By Ian Stephenson, President, Bulletin 1/2023, March 2023

Events are back!

The Society’s first event for 2023 took place on 17 February with an inspection of contemporary architecture and leading-edge medical research at the Charles Perkins Centre and Susan Wakil Building at the University of Sydney. Participants got to meet scientists and hear about their research, see the museum of morbid anatomy as well as some exciting architecture.

The Events sub-committee are currently developing a program of activities for the coming months.

Figure 1: The atrium of the Charles Perkins Centre (Image: Ian Stephenson)
Figure 2: A flask of beef broth in the Museum of Morbid Anatomy. It was provided by Louis Pasteur 1888 for use in experiments on Rodd Island to eradicate rabbits. (Image: Ian Stephenson)
Figure 3: Elizabeth Farrelly candidate for the Legislative Assembly, Rose Jackson MLA, Emily Bullock, Deputy Lord Mayor Sylvie Ellsmore, and Carolyn Ienna at the launch

The Franklyn Report

On 22 February the Franklyn Report was launched at the Sydney Town Hall.

The report, produced by Hands Off Glebe assisted by The Glebe Society, uses Glebe’s Franklyn estate as a case study as to why it is better on environmental, economic, social and conservation grounds to refurbish public housing rather than demolish it.

Elizabeth Farrelly, independent candidate for the Upper House, Rose Jackson, ALP Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness, and tenants Emily Valentine Bullock and Carolyn Ienna all spoke. The event was hosted by Green Councillor and Deputy Lord Mayor Sylvie Ellsmore. 

The report costs $10 and can be obtained by emailing Hannah Middleton of Hands Off Glebe at

DA for 82 Wentworth Park Road

The NSW Land and Housing Corporation have lodged a DA to demolish and rebuild 82 Wentworth Park Road Glebe. The current building which was built about 1990 has flats with a total of 27 bedrooms. It is to be demolished and replaced by a new building with flats totalling 53 bedrooms, a net gain of 26 bedrooms. The total cost of the project is $21,723,996, making an average cost of $835,538 for each additional bedroom. A better result socially, financially and in terms of respecting Glebe’s heritage would be achieved by refurbishing the existing building and using the money saved to create new and sympathetically designed low rise infill on vacant land at the rear of the site or elsewhere.

The existing building was designed by the NSW Housing Commission’s Inner City Housing Team in 1984. Architect John Gregory and his team produced a beautifully articulated building which, together with two related buildings in Bellevue Avenue, echo the way the steep pitched rooves of Glebe’s terrace houses rise up the escarpment on the edge of Wentworth Park.

The proposed building has none of this subtlety and flair. In addition, it is a storey higher than what is permitted under the City of Sydney 2012 Development Control Plan. There are also issues to do with soil toxicity, the building occupies the site of a paint factory which burnt down in the 1930s as well as geotechnical issues to do with excavating a basement into stone.

Figure 4: The proposed building does not comply with the current height in storeys control. (Image:
Figure 5: The existing building from Bellevue Avenue (Image:
Figure 6: The proposed building from Bellevue Avenue (Image:
Figure 7: The proposed building is offset to Wentworth Park Road as are the neighbouring terraces. The terraces however have pitched rooves, though they have been omitted from the above diagram which seeks to argue that the large flat roofed building proposed echoes the terrace house form of its neighbours. (Image:
Figure 8: The building to be demolished was carefully designed to echo the built form of Glebe. (Image:

Details of the proposal can be seen on the Council’s website at

The closing date for submissions is 15 March, 2023.

Pyrmont Community Dinner

On Friday 24 February the Glebe Society hosted the Pyrmont Community dinner at the Tramsheds. Jude Paul and her team of volunteers including Jane Gatwood, Janet Wahlquist, Allan Hogan, Moya Quirk, Dorothy Davis, Margaret Sankey, Ted McKeown, Duncan Leys, Jan Macindoe and Louis Taborda did a brilliant job in catering for over 60 guests while Glebe Sings under the direction of Elizabeth Lecoanet performed a series of songs about one of Glebe’s most momentous decades – the years from 1965 to 1975. 

Figure 9: Dale Dengate, front row right, leads the choir in Take your Bulldozers Away. Image: Allan Hogan)

There were songs about threats, struggle and vision – all the things that make Glebe great. Dale Dengate sang her late husband John’s folk song Take your Bulldozers Away which was composed in the 1970s as part of the campaign to stop Glebe being rent asunder by the North Western Distributor while 67 Glebe Point Road, the first Sydney headquarters of Women’s Liberation, was the link to Helen Reddy’s I am Woman. The final chorus with its stirring words I am strong, I am invincible brought the house down.

Glebe Sings rehearses every Thursday at 6pm at the Glebe Public School. New members are welcome. For further details email Merren Smith on