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Heritage on display in Wollongong laneway

THE new laneway “gallery” outside Wollongong City Council’s administration building features 10 new panels with images that celebrate the city’s history.

The heritage panels show scenes from early life in the city, from a lithograph of an Aboriginal family fishing-hunting on Tom Thumb Lagoon from about 1840-1848, to a wonderful pre-World War One photo of beach-lovers enjoying a day at North Wollongong beach.

Manager Community Cultural and Library Services Jenny Thompson said the panels, which replace a previous laneway panel project that reflected the city’s stories of migration, are creating a lot of interest among pedestrians.

“We are noticing a lot more people choosing to walk the link from Council’s car park in Stewart Street, through to the Arts Precinct,” Ms Thompson said.

“These panels grab your attention and provide a focus on Wollongong’s history and the ways our city has changed over the past 170 years.

“A local committee has curated the project and they have been passionate in their choice and have selected evocative images that provide a fresh look at our past.”

Artist Dulcie Dal Molin researched local heritage photographs in Council’s Local Studies Centre to find photographs suitable for reproduction that reflect the essence of the city.

Ms Dal Molin worked closely with representatives from Illawarra Museum, Illawarra Historical Society, the Migration Heritage Project, Wollongong Local Studies Library, and Council’s Cultural Services unit, who made final selections and recommendations for the project.

The images chosen for the project reflect and celebrate Wollongong and its rich historical background and acknowledge the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal histories of Wollongong. The panels celebrate local places that are today well known and give residents the opportunity to see the progress and innovation and changes that have taken place in our city.

The committee is Franca Facci from the Department of Health, Eva Castle from the Migrant Heritage Project, Eileen Smith, Senior Librarian with Wollongong Library, and Sue Bessell, Council’s Cultural Development Worker.

For more information you can visit Council’s administration centre at 41 Burelli Street to view the panels.

About Mick Roberts

A newspaper journalist, writer and local historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in the Sydney and Illawarra regions of NSW for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides authoring a number of history books, Mick has owned and operated several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limted), Sydney based, City News, and is now with Torch Publications.

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