Q&A with author Nick Brodie
To celebrate the past 100 years of being Tasmania’s shoulder to lean on, we commissioned Tasmanian-based historian and author Nick Brodie to write a limited-edition book, 'RACT 100 Years of Service'. We asked Nick a few questions about the process.
How did you approach writing a corporate history?
The company usually has their own ideas and expectations for the story they want to tell. In the case of RACT, my approach was to explore Tasmania’s history through the lens of an organisation that’s lived through the last 100 years of Tasmania.
Do you have a favourite story from the book?
I love the story of the scout mechanics that would drive around looking for breakdowns. The club taking orphans on excursions to Kingston Beach in the early days, and fundraising for an ambulance to support the war effort in the second world war, were also fascinating.
What’s the most interesting aspect of RACT’s history that revealed itself to you during your research?
The relationship between RACT and the advent of automobiles in Tasmania was the most fascinating aspect. RACT played a crucial role in improving Tasmania’s infrastructure to accommodate the growing number of cars on the road. The evolution of the automobile and its impact on Tasmanian society and the economy over the past century was a great story to tell.
Besides advocating for better roads, what role has RACT played over the past century?
RACT has evolved from a motoring club to a multifaceted organisation that offers roadside assistance, insurance and travel services. It’s interesting to see how they’ve adapted to changing times and technologies to continue meeting the needs of members.