RADICAL SYDNEYAuthors Terry Irving and Rowan Cahill believe radicalism still lurks beneath Sydney’s picture postcard veneer…we just have to...

Kings Bloody Cross: Radical Sydney


The World Bar
2011 NSW

Kings Bloody Cross - Radical Sydney


James Valentine

James Valentine

James has been presenting Afternoons on ABC Radio Sydney since the '90s and is also a musician with his own jazz quartet. He plays regularly around Sydney and at music festivals around the country and, in 2009, released the album Debut. James is also the narrator of Lifestyle Channel's Come Dine With Me Australia as well as the writer of a regular, humourous column for The Australian newspaper.

A familiar face on Australian television, James was the movie reviewer for many years on Showtime, a reporter and commentator on shows such as Sunrise, It Takes Two, Midday, Good Morning Australia and TVTV.

He began his media career hosting the cartoons for ABCTV in the mid-1980s on a program called The Afternoon Show. Previously, James was a full-time saxophonist recording and touring with Jo Camilleri, Kate Ceberano, Wendy Matthews and most notably The Models, a band that had two number one hits and toured the US and Europe. James is married, his wife is a clinical pyschologist and they have two children, Ruby and Roy.

Rowan Cahill

Rowan Cahill

Radical Sydney author

Rowan Cahill was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, and has worked as a teacher, freelance writer, agricultural labourer, and for the trade union movement as a journalist, historian, and rank and file activist. He is currently an Honorary Fellow with the Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts at Wollongong University. Rowan has published extensively in labour movement, radical and academic publications. His books include as co-author A History of the Seamen's Union of Australia, 1872-1972 (1981), Twentieth Century Australia: Conflict and Consensus (1987), and as co-editor, A Turbulent Decade: Social Protest Movements and the Labour Movement, 1965-1975 (2005). His most recent book, co-authored with Terry Irving, is Radical Sydney (2010). He sometimes describes himself as a Granger (Grey+Anger).

Councilor Jess Miller

Councilor Jess Miller

Jess was first elected to Council in 2016 and is one of the youngest people to hold elected office at the City of Sydney. Jess is currently deputy chair of the Environment Committee and the Cycling Advisory Committee and a member of the Cooks River Alliance Board, Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils and Sydney Coastal Councils Group.

Jess is also passionate about supporting Sydney's night time economy and the artists, musicians, small bar owners and venues that underpin it.

Jess is the program director at leading brand, sustainability and innovation company, Republic of Everyone. In her role she designs and leads collective impact programs, namely the 202020 Vision — an ambitious national program that works collaboratively to increase and improve urban green space by 20 per cent by 2020.

Jess is known for her creative and inclusive approaches to sustainability, strategy and innovation. Jess co-founded, GreenUps Sustainability Drinks, Grow it Local and the Elizabeth Street Gallery. She has worked on the Garage Sale Trail, Tweed Ride, and Grow Show — which featured an enormous veggie patch and education programs outside of Melbourne Town Hall.

For the last three years, Jess has curated the food program for TEDxSydney where she introduced 'Crowd-farming', 'Rebel Food' and 'Love Food'. Jess is passionate about the power of food to bring people together and celebrating local producers, and Sydney's food and drink, and was the curator of the General Thinking on the Streets of Barangaroo event series.

Jess sits on the Environment Panel for the Greater Sydney Commission, is a Weleda Biodiversity Ambassador, sits on the Parent Advisory Group of The Parenthood and was voted the Sydney Electorate's Woman of the Year in 2014. She was voted as a Reformer in the Sydney Magazine's Top 100 Most Influential People in 2012.

Her work has earned an Industry Innovation Award from the Property Council for the 202020 Vision, Good Design Award for Social Innovation, Australian Event Award for Best Achievement in Catering for TEDxSydney and Grow it Local Collaboration.

Kerri Glascock

Kerri Glasscock

CEO of Sydney Fringe, culture savior & venue rescuer- Venue 505, Old 505 Theatre

Kerri Glasscock is the founding co-director of artist run company 505 which rose to fame operating an underground performance space in Surry Hills. Thirteen years on, 505 now own and operate the legendary live music club Venue 505 in Surry Hills, and award-winning Old 505 Theatre in Newtown. Remaining entirely artist run and self-funded, they present over 350 performances/events a year. 

Beyond the walls of 505, Kerri Glasscock has worked in various roles in the Sydney arts scene as performer, director and theatre practitioner. In 2013, she was appointed as festival director/CEO of the Sydney Fringe Festival with a tenure till 2019. A vocal advocate for the independent sector, she has contributed to a number of key action plans and resulting policy reforms including the Lord Mayor of Sydney’s Live Music and Performance Task Force, a joint live music task force that is part of Marrickville and Leichhardt Councils. In her role at Sydney Fringe Festival she works extensively leading the way in temporary readaptive use of space for performance. 

In 2016 she directed the conception and launch of the Off Broadway Precinct for the Inner West Council and in 2015 managed a joint pilot between Sydney Fringe and the City of Sydney, examining the processes for pop-up performance spaces in empty retail shops. She also sits on the Board of Directors of the City Recital Hall Sydney and was included in the Sydney Morning Herald Sydney Magazine’s annual 100 Most Influential and Inspiring People List in 2011.

Will Tregoning

Will is a founder and director of Unharm, a campaigning organisation for wellbeing in a world with drugs, harm reduction and drug law. Will came to drug law reform from a background in drug and alcohol program evaluation, social policy research and communications consultancy. He completed a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours and a PhD in Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney before beginning a career as a research and evaluation consultant to Australian government departments and agencies.

Will’s professional experience made him aware of true scale, patterns and demographics of illicit drug consumption across Australia, and the lack of evidence of the effectiveness of the enforcement programs that receive the bulk of the Australian illicit drug budget. Since founding Unharm in 2014, he’s made regular media appearances calling for fair and pragmatic drug policy to reduce drug-related harm.


Event Details


Authors Terry Irving and Rowan Cahill believe radicalism still lurks beneath Sydney’s picture postcard veneer…we just have to find it. Through a series of snapshots of people, episodes, and places, Radical Sydney captures aspects of this ‘other’ Sydney. From anti-conscription protests during the Vietnam War, resident riots in Kings Cross, anarchists in Glebe, Gay Rights activism on Oxford Street and Black Power in Redfern, 20th century Sydney was an explosive place of marginalised ideas, bohemian neighborhoods, dissident politics and contentious action.

Are we still radical?

Host: James Valentine
Guests: Rowan Cahill, Kerri Glasscock, Councillor Jess Miller and Will Tregoning

For more details visit hiddensydney.com.au

This session is part of a curated season of raw and riveting 'in conversation' events featuring Kings Cross luminaries. Rub shoulders with artists, idealists and opportunists and hear fascinating stories about 'ungentrified' Sydney — the heady days of rock 'n' roll, free love, corruption, opportunity, sex and politics during the twentieth century. Presented over three weekends, Kings Bloody Cross will engage audiences with thrilling insight into the dirty half mile's people, bohemia and place. 

Curated by Olivia Ansell. 

Presented by Live Ideas and Working Management.

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