listen to older voices: phyllis smith – part 1

Welcome to Listen To Older Voices, a program produced by Rob Greaves and podcast through the Toorak Times and Tagg

Due to restrictions to carrying out face to face interviews with older people, due to ongoing COVID virus concerns, we continue to present Golden Moment Repeat Programs.

This is part 1 of a 3-part Life & Times program featuring Phyllis Smith. When Phyllis was interviewed in April 2012 she was about to turn 100 years of age.

It is a rare privilege to be able to speak to someone who has reached such a grand age about their life and the events she witnessed and participated in. Throughout this interview her spirit, strength and memory suggested she could have easily been 25 years younger.

Born in Tasmania in May of 1912, she was born into a period and lifestyle so very different to that of today. Phyllis was obviously a keen participant in the journey of life and as her story reveals, she had little time to be a tourist.

Her story reveals why for most of her early life she lived with her grandparents with whom she had a wonderful and loving relationship. However, the cold reality of life confronted her when her mother remarried and took Phyllis back but, there was no love coming from her step-father, and while it forced Phylis to leave and find her own way in life. This issues was something she confronted later in her life.

We learn of the circumstances that lead her first to having to work at the age of 12 1/2 and to why she came to be living in Sydney. At the outbreak of WWII, she returned to Tasmania to become the first licensed female taxi driver.

Previous Listen To Older Voices Programs can be found in our archive, by clicking on one link or the other

2012 to 2016   

 –  2016 onward 

supermarkets put junk food on special twice as often as healthy food, and that’s a problem


[Listen To Older Voices receives funding from the Commonwealth Government 
through the Commonwealth Home Support Program Program]