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

Main Article Content

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.

Article Details

Author Biography

Matthew Bailey, Macquarie University

Matt Bailey coordinates Open University Australia modern history units in the Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations at Macquarie University. Matt has published in a number of academic journals and has contributed chapters to books on consumer and retail history. He was a co-organiser of the Talk About Town urban oral history conference held at the State Library of Victoria in 2009, and co-editor of the special edition of History Australia that it produced in 2010. Matt has an ongoing research interest in urban and oral history, as well as in histories of consumer culture.