Hammondville – Where’s that?

“Where’s that?” is the question I get every time I tell someone where I live and grew up. It’s a quiet small town that is situated 31 km southwest of Sydney and not many people have heard of Hammondville or know about its rich history.

The reason for selecting Hammondville Public School for my project is because of the rich history it has that isn’t known to the students or the community. On my first day going through the schools archives I was shocked to see the amount of photos, original documents and information there is about the school from the time it was opened in 1933. I believe that it’s important for the children that attend the school to know about the history of the school. When speaking to the librarian and deputy principle, I asked what they would like me to do and they both agreed a interactive website for the students would be great. 

Let’s start with the history of Hammondville.

When going through the archives, I found a letter titled ‘Aboriginal Tribe of Liverpool’ dated back to 1980, noting “Daruk, Gandangara and Tharawal are tribal names which are not commemorated in any local landmark, even though it is only 170 years since these aboriginal tribes possessed the areas which are now part of Liverpool. Each tribe had its own definite area and was a separate group, vigilantly protecting its own lands from trespass by other tribes. When white settlers came to Liverpool and the Cowpastures, ignorant of and disregarding tribal boundaries, conflict broke out. Six years after Liverpool was founded, the soldiers at the barracks were instructed to protect the settlers from attacks by “hostile natives’.” When R.B.S Hammond visited the area now known as Hammondville, it was empty land and did not have indigenous people there, it was documented that they were run out by white settlers in the late 19th century.

Hammondville was born out of the depression through the vision and persistence of one man: Canon Robert Brodribb Stewart Hammond (1870-1946). On the 12th February 1931, he called a meeting at St Barnabas Church (located on Broadway, Sydney) for married men who wished to apply for the kind of accommodation which he proposed to provide. The Church filled to over flowing and as a result 800 applications were received from people who asked to be allowed to participate in the project. Thousands were left homeless and were destitute during The Great War and the Depression.

The condition for a family’s entry to Hammondville required that they be  married, have at least three young children and that the parents were unemployed and evicted or under notice of eviction from their present residence. The homes were not going to be a gift: they had to be paid for on a rent-purchase basis “The project was not intended as a charity, but as an opportunity for people to better themselves by their own hard work.” Hammondville was officially opened by the New South Wales Governor Sir Phillips Games on Sunday 25th November 1932. Canon R.B.S Hammond offered land to the Department of Education for a school.

On May 30th, 1933, the school was officially named Hammondville School, and the building was completed on June 1933. The range of suburbs from which the families came, is surprising, as many people are under the impression that most came from very poor inner suburbs. By August 15th, there were 53 pupils attending the school.

With so many children, two teachers and one class room, turns were taken to use the building. When one teacher was indoors, the other was outdoors. During the Depression, the teachers’ salary was reduced and for one fortnight there was no salary at all. Teaching conditions were extremely difficult, particularly at Hammondville.

Most school equipment had to be provided by pupils. Understandably there was very little equipment. On one occasion a little girl (Arline Cochran, Now Mrs McNab from Batehaven) told Miss Beard that she was going to pull her tooth out on Saturday so the tooth fairy would give her a penny to buy a new book. As Miss Beard (one of the teachers at the school) recorded in her diary “it would be funny if she hadn’t been so terribly in earnest.”

In 1951 more than 157 British children enrolled at the school and British children (mainly English) continued arriving until the early 1970s. The arrival at the school of the first “brits” proved delightful entertainment for the “Hammo Aussies.” 

In 1962, British entertainer John Paul Young enrolled in Hammondville Public. He was part of the group of British migrants that settled in Hammondville. Young attended the school and was enrolled in 6th grade. He would entertain the class with his piano accordion.  John Hatton, former politician (1973-1995), and Jim Masterton of Masterton Homes also attended Hammondville Public School.

There were photos of drawings that children had made of their school in 1983 and how the school would look like in 2033, showing flying cars, spaceships and rockets. I spoke to one of the teachers who has been at Hammondville since the early 90s and said that children would draw spaceships and futuristic things when thinking about what it would be in the 2033 (image shown below). The school also has a time capsule located next to the library that will be opened in the year 2033 to commemorate the school’s 100th year anniversary.

Quinn Shwan

History on Wednesday Seminar Series Schedule

Please find below our schedule for History on Wednesday, Semester Two.

Please note that all Seminars in Semester 2, 2019 will take place in the MECO Seminar Room S226, Woolley Building, from 12:10 pm-1:30 pm.

