Fundamental changes to the Telstra Research Laboratories (TRL) in 2005 by the new Telstra management under CEO Sol Trujillo led to the closure of the main Blackburn Road, Clayton research facility. The transition of TRL to the Chief Technology Office was controversial and a majority of research staff eventually took redundancy. This change ended over 80 years of independent research and development in various telecommunications fields.
Three historic papers are provided which detail the breadth of research undertaken by TRL.
Paper 1 – (Harris 1963) describes the general responsibilities and organisation of TRL in 1963. It highlights the increasing complexity of the science of telecommunications and the need to attract outstanding researchers.
Paper 2 – (Technical News Item 1974) provides a summary of the Australian Post Office Research Laboratories Golden Jubilee celebrations.
Paper 3 – (Sandbach 1984) is a letter from E. F. Sandbach the Director of TRL to J. H. Curtis on the History of Technology. This letter details the major achievements of TRL from 1923 to 1984. It can be found on the web site by Richard Coxhill dedicated to the history of TRL (http://www.coxhill.com/trlhistory/history/history.htm). Richard worked at TRL from 1963 to 2003 and the site contains many fascinating TRL papers, audio and video clips as well as numerous photographs.
Sandbach, E. F. 1984) “Letter from E. F. Sandbach the Director of TRL to J. H. Curtis dated 20 March 1984 on the History of Technology" and found at http://www.coxhill.com/trlhistory/media/Miscellaneous/History%20of%20Research%20Laboratories.pdf