The Millers Point Oral History Project is an important record of this community which has survived since the beginning of European settlement, when its maritime activities were at the heart of the Colony, and which continued until most of the working harbour was moved away from Millers Point in 2007.
The Millers Point Oral History Project is being recreated on this site, beginning with the major summaries of the project:
- MP-SUMMARY REPORT 2nd Draft Part 1 (summary of entire project – 5.2MB)
- MP-SUMMARY REPORT 2nd Draft Part 2 (The Waterfront and MSB – 2.0MB)
- MP-SUMMARY REPORT 2nd Draft Part 3 (Department of Housing – 0.9MB)
- MP-SUMMARY REPORT 2nd Draft Part 4 (Darling House – 0.6MB)
Some comments and excerpts from these summaries:
- This month (January 2016) the NSW Government has announced it is selling the Darling House property, an almost derelict building which the community and City of Sydney refurbished and operated as an aged care facility until it was effectively closed down by the NSW Government. Read about community involvement in Darling House in the 4th summary report.
- The 2nd summary (The Waterfront and MSB) describes amongst other things the period when the MSB controlled all property in Millers Point, for example:
‘I guess the most important thing about the MSB was that it was a benign landlord for the people in Millers Point, that it didn’t fix their houses up, it didn’t look after them, but it left them alone and it ignored them and that was, in a way, the best thing that could have happened from some points of view because it meant that people just were allowed to alter their houses, put on a lean-to at the back if they needed grandpa to stay over or whatever. It almost became that those houses were hereditary. If the Maritime Services Board had been more concerned to look after its housing property then you would have had to apply and when somebody died there would be lists and it would have been done properly and bureaucratically. In fact it was done quite word-of-mouth and if somebody died and they had an aunt or somebody else that could take over that house it would almost happen automatically. So that actually deepened the sense of place of a village of families who had long-term connections to the place and there was almost an expectation that is ‘our house’ whereas of course it wasn’t.’ (Shirley Fitzgerald)
These summaries were based on material gleaned from the Oral History Project interviews of 2005–06. Below are links to some of the transcripts, and the City of Sydney has made most of them available here.