• Cadman’s Cottage and the role of the Government Dockyard in Macquarie’s colonial expansion
    David Thompson from the National Parks and Wildlife Service talks about Cadman’s Cottage and the role of the Government Dockyard in Macquarie’s colonial expansion. Built in 1816, Cadman’s Cottage is one of only a handful of Sydney buildings that remain from the first 30 years of the colony.
    About David Thompson

    David Thompson is a Senior Guide with the National Parks and Wildlife Service. He coordinates the NPSW tours within the Sydney Region and has worked out of Cadman’s Cottage since 1999.

  • history of Police presence and notorious crime in The Rocks
    Curator of the Rocks Discovery Museum, Dr Wayne Johnson speaks about the history of Police presence in the Rocks and some notorious cases in the 1800s.
    About Dr. Wayne Johnson

    Dr Wayne Johnson has been the Sydney Harbour Foreshore's archaeologist since 1993 and has been curator of The Rocks Discovery Museum since it opened in 2005. Over the last 25 years he has worked on archaeological projects in Bahrain, Jordan, Zanzibar and Portugal. Since 2001 Wayne has worked with the University of Sydney's Greater Angkor excavations in Cambodia. In 2008 he co-authored the book A History of Sydney's Darling Harbour with Roger Parris and in 2010 he co-authored Painting The Rocks: The Loss of Old Sydney with Paul Ashton, Anna Cossu and Caroline Butler Bowden.

  • Convict biography - George Cribb
    Di Carvell speaks about the colourful life and times of convict butcher George Cribb.
    About Di Carvell

    Di has been a professional tour guide since 1999. She is currently an educational facilitator for Sydney Learning Adventures, an education ranger with Centennial Parklands and a tour guide for The Rocks Pub Tours. Di attributes her passion for people and culture to her parents, who are keen historians and educators, and have dedicated their lives to sharing learning opportunities with others.

  • Aboriginal welfare photography
    Sue Newman, Aboriginal Liaison Officer, and Susan Charlton, Creative Producer, discuss their emotive exhibition of old Aboriginal welfare photographs, In Living Memory
    About Sue Newman & Susan Charlton
  • Contemporary songs of Aboriginal ancestors
    Nambrimbrii (let the river's run, let all people be one color) will be the focus of his speech which will create an atmosphere of spiritual cognition. Richard has a wealth of spoken-word monologues which relate to the 200 years of European occupation.
    About Richard Green

    He will perform contemporary songs of his ancestors, and encourage people to discover the truth and beauty of Aboriginal Australia.

    Singer, songwriter, actor and teacher Richard Green is of the Irish/Darug of Western Sydney. He is of the Boorooberongle people of Burramattagal and the Webb/Green family bloodline. Highly regarded as a Yellamundie (storyteller, singer, historian), Richard, aka Dr Greenthum, is regularly aired on Gadigal Radio 93.7 FM.

  • Australia's first 5 Star Green Star heritage building
    This talk will cover case studies on Australia's first 5 Star Green Star heritage-listed building - 88 George Street in The Rocks, the sustainability story of one of the oldest buildings in central Sydney -The Mint on Macquarie Street and the greening of the iconic Sydney Opera House.
    About Rafael Chemke, Naomi Martin & Robert Griffin

    Rafael Chemke (Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority), Naomi Martin (Sydney Opera House) and Robert Griffin (Historic Houses Trust) How do you drive environmental sustainability outcomes in Sydney’s iconic heritage buildings while maintaining and accentuating their heritage significance? Find out about the achievements and challenges faced by Sydney’s heritage custodians Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, Sydney Opera House and Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales.

  • The Tribal Warrior Association - Voyage of Goodwill
    Shane Phillips, CEO of The Tribal Warrior Association, talks about the organisation’s ‘Voyage of Goodwill’ to circumnavigate Australia in 2001 and their ongoing work.
    About Shane Phillips

    The Tribal Warrior Association is a non-profit community organisation initiated and directed by Aboriginal people with Aboriginal Elders. It was established by concerned Aboriginal people who wished to spread and vitalise Aboriginal culture, and to provide economic and social stability. The association offers quality training for employment skills and provides everyday practical assistance by distributing food and groceries to struggling families.

