What’s On

**POSTPONED** From the Majestic to the Mundane with Richard White (Going Places #2)

**POSTPONED** From the Majestic to the Mundane with Richard White (Going Places #2)

Date & Time

March 24, 2020 - 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm

**This event is POSTPONED until further notice** Please watch this space for new information.

From the Majestic to the Mundane — Australia’s Spas from Past to Present

The Hydro Majestic, created in 1904 by retail giant Mark Foy, was the epitome of Australia’s spa culture. With no expense spared on lavish décor, a hydropathy clinic with a German doctor, and luxuries and mod cons such as Turkish coffee and a telephone in every room, it thrived as a retreat for the rich and famous well into the 1920s and 1930s.

Science and notions of cosmopolitanism sparked the popularity of spas in Australia from the 1860s. Yet the sophistication of the Hydro was not apparent in other spas which were generally more inclusive and democratic.

Although spas great and small went into decline from the middle of the 20th century, they have experienced a remarkable revival in the 21st, influenced by several factors, not least the commodification of their history.

Travel historian Richard White surveys the history of  a range of mineral spas in Australia and dips into some of the many excellent Australian spas in operation today.



**Event is POSTPONED until further notice**

As a precaution to slow the spread of Covid-19, we have decided to cancel all SMSA’s public events and member groups in March. Talks will be rescheduled to a future date TBC. The Library will remain open and Venue Hire is business as usual. 

Going Places!

This talk is part of our Going Places! lecture series which will keep you informed on all things travel-related. We’ll explore topics such as interesting places to travel in Australia, how to be a socially conscious tourist and travel ethically, and more. And we’ll also delve into what travel looked like in the past, starting with voyaging in style on the glamorous ocean liners of the past, and even discovering what travel was like in the Ancient World.

Associate Professor Richard White

Richard White taught Australian history and the history of travel and tourism at the University of Sydney from 1989 to 2013. His publications include Inventing AustraliaThe Oxford Book of Australian Travel Writingand On Holidays: A History of Getting Away in Australia. He was co-editor of the journal History Australiafrom 2008 to 2013 and is currently working on the history of ‘history tourism’ in Australia and a new edition of Symbols of Australia(co-edited with Melissa Harper).

Past Event

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What’s On at SMSA

Date & Time

March 24, 2020 - 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm


Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts, Pitt Street, Sydney NSW, Australia

Mitchell Theatre

280 Pitt Street Sydney NSW 2000

Level 3


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