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Home > About the project: From farms to freeways

About the project: From farms to freeways

This research project, titled Western Sydney Women's Oral History Project 'From farms to freeways: Women's memories of Western Sydney', sought to analyse the experiences of women who had lived in the Blacktown and Penrith areas since the early 1950s, including their responses to social changes brought about by rapid suburbanisation in the Western Sydney region in the post-war period.

Two-hour taped discussions were held with 34 women, aged sixty and over, who were in their early twenties during the Western Sydney region's population growth. The majority of women interviewed were Australian-born, and of Anglo-Celtic origin.

The research project, conducted in 1991 -1992, was led by Doctor Deborah Chambers, who was then the Director of the Women's Research Centre. The Women's Research Centre was associated with the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at University of Western Sydney, Nepean. Dr Chambers later wrote a book chapter based on the oral history research:

Chambers, D. (1997). A stake in the country: Women's experiences of suburban development. In R. Silverstone (Ed.), Visions of suburbia (pp. 86-107): Routledge.

Associate investigators were Carol Liston and Chris Wieneke, assisted by Summer Research Scholar Larissa Banberry. The taped interviews were administered and transcribed by research assistant Robyn Arrowsmith.

The source of funding for the Western Sydney Women's Oral History Project (PN1991/035) is recorded as: Australian Research Council Small Grant / UWS Nepean Summer Vacation Research.

The material produced by this oral history project included audio cassette tape recordings, printed transcripts, photographic negatives and prints, and printed project materials. As part of the Western Sydney University /ANDS MODC Project, the material has been digitised by the University Library in order to share the rich information produced by the project.

Interview numbers 9 and 13 cannot be published as permission was not obtained from those participants. All other participants signed consent forms during the project.

Please note: Oral histories are personal accounts recorded at the time of interview, with permission from the participants. UWS is not responsible for either the accuracy of matters discussed or opinions expressed by speakers, which are for the listener to judge. Some content may contain inaccuracies or sensitive viewpoints. Such material does not reflect the viewpoint of the University, rather it reflects social attitudes and circumstances of the period or place in which it was created.