Community history, multicultural

  Travel at Home at the Sydney Murugan Temple.
  Travel at Home with Samoan dancers.

Travel at Home with the Sierra Leone community.

Travel at Home tours


‘Food for the mind and spirit’

Where can you participate in a Japanese tea ceremony? See dirty industrial sites transformed into parks and playgrounds? Find three Buddhist temples and an Orthodox church within walking distance of one another? Enjoy a feast prepared by Cambodian, Tanzanian or Polish ladies? Find hidden paths to ancient rock carvings?

Right here in Sydney. We show you new worlds on your doorstep.
Travel at Home tours put people in touch with one another, face to face, on their home grounds. From Mosman Community College, groups travel by coach to churches, temples and community centres, parks, markets and gardens, clubs, businesses and historical sites to see how people work, play, celebrate and worship. Through discussion, performance, experience and demonstration we find out about Australia’s many communities.

Travel at Home tours are collaborations between communities and Diana Giese, who has for decades worked with groups all over Australia, through projects which have produced oral histories, books, videos, radio programs and exhibitions. ‘In every community there are a few key people, movers and shakers, motivators and organisers, who get things going and keep them happening,’ she says. ‘We work with them to get together an enjoyable and informative day out.’

Each tour, held on a weekend day, gives participants the opportunity to meet new people and discover different places and experiences. People come from all over Sydney– and beyond. Many become regular participants. There are husbands and wives and groups of friends. Their backgrounds reflect the diverse cultures of our city: Chinese, Greek, Indian, Estonian and Scottish.

Here are some of the Travel at Home participants’ comments:

‘A must-see eye-opener to unknown Sydney’

‘A thriving community, full of surprises’

‘So well prepared, so passionate, so involved’

‘Interesting human historical facts and explanations of place names’

‘It’s good to explore. This was the first time I’d seen these places. Very knowledgeable guides’

‘I really appreciated moving out of my comfort zone. Very well organised, and with congenial people’

Diana Giese worked in Uganda, travelled through East and West Africa and has since lived, worked and explored Europe, Asia and the USA. Her work across communities for educational institutions, museums and libraries at national, state and local level is reflected in several of her books and many of her articles.

She organises public programs with Sydney communities:  Travel at Home cultural tours (2004-present, Mosman Community College); Reclaiming the Past and Changing Sydney tours (1996-2001 at the Museum of Sydney); and Living Library (2002-04, Fairfield Libraries). This work has produced Web material, reports, pictures, articles and media coverage, and involved hundreds of participants.

Of the After the Olympics tour on 25 May 2013, one participant wrote: There's so much variety to discover in the Homebush area. Perfect number of activities today. Really good guides. Another said: What a change in the area since I volunteered there for the Sydney Olympics. One of our guides, Ranger Judy Harrington commented: A very pleasant group. It is a pleasure talking with people who are interested (and interesting).


Click to enlarge. Pictures courtesy Daphne and Dom Gonzalvez , Stan Hoy and Anne Woodcock

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