Summary

Alternative Name(s): Barbeque

Willow, Sure Fire BBQ with aboriginal motifs, made in Melbourne in 1970. It comprises a circular body in red/ brown with aboriginal motifs of men and women hunting kangaroos, turtles, etc. on 3 wire legs that fold out. A central metal container and wire grilling rack sits inside body.

The Corroboree design barbecue was made in 1970, and was manufactured for one season only. Between 5,000 and 8,000 units were made. It did not sell well, so there was no repeat production. The design is appropriated from Aboriginal designs. The choice of design came about 'due to the go anywhere portability of the bbq and its ability to be used anywhere. We likened this to Aboriginal culture'.

Willow Ware began as a partnership between Ralph and Richard Wilson in 1887. They established the Wilson Bros in 1889 in Flemington before moving to North Melbourne. They began by making tinned plate tea and biscuit canisters. Later they printed metal kitchenware with the blue willow pattern, under the Willow brand, a name they applied to the company in 1965. Willow Ware Australia Pty Ltd is currently located in Tullamarine.

Physical Description

A small metal barbecue. Circular body in red/ brown with aboriginal motifs of men and women hunting kangaroos, turtles, etc. Pierced holes around base of body. The BBQ on 3 wire legs that fold out. A central metal container and wire grilling rack sits inside body.

Significance

The Corroboree design barbecue was made c. 1970, and was manufactured for one season only. Between 5,000 and 8,000 units were made. It did not sell well, so there was no repeat production. The design is appropriated from aboriginal designs. The choice of design came about 'due to the go anywhere portability of the bbq and its ability to be used anywhere. We likened this to Aboriginal culture'.

Willow Ware is a great example of a company that began operating from the backyard of the family home, and has grown into a company exporting to over fifty countries. It began as a family partnership in the late nineteenth century, and has adapted to changing needs and technologies to become a company employing over one hundred people in the early twenty-first century. They have won a Commonwealth Export Award (1972), design awards for their microwave cookware range (1987) and an award for manufacturing excellence (1987).

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