History Bytes

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History Bytes is a historical podcast brought to you by City of Canterbury Bankstown Library Service. Join our History Librarians, with a variety of segments on the fine and fickle throughout the history of the Canterbury Area. Regular segments include oral history interviews, short histories, guest speakers,'Mysteries of Canterbury' and more!


Episode List

September 2016
Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: the test it was a crime to fail
For much of the 20th century, Australia implemented a “White Australia Policy” and did so with the help of the Dictation Test. However, much confusion about what the dictation test was and its implementation exists as original administrators of the test attempted to keep aspects of its operation a secret. This presentation will outline the origins of the dictation test and explain some of the issues and contradictions of this “test” it was a crime to fail generated. Special guest speaker Dr Michael Williams Adjunct Fellow WSU, is an historian of the Chinese Diaspora and a founding member of the Chinese Australian Historical Society. Dr Williams delivered this presentation at Riverwood Library on 8th September 2016 as part of History Week.



November 2015
Perpetual Poppies Collection Launch
Special guest speakers Colin Beacroft and Kerin Wanstall from the Canterbury & District Historical Society spoke at the launch of the City’s Perpetual Poppies Collection on Wednesday, 11 November 2015.

Over three months residents were invited to knit or crochet a poppy in remembrance to a relative, friend or enlistee from the Canterbury District who volunteered for service during any war. The community's response was overwhelming with over 300 poppies created and donated to the collection.





September 2015
Women War Reporters presented by Dr Jeannine Baker
In this episode we celebrate History Week 2015. The theme for this year was “War, Nationalism and Identity”. As part of the Speaker Connect Program through the History Council of NSW, we were fortunate enough to host Dr Jeannine Baker at Campsie Library on the 9th September. Jeannine is a historian in the Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies at Macquarie University. She researches at the intersection of women’s history and media history, and endeavours to recover the lost voices and stories of Australian women. She is the author of Australian Women War Reporters: Boer War to Vietnam which was released in September 2015.

Jeannine is also a documentary maker and oral historian. She produced Holding a Tiger by the Tail, about the Darwin newspaper editor, journalist and writer Jessie Litchfield and Fler and the Modernist Impulse, both by Radio National in 2015. She also wrote and directed Our Drowned Town, broadcast by SBS in 2001, about the flooding of Adaminaby township for the Snowy Mountains Scheme. This talk reveals the little known experiences of a remarkable group of women journalists, whose role in communicating the meaning of war to Australians was unique and far fetching.





May 2015
The Iconic First World War Nurse: History and Fiction
Sister Elizabeth McMillan's graphic and poignant letters from the Gallipoli campaign highlight the complex reality experienced by nurses at war.

In this podcast, registered nurse Clare Ashton discussed McMillan's correspondences from Lemnos. Clare's career as a registered nurse includes maternity, operating theatre and psychiatric nursing. Her academic interest in the history of nursing grew from helping to protect a psychiatric hospital museum in New Zealand. Since then, she has researched the history of Karitane in New South Wales, discovering that nursing history is a rather neglected field.

Duration: 34m 32s




April 2015
Canterbury Boys: Canterbury’s Contribution to the Great War
Kerin Wanstall and Colin Beacroft from the Canterbury and District Historical Society explain how Society members researched the names of over 1900 locals who served in the Great War. Hear the personal stories of the veterans and discover how modern research is adding to the story. The eBook of Canterbury's Boys is available by clicking on the cover image below.

Canterbury's boys : World War I and Sydney's suburban fringe
Duration: 34m 03s



September 2014
Special Heritage Week Herne Bay Podcast
This year’s Heritage Festival theme was "Journeys". We invited Brian Madden, local historian and author, to present a talk on Sydney’s wartime hospitals at Herne Bay, which is present day Riverwood. During World War II, Herne Bay was the site of a huge complex of hospital buildings. Part was used by the US Army's 118th General Hospital in 1943 and 1944, and then by a Royal Naval Hospital. Other buildings were used by Australian Army units. After the war, the site became an emergency housing centre. A video of the event is also available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XFVN6N4LYM
Duration: 41m 48s



August 2014
Episode 7: More of Betty's Redfern childhood
This podcast was recorded at the Home Library Service Reminiscence morning tea at Campsie Library.
Duration: 11m 12s

Download this Podcast
Media:HistoryBytesEpisode7.mp3


May 2014
Episode 6: Betty's Redfern childhood
In this episode, Betty tells of her interesting and colourful early years growing up in Redfern. This podcast was recorded at the Home Library Service Reminiscence morning tea at Campsie Library. Duration: 6m 36s

Download this Podcast
Media:HistoryBytesEpisode6 .mp3


April 2013
Episode 5: A Tale of Two Cities: City of Sydney and City of Canterbury
Rebecca and Lisa Murray, City Historian for City of Sydney have a good chat about the connections between early Canterbury and Sydney. What follows is a delightful exploration of industry and politics. Duration: 11m 30s

Download this Podcast
Media:HistoryBytesEpisode5.mp3


March 2013
Episode 4: Personalities in Early Canterbury and Ashfield
Join Rebecca and Mandy K from Ashfield Library as they explore the early history of local government and the strange occurrences that arose. From morticians to bad spelling, every alderman had his quirks! Duration: 8m 54s

Download this Podcast
Media:HistoryBytesEpisode4.mp3


February 2013
Episode 3: The History of the Cooks River with Gayle Adams
From gunk to great times, the Cooks River has been a site of both industry and leisure. Learn more about the conflict between these two priorities along the river banks of the Cooks. We have a good chat to Gayle Adams, water quality coordinator at the Cooks River Valley Association about their new oral history project to raise awareness about how the Cooks River was once enjoyed.
If you have memories of swimming in the Cooks River, get in contact with Gayle Adams at CRVA via email - gayle.adams1@bigpond.com
Duration: 9m 32s

Download this Podcast
Media:HistoryBytesEpisode3.mp3


December 2012
Episode 2: The History of Brickworks and Interview with Keith Lawson
Oddly fascinating, the history of brickmaking in Canterbury involves secret world war projects and gourmet mushrooms. Visit the history of these local businesses and get a hold on brickmaking fashions with Keith Lawson, who worked at Canterbury Brickworks during the 60s.
Duration: 12m 19s

Download this Podcast
Media:HistoryBytesEp2-KeithLawson-.mp3


July 2012
Episode 1: History of Lakemba and Interview with Muzammal Basharat This podcast provides a brief history of the Lakemba district up until the 1940s, followed by an interview with local resident Muzammal Basharat, focusing on the fascinating differences between then and now.
Duration: 10m 41s

Download this Podcast
Media:HistoryBytesEp1.mp3


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