Oral History Project

Eight members of the Fitzroy History Society began collecting interviews in 2015 under the title, ‘The Life and Times of Fitzroy from the 1950s’.

Together, Marion Glanville, Alison Hart, Meryl Hyde (Deceased), Tony Knox (Photographer) Meg Lee, Mary Lewis, Hilary McPhee, Rosa Simonelli, Marijana Vanevski and Peter Woods produced these audio files, transcripts and photographic portraits for the Local History Collection of the City of Yarra Library.

Generous grants from the Bendigo Bank, together with assistance and support from the City of Yarra, Arts and Culture, has enabled the Fitzroy Oral History Project webpage to include 5 video interviews, as well as the transcripts and audio files of  all the 20+  participants involved.

An earlier version of these oral histories can be found here: https://oralhistory.fitzroyhistorysociety.org.au/

Paul and Anne Coghlan lived in North Fitzroy and Fitzroy in their early family life. They became very involved in community matters and in 1974-75 ...
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Barry and Margaret Pullen talk about their house purchase in North Fitzroy in 1971 when a young married couple. Significantly they discuss their involvement in ...
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Brian and Renata Howe arrived in Fitzroy following their University years and study for the Ministry in Chicago. Interested in Saul David Alinsky and community ...
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Bruce Pitts opened the first specialized exhaust workshop in Melbourne in the mid-seventies at 67 Johnson Street, Fitzroy where he still operates, making good use ...
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Chris Friday was a teacher at North Fitzroy and Fitzroy Primary Schools in the 1970s and later trained in Special Education. Chris talks about her ...
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Dorothy McInroy’s mother left an unhappy marriage in the country and moved with her six children into Argyle Street, Fitzroy when Dot was eleven. She ...
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Ivy Dawson has lived in Fitzroy for 74 years, moving into 62 Gore Street at the age of 12 (a house which she and her ...
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Laurie O’Brien lived at 35 Hanover Street from 1957 to 2002. Laurie is a foundation member of the Fitzroy History Society. The architecturally significant House ...
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Menka Simmonds arrived in Australia in 1948 from Macedonia and due to the need for her mother to work, left school after only two and ...
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Michael Gawenda, a journalist and former editor of The Age, spent his early childhood in Gore Street, where his parents owned a corner store. He ...
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Pat DeRango’s mother came from Tipperary in Ireland, and towards the end of their life her parents lived in Hanover Street where she was born ...
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Peter Williams speaks about the history of Moran & Cato’s manufacturing grocers and wholesalers located in Brunswick Street Fitzroy, which was the centre for a ...
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Rose Chong describes herself as “a maker”. She studied dressmaking and then design at an art school in the UK, and opened her costume store ...
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Rose Mary Brondolino, who conducts a law practice in Fitzroy, talks about her very early years in southern Italy before she came to Fitzroy in ...
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Sam Marasco came to Fitzroy as an 18-month old from Calabria in the mid-1950s and has lived here ever since. He talks about his childhood, ...
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Sister Fidelis and Sister Amalia are Sisters of the Missionaries of Charity, part of a small group who came out to Fitzroy from India in ...
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Beginning in 1972, Sister Bridget and Sister Rosina of the Sisters of Mercy have taught the waves of new migrant children coming to Fitzroy. The ...
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Sam Stasinopoulos came to Australia from Kalamata in Greece as a young man. He saved his airfare after he left school at twelve by doing ...
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Suzanne Dance completed her Architectural degree before working in the Government Architects office in Sydney where as a recent graduate, she worked in a team ...
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Jenny Wills was Fitzroy Council's first social planner from 1974 to 1981 and helped establish Council's unique Social Planning Office. She describes the development of ...
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Ted Rush came to Fitzroy in the 1970s and soon became heavily involved with the Council through the ALP, before becoming Mayor after only three ...
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Tony Birch is a novelist, poet and short story writer who often draws on his childhood growing up around Fitzroy and Collingwood for his writing ...
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Antoni Shapardanis (Tony) was born in 1938 in Bouf (now Akrita) a small town only a few kilometres from the Yugoslav border. Tony’s father, Chris ...
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Val Noone and Mary Doyle have lived in the same house in Gore Street since the 1970s. They began their time in Fitzroy with an ...
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