Sydney Harbour YHA and The Big Dig

For my major research project, I have researched and written a brief history of The Rocks in Sydney, and specifically the site of The Big Dig and Sydney Harbour YHA, who are the organisation that I have been working with. My research has briefly canvassed the pre-colonial history of the area, as well as the history from colonial times until the period immediately following WW1. I found this continuity and background to be important for the understanding of my research, especially considering that the intended audience for this piece is both international travellers, and school students.

My research was focussed on the industrial era of The Rocks, whereby the turn-of-the-century, working class neighbourhood was transformed into an area of industry. In this research I explore the impact of the demolition of many dwellings in the area, the Norton Griffiths Machinery and Joinery Works, the City Railway Workshop, as well as the clearing in preparation for the Sydney Harbour Bridge approach. This area of focus was selected because it was of the greatest aid to my organisation. This time period was the one with the least information available, and that my organisation would most like from me, to be able to share with their visitors, both from overseas, and from students on excursions. Crucially, this research aligns with the school student program they run, entitled Shopfront to Western Front.

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