Woomera is not a military base, but is a civilian community that supports the Australian
Rocket Range which is under the control of the Weapons Research Establishment (WRE). The
Woomera area is controlled by the Area Administrator, similar to a city manager, who is
responsible to the Director of the Weapons Research Establishment in Salisbury, South
A Committee of village residents, known as the "Woomera Board" , assists the
Area Administrator in the administration of the village on any matters concerning the
life, health, amenities, and welfare of the residents. There is no restriction regarding
citizenship or nationality for membership on the Board and Americans have served on the
Board as elected members.
The Woomera Board has several committees which administer certain aspects of its
functions. The chairman of each of these committees is taken from
the membership of the Board. The Store Advisory Committee investigates and advises on
complaints about service and management of the Community Store. The Library Committee
looks after the affairs of the Woomera Public Library. W.E.R.I. manages many of the social
functions of the village and is, in turn, supported by four sub-committees composed of
representatives of the various clubs affiliated with W.E.R.I.
The Woomera Entertainment and Recreation Institute (W.E.R.I.) is responsible for all
sporting, recreational and entertainment facilities. The majority
of the clubs in Woomera are affiliated with W.E.R.I. and receive financial aid in the form
of equipment, youth activities, visiting instructors and teams. Some of the clubs and
activities that are affiliated with W.E.R.I. are:
Girl Guides Association
Natural History Society
Small Bore Rifle Club
Camera Club Sporting
Chess Club Lawn
Horse and Pony Club
Returned Servicemans League
Motor Cycle Club
Village Sports Club
Works Sports Club
Centrals Sports Club
Kooly Sports Club
As you can see from the number of various clubs, associations, and
activities, there is social activity occurring almost every night of the week. Contrary to
what one would expect of a very small community, there is almost too much social life.
Many of the sports clubs are also social clubs and offer many other activities for the
In addition to being the central administrative body for the clubs, associations, and
activities listed above, W.E.R.I. is also responsible for operating the two Olympic size
swimming pools and canteen which is open during the summer months, the squash courts,
ovals (athletic field) , and the 694-seat movie theater.
The movie theater has showings three nights a week. Most of the movies are two or more
years old, so you can plan to catch up on the flicks you missed. The movie theater is also
used when W.E.R.I. sponsors live entertainment , such as concerts (orchestra, music
groups, entertainers and singers, etc.), plays, the arts (ballet, opera, etc.) and talent
W.E.R.I. sponsors bus tours for Woomera residents to many points of interest in Australia.
There are tours that go to Alice Springs, Ayers Rock, Port Lincoln, the Flinders Ranges,
and Sydney, to mention a few. This is an excellent opportunity to see more of Australia at
a very reasonable cost. There are other clubs and organizations that are not affiliated
with W.E.R.I. such as the Country Women's Association, the Flying Doctors' Association,
the Woomera Model Aeronautical Society and the JDSCS Wives Club.
The Joint Defense Space Communications Station (JDSCS) Wives Club is composed of the wives
of the U.S. and Australian military and contractor personnel assigned to the joint
operations. Although, no formal organization exists, the wives find an opportunity to meet
once a month for coffees with a luncheon held every third month.
We do not have abase exchange or commissary in Woomera due to the U.S.- Australian
Country-to-Country Agreement. All shopping facilities are under
the management of the Australian Services Canteen Organization (ASCO) and is known as the
The large composite store, normally referred to as ASCO, consists of a var1ety of shops
which include a butcher, greengrocer (vegetable and fruits), delicatessen, baker, men and
boy's wear, gifts and toys, sports goods, hardware, ladies' wear, liquor and cigarettes,
cosmetics and patent medicines, self-service grocery, news agency, milk bar, snack bar and
coffee lounge where milk, bread and other small items may be purchased after hours. Prices
are higher than in the U.S., however personnel are paid a Cost of Living Allowance (COLA).
There is a bulk store where you may purchase items in
large quantities such as case lots .
