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Forty years on: Unseen photos of Cyclone Tracy

A collection of previously unseen photographs documenting the aftermath of 1974's devastating Cyclone Tracy will soon go on show in Darwin.

Tuesday December 9, 2014

An image from '40 years on - Cyclone Tracy Exhibition', showing passengers and Red Cross workers loading a plane following the cyclone.

The black and white photos, which have sat hidden away in Red Cross' archives for the last 40 years, were taken for Red Cross by photographer Ramon A Williams in the days following the Christmas Day cyclone. Among the photos are shots showing Red Cross staff and volunteers ferrying the injured, helping evacuees at the airport and comforting the survivors.

'40 years on - Cyclone Tracy Exhibition' opens on Wednesday 10 December and runs until Friday 16 January. Held at the Darwin City Library, the free exhibition has been possible thanks to funding from the City of Darwin Council.

As well as photos, a collection of artefacts will be on display including old Red Cross badges and uniforms, letters of support and condolences from Red Cross societies around the world and long lists of people looking for their loved ones after the cyclone.

"Rather than focus on the damage and destruction of this tragic event, we have chosen photos that celebrate humanity - the tireless efforts of the volunteers and staff who came from all over the country, and worked around the clock to provide support and assistance to those in need," says Australian Red Cross' NT Emergency Services Manager Paul Mitchell.

"Disasters on the scale of Cyclone Tracy will always have the potential for grave destruction, but there are steps you can take to greatly reduce the impact and stress of a disaster, so you are better able to cope in the aftermath," says Mr Mitchell. "Visit to find out how you and your family can be better prepared for a disaster, and download some of our free resources to help you plan."