FEDERATION AND METEOROLOGYPhoto - Woman with balloon
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  The story of Dave Hounam's mum

Setting up a data projector for the launch of the Federation and Meteorology website led to the discovery of a bit of family history for David Hounam of the Management Branch Computing Support section.

In a piece of science history serendipity, David projected the home page of the site on the big screen and thought he recognised the picture of the woman in uniform launching a weather balloon.

Sure enough, when he checked with his mother Lynda Hounam, she recognised herself in the photograph, one of many taken during World War II at the Frosterley building, then the Bureau’s headquarters.

A professional had photographed Flight Sergeant Lynda McLachlan and many other female observers for a story on RAAF women.

Mrs Hounam found two more photographs taken at about the same time, which will be offered for use on the new site.

David also found information on his father Colin on the Bright Sparcs site that is linked to the Federation and Meteorology pages. Colin was involved in the collection of climate data from the 1950s until he retired in 1977.

Pat Kennedy, ‘Serendipity puts a family name to a face’, Weather News, December 2001, No. 329, p. 31.

  WAAAF Met. Assistant
A WAAAF Met. Assistant about to release a pilot weather balloon whose flight she will follow through the theodolite to ascertain wind speed and direction. (see The WAAAF)

WAAAF Met. Assistants
Image courtesy Mrs Lynda Hounam

WAAAF Met. Assistants
Image courtesy Mrs Lynda Hounam

Article links

Background image: The first weather map issued by the Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology, Age, 2 January 1902.
Published by the Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, September 2002