What's on for history in Sydney

Join historians Tamson Pietsch and Anna Clark from the Centre for Public History at the University of Technology Sydney to find out what’s going on in Sydney’s cultural scene. Each week they speak to the people in the know from the 'GLAM' sector (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums). To get in touch with the GLAMcity team - you can email us at Executive Producer Season Two: Jason L'Ecuyer Executive Producer Season One: Emma Lancaster

​Do you remember 2001? No, not the film, the year Australia celebrated its Centenary. The year we started watching a group of St. Kilda based twenty-somethings in The Secret Life of Us. The year Ansett released its infamous advertisement- Am I with Ansett? Absolutely- only to collapse months later along with One.Tel, HIH and Enron.

It was the year of the 2001 census and the year that Francesca Higgens, a librarian, became the first woman to be awarded a year of paid maternity leave.

Who can forget, it was also the year that a Norwegian fishing boat called the MV Tampa intercepted a wooden fishing vessel packed with asylum seekers between Indonesia and Australia, and setting off a series of events that dramatically transformed the way Australia deals with asylum seekers who arrive by boat.

Most people remember one particular date that year- September 11. The attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon dwarfed most other events in our collective consciousness and have since shaped the world we live in.

On this episode, Tamson and Anna speak to Phillipa McGuinness whose upcoming book, The Year Everything Changed 2001, chronicles her personal history that year, interwoven with the larger historical events occurring around the world.

Phillipa has been a publisher, mainly of Australian history, for more than twenty years. This is her first attempt at ‘swapping sides.’ You can follow her on Twitter @pipmcg

2001 will be available through Penguin Random House on 28 May but you can pre-order it here. You can listen to My Marvellous Melbourne on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts!

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Music: Kylie Minogue- can't Get You Out of My Head (2001)

Ever wondered where the costumes from NIDA’s live performances go? On this episode, Tamson speaks with Ross Bruzzese, Library manager at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA).

The NIDA archives contains one of Australia’s largest repositories of vintage clothing accessories including pieces from Sophie Van Rood’s Banana Room and the Betty Viazim Hat Collection. The collection also includes records from the Old Tote Theatre Company from 1962 to 1969. For more on the Old Tote Theatre Company, visit Dictionary of Sydney.​

For  more information on the NIDA Library and Archive, visit their website here.

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tamson pietsch anna clark australian centre for public history NIDA

On this episode, Anna speaks with Maxine Kauter, co-founder and director of Museophilliac.  Museophilliac produces bespoke experiences and content for cultural institutions. It's philosophy is that adult audiences are smart, interested in the mechanics of history and meaning-making, and looking to have a good time.

Maxine discusses revealing the mechanisms through which museums ‘make’ history and how to reveal those to the public to make their own assessments.   

For  more information on Museophilliac, visit their Facebook page.

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On this episode, Anna speaks with collector, curator and creator Dr. Gene Sherman about the launch of the Sherman Centre for Culture and Ideas (SCCI). SCCI is the latest iteration of the not-for-profit Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, a philanthropic enterprise dedicated to providing an innovative forum for contemporary art.

Gene discusses how she followed Australia’s arch as it pivoted away from the European cannon towards our neighbours in Indonesia, China, and Japan. Dr Sherman explains how she reinvented herself from a French literature teacher to a well known gallery owner.

The Sherman Centre for Culture and Ideas launches on 05 April with an initial program focused on fashion. Fashion as craftsmanship, fashion as photography, fashion as textiles, fashion as ethics, fashion as self expression and fashion as women’s history.

For tickets and more information on the Fashion Hub program visit the Sherman Centre for Culture and Ideas website.

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What do we do with the remnants of industry once they are no longer being used to forge steel, process coal or repair trains?

Industrial heritage sites are increasingly repurposed as cultural institutions in Sydney and elsewhere. But who decides what is of heritage ‘value’ and whose history is highlighted?

On this episode, Tamson and Anna discuss how industrial heritage sites have been repurposed in the Ruhr region of Germany and here in Sydney. They speak to Laila Ellmoos, an Historian with the City of Sydney and Stefan Berger, an Historian from The Ruhr-University Bochum.

For more information on the industrial heritage sites discussed, check out these case studies:


Paddington Reservoir Gardens

Eveleigh Carriage Workshop

Ruhr, Germany:

Zollverein Mining Complex

Gasometer Oberhausen

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