Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Australian made

There's very little clothing and textile manufacturing left in Australia. It's wonderful to still see this iconic sign at the Koala factory in Arncliffe.

Arncliffe used to be a mix of light manufacturing and working class housing - a working class inner suburb.

Now the factories have all but disappeared as the high rise housing development has encroached. In planning circles they are called "brown fields sites." Once upon a time, the manufacturing workforce could afford to live in these inner-ring suburbs, and their jobs were located nearby, or on public transport corridors.

How long before the small industrial site is swallowed up?

Hats off to the owners of the family business, Koala, for the following statement on their website. It's a really informative website, with a short video(click here)  of their 82 year history, and a photo gallery of the whole process from designing to manufacturing (click here).

Statement by Koala: 

Australian Manufacturing Is Our Future.
We have a single-minded purpose… to keep Australian manufacturing jobs in Australia. This is our primary goal and it’s at the heart of everything we do. We believe that as long as there is a loyal market of Australian customers who value locally-made high-quality products, Koala Clothing will continue to move from strength to strength. We’re proud of the past 80 years and we’re excited about the next 80 years and beyond!

Monday, 23 June 2014


In the late 1960s and early 1970s, opposition to the war in Vietnam had grown to a huge mass movement. 

This piece of remnant graffiti promoting the cause still exists (as of yesterday!) in the railway underpass at Arncliffe in Sydney. I wonder if there is any elsewhere?

The Moratorium against the Vietnam War began in the United States, with the first Moratorium march on 15 October, 1969. This followed anti-war marches on the United Nations and Pentagon in 1967. On 15 November, 1969, 500,000 people marched on Washington DC.

In Australia the first marches took place on 8 and 9 May, 1970. Over 200,000 people took part, 100 000 in Melbourne. It was the largest mass movement against the war to that time. The second was in September 1970 and the third  in July 1971. By this time, public opinion was turning decisively against conscription and Australia's involvement in the war.