This room can be best accessed just across from the new Education Building off Manning Road.

Aug. 21 – Sheila Fitzpatrick, University of Sydney, “Russians, White and Red: a Story of Postwar Immigration to Australia”

Abstract: The paper, summarizing the book of the same title I am currently completing, deals with two immigration streams – Displaced persons from Europe and Russians from China – that arrived here in the late 1940s and ‘50s. The first problem to discussion is “Who is a Russian?” Then I go on to look at wartime collaborators, fascists, Orthodox believers, boy scouts, and even a few “Reds” (Russian-speaking Jews sometimes being put in that category) and Soviet spies.

Bio: Sheila Fitzpatrick is primarily a historian of modern Russia, especially the Stalin period, but has recently added a transnational dimension with her research on displaced persons (DPs) after the Second World War. She received a Mellon Foundation Distinguished Achievement Award in 2002 and the American Historical Association’s Award for Scholarly Distinction in 2012. She is past President of the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies (formerly AAASS) and a member of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Having worked for most of her career in the United States, she moved back to Australia in 2012.

Sep. 4 – Glenda Sluga, University of Sydney, “Climate and Capitalism”

Abstract: This talk takes up the 1972 UN Human Environment conference: the first example of the attempted global governance of environmental issues and climate change that foundered on the challenges of development and North-South antagonisms. I will argue that history connects Delos, the ancient capital of the Athenian League, with the club of Rome, and the New International Economic Order.

Bio: Glenda Sluga is Professor of International History, and ARC Kathleen Fitzpatrick Laureate Fellow at the University of Sydney She has published widely on the cultural history of international relations, internationalism, the history of European nationalisms, sovereignty, identity, immigration and gender history. In 2013, she was awarded a five-year Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship for Inventing the International – the origins of globalisation. Her most recent book is Internationalism in the Age of Nationalism (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013) and with Patricia Clavin, Internationalisms, a Twentieth Century History (Cambridge University Press, 2017).

Sep. 25 – Mark McKenna, University of Sydney, “Finding the Centre: Uluru and the legacies of Australia’s frontier”

Abstract: The centre of Australia – geographical, political, psychological & ‘spiritual’ – is an elastic idea with a long history. As the literary scholar Roslynn Haynes remarked in 1998: ‘Because Australia is the only island continent, the notion of its centre has acquired a unique significance’. We do not ‘conceptualise the centre of any other continent’ in quite the same way. In this seminar, I’ll explore how and why Australians have become preoccupied with the idea of ‘the centre’ and how their ideas have changed over time. In doing so, I’ll pay particular attention to Uluru and its relatively recent invention as the ‘spiritual centre’ of the nation, a change that was dramatically illustrated by the release of the Uluru Statement from the Heart in May 2017. Entangled with this history is the story of the shooting of an Aboriginal man at Uluru in 1934, an event that has continued to resonate as Uluru has become a place of national and international significance.

Bio: Mark McKenna is Professor of History at the University of Sydney. He is the author of several prize-winning books, including The Captive Republic: A History of Republicanism in Australia 1788-1996, Looking for Blackfellas’ Point: an Australian History of Place, An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark, and From the Edge: Australia’s Lost Histories. In this seminar, Mark will draw on a chapter from his forthcoming book, Untitled (2020).

Oct. 16 – Sarah Bendall, University of Sydney, “They do swarm through all parts of London: The place of the Bodymaking and Farthingalemaking trades in the Textile Industries of Seventeenth-Century London”

Abstract: During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the female silhouette underwent a dramatic change. This period saw the frequent addition of solid materials such as whalebone, wood, and metal into European wardrobes, and clothing was intentionally distorted as ideas of form, size and structure were artfully explored. The desirable body during this period was achieved by using two main foundation garments: bodies and farthingales. Accounts and bills reveal that tailors often made foundation garments; however, these records also show that two separate, specialised branches of tailoring –bodymaking and farthingalemaking –were also established in the late sixteenth century. Scarcely any scholarly investigation of these trades has been conducted and so we know very little about their significance to England’s textile industries. Utilising guild records, household accounts and artisans’ bills this paper explores the origins, scale, organisation and reputation of these trades in the seventeenth century. It seeks to recover these artisans from historical obscurity and put them back into the bustling textile landscape that characterised the craft trades of early modern London.

