unable to be published because of damage to its building and presses. The police expressed that Darwin needed some sort of communication to convey key information and to help avoid any panic. A group of journalists met at a local school, where residents had congregated to centralise distribution of food, clothing and water. The journalists took to the streets to find a means of printing. A printing shop was located with a small printing machine at the rear. They managed to carry it back to the police station where, with the assistance of police, they put together this emergency edition, publishing it just one day after the cyclone. After a few copies had been printed, the journalists distributed it, nailing a copy to a door at each school. This is one of few remaining copies of the first emergency edition, recently acquired by Northern Territory Library. The newspaper was produced in its usual form again from 31 December 1974.

Published: 18 December 2016


Forgotten Territory was a weekly photo column of historic images in the Northern Territory News which I curated from 2016 until 2019 supported by the collections of the Northern Territory Library and other cultural institutions around Australia, as well as local history Facebook groups. 

Click on the images to read the story behind the image.

Warning: May contain images of people who have died.

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