Film, Song & Recordings

    Film & Green Bans (1971-1984)

    Chips Mackinolty, poster for Remember Mick Fowler, 1979.
    Chips Mackinolty, Rocking the Foundations: A History of the NSW Builders Labourers Federation 1947-1974. Poster by Pat Fiske. View opening sequence
    Rocking the Foundations: A History of the NSW Builders Labourers Federation 1947-1974. Poster by Pat Fiske. Digitally Remastered by the National Film and Sound Archive as part of the NFSA Restores program. View here

    Films

    Rocking the Foundations: History of the New South Wales Builder's Labourer's Federation, 1940-1974

    Pat Fiske the filmmaker and one of the first women builder's labourers at the time of the Green Bans, conducted contemporaneous interviews with Mundey and other BLs leaders. An outstanding historical account of the Green Bans first introduced by the New South Wales Builders Labourers Federation in the 1970s to preserve inner- city parkland and historic buildings. Pat Fiske traces the development of a singular union whose social and political activities challenged the notion of what a union should be. The esteemed Australian documentary maker, Bob Connolly, worked with Pat Fiske on the editing and narration of the opening sequence — a quote by Bertold Brecht — and it is both poetic and political in its promise. The use of wind sound effects, melodic music, gentle narration and rhythmic editing are at odds with the more strident presentation of unionism, strikes and activism that were usually associated with left-wing actions of the time.

    Film notes: Released as “Rocking the Foundations: History of the New South Wales Builders Labourer’s Federation, 1940-1974”, director Pat Fiske, 1985. Producer, director, narrator Pat Fiske
. Cinematographers Martha Ansara, Fabio Cavadini
. Editors Stewart Young, Jim Stevens, Pat Fiske
. Sound Lawrie Fitzgerald Music Davood Tabrizi
. Narration written by Graham Pitts, Pat Fiske. Script and Research Pat Fiske
. Produced by Bower Bird Films, Sydney. Digitally Restored by the National Film and Sound Archive as part of the NFSA Restores program.
    Reviews of Rocking the Foundations:

    "Documentary? Just call it cinema. … A miracle of orchestration." 
- Sylvia Lawson, Inside Story, 31 October 2014

    “An exhilarating and complete account of the Green Bans - one of the most important developments in union history. An uplifting film for the sheer energy of the people involved.” - John Hinde, ABC  Radio.
    Rocking the Foundations: History of the New South Wales Builder's Labourer's Federation, 1940-1974
    Waterloo, 1981. Director Tom Zubrycki.
    Tom Zubrycki who made the documentary Waterloo in 1981. While studying Sociology, Zubrycki became inspired by the Canadian Challenge for Change scheme, which used film and video to empower local communities. In 1974 the Whitlam Labor government funded 12 video access resource centres across Australia which were modelled on the Canadian scheme. Zubrycki eventually became a leading player in the development of the community video in Australia before switching to direct his first feature documentary. Through the 70’s Zubrycki became an active member of the Sydney Filmmakers Co-operative and served on the editorial board of Filmnews. His first two films Waterloo and Kemira – Diary Of A Strike were distributed by the Co-op. Over the course of his career, Zubrycki has directed 16 documentaries. most of them feature-length, produced another 20, and executive produced 2.

    Review of Waterloo by Gay Hawkins, SHELTER Magazine - https://www.tomzubrycki.com/articles/waterloo

    Music

    Photo of Vinyl EP for Green Bans Forever, Concrete And Glass
    Green Bans Forever, Concrete And Glass
    Green Bans Forever, Concrete and Glass

    Recorded and Produced by Michael Vidale, 1976, EMI Sydney.

    This was a project put together by Mick Fowler for the Firemen and Deckhands Union for their protest movement in Sydney 1975.
    Seamus Gill and Denis Kevans, Across the Western Suburbs, 1973. The song is also known as Concrete and Glass and was recorded under that name by Mick Fowler and his jazz band Green Ban'd in 1979.

    Sound Recordings

    Mick Fowler by Sites & Sounds
    Mick Fowler led the resident protest against Victoria Heights, resulting in one of the more violent and sinister clashes against developers during Sydney's building boom in the early 1970s. Recordings sourced from ABC Archives for ABC Sydney Sidetracks, released under Creative Commons BY-Attribution license for ABC Pool, 2010.
    Victoria St Soundwalk by Sites & Sounds
    Soundwalk produced for research purposes (PhD). Deals with the history of Victoria St and the wider Green Bans in Sydney during the early 1970s. Produced in 2008; for more info see sitesandsounds.net.au
    Juanita Nielsen Interview by Sites & Sounds
    Juanita Nielsen Interview. ABC Radio Interview, 1974.

    Archives

    National Film and Sound Archive
    Interviews with Mick Fowler, Frank Theeman, Jack Mundey and local residents sourced from Woolloomooloo (Pat Fiske, 1978). National Film and Sound Archive. Across the Western Suburbs We Must Wander performed by Mick Fowler and the Fowlhouse Five. Seamus Gill and Denis Kevans 1973. National Film and Sound Archive.

    About

    On the 50th anniversary of the Green Bans, the ideals of their struggle to protect heritage and environmental amenity for all to enjoy are more urgent than ever. In 2011 the Green Bans Art Walk and Exhibition (in two parts at The Cross Art Projects and The Firstdraft Depot Project Space), told the story of an inspired period, its charismatic leaders and grass-roots heroes. The project comprised a series of public guided walks between the exhibition venues functioned as a living instruction manual and moral compass charting stories of good and evil, creativity and conflict. Read more

    Now

    The Powerhouse Museum Alliance is a group of concerned citizens working to save the Powerhouse Museum in Ultimo. The Alliance includes longstanding benefactors of the museum, former trustees, design and heritage experts and senior museum professionals. Read more