Bio: Sarah A Bendall is currently an Associate lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Sydney. She was previously a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Western Australia, and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Bodleian Libraries Oxford and the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC. Her research examines the history of dress, jewellery and armour in early modern England, Scotland and France, particularly in relation to ideas of gender and the histories of garment production/consumption. Her work has appeared in Gender and History, Renaissance Studies and Fashion Theory. Her PhD (Sydney) examined how sixteenth and seventeenth-century female foundation garments (bodies and farthingales) shaped both the body and notions of femininity in England. Her current research examines the textile industries that that sourced and produced garments made with baleen (whalebone), to examine the relationship between fashion and ecology in early modern Europe.

Oct. 30 – James Curran, University of Sydney, “Charles Pearson’s National Life and Character(1893): A vision of China’s rise and a post-western world.

Abstract: This paper will explore CH Pearson’s classical work, National Life and Character: A Forecast (1893) and look in particular at how from his Australian vantage point Pearson explored the importance of modernisation for the West and its future relations with the world, especially China. Pearson was an English liberal intellectual who moved to Victoria in 1870 and in the following decades played a key role in the colony’s public life. He came to believe that the Australian colonies were at the forefront of the social forces modernising the Western world, but predicted that great problems were emerging for the West as this process was extended to Asia, Africa and South America.

Bio: James Curran specialises in the history of Australian and American foreign relations. In 2013 he held the Keith Cameron Chair at University College Dublin, and in 2010 was a Fulbright scholar at Georgetown University. Prior to joining academia, Curran worked in The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Office of National Assessments. A non-resident fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy, he is also a regular commentator on radio and television, and his opinion pieces on foreign affairs and political culture have appeared in major Australian newspapers as well as the Lowy Interpreter, China-US Focus, the East Asia Forum and the Council on Foreign Relations ‘Asia Unbound’ series.

Nov. 6 – Macarena Ibarra, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, “Rethinking the Republican City: The Debates about Heritage in Santiago de Chile (1880-1920)”

Abstract: To come.

Bio: Macarena Ibarra is a Historian from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. She has an MA from the University of Leeds, and a PhD from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. Her teaching and research focuses on twentieth century urban and planning history with a particular interest both in the politics of urban public health, and in the debates and practice about cultural heritage. Some of her recent publications are the co edited books Vísperas del Urbanismo en Latinoamérica (2018), Patrimonio en Construcción (2017), the articles Hygiene and Public Health in Santiago de Chile´s Urban Agenda, 1892-1927 (2015) and the entry Urban History, in The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Urban and Regional Studies (2019).

HANDITAL- Able and Equal

The organisation I have chosen to work with is Handital. They are a non-profit voluntary organisation that help and support people with disabilities, their families and friends. The organisation was established in 1983 for the purpose of assisting people with disabilities as well as their carers, particularly those with an Italian background. The main objectives of Handital are to overcome the challenges of language and cultural barriers by guiding members and providing them with essential information about the benefits they are entitled to. Handital provides countless services such as counselling, referrals and a social group for young adults and it is this sense of community that really stood out to me. The organisation also organises frequent local fundraising events and gatherings for its members and has had a significant impact on the lives of many individuals and families.

During my first visit, I asked one of the representatives what I could do to help and he asked if I could scan a bunch of photographs from over the years as they cannot find the time to do it themselves. As well as completing this task, I have begun thinking about what major historical project I could possibly undertake that will benefit the organisation. Handital do not have their own personal website and although I have little experience in web design, I am prepared to do some research and create a website for Handital where I will also be able to incorporate some of the scanned photographs. Perhaps, a website will attract and increase the amount of members at Handital.

Due to the organisation’s lack of online resources, I realised that it is going to be difficult to access information for my project. Therefore, I conducted a brief interview with a representative about the establishment of the organisation and its history and I am also interested in organising an interview with the two founding members of Handital. It is clear that I will be relying significantly on oral history in this project and the upcoming lecture on oral histories will prove useful.

The Guild Theatre, Rockdale

The Guild Theatre is approximately a seven minute walk from my house. Since moving to Rockdale in 2017, I can confidently say I have walked (or run, depending on how late I was for the train) past the Guild almost every day. However, I had not once stopped to look at the Federation building or considered attending a Guild play. As a former Newtown Performing Arts student, I simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to bring my two personal loves together for this project – theatre and history. I had always thought of myself as an avid supporter of the Arts, but now I feel I can truly hold that title as my collaborative work with the Guild takes shape.

The Guild Theatre. Photograph by Jim Bar.
The Guild Theatre. Photograph by Jim Bar, 2019.

