Wesley College represents one of the University of Sydney’s prestigious and illusive magnates of the bright, well to do and country larrikins. The college presents a fascinating insight into the experiences of youth and the development of relations between university qualifications, sporting and cultural ability and youthful cheek. Wesley College celebrates it’s centenary this year. The celebrations provide a unique opportunity to explore the development of the institution and its role contributing to the progress, or lack thereof, of the University of Sydney.
Wesley bears its archives to the curious student; providing Honi Soit unprecedented access to its darkest secrets. Tractors driving through dining halls, hazing scandals and cunning master’s are just some of the hot gossip to be found in the damp dusty halls of the College. A new website shall provide the opportunity to discover the story of Wesley College’s unsung heroes, memorable characters and the evolution of an esteemed establishment. Read between the lines of the insightful commentary of yours truly to discover the enthralling tale of Wesley College’s first hundred years.

Celebrating Sub-Communities: A Spotlight on the Persian Ryde Community

We each exist within several different alternate communities, overlapping and interacting with the defined geographic community to which we belong. Every community consists of several sub-communities that each individually contribute to the overall character of society. Each of these ethnic, religious, and cultural groups lend their own unique flavors and traditions to the collective atmosphere, enhancing the connection between neighbors and friends. The Persian community within the greater Ryde community has significantly contributed to Ryde’s economic, artistic, social, and culinary domains. In 1988, the Persian Ryde School was established in order to educate the Persian-Australian children in the community and to ensure that the Persian language and traditions are passed on to future generations.
With the 30th anniversary of the Persian Ryde School approaching, we should celebrate the abundance of contributions the Persian community has made. The public history of Persians in the Ryde community is not solely of value to the Persian community, but deserves to be recognized and celebrated by the greater Sydney community, as well as by others. The group’s relatable story is encouraging and should be of relevance to us all, especially considering the increasingly worrisome exclusion and misrepresentation of minorities within communities across the globe.
As with any project, this project has encountered obstacles and has changed course a number of times. Hopefully, this piece of advice will come in handy for next year’s students: embrace flexibility. It is completely okay to end up changing course; in fact, it is more than likely, so do not succumb to stress. Understand that you will not truly realize the impact of your project on the community with which you are involved, until you have hit some walls and find yourself asking opposing questions. Again, this is natural! Follow the path your project develops with sincerity and sensitivity. Whichever way it takes you will be worth exploring.

Jurabooks, Petersham

What do you know of anarchism besides blood and bombs? What do you know of anarchism besides crime and chaos? It might surprise you but there’s more to it than that. In fact, that isn’t even anarchism, that’s anarchy! They are different as you will see…
Anarchism is the idea of an alternative way of living that you are in fact already living. Who is in between you and your friends, you and your family? Is it the State? The police? The military? It’s you, you are between you and them. Of all the things that are meaningful, it’s because you have associated yourself with it. This surely is “chaos”…
Jurabooks in Petersham is one of the only collectives running along these. Its primary goal is essentially asking what I started this piece with: “What do you know of anarchism?” Jura’s primary goal is education. As is often the case, we need to be educated about what will educate us. We already know about how schools or universities can educate us, but can a bunch of anarchists?
The answer is yes, and my project will show it through the history of Jura, whose goal has been throughout its busy 40 years to educate a society that is generally reactive against and ignorant to solutions for the future that aren’t down the sewer pipe of politicians, government, hegemony exploited labour, the “carrot on a stick” workplace, and so much more. The pipe is long and wide.

