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events @ paperchain


The House That Jack Built
James Colman - Thu 29 Jun 2017

NewSouth Publishing and Paperchain Bookstore invite you to hear James Colman speak about his book The House That Jack Built: Jack Mundey, Green Bans hero

Jack Mundey will be a special guest at this event.

Thursday June 29
5.45 for 6.00pm

Telephone 6295 6723 or

This is the story of how an ordinary bloke from the bush became the key figure in a movement that would change the shape of our cities and bring about lasting political and legal reform. This is the story of the house that Jack Mundey built.
Without the green bans movement of the 1970s, Sydney and many other cities would look very different. Pulling together an unlikely alliance of environmentalists and union players earned Jack Mundey a reputation as both the ‘best-known unionist and best-known conservationist in Australia’.
Under his leadership, the movement fought against the slash-and-burn philosophy that almost saw The Rocks fitted out with high-rise buildings, a highway through the centre of Glebe and total development of Centennial Park. In this long-awaited book James Colman reflects on Jack’s remarkable life and his ongoing legacy. Mundey overturned the bulldozer mentality of the 1960s and 1970s and helped to persuade Australians everywhere to cherish and protect the hertitage of special buildings, places and sites.

James (Jim) Colman is a Sydney-based architect, planner and part-time university lecturer. From an initial intensive period of architectural practice in Sydney, Papua New Guinea, UK and Ghana, he later moved into urban design and town planning. His urban and rural projects have frequently taken him overseas and to many locations in Australia.
Early heritage studies in NSW and Victoria led to what became a long-standing commitment to the protection of built heritage and the natural environment. He taught at seven east-coast universities at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. As a freelancer, he has written extensively for the professional and popular press, work for which he was awarded the 1995 George Munster Prize by the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism at the University of Technology, Sydney.
James Colman is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects and the Planning Institute of Australia. From 2006-2011 he served as a Vice President of the International Society of City and Regional Planners. Currently he maintains a small consulting practice coupled with occasional teaching assignments at UNSW, University of Sydney, and WSU.

"My final year Architecture dissertation was on the fine colonial architecture of NSW. Then, after six years working and studying overseas, I returned in 1966 to the frenzied building boom in Sydney that saw dozens of great heritage buildings fall to the bulldozer. Incensed, I got involved in the 1960’s controversy surrounding the NSW Government’s proposal to redevelop The Rocks area in Sydney. That is how I first met Jack Mundey.
Since then I have followed his career with growing interest and admiration … and enjoyed the privilege of friendship with Jack and his wife Judy. Jack’s achievements and impact on the heritage conservation and environmental movement nationwide is unique in Australia. It is a story that had to be told: no-one else had tried … so why not me?
I never saw it as a biography: rather as a narrative linking Jack’s achievements to what was happening in the wider world of environmental politics, grass roots activism, and environmental law.
Jack Mundey’s message of the Green Bans era remains as relevant today as it was then. I hope this book will bring that message home to today’s readers in Australia and beyond. If this hope is realised, the book will have fulfilled its purpose."

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