On final episode of History Lab for season one, hosts, Anna Clark and Tamson go looking for the fisherwomen’s world, and discover that, if you listen closely, the past of Sydney Harbour still sings.

Jutting into Sydney’s glittering harbour, the Sydney Opera House plays host to musicians and dancers, actors and singers.  But beneath the notes of their voices, another song echoes across the city’s waters. Can we still hear it?

Huge middens of shells used to sit on the site now occupied by Jørn Utzon’s architectural masterpiece. They were collected by indigenous fisherwomen who, in their nawi canoes, sung the fish into their nets. With a cooking fire at one end and their kids riding their shoulders, they kept time with their paddles as they passed down knowledge through their songs.

History Lab is a collaboration between the Australian Centre for Public History at the University of Technology Sydney and 2SER 107.3

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