Other full time businesses operating in Woomera are the Post Office
(Australian) , three weeks (Commonwealth Trading and Savings Bank, Bank of New South
Wales, and National Bank), chemist (drug store), two auto service stations, shoe repairs,
men's barber shop, electrical repairs,
.ladies hairdresser, and a laundry and dry cleaners. There are many part time businesses
offering a wide range of services and goods ranging from the sale of opals and aboriginal
curios to dressmaking to television and stereo repairs.
Woomera supports an arboretum (zoo/park) called Breen Park, where you may see and
photograph many of the animals and birds native to Australia
such as kangaroos, wallabys, emus, cockatoos, etc. (sorry, no koala bears). The arboretum
is maintained by gardeners employed by the Department of
Supply. Plants and shrubs can be obtained periodically for home beautification projects.
There are Four athletic fields, called ovals, that are used for various sports such as
Australian Rules Football, soccer, cricket, softball, etc.
Also available are hard surface tennis courts and basketball courts that are lighted for
evening use. There are numerous childrens playgrounds with various types of equipment,
i.e., swings, slides, bars, etc. located throughout the village.
A youth center catering to the teenagers has a very active youth program. They have
produced plays and musicals, as well as sponsoring dances and art shows.
There is a thrift shop in Woomera where you may purchase odds and ends such as clothes,
books, used furniture, etc. The proceeds of the thrift shop are donated to the aboriginal
Milk is delivered to your home each evening except Saturday on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Check with your neighbor or sponsor regarding the normal
time of delivery at your particular location and the price of milk. Milk is available in
either one or two pint cartons.
Arrangements can be made with the Newsagency for delivery of a daily newspaper to your
home. Available from Adelaide are "The Advertiser"
(delivered Monday through Saturday mornings) , "The Australian" and "The
News" (both delivered Monday through Friday evenings) , and "The Sunday
Mail" (delivered Sunday mornings).
Woomera publishes a weekly newspaper called the "Gibber Gabber"
.It is available to all Woomera residents free of charge. The news is limited
to local events involving marriages, community projects, local sports, club news, and
other items of interest.
The Australian newspapers do not print very much U.S. news and nearly all the sporting
news is limited to Australian sports. If you want to keep abreast of the u.s.
News or sports, recommend you subscribe to a weekly news or sports magazine or newspaper.
Although many U.S. magazines are available in Australia, prices run considerably higher.
It is best to subscribe to any magazines you desire from the U.S. for delivery through the
TRIP BY MAC
We would like to pass on a few tips and suggestions to make your trip to Woomera a bit
more pleasant. It is advisable to make advance reservations for motel or base
accommodations (where possible) ahead of your departure. Carry enough money to cover
accommodations and meals for about five days in case of plane delays. Suggest larger
denominations of traveler's checks. Hand carry ALL important papers at ALL times (COPY OF
ORDERS, PASSPORTS, SHOT RECORDS, medical records, birth certificates, wills, school
Insure that your orders specify TRAVEL IN CIVILIAN CLOTHES. The MAC C-l4l flight is very
different from commercial flights primarily because of the noise level and the lack of the
"luxuries". It is very noisy and the most comfortable place is close to the tail
(near luggage and cargo). We suggest a car bed, collapsible stroller, baby food, and lots
of disposable diapers if you have a small baby. There is bus service from San Francisco
International Airport to the MAC Terminal at Travis AFB, California. If possible, try to
stay with the other members of your flight at all times because you can get more done if
you run into problems. There are family quarters at Travis AFB and Hickam AFB, however
reservations in advance are usually required. The following checklists are provided to aid
you in your trip:
Each traveler is allowed 66lbs of luggage. Large bags must be "checked", but
each passenger may "carry-on" a bag which will fit under his seat.
At all stops except Pago Pago, you may take your "checked" luggage from the
terminal, but Hickam AFB requires that you claim all or none of your checked bags.
Therefore, we suggest you pack your carry-on bags with the minimum essentials for three
days travel, and claim your checked bags only if