A History Time Will Not Forget: Media Pitch

I believe that knowledge of local history is important. The little chunks of history that have gone unknown for years can be unearthed and rediscovered with the potential to excite and fascinate. Who knew that before Ryde Eastwood Leagues club existed there was a small business called Cooper’s Tank Works that ran for over 80 years? Well, I did and I have known it for years and I believe that it is about time that others should discover a tiny little history swallowed up by the years gone by. My paper for the Ryde District Historical Society intends to give an easy way to access this hidden history and other just like it.
The Ryde District Historical society wants to broaden their readership by allowing written histories to be available online and have tasked me with writing one of them. I want to highlight the smaller histories that make up the city of Ryde. The site used to belong to one of the many industrial businesses that made up the area along the train line at West Ryde. Looking at the area today, it would be difficult to imagine such an array of businesses residing there. Which is why I want to show a little snippet of what life used to be like by writing this paper. I hope that a love of local history can be achieved through my paper and all the papers to come.

History and visibility: telling the stories of those we ignore

The Big Issue Magazine is Australia’s most successful social enterprise. It has put a whopping $25 million into the pockets of Australia’s homeless and disadvantaged community over the course of the last 20 years. And yet, there are still people who live or work in Sydney who have never noticed the vendors in their fluorescent yellow vests and red caps, selling magazines to passers-by. We all exist in the same space as these homeless or disadvantaged folks, but sometimes it’s as if we inhabit totally different worlds. We rush back and forth, living out our busy and comfortable lives—and never stop to look around at those who are worse off. They are (we think) irrelevant and therefore invisible to us.
Working with the Big Issue to organise their records and to construct a history of their work is about making that story of empowerment and social justice visible. And working on a dynamic timeline of The Big Issue with the vendors themselves is about nurturing their pride in the organisation that does so much for them. The colourful exhibit on their garage wall, that we create together, will stick around as a reminder of The Big Issue’s philosophy: your story is what you make of it.
To future students of HSTY3902: don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. I am very much an outsider at The Big Issue—not simply because these are new people I’ve never met, but because of my socio-economic status. This project has been both confronting and a chance for personal growth; it has taught me that history can help us begin to break down social segregation in our own worlds, even as we attempt to do so on paper. Go outside your community. If you think about it, all historians are outsiders: none of us inhabited the worlds we study and analyse. So when you choose an organisation to work with for your project, think about all the invisible barriers in your world, and set out to tear them down.

Emily Hamilton – Media Pitch

Media Pitch:
Calrossy House is a building like no other. Its red brick exterior, exquisite stained glass windows and marble floors have been a quintessential image within the city of Tamworth from its origins in the late nineteenth century. Although initially a tourist site, Calrossy House has had a much greater history within Tamworth as a home and school for young women. Calrossy House was initially sold to The Church of England Girls’ School (now named Calrossy Anglican School) in 1923. Despite this building becoming an integral feature representing the expansion and development of Calrossy Anglican School for nearly a century, no history has yet been written. Thousands of girls have lived or studied in Calrossy House and yet they remain disconnected from its history. I have been given the wonderful opportunity to complete a visual history of Calrossy House within my university ‘History Beyond The Classroom’ course. I was instructed to compile a number of photographs tracking the development of Calrossy House and how its changes are representative of the wider societal changes facing Calrossy Anglican School. This history, in the form of a physical booklet, will be displayed within the Calrossy library so that students may be able to reconnect with their past. Still today, the girls of Calrossy Anglican School eat in the same dining hall, sleep in the same dormitories and even sign their names in at the same front office as students of decades past. It is essential that these students may be able to realise how fundamental Calrossy House has been in shaping Calrossy Anglican School so that they can appreciate that this building has a lot more to offer than aesthetic beauty.
A Note to Future Students:
This project has been a lot of fun to complete, and I believe that I have been successful so far. The key to success is to organise with your institution early, so that you can allow for many contact hours in the initial stages. Things can go wrong, and the nature of your project may change, so it is best to get started early so that you have enough time to overcome any unforeseen struggles.

