Abstracts – JRAHS Vol 97, Part 1 June 2011

Postwar Emergency Housing in Sydney – the camps that never were

Michael Hogan

At the end of the Second World War Sydney, like most other Australian cities, was experiencing a severe housing shortage. Official estimates put the shortfall of housing as something like 90,000 homes in Sydney – which meant that that number of families had to make other arrangements, usually crowding in with family or relatives. In New South Wales, the government used converted defence force camps, especially at Herne Bay, Hargrave Park and Bradfield Park to provide short-term accommodation while more permanent homes were being built. From 1946 through till the early 1960s some 30,000 families were living in these camps at any one time. The camps soon gained a reputation for being places of misery and vice. Subsequently, most of the records of the Housing Commission regarding them have disappeared, as successive governments have regarded this provision of emergency housing as regrettable if not shameful. The argument of this paper is that the camps were a worthwhile experiment n providing emergency housing. They did not merit their bad reputation and were a better solution to the problem than simply ignoring it.


Carl Oscar Schulze : one of Australia’s finest engineers

Amanda Mackie and Philip Pells

The German born Engineer, Carl Oscar Schulze arrived in Sydney in 1879 as a representative at the Sydney International Festival. He was to remain in Sydney for the next 40 years, establishing himself as both an engineer of note and a significant member of the German community. Although recognised by today’s engineering community for the design and construction of Australia’s first multiple arch dam (the Belubula Dam) his career achievements extend beyond this and deserve to be recorded. Schulze was employed by the Union Bridge Company as a consultant engineer on the first Hawkesbury River railway bridge and he was responsible for the design and construction of a Bleichert aerial ropeway for coal and oil shale transport in the Blue Mountains of NSW. He was a respected voice in town planning as evidenced by his published plans for the improvement of wharfage at Circular Quay and his involvement in the 1891 Royal Commission on City and Suburban Railways. He was also an active member of the Sydney German Community. He spent some years as the editor of the German language newspaper the Deutsches-Australische Post and he also published his own newspaper the Deutsches-Australisches Echo. His printing business, Southern Cross Printing Works, printed these plus several other Sydney newspapers. He was the proprietor of the German Literary Institute which operated for several years as a cultural centre for the German population of Sydney. Despite these contributions to both the Sydney German community and the engineering development of NSW, Oscar Schulze remains largely unrecognised.


Amending ‘the Lion in the Path’: the hurdles, thrusts and ploys of the New State Movement in northern NSW 1920.-30

John Farrell

Section 124 of the Commonwealth Constitution allows a new State to be formed by separation of territory from a State ‘only with the consent of the Parliament thereof’. The New-Staters in northern NSW in the 1920s knew that was such a tall hurdle to get over that separation seemed highly improbable and thus described the provisions of Section 124 as ‘the lion in the path’. The approaches to the NSW Parliament have been written about by a number of writers (including Harman[i]), but they have not sufficiently understood the hurdles, thrusts and ploys.


Education for a Liberal Democracy, 1856-1866: the Hunter Valley

Alan Barcan

By 1856 New South Wales was well on the way to becoming a democracy. In this new, society adapting to the goldrushes those concerned with social values, such as newspaper publishers, politicians, educationists and churchmen, saw the improvement of education as a prime aim. This article examines the adaptation of schooling over the first ten years of the new liberal democracy, focusing on the Hunter Valley as a specific example of the new values. It examines the five main institutional providers of education: the government and the four major churches, though not private-venture schooling. It looks at advanced and higher education as well as elementary.


An architect and his clients: William Weaver in Hunter’s Hill

Roslyn Maguire

In less than a decade, a residential building scheme created a suburb. Collaboration between investors and a Wiltshire born architect introduced an example of worker housing connected to philosophies of 1840s England, a chapel/schoolhouse and a mission house. Intentions of a suburban ideal involved a diversity of villa designs exhibiting traditional but distinctive similarities.

French and other landholders, and an Anglican incumbent of the parish to the north of Parramatta River, were among an influential local milieu of lawyers, politicians and professionals. Individual levels of investment and architectural diversity reflect a return to colonial confidence in personal and public wealth and expansion of urban and suburban settlements.

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