Rose sketch by Bruce Swann

The Thoughts of Nanushka

NAN WITCOMB'S friends say she is really about seventeen different people.

This may well be so, when one considers her variety of occupations and lifestyles. She attended nine schools, some private and others State (according to the fortunes of her father); she left at fifteen to work at the Bank of Adelaide but by then had already earned her school holiday money by working in a packaging factory and making apple cases. At eighteen, Nan began training at the Adelaide Children's Hospital and emerged as a Sister with a silver medal.

She started her flying career with ANA in 1950 and having worked as a flight hostess, trainer, check hostess and assistant senior, she became Senior Regional Hostess in the late fifties.

AFTER twenty-three years, Nan left Ansett to manage The Barn Restaurant and Art Gallery and later co-hosted the afternoon radio show on 5DN with Ken Dickin.

She has written lyrics for her friend Lorrae Desmond's ABC-TV shows and many scripts for the "On The Fringe" Revues for the Adelaide Festival of Arts and for the famous Mavis Bramston TV shows of the '60s.

She has also written four plays which have been successfully staged in South Australia and is up to Volume XVIII of her best-selling Australian poetry, The Thoughts of Nanushka.

NAN gave up her radio show in late 1984 to research and write the history and true stories of Air Hostesses in Australia. The result was Up Here and Down There, a book which Nan admits is more hysterical than historical! She recently published a paperback selection from The Thoughts of Nanushka called Believe in the Dream. A worldwide contest on the Internet resulted in the cover illustration of two dolphins leaping from a sunlit sea by Guy de Winton, a Sydney student.

An Australian nostalgia book In My Day, or You and Me Before TV  come out in its fourth edition in April 2001 (paperback) and is still a popular favourite for young and old.

Nan was President of the South Australian Branch of the Ansett Down to Earth Club for ex Air Hostesses and Flight Attendants for 21 years, retiring from this position in 2017.

Nan's philosophy on life is to put her heart and soul into the present, never regret the past, but keep the experience and memories to enrich the future.


Enquiries to

Rose from a sketch by Bruce Swann.
Website last updated 3 December 2018