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Image courtesy of the Sydney Mechanics School of Arts

The Sydney Mechanics School of Arts are hosting historian Garry Wotherspoon as he shares the unique history of Sydney’s celebrated heritage suburb. The suburb we now know as Paddington has a long, ever-changing and chequered history.

Paddington has been everything from a village, a home to many of the colonial gentry, the site of Australia’s first military establishment, a slum due for demolition, a haven for ‘New Australians’, one of Sydney’s first suburbs to ‘gentrify’, and the place where resident action took off.

Its existence today is due to efforts of Paddington’s residents to fight off those who have tried to destroy it: state and council bureaucrats, indifferent property owners, the Department of Main Roads, and developers. It is a tale of struggle, but also one of hope.

About Garry Wotherspoon

Garry Wotherspoon is a Sydney-based writer, a former academic and NSW History Fellow. His books include Sydney’s Transport: Studies in Urban History, and Being Different: Nine Gay Men Remember. His The Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts: A History was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s History Awards, and his Gay Sydney: A History was shortlisted for the Queensland Literary Awards. He was awarded Australia’s Centenary of Federation Medal for his work as an academic, researcher and human rights activist.


When:    Tuesday, 12th February, 2019, 12.30pm to 1.30pm
Where:   Mitchell Theatre, Sydney Mechanics School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney
Cost:      Free
Contact: 02 9262 7300