Let’s Talk

A new year, a new visual sociology! In January 2018 edition, we see colonisation and travel for an equity keynote speech.

40,000 years

“40,000 years is a long time. 40,000 years still on my mind.” This iconic street art mural will be restored. It stands on Lawson Street, opposite the busy Redfern train station. Pained in 1983 by Carol Ruff, the project has been awarded $38,000 by the City of Sydney to re-beautify the art. Ruff will not be involved due to illness. An exciting community project!

Continue reading Let’s Talk

The Face Celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People

The Face Exhibition, by photographer Sunny Brar, features Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who succeed in multiple areas, from justice to sports to film to community services. Here clockwise from top left: Bangarra Dance Theatre dancer Luke Currie-Richardson; lawyer Antoinette Braybrook, CEO of the Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service; educator Clinton Pryor, who is walking across Australia to highlight justice issues for Aboriginal communities; and elder and human rights activist Jenny Munro, founder of the Redfern Tent Embassy.

Artworks: Sunny Brar. Photo: Zuleyka Zevallos.

Mervyn Bishop

Mervyn Bishop, a Murray man, was the first Aboriginal person to work at a major metro daily newspaper, joining the Sydney Morning Herald in 1962. In 1971 he was named Australian Press Photographer of the Year. He would go on to cover major events, including the anti-war protests of the 1960s, the Bicentennial in 1988, and Aboriginal community life in remote regions of Australia. Continue reading Mervyn Bishop

Windows of the World

The Korean Embassy opened its for doors to the public for Windows of the World, a celebration of our embassies and Australian diplomatic relations. So much amazing food it was hard to choose, but I went with Bulgogi. It is delicious, especially to the background K-pop music is equally awesome. Continue reading Windows of the World

Airport and Sociology of Class

A delayed flight means sociologists get to do more people watching. Airports are a clear example of class not simply in terms of which groups board first but also the way in which people dress for the flight, the appearance of their baggage and other social clues.

This is Canberra airport.


Bangarra: Lore

Lore by Bangarra Dance Theatre brings the dance, culture and stories of the Torres Strait Islands to broader Australian audiences at the Sydney Opera House. In this gorgeous and uplifting show, Elma Kris plays the lead and she is just exquisite. Some of the songs are in the Ka La Lagau Ya language. My favourite parts are the beautiful turtle egg sequence as well as “Freezer” with the dancers emerging from the chilly freezer in the supermarket in contrast to the hot air outside.   Continue reading Bangarra: Lore

Action Research

“Astra Howard is an Action Researcher/Performer working predominantly within public spaces in cities…After completing a PhD in 2005 titled: ‘Orchestrating the Public: To Reveal and Activate through Design the Experience of the City’, Astra has continued to test urban and social theories in the city spaces they critique.”

Howard is an Australian designer and artist working with city councils, state government departments and community/arts organisations in Australia, Beijing, Paris, New York, Delhi, Hanoi and London. She has also worked with marginalised groups and the homeless in Sydney.


Image and learn more about her work on the artists’ website.

National Sorry Day

Image: “National Sorry Day” Sorry in Sign Language by butupa on Flickr.

National Sorry Day commemorates regret for the historical mistreatment of Indigenous Australians. It also symbolises the need for our nation to address the ongoing socio-economic disadvantage of our Indigenous population as a result of colonialism, including these facts:

  • Indigenous people have a life expectancy that is up to 11.5 lower than the national average
  • Indigenous people are six times as likely to die through homicide, with 65% of these deaths involving alcohol. This connection between homicide and alcohol rate is three times the national average
  • Indigenous people are 12 times more likely to be hospitalised for assault, and four times more likely to be hospitalised for alcohol-related mental and behavioural disorders
  • Indigenous child mortality rates are up to three times higher relative to other kids, and Indigenous children are twice as likely to be admitted to hospital
  • Indigenous youth are 20 times more likely to be detained in custody
  • Indigenous students graduate high school at half the rate of other Australians.

Read references and more discussion on my blog.