Housing Co-ops and the Archive Box

In a time of increasingly unaffordable housing in Sydney and rent prices shooting through the roof, Housing Co-ops offer a viable alternative for university students. They operate by members who make decisions in the running of the property. Stucco, formed in 1991 and located in Newtown, is Sydney’s only student housing co-operative and is home to around 40 students. Its members pay low rent and the spirit fostered in community living is unparalleled through other housing alternatives. In organizing Stucco’s archives for its members and writing a more concise history for their website my project will draw attention to this housing alternative for students and improving educational access for students that need to live away from home to study.
I would tell future students that when looking at archives you can find many surprises, don’t go in knowing what you will write about. Looking through the Stucco archives I thought I would be dealing with maybe a few old newspaper clippings about the housing. It was built in an old glass factory and many of the original structures were adapted. I found myself researching how glass was made in the 1920s, finding old letters written by politicians, and old pamphlets for youth unemployment benefits from the 1980s. Archives are never isolated to the organization that collected them and are far reaching through time and society.

The Pitch – The State Emergency Service

It’s hard to imagine an Australia without the State Emergency Service (SES). From devastating natural disasters to events like the Lindt Café Siege and Waterfall train derailment that kept us glued to our TV screens, SES volunteers have been keeping people safe in times of crisis for over sixty years.
As we move into the 21st century which brings increased risks of major natural disasters and heightened terror threat levels, the organisation’s history has become of greater significance. In 1955, when the State Emergency Service was established, the biggest threat to New South Wales was the nuclear bomb and most communities were small and self-sufficient. Now the threats faced are more diverse and severe, with communities more reliant than ever on organisations like the SES. A new documentary aims to chart the organisation’s response through these changes with hopes that the solutions of the past can inform the challenges of the future. It is also hoped that this new outlook on the SES’s history and legacy will help attract new volunteers from the community as it grows to meet these future demands.

Media Pitch for History Project on Sylvania High School – Phillip Charleston

The history of Sylvania High School is an important story for the community of Sylvania that needs to be told. The school has come a long way since 1970 and despite being built recently compared with others, it has maintained a high level of academic excellence. The school has had to face severe competition with older, more established schools in the area and has seen some dark times, like during the 90s when the school was struggling to find numbers. However, despite the community changing around it, Sylvania High has remained a stalwart of the local community and Southern Sydney.
The project will make Sylvania High unique in the Shire as having its story told on a public domain on their website. This project has been ambitious in scope, having to start almost from scratch in obtaining information, relying on the oral accounts of past teachers. Like the school, which rose from a rubbish tip and a swamp, my project has taken shape from nothing to provide a foundation for future research at the approach of the school’s 50th anniversary.

The Pitch – Queen Street Colonial Buidlings

Walking down Queen Street, there is so much that catches the eye. Luscious green parklands filled with morning joggers in fluro activewear. Merchants line the streets competing for your attention and your dollar. Police cars screech out of the station while trains pull into theirs. People walk the block under the golden hue of Campbelltown’s half-lit McDonald’s arches.
But there is something more. Four buildings from another time lay dormant, waiting to tell their stories.
The Coach House, where the heroics of James Waterworth saw off more than a few desperate bushrangers. On one trip between Wollongong and Campbelltown, his quick thinking aided his escape of a group of bushrangers who had held him up on the way into Campbelltown. By biting down on the inside of his lip until it bled, and coughing profusely, he was able to feign a contagious illness which deterred the bandits.
There’s Mcguanne’s House; the dwelling of the imperious teacher Kate McGuanne, who would force students to do her chores as punishment for minor handwriting infractions.
The Railway Hotel, apart from being a lovely place to stay it’s also the perfect site to display the bodies of bushrangers who fought the law and lost, deterring Campbelltown’s young from following the path of the outlaw.
And, of course, Bursill’s Stores where you could buy the local produce, if you were cunning enough to avoid the fascinating and ferocious resident pest controller; a garden snake of over a metre in length.
These buildings tell the story of not just a town, but of a young nation in an uncertain time, trying to etch out a name for itself. Come down to Queen Street to find out more and take a glimpse at the town’s formative days and gain a new perspective of the place you live.