  • Climate issues in the early days of the Sydney colony
    Masters graduate Erin Town talks about the fight for food in the early days of the Sydney colony. When the first settlers arrived at Sydney Cove they quickly realised that the land was harsh, dry and unsuitable for the level of farming required to sustain the new colony.
    About Erin Town

    The first settlers were so unprepared for the Australian climate and soil that even Governor Phillip was on rationed food. Erin will discuss the struggles that early European settlers had with food production, the resulting rations and the importance of imports to the growing colony.

    Erin recently graduated from Macquarie University with a Masters Degree in Museum Studies. She also has a Bachelor of Arts (History) and has trained at both The Rocks Discovery Museum and Macquarie University Museum of Ancient Cultures.

  • The 19th Century garden at Vaucluse House
    Gardener Dave Gray talks about Victorian gardens. Just 30 minutes from the city, Vaucluse House showcases an elegant lifestyle that sharply contrasts the warehouses and townhouses of The Rocks. The Historic Houses Trust property features a working kitchen garden on the site of a 19th-century original.
    About Dave Gray

    Head Gardner Dave Gray shares some enthralling stories about the hard work that goes into creating this authentic recreation of a functional Victorian kitchen garden and the rewards of connecting to history through a medium still beloved today.

    Dave Gray is head gardener at the Historic Houses Trust and has worked as a gardener at Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens. David has certificates for horticulture from the City of Guilds and Royal Horticultural Society, London and National Certificate of Horticulture in Landscape from the Merrist Wood and Agricultural College in the UK. Most recently he has overseen the garden at the historic property Glenfield, in south-western Sydney, as part of the Endangered Houses Fund.

  • Tribal Warrior Association - Connection to the harbour
    Shane Phillips speaks about Sydney Harbour from an Indigenous perspective and his ongoing connection to the harbour in his role as CEO for the Tribal Warrior Association.
    About Shane Phillips

    Shane Phillips has a long history of working to empower disadvantaged Indigenous Australians through his involvement as Chief Executive Officer of the Tribal Warrior Association and organiser of the renowned Family Culture Day on the Block at Redfern. The Tribal Warrior Association aims to spread and revitalise Aboriginal culture, and to provide economic and social stability to Aboriginal people. Shane is a cultural leader who believes the pathway to positive change is through empowerment and belief in the pride and strength of Indigenous people

  • Masterchef is turning us into a nation of food snobs!
    NSW school students will whisk, baste, broil and fry the provocation “That Masterchef is turning us into a nation of food snobs!”
    About NSW Schools Debate

    Facilitated by Lloyd Cameron, the speaking competitions coordinator of The Arts Unit

  • The Candle Factory in The Rocks
    Zoe Gray from The Candle Factory in The Rocks talks about the art of making candles.
    About Zoe Gray

    Zoe has been perfecting the craft of candle-making for the past three years using techniques passed down from generations. Located in the heart of The Rocks, The Candle Factory has been selling unique handmade candles for over 30 years. With one of the largest range of candles in Sydney, the products on offer are both highly imaginative and original.

  • Life in the heart of The Rocks
    Clocktower Square town crier Stephen Clarke speaks about his working life in the heart of The Rocks
    About Stephen Clarke

    Stephen has been town crying and performing at the Clocktower Square in The Rocks since 1988. He also works as the Gosford City Council town crier and is a balloon sculptor, guitar player and voice-over man for radio commercials.

  • Pictures of Old Sydney exhibition catalogue
    Bob Whight will lead a discussion of the discovery of the 1902 Pictures of Old Sydney exhibition catalogue, the ensuing research into the context of the exhibition and the growing fascination with “Old Sydney” and heritage conservation at the turn of the last century.
    About Bob Whight

    Bob is an assistant exhibitions officer with the Historic Houses Trust (HHT). She has worked in various roles for the HHT, including as guide and assistant curator, and on the research and development of a number of exhibitions and publications, including Bridging Sydney, Sydney’s pubs: liquor, larrikins and the law and most recently Painting The Rocks: the loss of Old Sydney.

