Sydney is overcrowded with high density housing and massive infrastructure developments. Yet, neighbouring this concrete jungle lies one of Sydney’s few remaining greenspaces, The beautiful Wolli Valley. The Wolli Valley in southern Sydney supports unique ecologies and varied histories, but its integral role in maintaining Sydney’s environmental and social health has had to be defended against the Government and companies willing to trade precious greenspaces for bulging bank accounts. The grassroots community actions and ongoing work of the Wolli Creek Preservation Society (WCPS) have ensured that the Wolli Valley is safe for now. To secure its future, they are working on several programs and initiatives. The project that I am collaborating on is a bushwalking brochure that identifies important historical sites along the Wolli Walk. This walk winds through bushland from Bexley North to Tempe. The sites within the brochure will reveal the Wolli Valley’s deep indigenous history, ecological history, and settler histories, all of which intertwine and connect along the walk. The brochure will be downloadable from the WCPS website, and will not only encourage people to experience the beauty of the Wolli Valley for themselves, but also highlight the significance of an area that rich in history and life. The Wolli Valley is a greenspace worth fighting for, and this is the message our project will deliver.
Dear future students of HSTY 3902, congrats on choosing a great course! My advice to you about this course is to choose to collaborate with an organisation or institution that you’re really interested in, or that you want to become a part of. There is going to be so much back and forth between you and the people you’re collaborating with, so you’ve got to be engaged and set up good relationships from the start. Also, see yourself as a historian rather than as ‘just’ a history student. While the organisation you’re collaborating with is going to help you in so many ways, don’t forget that you’re bringing all your skills to the table – and that is a whole lot of skill! This course is challenging, but it is also really rewarding. Put the effort in and connect with people and you’ll come out of this with a brilliant project.