The Convent

A City finds its Heart

Stuart Kells
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The Convent

Published

3 March 2020

ISBN

9780522876598

Pages

193

Weight

322g

Size

233mm x 153mm

Imprint

Miegunyah Press

The Convent

A City finds its Heart

Stuart Kells
From nunnery to eatery and cultural epicentre, trace the vibrant history of the national treasure.
What was behind the wall and the wire? The local people knew . . . fine courtyards . . . an old swimming pool . . . dilapidated tennis courts and a remnant garden, now wild and sprawling. The Abbotsford Convent was this haunted place, left to languish for years after the last of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd had gone. In its prime it had been a school, a refuge, a retreat, a workhouse and a prison - the single largest charitable institution in the southern hemisphere. In the late 1990s a proposed high-density development threatened the idyllic riverside location, sparking outrage in the local community and further afield. Years of protesting, negotiating and fundraising followed and the convent, now on Australia's National Heritage List, has started a new life as a vibrant centre for art and culture. The Convent: A City Finds its Heart tells the…
What was behind the wall and the wire? The local people knew . . . fine courtyards . . . an old swimming pool . . . dilapidated tennis courts and a remnant garden, now wild and sprawling. The Abbotsford Convent was this haunted place, left to languish for years after the last of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd had gone. In its prime it had been a school, a refuge, a retreat, a workhouse and a prison - the single largest charitable institution in the southern hemisphere. In the late 1990s a proposed high-density development threatened the idyllic riverside location, sparking outrage in the local community and further afield. Years of protesting, negotiating and fundraising followed and the convent, now on Australia's National Heritage List, has started a new life as a vibrant centre for art and culture. The Convent: A City Finds its Heart tells the story of the site's rich history and the efforts to preserve it. It is an uplifting tale of community activism - a tangible reminder that the magic of the past can endure and what people-power can achieve.

Commendation, Victorian Community History Award 'Local History - Small Publication Award' 2020

Stuart Kells

Stuart Kells

Stuart Kells has written on a wide range of subjects including libraries, intellectual property, economic regulation, professional services, financial markets and diamond mining. His shorter works have been published around the world including in Smithsonian, The Paris Review, The Guardian and The Times. At the University of Melbourne he won the Desmond Cleary Prize in Financial Economics and the KPMG Prize in Taxation Law. He received the National Australia Bank Scholarship in…

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Paperback
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Other formats available