Book written about Keith's Steve Woolston

A new book about the adventurous life of local Keith surfing legend and former gun shearer, Steve Woolston, will be launched in Keith next Tuesday.

The book ‘Finding Steve’s Place’ has been written and self-published by author Liz Harfull, who has published an array of award winning books. 

The book launch coincides with the 50th anniversary year of the Robe Easter Surfing Classic, founded by Steve.

According to Liz, the book is about a lot more than surfing.

“Steve Woolston would never describe himself as famous, but it’s fair to say that he’s a legend in certain circles, and he has some extraordinary and humorous stories to tell,” she said.

“In fact, one of the things that drew me to writing the book is that Steve has led a diverse and often surprising life, which cuts across some fascinating moments in time.

“Many people, including members of his own family, are going to be astonished at some of his adventures and the characters he has come across along the way, including his years working as a shearer, and some spells in the Outback.”

Liz said the book had given her a chance to write about the pioneering AMP Land Development Scheme which transformed huge areas of the Ninety Mile Desert in the Upper South East into productive farming land in the 1950s.

“Steve’s father was among the men recruited to work on the scheme, and he moved the whole family from suburban Adelaide to Brecon station near Keith, where they lived in a steel hut for five years.”

The mid 1960s saw Steve discover surfing, which led him to Robe, where he soon established a surf shop, ‘Steve’s Place’.

“I didn’t know all that much about surfing when I started interviewing Steve, but what became quickly apparent is that his life and experiences intersect with some of the greatest moments and the most famous names in Australian surfing.”

Finding Steve’s Place will be launched at the Keith Hotel on Tuesday at 6pm. Members of the community are encouraged to attend.