Millers Point

 – a community in change

This program supports the Geography 5A2 Topic Changing Australian Communities and focuses on the inner city suburb of Millers Point as an example of a community undergoing considerable change.

The urban village of Millers Point has traditionally been characterised by a strong working class population residing in public housing (originally Maritime Services Board housing). With the encroachment into the suburb of high rise apartment towers on its southern fringe, the Walsh Bay development in the north and Barangaroo in the west, the suburb’s demographic profile is rapidly changing with associated pressures on the existing working class residents.

Through participation in this program, students will investigate:

  • the suburb’s physical and human Geography
  • Factors contributing to the community’s sense of identity
  • Factors causing change (including demographic change, changing nature and patterns of work, globalisation and government policies) and the perceptions of various stakeholders to key issues
  • Community responses to change including the actions of community groups

Program Format

By participating in the program, students will:

  • Use secondary data resources before their fieldwork to familiarise themselves with the suburb’s physical and human geography
  • View an overview presentation to consolidate fieldwork goals
  • Complete a land use transect and mapping exercise to orientate themselves to the study area
  • Visit Parbury archaeological ruins to learn about the suburb’s history
  • Visit a number of study sites throughout the suburb to compare and contrast housing quality, and social and cultural amenity, of traditional housing areas with more recent developments like Walsh Bay
  • Observe key stakeholders involved in change in the suburb, the geographic processes operating in the suburb and issues associated with change
  • Follow up their fieldwork by completing a post fieldwork activity and report



BDAThe centre gratefully acknowledges the generous support of this program from Lend Lease and the Barangaroo Delivery Authority.

Risk Assessment Pro Forma – Millers Point

Before and After Fieldwork Activities

Summary of Learning Sites, Activities and Student Outcomes

Learning Site Activity Student Outcomes

Students will be able to:

Fieldwork in Action
In your classroom 1. Pre-visit activities

Background data collection and analysis from secondary sources to prepare for fieldwork investigation including:

  • locating the suburb on a map
  • studying physical changes in the suburb over time
  • researching the suburb’s demographic profile
  • identifying current issues affecting the suburb

identify gather and evaluate geographic information


Observatory Hill EEC
2. Introduction 

Orientation to study area and recap on the suburb’s main characteristics, issues and reasons for change.

Recognise the link between pre-visit tasks and the fieldwork program.  IMG_2201
Observatory Hill Park
3. Mapping Skills
Complete a mapping exercise on Observatory Hill
Develop mapping skills and orient themselves within the study area.


Lower Fort St


4. Land use transect
Complete a transect using land-use classifications.
Use a transect to recognise and record a variety of landuses.


Parbury Ruins



5. Parbury Ruins
Visit Parbury Ruins to learn about the suburb’s history and past uses
Appreciate the heritage value of the suburb and describe factors causing change in the community.


Walsh Bay to BDA

6. Community Assessment study
Visit a number of study sites in traditional and recently developed precincts to identify and assess housing quality, typical residents, social and cultural amenity, geographic processes and community issues.
Apply fieldwork techniques, recognise urban processes and synthesise primary and secondary geographical information to appreciate reasons for change in the community.


7. Follow-Up post fieldwork activity and report

Complete an activity to identify key stakeholders in a community issue and develop an Action Research Report based on the primary and secondary data gathered.

Sympathise with key stakeholders in a community issue and reflect on the meaning of citizenship.

Communicate a logical argument and produce a research report to answer the fieldwork question.


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