Sound the alarm! Shark nets at Coogee

It’s summer, and for many of us, that means swimming in the sea. There has been a long tradition in Sydney of enclosing ocean bathing areas a nets to protect bathers from sharks, but the consequences of decisions about shark nets that were made in the 1920s and...

James Waugh’s Stranger’s Guide to Sydney

We’ve all used a tourist guide when we’ve visited a new city. They can help us orientate ourselves, to find the landmarks we want to see, and understand the locals. But have you ever wondered about Sydney’s first tourist guides? I recently had the...

The Great Fire of Sydney

Just after 2 o’clock in the morning on 2 October 1890 the alarm was raised after a “lurid glare” was seen in the upper windows of the large warehouse of Gibbs, Shallard & Co on Hosking Place, just off Pitt Street. It was a calamitous fire that changed Sydney’s...

Memory, Love and Gothic Horror

It’s History Week and this year’s theme is ‘Memory and Landscapes’. And there is no better way to think about memory and landscapes than to delve into the history of Sydney’s cemeteries. Listen to the whole conversation with Lisa and Tess...