EDITOR'S RECOMMENDATION: When I first arrived in Australia (fourteen years ago) I went on this wonderful tour. I was positive that walking Sydney would help me appreciate it. And, I do. Even if you have lived here for ages, this architectural tour is a highlioght -- so many buildings that I would have never found. 


SYDNEY OPEN 2018 marks 21 years as the city’s premier     open-door architectural showcase.

Australia’s premier open building event Sydney Open returns on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 November, marking 21 years since the city first unlocked its doors to some of the most historic and architecturally inspiring buildings usually off limits to the general public.

From places of historic significance to award-winning new buildings that shape this city’s urban landscape and cultural life, Sydney Open celebrates great architecture and how it
influences our lives.

"Since the first event in 1997, we have welcomed over 76,000 people, both Sydneysiders and visitors to the city, who have enjoyed exploring over 400 architectural gems,”                            said Mark Goggin, Executive Director, Sydney Living Museums.

“This year we have curated a diverse and exciting program of more than 60 sites across the city with no end of inspiring architecture, art and history to discover.”

Sydney Open weekend is broken into two distinct days: the Sydney Open Pass program on Sunday 4 November and the more in-depth, curated Focus Tours on Saturday 3 November.

The Sydney Open Pass program promises some exciting, new buildings and spaces including: the stunningly adapted Executive Suite at Primus Hotel, the historic Chief Secretary’s Building1 Shelley Street inspired by refurbished shipping containers along with newly opened Arup Offices at Barrack Place offering insights into the future of work places.

Sydney Open favourites also included in the Pass are: The Great Synagogue, the Seidler designed Grosvenor Place and Australia Square, the grand Sydney Masonic Centre, Macquarie Group at 50 Martin Place with its breath taking art collection, extraordinary Harbour views from the AMP Building and one of the city’s the most magnificent places of worship, St Mary’s Cathedral.

Family friendly locations are the historic Macquarie Lighthouse at Vaucluse Bay which continues to guide ships into Sydney Harbour, the City of Sydney Fire Station and kids workshops at the newly opened collaborative design Hayball Studio.

Sydney Open ticketholders can extend their experience with special Focus Tours on Saturday 3 November including new building highlights: The Beehive and the private residence, Platform House, both DEZEEN nominated for ‘Best Emerging Architects’ globally. Other Focus Tour highlights include the Old Escalator Room at Wynyard, behind-the-scenes at The Prince of Wales Hospital, the newly opened The West By Hilton and Paramount House.

“The Focus Tours are hugely popular and sell out extremely fast as many of our visitors have an enthusiasm for a guided and more in-depth experience so, book early,” continued Mark Goggin.

Everyone who buys their Sydney Open tickets by 14 October will have a chance to win a Golden Ticket providing access to the much sought after, State Heritage listed, Tank Stream, thanks to Sydney Water. This special tour, offers an amazing story of first settlement around Sydney Cove – once the major water source for the local Gadigal people, The Tank Stream was excavated by convicts to provide much needed water to both humans and livestock to ensure the growth of the new colony.

"Each year, Sydney Open reminds us of what an extraordinary and interesting city this is.    For anyone curious about Sydney, this weekend-long celebration of architecture is not to
be missed,” said Mark Goggin.

Come and explore the unexplored during Sydney Open 2018.

Bookings and information
Sydney Open 2018 – 3 and 4 November
Tickets on sale 27 September
 from $35
Book at or phone 1300 448 849

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HAWKESBURY AUTHOR LAUNCHES NEW BIOGRAPHY SUNDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2PM at the Hawkesbury Regional Museum, 8 Baker Street, Windsor.

Frederick Whirlpool is a name not likely in your databank, whether online or in your memory. But thIs fascinating story is one that fills huge gaps in the life of an ordinary man whose life deserves factual interpretation. Buried in an unmarked grave in Windsor, his is an anguished narrative. "Frederick Whirlpool VC (Australia's Hidden Victoria Cross)"  by Alan Leek will launch at the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery, Sunday October 6 at 2pm.




Arriving in Victoria in 1859, Fredrick became a volunteer rifleman and school teacher, but his story begins much earlier in Ireland and before joining the East India Company Army.

East India Company Insignia

Historian and decorated veteran of the NSW Police force, retired Superintendent Alan Leek writes of the first Victoria Cross pinned to an Australian uniform -- of Whirlpool's valour during the Indian Mutiny which earned him the VC but left him with severe sword wounds and ultimately ended his military career.



'The Campaign in India 1857 - 58'   a series of 26 coloured lithographs by William Simpson, E Walker and others, after G F Atkinson, published by Day and Son, 1857-1858.


Repulsed by fame, Frederick fled Victoria and hid his Cross after he attempted to join the Victorian Police and was rejected due to corruptiom and unsolicited political interference. Fragments of Whirlpool's life were known but since 1895 according to Leek, 'they have been tainted by error, guesswork and in one recent British work, pure fantasy.' The author of this biography reveals Frederick's true identity and his early life in Ireland solving an old mystery and telling the story of heroism, suffering and failure of the sad and enigmatic hero. 


Come celebrate an unsung hero, Frederick Whirlpool at the Hawkesbury Regional Museum on Baker Street, Windsor. October 6 at 2pm.





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