Doors open at 4.30pm
Music to be confirmed
Talk Catherine Bishop 6pm-7.30pm
And you thought 19th century Sydney was a man’s world, and a woman’s place was in the home?
Just as they are today, women have always been in business. Sydney’s streets were awash with enterprising women - from demure dressmakers to bawdy brothel keepers, with the odd ironmonger, plumber and confidence trickster thrown in. Award-winning historian Catherine Bishop explores the stories of these businesswomen – the sensible and successful as well as the bankrupts and bigamists.
Sydney’s businesswomen were a varied lot. Some went into business as widows, left to support half a dozen children when their spouses inconveniently dropped dead; others were life-long spinsters, perhaps rejoicing that their ability to support themselves meant they could avoid marriage. Many, however, were wives, working with their husbands or in independent businesses, or surviving their husbands’ intemperance, ineptitude or desertion. Whatever their circumstances these women and their stories challenge our understandings of Sydney’s history.