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High rise living

In the latest census data available, Sydney has over 450,000 flats, units or apartments making up 28% of the domestic buildings. This is nearly double the state average. Another 54,000 are expected to be built in the next year alone. In certain areas there are more...

On your bike!

Monday just been (3 June) was officially World Bicycle Day. You say you’ve never heard of it? Well, neither had I until the Dictionary of Sydney tweeted about it on Monday! Sure enough, it is a relatively new international day declared by the United Nations. (It...

Edward Smith Hall and The Monitor

This week on 2SER Breakfast, Dr Rachel Franks and host Tess Connery talked about the founders of one of Sydney’s earliest newspapers, Edward Smith Hall.  Listen to the audio of Tess and Rachel’s conversation on 2SER here  Newspapers have long been an...

Sailors, Spies and Sydney Stairs

Surely few stairways in Sydney have seen as much drama as the McElhone Stairs. Constructed in 1904, the 113 sandstone stairs loom over Brougham Street and the naval base below in Woolloomooloo. It soon became a well-worn path for everyone from sailors, residents,...

The National Trust

This week the NSW heritage sector celebrates the good work done across the state. It is the Heritage Festival, and as part of that the National Trust (NSW) hosts an awards function in which projects large and small are recognised and celebrated. It’s like the heritage...

Sydney through a novelist’s eyes

Melbourne claims to be the City of Literature, but this week Sydney is all things literary as we settle into the Sydney Writer’s Festival. Listen to the whole conversation with Lisa and Tess on 2SER here  The Dictionary of Sydney is all about history, but of...

The Satyr and Five Bells

Today on 2SER Breakfast, historian Minna Muhlen-Schulte and Tess talked about the story behind Kenneth Slessor’s moving and influential poem, Five Bells.  Listen to the audio of Minna and Tess on 2SER here  Deep and dissolving verticals of light Ferry the falls...

Sydney’s Tank Stream

It is often forgotten that our modern city lies across what was a natural landscape of forests, valleys’, rivers and streams. It was a landscape formed over millennia and familiar to Aboriginal people for over 30,000 years. Running through the valley on which the city...

Customs House

The City of Sydney have just announced that they have acquired Customs House from the Commonwealth Government, so today I thought we’d take a look back at the history of the building and its role in maritime Sydney.  Listen to the whole conversation with Lisa...

Sydney’s pissoirs & underground conveniences

Nicole Cama’s been sharing stories from the Dictionary with 2SER listeners for five years. Sadly it’s her last segment for a while today, so she thought she’d revisit one of her favourite topics – the early history of Sydney’s public...

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