International Day for Monuments and Sites

Today, April 18, is International Day for Monuments and Sites, a time when people around the world celebrate historical, spiritual , and cultural heritage. It’s been going since 1983, run by an international organisation called ICOMOS, promoting the...

Australia’s First Bank Robbery

Did you know Australia’s first bank robbery occurred in Sydney in 1828 and most of the £14,000 was never recovered? This week we’ll look at the crime that shocked colonial Sydney. Listen to  Nicole and Nic on 2SER here  On 14 September 1828, the strongroom of...

Women commemorated by Sydney’s suburbs

As an historian, I’m always interested in how we shape our cities and how we get the names we get. Earlier this week I was looking at the city’s street names and noticing how few, comparatively, were named after women. Looking further afield at...

William Castell: ‘professor of dancing’

One of the many fascinating people on the Dictionary of Sydney is William Castell, ‘professor of dancing’, musician and philanderer who lived in Sydney during the 1830s. Listen to Nicole and Jess on 2SER here  In May 1789, William Joseph Castell was born in Kilkenny,...

Tanya Bretherton, The Suitcase Baby

Tanya Bretherton, The Suitcase Baby, Hachette Australia, 2018, ISBN 978-0-7336-3922-7, pp 1-327 In November 1923, a small suitcase was found washed up and abandoned on the beautiful, picturesque, bushland shores of Athol Beach on the edge of Mosman. Inside was the...