GLAMcity

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 glamcity@2ser.com Executive Producer: Jason L'Ecuyer Supervising Producer: Emma Lancaster

Welcome to GLAM City Season 2!


On our first episode of 2018, we speak to Peter McNeil, an interdisciplinary cultural historian who has been studying queer history for nearly thirty years.

We find out what Peter did with all of of those dance party old ticket stubs and  

We talk about Sydney’s infamous RAT parties in the 80’s and 90’s. The styles, the music and the expression. Ephemera from the RAT parties is housed at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS).

We find out what Macaroni Men are and and why yankee doodle dandy stuck a feather in his hat and called it macaroni.

Peter’s upcoming book, Pretty Gentleman: Macaroni Men in the 18th Century Fashion World will be available through Yale Press.

More information on the Unflinching Gaze can be found on the Bathurst Regional Gallery website here.


If you have a GLAM idea for something that should be on the show- get in touch-GLAMcity@2ser.com.

galleries libraries archives museums australian centre for public history tamson pietsch anna clarke peter mcneil fashion history arts and sciences


This week on GLAMcity we eat our history with Sydney Living Museums resident colonial gastronomer Jacqui Newling.

We talk about how tastes and techniques fall in and out of favour, what food says about us and find out what a Kangaroo steamer is!

Tamson and Anna  also do a LIVE cake tasting of the famous Meroogal sponge, a colonial cake served by the ‘misses Thorburn’ sisters - Belle, Kate, Georgina and Tottie – at their ‘At Home’ tea parties in the early 1900s.

To find out more about what's on at the Sydney Living Museums head to their website 

Or to try making the Meroogal cake at home yourself - head to Jacqui’s blog The Cook and the Curator

This is the last episode of GLAMcity for 2017 - we will be back in 2018,  so if you want to appear on the show or think there is something we should cover- get in touch!

GLAMcity@2ser.com


There are very few new stories in the world, but this week on GLAMcity we dive head first into a hidden history uncovered by award winning novelist Mandy Sayer.

By hitting the archives, using historical documents and gathering first-hand accounts Mandy has penned the first history of Australian Gypsies.​

You can pick up a copy of her book 'Australian Gypsies - Their Secret History' at all good book stores.


We think nothing of seeing a celebrity mug shot these days but how about a mug shot that’s almost 150 years old?

The practise of photographing prisoners in NSW started in 1871, a few decades after judicial photography was introduced in Europe.

Penny Stannard and her amazing team at NSW State Archives and Records digitised over 46,000 files to bring the exhibition Captured: Portraits of Crime to life.

The exhibition explores the stories of men, women and children who were incarcerated in NSW gaols from 1870 to 1930.

The photographs have already shed light on some hidden family histories and provide an insight into what society thought was a crime at the time, such as homosexuality or being a ‘neglected child’.

The exhibition avoids the celebrity criminal instead searching out the ‘ordinary’.

The photographs capture a moment in time and some argue perhaps unfairly provide a record of permanence that far outlasts both the prisoner and their crime.

Captured: Portraits of Crime is presented through a Western Sydney exhibition, a regional touring exhibition and an online exhibition. Find out more here

Australian Centre for Public History crime NSW State Archives and Records Penny Stannard Tamson Pietsch Anna Clark


This week on GLAMcity Tamson and Anna speak to proud Wiradjuri man Nathan Sentance whose life goal is to ‘decolonise the archives’.

Nathan works as a First Nations Cultural Programs Officer at the Australian Museum

He thinks it’s important that memory institutes ‘people’ their collections and wants the GLAM sector to not just have the objects but connect them to the people and cultures they come from.

As he recalls a wise Aunty telling him ‘Museums have the sticks, we have the stories. Without the stories, museums only have sticks’.

You can hear more from Nathan on twitter @SaywhatNathan or check out his blog Archival Decolonist

And to find out what’s happening at the Australian Museum  head to their website