The Guild Theatre is a member based community theatre group in Sydney’s Rockdale. With over 2,000 members and patrons, the Guild is a vibrant, tight-knit community of dedicated performers and practitioners – brought together by their love of theatre. Branching out of the Rockdale Musical Society in the early 50’s, the Guild Theatre was founded in 1952 by teacher and director Miss Hazel Plant. The first production on the current premises, located on the corner of Railway and Waltz Street, Rockdale, was Quality Street by James M. Barrie on Friday the 18th of March, 1966. On Monday, I interviewed long-time member Alannah Jarman. During the interview, I learned she had played Miss Henrietta Turnbull in the 1966 production of Quality Street. Ms Jarman is an avid performer and a part of many community theatre groups in South Sydney. She remembers fondly the “early days” of the Guild, under the guidance and expertise of Miss Plant.

“We were so lucky, we worked with wonderful people…It was simpler in those days, there is no doubt about it. The director knew us and so she would just ask us to do a part; we didn’t have auditions. When it was a smaller group, a play was chosen according to the people in that group. So yes, we were very privileged.”

Allanah Jarman, 23rd of September, 2019.

I had approached the Guild via email in August and received a positive response from the President, Christine Searle, by the end of the month. Chris had kindly arranged a ticket for me to see the final performance of Where Angels Fear to Tread. After the performance, Chris gave me a detailed tour of the Guild. She emphasised the historical significance of the building, leading my eye to the original brick work and ceiling panels. I began volunteering the following day at the Sunday working bee. Taking down an intricate set was not how I envisioned the first day of Spring, but I was more than happy to get to know the loyal members that make up the Guild.

Souvenir Programme of ‘The Tender Trap’ in 1961. Photograph by Chloe Breitkreuz, 2019.

Since early September, I have been working closely with Chris to determine how I can both boost the Guild’s visibility in the area and create an historical project that reflects the significance of the Guild community and its members. Chris and I began by sorting through past production programmes – all of which need to be categorised. Last week, I proposed to the committee that I create a digital oral history of long and short-term members with accompanying personal achieves such as programmes, scripts and photographs. Inspired by Nicole Cama’s project ‘Different Times, Same Spirit’, I aspire to produce a body of work that reflects the ongoing rich and diverse history of the Guild. I am incredibly thankful I have the support of Chris and the committee, who are as enthusiastic about the project as I am.

My Local History

The Sutherland Shire Historical Society Museum, 23 East Parade, Sutherland.
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I have decided to work with the Sutherland Shire Historical Society who were more than happy to take me on and made me feel very welcome. The society is made up of over 130 members who work together to preserve the history of the Sutherland Shire. In conjunction, the society runs a museum located in Sutherland. The museum’s collection, “A Journey Through Time”, walks through the history of the Shire. It begins with information on the Dwarahal people, the Aboriginal tribe who inhabited the area before white settlement. The collection then moves to the landing of James Cook, the explorers, pioneers and settlers, war preparations and post-war expansion. The museum hosts an impressive collection of items which are engaging and thoughtfully presented.

Unfortunately, the museum is currently under threat. The building the society occupies is the Sutherland Memorial School of Arts building. The Sutherland Shire Council, as part of a larger refurbishment of the local Entertainment Centre, is refurbishing the school and not maintaining the space the museum holds. The museum is being forced to find another space to display the collection. The society already struggles to promote the museum and this will be made even more difficult by the movement to a less desirable location. It is heartbreaking that the Society will struggle so much with such a disruptive change when they have really made the school their home. The Society also tries to outreach to the community. There are regular seminars, open to the public, held on many different topics. The museum is also open to working with local primary schools. They offer a museum box service in which teachers can request items from the collection to make learning more interactive within the classroom. They are even happy to tailor the boxes to suit the course content. Membership for the society is also open to the public.

The Sutherland Shire Museum, featuring a recreated Aboriginal canoe

Personally, my interest in this society came from the desire to learn more about the history of my home. We are often taught the overarching narrative of Australian history but never the story of our own local communities. I am excited to work in conjunction with the society to explore what I can learn and present my findings. As well as the museum, the society also has endless records containing newspaper clipping, photos, maps and letters that have been donated over the years. I look forward to delving into the records to see what I can find.

Dural and District Historical Society

After the first couple of History Beyond the Classroom classes, I racked my brain to think of somewhere to work with that would yield projects as interesting as some of the past examples we were shown. I remember in a separate unit as an icebreaker, we had to think of something special, or a historical fact, about our area. I thought there was nothing to say about my suburb.

