"Australian Skiing - The First 100 Years" by Wendy Cross

On Tuesday September 4, 2012, Perisher Historical Society (PHS) was delighted to host the launch of this authoritative book which documents the start of skiing in Australia.

Apart from being a thoroughly enjoyable read, the book provides an extraordinary reference point and chronology.

Nearly seventy skiers gathered at a function held at History House, the home of the Royal Australian Historical Society in Macquarie Street, Sydney to hear Olympian Zali Steggall OAM launch the book.   Zali, a hugely successful ski racer and now successful barrister, delighted the audience with an insight to her experiences and challenges.  If you weren't there you missed a great evening.

The author, Wendy Cross is ideally qualified to write this book.  An experienced professional journalist specialising in skiing Wendy has skied in nearly every resort in Australia and many overseas.  For many years Wendy edited the Australian Ski Year Book, was on the executive of Victorian Ski Association and was a ski patroller.  Some thirty years ago Wendy commenced writing a history of skiing in Australia but the manuscript languished in a bottom drawer until her retirement.  About three years ago Wendy hauled out the manuscript, dusted it off and discovered many of the people that she had interviewed had now passed on.  Recognising the importance of her work to date, Wendy set about reviewing, checking and updating.  It was at this point that the historical societies that have since emerged, including Perisher and Thredbo, have been able to assist and encourage.

Finding a publisher nearly brought an end to the exercise until Wendy discovered Walla Walla Press.  This extraordinary organisation was her angel.  The historical societies of Perisher and Thredbo are keen to ensure that the book gets the widest possible exposure so that at every ski club and commercial accommodation has at least one copy for their visitors and members to read.

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PHS would welcome your feedback or comment on the book.