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Women started off at a disadvantage on Australia’s colonial beaches, with spaces claimed by unclothed men deemed off limits to females. In response, women’s places were created from which men were excluded by social etiquette and, in some cases, barbed wire. In this talk, presenter Dr Nancy Cushing will reveal what went on at the Ladies’ Bathing Places and why women so valued their time at the beach in the late nineteenth century.

Dr Nancy Cushing is head of the History discipline at the University of Newcastle. Her research interests lie in environmental history, especially human-animal relations, and in the history of Newcastle. Recent books include Smoky City: A History of Air Pollution in Newcastle, NSW, with Howard Bridgman, and Radical Newcastle, co edited with James Bennett and Erik Eklund, both published in 2015.

Pop! Goes the beach features in a session on Significant Women of the Hunter in History Illuminated, Lake Macquarie’s inaugural festival of history. The full program is available at

When: Monday 4 September 2017, 6:00pm-7:00pm
Where: Toronto Library, Corner Brighton Avenue and Pemell Street, Toronto
Cost: Free, book now
Contact: or 02 4921 0463
Hosted by Lake Macquarie City Library 

Please note, this event was originally registered as starting at 5:00pm, and appears as such in the full History Week program.