Archive for the ‘heritage activism’ Category

Radical Newcastle Event

Radical Newcastle Event

The program for the forthcoming Newcastle Writers Festival has just been announced 4-6 April 2014. Download your programs from here:

Make sure you don’t miss the Radical Newcastle free event on Sunday April 6th starting at 1.30PM in the Mulubinba Room Newcastle City Hall.

1.30pm Sunday April 6th, Newcastle City Hall – Writing Radical Newcastle: Leading historians share their stories about the fascinating cast of communists, heritage activists and churchmen who are part of Newcastle’s colourful  past and a new book. With Ann CurthoysGionni Di Gravio and Prof Peter Hempenstall. Hosted by Dr Nancy Cushing. Free session.

Radical Newcastle @ Newcastle Writers Festival

Free event.

  • Sunday, April 6, 2014
  • 1:30pm – 2:30pm
  • Mulubinba – Room – Newcastle City Hall (map)

Radical Newcastle Colloquium Flyer

On Friday 2 December The University Gallery will host the Radical Newcastle colloquium.

This all day event, featuring historians, activists, public intellectuals and the wider community will examine and discuss a broad array of topics from sex and abortion to radical clergy, environmental activism and politics. And yes, the famous Laman Street Figs are also on the agenda.

Speakers include noted Australian historian Professor Ann Curthoys (University of Sydney), the first Green elected to public office in NSW, and Laman Street figs activist, John Sutton, and sociologist and linguist, Dr Jim Wafer.

‘Radical Newcastle’ is an important new project built around partnerships between the University of Newcastle and the local community. This project aims to recover the radical underbelly and often submerged dimensions of Newcastle history and to connect that past with contemporary activist movements in the Hunter region.

A number of books have been published over the past decade on the radical histories of some of Australia’s big cities: Radical Melbourne, Radical Brisbane and, last year, Radical Sydney.

Senior Lecturer at the School of Humanities and Social Science, and one of the project’s coordinators, Dr James Bennett said that “Radical Newcastle” would be the first such project on a regional Australian city, and one that would reflect a very different radical heritage from Australia’s major metropolitan centres.

“We believe that a collaborative anthology on the radical past and present of Newcastle has the potential to recover some important aspects of the city’s history, in the process developing valuable partnerships with the local community” he said.

The “Radical Newcastle” project is looking to illuminate those obscure and untold stories that have shaped the city’s character, its cultural life and institutions.

This is a free event and lunch is provided. However a donation according to your means would be greatly appreciated to assist with catering for the day.

Please RSVP to the University Gallery on (02) 4921 5255 by Monday 28 November.


Est. 1952.

Date range: 1958 – 2004.
Conduit: Doug Lithgow, President
Accessioned: March 2007

The Northern Parks and Playgrounds Movement (NPPM) was formed as an offshoot of the Sydney based Parks and Playgrounds Movement in 1952. Its Constitution was adopted on 26 November 1951.

The objectives of the Movement were “the preservation and development of present recreation and playground spaces in the Newcastle and the north, the development of additional reservations for parks and playgrounds, and the encouragement of beautification of streets, highways and public lands.” The movement was also interested in the establishment, development and ongoing care of national parks and reserves.

One of the earliest campaigns of the Northern Parks and Playgrounds Movement was for the creation of Blackbutt reserve, near Lambton.

A large dossier on the proposal and campaign for the Newcastle East Historic Site, (Coal River Heritage Precinct) dated 1969, retains relevance for contemporary planning debates about the public use of the Newcastle East area.

Contact sheets and correspondence are interspersed with chronological minutes, thus campaign information can be most easily found by reference to the minute books.

The Collection was accessioned in March 2007 by Mr Peter Gray – Brattan, and made possible by the kind generosity of the Vera Deacon Regional History Fund.

Northern Parks and Playgrounds Movement (N.P.P.M.) –  Minute Books

C830 N.P.P.M. Minute Book (22/8/1958 – 23/7/1965)

C831 N.P.P.M. Minute Book (27/8/1965 – 28/7/1967)

C832 N.P.P.M. Minute Book (23/8/1967 – 24/11/1972)

C833 N.P.P.M. Minute Book (23/3/1973 – 24/9/1980)

C834 N.P.P.M. Minute Book (31/10/1980 – 25/11/83)

C835 N.P.P.M. Minute Book (25/11/1983 – 6/12/1985)

C836 N.P.P.M. Minute Book (1/1/1986 – 30/9/1988)

C837 N.P.P.M. Minute Book (17/11/1988 – 28/11/1994)

C838 N.P.P.M. Minute Book (30/1/1995 – 29/2/2003)

Northern Parks and Playgrounds Movement (N.P.P.M.) –  Campaigns

C839 (i) N.P.P.M. Proposal – Newcastle East ‘Historic Site’ (28/5/1969)

C839 (ii) Honeysuckle Scheme Information (Undated)

C839 (iii) N.P.P.M. Proposal – Newcastle Iron and Steelmaking BHP Theme Park (15/6/2000)

C839 (iv) Stockton Bight to Watagan Mountains Conservation Corridor Proposal (9/11/2003)

C839 (v) Lake Macquarie City Council report – Morriset – Proposed Subdivision Creating 10 Residential Lots And 1 Road – D/2003/4159
N.P.P.M. – Coal River Precinct information and correspondence.

Oral History Tapes

A6968 (iib)
Interviewer: Vicki Neech
Interviewee: Doug Lithgow
Topic: Conservation and the history of The Northern Parks and Playgrounds Movement
Quantity: 2 audio tapes
Source: University of Newcastle (Department of Community Programmes) – Open Foundation Course – K.M. Henry – Australian History 1989 Programmes


Online Resources:

Parks and Playgrounds Movement Inc Blog – Contains reports, entries on ongoing campaigns as well as archived website covering years prior to the establishment of the online blog  2000-2008.