  • Finding treasure and celebrating amazing women
    Annette Butterfield speaks about finding a trunk of extraordinary artworks in her family home and about amazing women unacknowledged in the history books.
    About Annette Butterfield

    Annette holds a masters degree in art history and theory from the University of NSW. She has worked as a co-curator at various venues throughout Australia speaking about 19th century female artists. Annette runs a women’s group called ‘The Lost Ladies’ through the Older Women’s Network in Millers Point to investigate historic places in Sydney.

  • Love of the bush
    Clarence Slockee discusses his lifelong love of plants and the bush and his work as Aboriginal Education Officer at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney.
    About Clarence Slockee

    Clarence Slockee is an Aboriginal man from the Mindjingbal clan of the Bundjalung tribe situated on the far north coast of New South Wales, Australia. As a graduate of the National Aboriginal & Islander Skills Development Association (NAISDA) Dance College, he has gained experience across a broad range of performance mediums. He has had extensive involvement in many contemporary Indigenous dance productions and has toured extensively promoting Aboriginal culture, music and dance. Growing up in the lush Tweed Valley with a long family history of bushmen, farmers and fishermen, Clarence has combined his love of teaching, culture, music, dance and the bush with his current role as Aboriginal Education Officer with the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney.

  • Our ‘foodie’ past through archaeology
    Guide Team leader James Manser, from Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority’s education division Sydney Learning Adventures, talks about how we can learn about our ‘foodie’ past through archaeology.
    About James Manser

    Join James at The Rocks Discovery Museum where you can see, touch and interact with archaeological artefacts discovered in the local area, and you learn about what they tell us about our eating and drinking habits in times past.

    James has been responsible for the implementation of archaeological and built environment education programs in The Rocks, Darling Harbour, Chinatown and Pyrmont. Since 2001, Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority has developed and implemented archaeology-related school excursions for children up to 18 years.

  • The Rocks Dreaming program
    Binowee Bayles speaks about igniting the imaginations of young people with The Rocks Dreaming program, an interpretation of The Rocks from an Aboriginal perspective.
    About Binowee Bayles

    Binowee is the Aboriginal interpretation officer at Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority and the second youngest of eight daughters who have been raised with a proud sense of Aboriginal cultural identity. She has worked in community services, education and theatre and has performed traditional Aboriginal dances both nationally and internationally.

  • Telling the stories of The Rocks working class
    The curator of Susannah Place Museum, speaks about her interest in the interpretation and representation of working-class people and the use of oral histories in museums.
    About Anna Cossu

    Anna Cossu is the curator of Susannah Place Museum. Anna has also worked in the Education Unit for the HHT and was a History teacher before she joined the Historic Houses Trust. Her interests lie in the interpretation and representation of working-class people and the use of oral histories in museums. As part of the Philip Kent Staff Development Award, she was awarded in 2006, Anna travelled to the UK and New York to research how the lives and material culture of the working class are represented in museums. She has developed public programs and displays exploring the history of The Rocks and co-curatored the Painting the Rocks: the loss of Old Sydney exhibition in 2010. Anna is the author of a book called A place in The Rocks about Susannah Place Museum (2008) and co-author of Painting the Rocks (2010).

  • ARTEXPRESS exhibition in The Rocks
    A selection of 2010 Visual Art students from this year’s ARTEXPRESS exhibition in The Rocks speak about their creative process.
    About Artexpress artists

    ARTEXPRESS represents the high standards and diversity achieved by Year 12 Visual Arts students in New South Wales schools. In 2011, 19 venues in The Rocks, including hotels, shops, galleries and a historical dig site, will display the work of 34 students. The Rocks Discovery Museum is the ARTEXPRESS headquarters where visitors can pick up a map and cast their vote in the People’s Choice Award.

