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Wednesday, 22 April 2015 08:22

Dictionary of Sydney: History of ANZAC Day

This Saturday will mark 100 years since Australian troops landed at the Gallipoli peninsula and commenced a disastrous eight-month military campaign. Every April 25th we remember that first day of battle, but how did these commemorations begin? 

For the duration of the war, Anzac Days followed suit. The parade was actually cancelled in 1919 as the influenza epidemic prevented people from assembling in large numbers. The following year the 25 of April was declared a national holiday, and in 1929, when the Martin Place Cenotaph was unveiled, the ceremonies moved to the city. 

Nicole Cama from the Dictionary of Sydney spoke to Mitch about the history of ANZAC Day.

Around this time in 2013 the business of the Rainbow Crossing on Oxford Street at Taylor Square came to a head. It followed a decision in 2012 by the City of Sydney to temporarily repaint two pedestrian crossings in Oxford Street in rainbow colours, in time for the 35th Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade in 2013. 

It wasn't an entirely original idea. Rainbow crosswalks were painted on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood as part of the 2012 Gay Pride Month celebrations there and were such a success that they were allowed to remain. 

Megan Hicks from the Dictionary of Sydney caught up with Mitch to talk about the history of the Rainbow Crossing.

How did the pedestrian crossing evolve from the convenience to pedestrians to a convenience to motorists? 

The footpath had gritty beginnings with paths unsealed made of mud, dust and horse manure. It certainly wasn't pleasant during times of rain.

How to cross the street in wet weather and boots dry, skirts unmuddied? 

Megan Hicks from the Dictionary of Sydney spoke to Mitch about the evolution of the footpath.

NSW is one of the most progressive states in Australia. 

In the parliament is where major traditions of NSW have begun and the discussion and debate can get so rowdy the room has earnt the name amongst parliamentarians as the 'bear pit'. 

With the NSW election happening on the weekend Naomi Parry from the Dictionary of Sydney spoke to Mitch about the history of NSW voting. 

Wednesday, 11 March 2015 07:59

Dictionary of Sydney: History of the Drag

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardis Gras parade happened on Saturday and

it was just as vibrant as it has been since it started 37 years ago. About 10,000 people and 150

floats spanned 5 km covering themes including marriage equality, and apparently half a ton of

glitter was used to adorn its participants, many of them dressed in drag. Nicole Cama from Dictionary of Sydney delves into

the Dictionary and takes a look at Sydney's history of drag and cross dressing for 2SER Breakfast!

Nowadays, you can walk into any one of the many wine bars and restaurants of Sydney and be shown an extensive wine list. In fact, we probably take it for granted, and our strong 'foodie' nature is definitely an entrenched part of our culture.

But back in the 1960s and 1970s, the idea of international cuisines becoming permanent fixtures on the city's streets was quite novel. 

Dictionary of Sydney's Nicole Cama chatted to Mitch about the history of Sydney's wining and dining.

Matraville is a south-eastern suburb of Sydney located in the City of Randwick. It was named after James Matra who accompanied James Cook as a midshipman on the Endeavour. 

Matraville Garden Village was supposed to be a 'memorial to our fallen heroes' and a reward for servicemen's sacrifices for the nation. Why didn't work out? 

Paul Ashton from the Dictionary of Sydney spoke to Mitch to tell you why and talk about the Matraville Garden Village


Centennial Park was chosen by Sir Henry Parkes and others for a grand park to mark the Centenary of the colony of NSW. 

The site is also the largest urban park in the southern hemisphere; 260 ha 9640 acres. 

Did you know, Northern boundary of the Park an Aboriginal walking track of the Gadigal people? 

Dictionary of Sydney's Professor Paul Ashton talked to Mitch.


Wednesday, 11 February 2015 07:55

Dictionary of Sydney: Chinese life in Sydney

As we welcome the year of the sheep and the Lunar New Year celebrations kick off this Friday, let's take a step back in time to the 1800s and look at the Chinese experience in

Many of us might assume that the first people Indigenous inhabitants witnessed sailing toward
Australia were Europeans. Not true!

There is evidence that suggests the Aboriginal people of Sydney Harbour may have seen or at least heard stories of the Chinese traders that sailed the
globe, and that Chinese contact with Australia probably occurred as far back as 1,800 years ago! 

Nicole Cama from the Dictionary of Sydney spoke about Chinese life in Sydney.

Wednesday, 04 February 2015 08:01

Dictionary of Sydney: Bungaree

The exhibition Bungaree: The First Australian is showing at Mosman Art Gallery at the moment, which pays homage to this important Aboriginal figure from Sydney's early colonial days. 

Bungaree's distinctive image survives today, as he appears in 18 portraits and other illustrations created by artists of the time. 

Nicole Cama from the Dictionary of Sydney caught up with Mitch to talk about the important Aboriginal figure, Bungaree.

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