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Walk around Paddington in Sydney where its boutique art galleries hang mainly Australian traditional and contemporary art Paddo Walks
Walk around Surry Hills Sydney where its boutique art galleries hang mainly Australian traditional and contemporary art. Surry Hills Walks
Walk around Darlinghurst Sydney where its boutique art galleries hang mainly Australian traditional and contemporary art. Darlo Walk
Walk around Chippendale Sydney where its boutique art galleries hang mainly Australian traditional and contemporary art. Chippendale Walk
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Teresa Taylor - pickpocket and property tycoon (2015)

Teresa Alice Taylor was born in country NSW in 1884 and moved to Sydney as a teenager to work as a servant with an older sister. The sisters displayed a good head for business by buying small blocks of land with their savings and selling them at a profit. Teresa eventually acquired a great deal of property in Surry Hills, Redfern and Woolloomooloo. But from 1910, she embarked on a life of crime as a thief and pickpocket, using at least fifteen aliases to confuse the police. She was convicted thirteen times with a total sentence of seven years, four of which were spent in Long Bay Reformatory for Women. She died in 1927 leaving no will, but with a fortune in real estate of about $1.7 million in today’s money. She was an enigma to the police, who could not understand why someone with enough money to live comfortably would roam the streets stealing money from men.

When Bebop came to Durham Hall: 1943-1945 (2016)

Durham Hall in Surry Hills, Sydney, is a fine Georgian villa built by the wealthy butcher and innkeeper George Hill in 1835. During World War II, the US military authorities converted the building into a recreation club for their African American servicemen, calling it the Booker. T. Washington Club. It was a place of relaxation and an information centre for GIs on R&R from the Pacific campaign. Entertainment was swing and other dance music, as well as a new style of jazz from the US, called bebop. Local jazzmen welcomed the opportunity to play alongside American jazz musicians in the armed forces and bebop greats such as Dizzy Gillespie and Coleman Hawkins.

Riley Street Infants' School - the first successful kindergarten (2016)

Until the mid-nineteenth century, it was generally thought that pre-school children didn’t need any education. But in the 1830s, the German educator Friedrich Froebel realised that there was significant development of very young children’s brains, and he devised a system of nurturing their creativity with a series of educational toys and activities, calling it the “kindergarten” system. In 1856 it was tried out in Sydney at the Fort Street Model School. But it was expensive to set up, the assistant teachers were not trained, and it was not a success. Only after the arrival in 1886 of the Scottish teacher Elizabeth Banks, who had been well trained in the Froebel method and insisted on properly trained assistants, did the kindergarten method achieve success at Riley Street Infants’ School in Surry Hills. The Froebel system was eventually extended to the Montessori method, which is still taught today.

HMAT Port Macquarie - Carrying the ANZACs to War (2015)

The steamship SS Port Macquarie was built in Tyneside in 1912 and carried migrants to Australia until being requisitioned as a troopship after the outbreak of World War I. She made five voyages in convoy, carrying troops and horses to the Middle East and Europe. After the war, she brought surviving troops back to Australia. She resumed life as a cargo steamer after the war, and on the outbreak of World War II, took part in six convoys carrying iron and steel across the Atlantic. She was torpedoed and sunk in October 1940 while straggling behind the convoy. The Port Macquarie’s story illustrates the dangers faced by Merchant Marine sailors during wartime.

John Ross.
Email: rossjw@ozemail.com.au

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