‘The central focus of my life’: Roselands and Youth Culture in the 1960s

Matthew Bailey


This article explores aspects of the early history of Roselands, a large regional shopping centre built in the municipality of Canterbury in the early 1960s. Evidence is drawn from archival and media sources, as well as an online survey designed to capture the recollections of Sydney residents about the city’s shopping centre history. The article explores the ways in which local youth engaged with the shopping centre, what it meant to them and how they used it. The article further considers how the evidence of this usage might make us reimagine the shopping centre itself, arguing that despite their sheer facades and interiority there is a degree of porousness between local communities and major retail developments.


Roselands; shopping centres; youth; consumer culture; consumer behaviour; retailing; Sydney; Grace Bros; department stores

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