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Bernd Stoecker (1928–2010)

Bernd Stoecker, n.d.

Bernd Stoecker, n.d.

photo supplied by Sue Stoecker

Bernd Stoecker was one of four children. Surviving the perils of war, Bernd migrated to Australia in 1952 and settled in Adelaide.

Four years later he met nurse and midwife Shirley Wilkins. They married at Sandy Creek in 1957.

Living in Stirling and Norwood when they first married, Shirley and Bernd then built their family home in Blackwood in 1961. The couple had been married for 45 years when Shirley died in 2002 after a long illness.

Bernd worked in the building industry in Adelaide for 30 years. In 1952 he worked for Wender & Durholt, a German company contracted by the State Government to build 500 homes for the Housing Trust.

He then moved to Hickinbotham Homes, where he worked for more than 20 years. Bernd's contribution to the growth of that company was significant. He was recently described as a giant of the building industry because of his impact on the success of Hickinbotham Homes.

In his roles as building manager, director and managing director, Bernd helped Alan Hickinbotham shape the culture of the organisation and its commitment to professionalism and innovations.

Bernd was also a keen photographer. In 1982 he began to concentrate fully on the photography of South Australia and became a professional landscape and architectural photographer.

He took numerous expeditions deep into the Flinders Ranges culminating in the book Flinders Ranges — An Australian Aura, first published in 1987. Bernd subsequently produced condensed books, postcards and calendars on the region.

Bernd's vision widened resulting in a comprehensive photographic portfolio of the diverse landscapes of SA, with an emphasis on national and conservation parks.

Bernd held a number of photographic exhibitions in conjunction with the National Parks & Wildlife Service of SA.

His efforts helped to raise funds for the Nature Foundation, a charity he continued to support until he died. Many large framed pictures and photographic murals of Bernd's South Australian landscapes are displayed in government departments, boardrooms, corporations and private homes.

Another passion throughout Bernd's lifetime was motorcycles; he had owned a number of bikes including a 125cc DKW, 650cc Triumph Thunderbird and, recently, a R1150R BMW.

Bernd travelled internationally throughout his life. He enjoyed seeing his family in Germany, and experiencing the culture and traditions of his first home. During his life Bernd was inspired by the history and philosophy of Europe, yet equally moved by the vastness and freedom of this unspoiled nation — one that quickly became his second home.

He was also influenced by the works of Ansel Adams and Sir Hans Heysen, classical music and opera, and fine engineering. Bernd spent more than 1000 nights in his beloved off-road caravan in country SA, typically with his Hasselblad camera and a glass of cognac. Bernd is survived by his daughters and grandchildren.

Original publication

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Stoecker, Bernd (1928–2010)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 17 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Bernd Stoecker, n.d.

Bernd Stoecker, n.d.

photo supplied by Sue Stoecker

Life Summary [details]


19 September, 1928
Dusseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany


19 December, 2010 (aged 82)
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.