I found the Dural and District Historical Society through a quick search for historical societies in my area. I went to the society’s headquarters during their opening hours on a Sunday to introduce myself and offer my help. The drive out to the History Cottage makes you feel much more than 50 minutes away from the CBD. Despite a lot of new development in my suburb and surrounds, a bit further out in the Dural/Galston area, it still feels quite rural. Situated next to the community park and swimming pool amidst the bush setting of Galston, is the History Cottage, refurbished in 1998 as a visitor centre and museum for the Dural district. 

Some of the History Cottage’s exhibits. Source: Dural & District Historical Society website.

I met Ken, Barbara, and Norm, who were surprised but excited about the possibilities of putting a university student to work on unfinished projects and organisational tasks. We talked about some of the things that the society has looked at over the past few years such as, regarding the centenary of World War I, where they worked on producing profiles of the names on the memorial cenotaph of Dural. I was surprised by the amount of archival material and photographs, extensive books, newspapers from over the years. The first visit seemed very promising. 

The next arrangement was a meeting with the committee of the society to discuss in which areas I could help out. I met the president Michael, and other committee members Judy, Diane, Pauline, Michael, and Ken and Barbara once again. Lots of ideas were batted about, with many projects already springing to the minds of the committee members – I had to remind them that first I am there to help them out. They were excited about the prospect of free labour! After being made an honorary member of the society, I was shown the ropes of their computer setup and library system. An official motion was put forward that I work on a history of the ‘township’ of Galston, to be given to new residents to familiarise them with the area, a project that the society had had in mind for a while. Feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the resources at my disposal, I left the meeting happy that the society could see a good use for me. 

My first session of actual research involved a lot of reading to determine which sources would be useful. The society keeps a lot of publications that are specific to some very small niches – so this involved sorting through many documents and self-published books and pamphlets to find information. I’m hoping to be able to help in other areas, particularly relating to making the treasure-trove of information the society has more accessible. My research has already deepened my knowledge of this area. At a picnic on a recent sunny spring Sunday at Fagan Park, I was able to tell my friends just how we are able to enjoy the expanse of themed gardens and greenery (this is land that Bruce Fagan gave back to the Crown to be preserved for use of the public as a park).  I’m looking forward to finding many more nuggets of information, and to have an answer to the question, ‘What makes your area interesting?’ 

Initial Thoughts

My organization is the Sydney Jewish Museum, which focuses on the history of the Holocaust along with Sydney’s ties to the Jewish religion. They are educators, helping to teach their visitors about the rich culture and religion of Judaism through both permanent and feature exhibitions, memorials, collections, events, and even through local survivors. I was interested in working with the SJM because I myself am Jewish and it is an essential part of my identity, upbringing, and ancestry. I have taken a few Religious Studies courses and one on the post-rhetoric of the Holocaust which still may be the most interesting class I have taken to date. I enjoy studying the Holocaust and have been to many museums, monuments, and memorials in Germany, Israel, and Washington D.C., and I was curious to learn how Australia, and specifically Sydney, was impacted by this period of time. Moreover, I knew I wanted to work with this museum, because while we toured the institution during class, I thought the place was beautiful, the curators were incredibly intelligent, and I was emotionally moved by much of what I saw while I was there. I genuinely think it is an exciting place, and I am excited to work with them. 

When I showed up to my meeting with Breann and the Head Curator Mrs. Roslyn Sugarman at the Sydney Jewish Museum, I was excited to see which avenue of Judaism and/or the Holocaust I would be pursuing for the remainder of the semester. When they informed me that they wanted me to create a campaign surrounding the museum’s internal sustainability, I was hesitant to say the least. After hearing them out though and doing some initial work of my own, I realized just how big of an impact I can have on this museum in the short time that I am able to work with them. Mrs. Sugarman was telling me about a conference she recently attended in which the two of the biggest trends in museums currently are ideas surrounding accessibility and environmental sustainability. She told me that museums are leaders in helping to set a precedent for change, as people view museums as moral and ethical institutions. 

My plan is to write a proposal to the Board and to create a presentation to educate and pitch to them the changes that I would make. My goal is to show them the impact that they can make without reaching deep into his pockets, and to get him to sign off on the changes that I am proposing. Simply, I am acting as a consultant for the Sydney Jewish Museum. To tie this into the study of History, I am going to take a Museum Studies approach by evaluating what some of the other local and international museums that are helping to lead this environmental campaign. Some of my initial ideas include: calculating the museum’s Carbon Footprint, creating a Green Team, setting goals for the near and distant future, and to help educate the staff. 

