Tag Archives

Documentary aims to keep Australian history alive

By Tang Li   As one of few original campaigners still fighting Sydney's longest conservation battle, Gavin Gatenby thinks the younger generation needs to know about Wolli Creek. Mr Gatenby has transformed a forty-minute Powerpoint presentation into a video documentary series, Saving Wolli Creek, to explain the history of the struggle to younger activists. “Even people like […]

Baird’s new harbour crossing plan under fire

By Joe Bourke Co-convenor of EcoTransit Sydney, Gavin Gatenby has attacked Mike Baird’s plan for a second harbour rail crossing, calling the government’s recent announcement that drilling has begun on the project a “stunt”. Mr Baird and Minister for Transport Andrew Constance last week announced geotechnical drilling would occur up to 70 metres below Sydney […]

Of Stakhanovite cows and great nation-building projects

If you were a kid in Sydney in the the early 1950s – as I was – there were two worthy educational outings you could have avoided only by premature death – the Rotolactor and the Warragamba Dam construction site. The Rotolactor, which started rotating in 1952, was the ultimate in modern milking machinery. It […]

Airline atrocities? Let’s talk about Iran Air 655

The Federal Police must be earning a heap of overtime these days. Not so many weeks back, Abbott had a bunch of them rushed to Christmas Island in anticipation of 157 pathetic Tamil asylum seekers being, perhaps, landed there. In the event, Scott Morrison decided to incarcerate the asylum seekers aboard a customs vessel headed […]

Miranda Devine will blame Clover Moore for the Cooks River Flasher

“Hey Joadja, how would you like to help me catch the Cooks River Flasher?” “The who?” Jo asked. I was holed up in the Brushtail Cafe sipping a cider with Old Stan, the retired colonel and scanning through the police media releases on the web, which is a fun way to keep up with the […]

They walked into the smoke and I never saw them again

Sydneysider - A Personal Journey By Gavin Gatenby Sometime in 1992, when I was an Interpretive Officer with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, I got it into my head that our region should buy one of the new mobile phones. I was at the time understudying a colleague, legendary radio and TV naturalist […]

Victory at Sea – death and mayhem on Sunday afternoon TV

Our next door neighbours were the first people in Edgar Street, Strathfield to own a television set. I remember being invited in to look at the latest miracle of modern technology probably late in 1956 or early '57. Their set was housed in an impressive piece of joinery and it had little doors on the […]

The Encyclopaedia Britannica was too big to throw away

In 1961, when I was 13, a man in a suit knocked on the door of my parents' Strathfield home and persuaded them to buy a set of the Encyclopedia Britannica. The 25 big books, plus a cheap plywood bookcase arrived within days. The EB itself comprised 24 books (one was the index) and there […]

The last days of Rowe Street

Sydneysider: A personal journey Sometime in 1971, when I'd just graduated from Fine Arts at Sydney University, I started making silver jewellery and selling it on consignment at a trendy boutique jeweller in Rowe Street. Rowe Street was really just a lane, running between Pitt and Castlereagh streets, parallel to Martin Place. The shop was […]

I first got aloft on a wire and a prayer

Sydneysider: A personal journey The first time I ever took to the air was in a sailplane. It was sometime between 1956 and 1958 when I was seven or eight. The flight was over Camden Aerodrome and it lasted a whole thrilling 10 minutes. My father was an early member of the Southern Cross Gliding […]