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Kruse, Tom

Tom Kruse delivered the mail and supplies to remote stations on the Birdsville Track for 20 years. He battled through some of the driest country in Australia and difficult circumstances to ensure that the people of these isolated communities received their supplies. Tom first transported mail along the Track, which runs through the desert of South Australia from Marree to Birdsville in the south west corner of Queensland, in 1936. He drove a support vehicle for Cecil Madigan's expedition across the Simpson Desert in 1939. In 1952, Tom and his wife Valma featured in Back of Beyond, the documentary film about the mail run on the Birdsville Track. The film won the 'Absolute Grand Prize' for best documentary at the Venice International Film Festival in 1954. Tom was awarded an MBE for services to the outback community in 1955. In 1999, aged 85, he featured on film again in Last Mail from Birdsville, delivering the mail along the Birdsville Track one last time in his restored Leyland Badger truck.

Birdsville Track: Tom Kruse, mailman
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