Teaching English, Learning about China

The organization that I have been volunteering with is Hurstville City Uniting Church’s English Conversation Groups (ECG). The conversation groups run every Tuesday from 10am to 12pm where volunteers teach English to students in small groups of two or three. The main focus of these groups is on conversational English so classes tend to be more interactive as students are encouraged to talk about their weekend and other activities they participated in during the week.

I began volunteering at ECG in April this year after seeing an advertisement on SEEK. My initial surprise was that the demographic of both the volunteers and students was on the older side. The majority of teachers were retired teachers who were continuing their passion for teaching upon retirement. When I joined, there was only one person younger than me who had just graduated from high school and was taking a gap year.

The students were mainly, if not all, Chinese migrants from either Mainland China or Hong Kong. They were divided into two distinct generations: my parents’ generation and my grandparents’ generation. Those in their late sixties to early eighties had come to Australia to rejoin their children, most of whom initially migrated to Australia as university students but were now living here as permanent residents or citizens. In contrast, the younger generation of parents mostly consisted of mothers who had come to Australia to accompany their child as they entered and studied in Australian high schools.

Personally, the reason why I enjoy teaching at ECGs is because I feel like I am constantly learning more about my family and my heritage through the students that I meet. The students have so many stories to share and often their experiences of living in China reveal parallels with the experiences of my own parents and grandparents, sparking deeper conversations with my own family. I remember during one class, I was talking to one of my students who was only a few years older than my parents and she was telling me how she had always had an extremely anxious personality. When I asked her if she had always been so anxious, she told me that she hadn’t been so when she was younger. However, during the Cultural Revolution, her father had been persecuted and was later found dead in a river and she had suffered relative nervousness since that event.

When I was growing up, I had an old brick phone which meant that I hardly used it and sometimes would forget to turn it on after class. However, whenever my dad would try to call me and I wouldn’t pick up, he would call again and again in an urgent manner, scared that something had happened to me. For me, I had always found this behaviour strange as he was not an overly protective parent in general. Once I discussed this with him, and after sitting down and thinking about my question for a while, he answered saying that it was probably something that stemmed from his childhood. My grandfather was a political figure in their county which meant that during the Cultural Revolution, he was either persecuting members of other factions or being persecuted himself, depending on the way power switched in the top levels of government. Hence there would be periods at a time where my grandfather would disappear and be on the run without his family knowing where he was. My dad explained that this was the kind of anxiety he felt when he couldn’t get in touch with me and how he had developed a natural tendency to imagine the worst.

I have found it extremely insightful to listen to the experiences of older generations of Chinese migrants who attend the ECGs. Not only is it a window into what China was like during the Mao era, but it is also extremely important in order to gain a deeper understanding of my parents’ upbringing and the fears and motivations reflected in their behaviour.

Getting to know Addi Road

22nd September 2019

Forget whatever you had planned for Saturday morning, I’m here to tell you where you should be going. Take yourself over to Addison Road Community Centre, better known as Addi Road, who I’ll be working with in the next few months. On Saturday morning take a walk though the gates, following the smell of quality coffee and competing voices. Find yourself a sun-safe hat, a cheap book, fresh produce or a one-of-a-kind piece of…something…from reverse garbage. This is the weekly ‘Marrickville Markets’, and is only the beginning of what Addi Road has to offer.

Addi Road was won for community use in 1976 and now fights for social justice in diverse ways, providing affordable food at the food pantry, being active in environmental justice through community gardens, composting and programs such as ‘War on Waste’, as well as a variety of community programs for support, solidarity and socialisation.

Food Pantry Manager Damien Moore and Addison Road Community Centre Organisation CEO Rosanna Barbero in the Food Pantry at Addison Road Community centre. Picture: John Appleyard

I have been lucky enough to be taken under the guiding wing of Mina Jones, the Museum Coordinator, and a passionate supporter of the community. After some discussion, I have begun to find my groove and potential contribution through the ‘Honour Roll for Peace’. The Honour Roll for Peace acknowledges those from all around Australia that have contributed to peace through activism, poetry, music, literature, politics etc. Currently 90 people are acknowledged on this roll, an endless number that decorates the gates of your entry to the Centre. These individuals are no confined by standard conceptions of achievement or national agendas, and are acknowledged for challenging the status quo and humanitarian crises. I am working on collection information on these valued names, and commemorating these names on an online platform, to be accessible for all.

Honour Roll for Peace, entry into Addi Road Community Centre. Photographer: Sabine Pyne