Soapbox Speakers

In the media


Student videos from Sydney colleges.
Each year around May we get clusters of students filming the speakers. These future film-makers promise to email us their final product. You can see all their promised videos directly below.
Actually, you can’t. So far, we haven’t received one video. Thanks guys.

Except for this one, by Amy Gore.

Radio:  ABC Radio National’s ‘Hindsight’ created a radio documentary about a speaker in the early 1900s, who was sent to jail and to asylums for his outspoken views on sex. To promote the program they filmed an actor representing Chidley – Nigel Kellaway. Their video is no longer available. Here is some footage taken by someone else:

Newspaper clippings:
(1)   11 March, 2011      The Sydney Morning Herald provides a clipping about Speakers’ Corner, Sydney.

(2)   24 January, 1888   From The Sydney Morning Herald‘:
 ‘… the Sydney Outer Domain is occupied on Sunday afternoons by a dozen assemblies of the most diverse schools of religious thought, from the narrowest Calvinism to the most comprehensive latitudinarianism. They preach and argue and wrangle, a little noisily perhaps, but with the greatest good-humour, until tea-time, then go decorously home satisfied with having begun the week well. All visitors to Sydney should spend a Sunday afternoon in the Outer Domain if they would witness the fierce blaze of light a person can throw upon a subject of which he may know little.’
(From ‘Discovering the Domain’ by Shirley Colless)

(3) 2nd Feb, 2018    The Australian Muslim Times has the article: “At Speakers’ Corner We All Have a Voice“, by Philip Feinstein.

(1) ‘A Sydney Summer

(2) ‘Scratching Sydney’s Surface

(3) A review from Yelp 

(4) Sage Sometimes.

(1)The Domain Speaker by Victor Zammit.  Victor would be particularly pleased to know his book is held in ASIO’s library. (Unfortunately it’s not available to the public, but there is a copy in the State Library which is.)

(2) ‘Discovering the Domain’, edited by Edwin Wilson, research by Shirley Colless.

(3) ‘Soapbox Oratory (The History of Soapbox Oratory)’ by Stephen Maxwell. It’s found in the
City Library  
and in The National Library of Australia (though check with the library first).
Stephen is one of our current speakers, and has three copies left for sale. $10 each. Ring him on 02 97135780

(4)  The Speakers  by Heathcote Williams. This book is about the speakers in London’s Hyde Park Speakers’ Corner, but it does talk extensively about John Webster. (He spoke there as well as in Sydney’s Domain).

(5) “The Outside ‘In’ Place”, by Daniel Ford. It’s a book of photos taken in 1970 and 1971. Here are a few examples. (Bear in mind that these photos are low resolution (for quick web display). The printed and e-Book versions are high resolution.)

Photo under the copyright of Daniel Ford.

More of Daniel’s photos are in the photo gallery.

Daniel’s book is A4  80gsm double-sided laser-printed, with laminated covers, comb-bound.
Hard copy: including postage: $26
PDF file (via download link): $12
To get a copy contact Daniel:

Youtube documentary:

(1) Film of Melbourne’s Yarra Bank.

(2) In 1972, film-maker Peter Marjason made a documentary about John Webster, called “Webster’s Domain”. He has generously given us permission to present it.

And thank you to The Rationalists for sponsoring the film’s digitisation. The Supremacy of Reason!

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