I am history student at the University of Sydney, hoping to start honours (in history of course!) soon.
I have a keen interest in subverting the narratives people I was taught in high school Australian history. This was a subject that features in my memory among the blur of inattention and my history teacher’s monotone. I remember the fans whooshing and paddling the fuggy tomb heat in dense clumps of gloom. In the summer humidity, I felt sleepy, rather than alert. The curriculum felt limiting. Like a cage. It was sanitised, whitewashed even. I have always loved history, but most Australian history flew over my head. At university, however, that all changed. At a higher level of learning, I was exposed to fascinating stories and facts about Australia – our racially-diverse ‘piebald’ north, Broome’s creole culture, Afghani pioneers in central Australia, the utterly unique sealing communities in the Bass Strait, and much more.
I hope to illuminate new stories from Sydney’s history that encompass the disparate voices of the unheard and ignored – ‘history from below’. From its colonial beginnings, Sydney was a vibrant, multi-ethnic city at the centre of newly-emerging world. We must respect it as such.