  • The influence of Indigenous women
    This talk will focus on the importance of Indigenous women and the many roles they have played in the overall development of Australia’s Indigenous history, from traditional times to the present.
    About James Wilson-Miller

    It will highlight areas where the influence of women far outweighs that of Indigenous men through their everyday role as educators, child carers, camp builders, food collectors, decision-makers, peacekeepers, artists, storytellers and healers. It will also be centred on women from Gringai Clan of the Wonnarua Nation in the Hunter Valley, NSW.

    James Wilson-Miller has been Section Head and Curator of Koori History and Culture at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, for the past 14 years. He is an experienced researcher, well-known Koori historian and the author of the best seller, Koori: A Will To Win, based on the Koori female line of his immediate and extended families. In September 1998, he became the first Koori historian to give the prestigious annual History Council address. James is respected by Koori Elders, educators and community members as well as his non-Koori colleagues and in 2001 was awarded the Centenary of Federation Centenary Medal for Services to the Community.

  • Let the river's run let all people be one colour
    Nambrimbrii (Let the river's run let all people be one colour) will be the focus of his speech, creating an atmosphere of spiritual cognition. Richard has a wealth of spoken word monologues relating to the two hundred years of historical occupation.
    About Richard Green

    He will perform contemporary song of his ancestors and try to encourage people to discover the truth and beauty of Aboriginal Australia.

    Richard Green is of the Irish/Darug of Western Sydney, he is of the Boorooberongle people of Burramattagal. Richard is of the Webb/Green family bloodline and is highly regarded as a Yellamundie (storyteller, singer and historian). Richard’s alter ego, singer/songwriter Dr Greenthum is regularly aired on Gadigal Radio 93.7 FM. Richard is in constant demand as an Australian actor and has recently appeared as the voice of Germain and language tutor on the Chris Burke series of the 'Yarramundie Kids'.

  • Aboriginal performers - the next generation
    Fred Copperwaite, a Bunuba man from southwest Kimberley, talks about inspiring the next generation of young Aboriginal performers.
    About Fred Copperwaite

    Frederick is an actor, teacher and theatre director with 30 years experience teaching in a variety of training environments throughout Australia and Europe. He graduated from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in 1987 and is currently head of theatre and screen studies at The Eora College of Aboriginal Studies Centre for Visual and Performing Arts. He is also a founding member and artistic director of Moogahlin Performing Arts, where he directed Gathering Ground 2010 Timelessness Past Present and Future. Since 2007 he has worked as an artist in residence for the Bell Shakespeare Company.

  • The impact of structural racism
    Merindah Donnelly is a Wiradjuri woman from the Gamillaroi community in Tingha NSW. From a young age Merindah was aware of the impact that structural racism has had and continues to have on many Indigenous people.
    About Merindah Donnelly

    Growing up in rural NSW, Merindah was exposed to racism and marginalisation and has since sought to become a spokesperson and ambassador for social justice and Indigenous issues.

    Merindah works at the Australia Council for the Arts as the Indigenous Program Officer for Market Development Internationally and Nationally. Her commitment to Indigenous social justice remains a priority and she recognises the rights of Indigenous people to claim, control and enhance their cultural development and cultural maintenance through the arts. She is proud to work for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Division where the principles of self-determination are celebrated.

  • ‘Bully Beef Stew’ - a theatrical exploration of Aboriginal manhood
    Sonny Dallas Law, Colin Kinchela and Bjorn Stewart discuss their new performance work ‘Bully Beef Stew’ presented by PACT Centre for Emerging Artists. Bully Beef Stew is a theatrical exploration of Aboriginal manhood by three young Aboriginal men working together to transcend usual notions of what it is to be an Aboriginal man today.
    About Sonny Dallas Law, Colin Kinchela and Bjorn Stewart

    Sonny Dallas Law is a graduate of the Eora Performing arts Centre 2004. He has been practicing his craft since his graduation, performing, writing and directing. Sonny Dallas has performed in small community theatre to large stage productions. He has also starred in many short/short feature films. Sonny Dallas is currently the Cultural Arts Development officer at the Redfern Community Centre. He enjoys his roles and responsibilities organising and running cultural arts events and programs for the community.

