About Us > Our Events > Sunday Talks

Sunday Talks

Each month the History Group hosts a talk by someone with special knowledge of Pyrmont’s past. The event is free for everyone with an interest in our history.

These talks are usually recorded, and will be available on this website at a later date.

Date Third Sunday of each month
Jacksons Landing Station, 58 Bowman Street Pyrmont

Upcoming Talks

  • Sunday 15 September: Wendy Bacon, journalist and activist, will share her experiences of residents’ resistance to top-down development of Pyrmont in the 1990s.

  • Sunday 20 October: Colin Fowler, From Cockle Bay to Yarralumla; the Bunn and Murray families.

  • Sunday 17 November: TBA

Recent Talks

  • The Mount Street Archaeological Site - Pamela Kottaras, who led a team of archaeologists to identify layers of occupation before excavation began on the last empty site to be developed between Mount and Harris Streets : the schoolmaster’s house, cottages and workshops that were built and torn down before the site became a car park. She described this research, and how it relates to other sources on Pyrmont.  

  • Australian South Sea Islanders - Emelda Davis screened her film about her Australian South Sea Islander ancestors, and shared her knowledge of their remarkable lives.

  • Building on Community in Pyrmont - Marcelle Hoff inspired and brought together new and established residents to campaign to retain public land on Pyrmont Point, and create Pirrama Park.

  • The Saunders family and their impact on Pyrmont - Barbara Cail, a descendant and family historian, described their lives and contributions.

  • Big History: how to think about it, and how to do it - David Christian has pioneered an unusual way to study the past and the present, from the Big Bang to today.

  • Exhibitions in the Powerhouse Museum - Grace Cochrane, independent curator, writer and consultant, was curator, then senior curator of Australian decorative arts and design at the Powerhouse from 1988-2005.

  • Memories of CSR - Dennis Archibald worked here from 1975 to 1992, and described how CSR functions related to each other; and what it was like to work here.

  • The Chambers family in Victorian Pyrmont - Colin Fowler. Charles was Sydney’s Town Clerk, and then a magistrate. Lucy, born in 1834, became “The Australian Nightingale” at La Scala and other great European stages. Later she taught Nellie Melba.

  • Who Planned Pyrmont? - Neil Bird, a resident of Jacksons Landing who was a member of the Central Sydney Planning Committee from 1999 to 2007.

  • Free Sex and Mung Beans! - Bill Burton reflected on the life of the squatter community in Scott Street before the impact of urban renewal.

  • The Terminus Hotel - Shirley Fitzgerald, City Historian for the City of Sydney for many years and the leading historian of Pyrmont, and author of Terminus: the Pub that Sydney Forgot.

  • Paraguay to Pyrmont - John Kersh and John O'Meally on the life and times of Kenneth Forester Lewis, who was brought up in New Australia (the Utopian community in Paraguay), and spent the rest of his eventful life working in Pyrmont.

  • Back to the Sugar House - Alana Valentine’s stage play opened at the Belvoir Street Theatre in May 2018, a dramatic story of family, heritage and change in Pyrmont. Members of our own community joined her in reading excerpts of the play and exchanged personal perspectives on Pyrmont’s history.

  • Harvesting Pyrmont Sandstone - Troy Stratti. Pyrmont’s yellowblock was used in the best buildings in eastern Australia and beyond. It is essential to repair them with identical stone. Troy explained how the material is extracted and how it is used.

  • Triumphs and Tragedies of a Pyrmont Family - Kris Needham has researched and written about her forebears, in and out of Pyrmont, in and out of trouble and prosperity for nearly 200 years. Their stories gave us a sense of the many ways in which lives were lived.