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Presented by Oral History NSW and the Australian Centre for Public History, UTS
University of Technology, Sydney
Building 10, Level 14, Room 201

In this panel discussion, we will investigate a range of place-based heritage, art and public history projects that have positioned oral history recordings within particular sites. Through exhibitions, art installations, soundscapes and digital apps, listeners can hear memories of a neighbourhood, street or building while visiting or moving through the space.
This offers an immersive connection to the history of a site, creating links between past and present. A panel of historians, geographers and artists will consider the use of oral history across disciplines and the interactions between sound, place and memory in their work.


DR SARAH BARNS is a creative producer and practice-led researcher whose work explores the emerging interfaces for archives-based placemaking and storytelling, working across the mediums of sound, digital projection, digital dashboards and interactive media in public places.
She is Co-Director of creative placemaking practice Esem Projects and research fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University. Twitter: @_sarahbarns Website:


CATHERINE FREYNE is an award-winning historian and audio producer. She worked at the ABC as a researcher, reporter and radio features producer for 13 years. Her audio documentaries won the NSW Premier’s History Award in 2012 and 2014. She has developed multimedia history content for the City of Sydney, ABC Innovation, National Museum of Australia, Think+DO Tank and the Dictionary of Sydney. Catherine is represented by Audiocraft Agency and is part of TEDxSydney's curatorial team. As recipient of the UTS Chancellor’s Research Scholarship, Catherine is completing a creative practice PhD that combines history, sexuality studies and audio documentary.


ANNIE MCKINNON is the director of About Turn , an emerging interaction design and creative technology agency. About Turn boasts a talented team of associates and a well equipped design and fabrication studio in St Peters. Annie completed a B Sound and Music Design at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) in 2012. Soon after she was handpicked as a research assistant at the Interactivation Studio, UTS. Annie worked under the supervision of world-renowned interaction design expert, Dr Bert Bongers. This position equipped Annie with a deep appreciation of the body’s senses and how they inform people’s everyday interactions in space and time. This understanding informs her practice which involves the use of digital sensors and the development of interactive experiences and products.

Her portfolio includes expertise in interactive national touring exhibitions, gestural interfaces to support communication, interactive devices for physical rehabilitation, immersive soundscapes for public art installations, instrument design, rapid prototyping for app development, multi-modal interactions, and mesh networking devices. She is sought-after in the field of interaction and sound design. Annie is an alumni of Parramatta Artists Studios where she was a resident in 2017. In 2015, Annie was an ArtStart recipient (Australia Council for the Arts). She has been commissioned by DLUX Media Arts, Think+Do Tank Foundation, City of Parramatta, Orana Arts, UTS, MAKEbeLIVE Productions, and Synergy Percussion.


JANE STRATTON is the Creative Director of the Think+DO Tank Foundation, and the concept founder and director of Against the Tide: A Highway West, an interactive audio experience set on the waters of the Parramatta River. Jane believes in people and their power to change their own circumstances. She holds degrees in politics, languages and law, and is a skilled writer. She has worked as a lawyer and public policy advocate, human rights activist, and educator. Jane brokers and leads the Think+DO Tank Foundation's creative initiatives to empower communities and to give local people a greater level of control in their community. She is an experienced creative producer and project manager, leading Against the Tide; and Lost In Books, a multilingual kids' bookshop and community creative hub in Fairfield, South Western Sydney.

The discussion will be led by Oral History NSW Vice President DR SCOTT MCKINNON, Vice Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Australian Centre for Cultural Environment Society and Space (ACCESS), University of Wollongong.
Scott is an oral historian and geographer with a research background in geographies of memory, memories of disaster and geographies and histories of sexuality. He is the Vice President of community history organisation Pride History Group and has collaborated on a number of oral history-based projects exploring Sydney’s LGBTIQ history. Scott is the author of Gay Men at the Movies: Cinema, memory and the history of a gay male community (Intellect Books). Twitter: @McKinnon_SJ