    Sonny continues to write and perform as an artist working on other projects outside of his daily work. Sonny believes by working in the arts administration and in the Performing Arts Industry practically, he will further his skills as an artist. Colin Kinchela Gamilarray (Kamilaroi) Nation, North-West New South Wales, is an independent Sydney based actor, director and writer, works across a sweep of performance mechanisms combining dominant work practices of community cultural (heritage) protocols, social justice and mental health. He regularly facilitates for a range of diverse educational and arts organisations as a guest director and mentor/ trainer.

    Colin is the Vice-Chair and an initial member of Mooghalin Co-Op, the newest Indigenous theatre company in Australia. Bjorn Stewart has professionally performed in a number of developments, short plays and major productions such as Ben Hurr, The Colourblind Project, and now a current member of Kenetic Energy Theatre Company, who focused on political injustices on the global environment and tackling indigenous issues.

    He has also performed, written and directed his own performances around Sydney and Wollongong. As an artist Bjorn relishes in treading a fine line on boundaries set for racial discrimination in a playful environment. This playful energy triggers the conceptual exploration of the human nature in controlled environments he enjoys dwelling into and brings this share experience with an audience.

  • Sowada family’s memories of The Rocks
    The Sowada family have been selling historic photographs at The Rocks Markets for more than 20 years. Many of the photographs, taken by Valentin Sowada, depict everyday life and significant events, including the building of Sydney Opera House. Helen and Karen talk about the Sowada family’s memories of The Rocks and how it has changed over time.
    About Helen & Karen Sowada

    Valentin Sowada’s photography, much of it taken in the 1960s, captured Sydney at the nexus of its conversion from a bustling city to major international metropolis. Sydney city, The Rocks, Sydney’s beach culture, King’s Cross, the structural beauty of construction, and the entertainments of suburban life dominate his photos from this era.

  • The Hula Hoopist of The Rocks
    Kira Carden – speaks about life as Hula Hoopist and a Rocks resident.
    About Kira Carden

    Kira Carden from Sydney's circus group Hu-La-La is a high-skill circus artist wrapped up in the body of a 50’s Pin-up Girl. She can spin a hoop on every part of her body, head to toe, she can spin over 40 hoops at once in the famous “Hula Slinky” . Kira lives in The Rocks and has worked as a freelance Hula Hoopist performing solo and group acts with Hu-La-La throughout Australia. She has enthralled audiences with her mix of high-skilled circus hoops and Burlesque styling since 2002. With over ten years’ experience in theatre, dance and circus, Kira’s unique style of performance has been in high demand in corporate entertainment, music festivals and nightclubs. In addition to hula hoops, Kira’s acts include feather fans, Isis wings, Swing Dancing and puppetry.

  • The Rocks Dreaming program
    Binowee Bayles takes us into the world of The Rocks Dreaming program and how she ignites the imaginations of young people with an interpretation of the Rocks from an Aboriginal perspective.
    About Binowee Bayles

    Binowee Bayles takes us into the world of The Rocks Dreaming program and how she ignites the imaginations of young people with an interpretation of the Rocks from an Aboriginal perspective.

  • Indigenous heritage and bush foods
    Aboriginal guide Jess Sinnott talks bush tucker. Learn about Indigenous heritage and bush foods with an experienced Aboriginal guide. Jess will share her knowledge of the fruits, vegetables and meats seasonably available to Aboriginal people in the Sydney area and even bring along some traditional fare for the audience to taste.
    About Jess Sinnott

    Jess currently works as an Aboriginal guide with Sydney Learning Adventures, as an Aboriginal education officer with Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens and as an Aboriginal discovery ranger with the National Parks and Wildlife Service. An experienced guide, interpreter and heritage officer, Jess is skilled in delivering tours, programs and workshops that give everyone an opportunity to share in the knowledge of Aboriginal history and culture.

  • The history of the Byrne family
    Val Garner, accomplished family historian and author, divulges captivating snippets from the history of the Byrne family, who have resided in The Rocks since Irish rebel Richard Byrne returned from a stint on Norfolk Island in 1805.
    About Val Garner