Whitehall: House Of History

Lauren Perry

Abstract


The building "Whitehall" in the Manly-Balgowlah community has had numerous uses over time, from being the residence of Australia's first prime minister in the late 19th Century to its contemporary function as a place of gathering for the Norwegian Church Abroad. This article explores how the shift in purpose of Whitehall over time has shaped the identities of the people who interact with the site, as well as raising issues of the interplay between tradition and modernity present in the local community: The heritage listing of Whitehall offers an interesting insight into the importance of protecting the physicality of history and memory in Western traditions, whilst the changing uses of the site suggest a constant evolution of the values in multicultural Australia today. Through the lenses of archival research, personal interviews and published literature, this article examines Whitehall in a way that acknowledges the cultural, political and emotional significance of the building and its role in creating a sense of collective belonging through shared memories and experiences within the local community.


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