The paper (‘Unsettled: The Afterlife of the Newcastle Post Office’) is about the fraught existence of the Newcastle Post Office building. It was sold by Australia Post in 2002 and was empty for many years, becoming increasingly dilapidated.
It’s a landmark in central Newcastle and of state heritage significance. The Awabakal Local Aboriginal Land Council successfully claimed the land in 2015. The paper examines the intertwining of heritage and Aboriginal land rights in NSW via the politics and legal processes connected with the building.
Ultimately, the paper argues that the building’s story and its condition highlight the haunted character of all settler heritage in Australia and the troubled claims of place-based citizenship that relate to it. Congratulations, Anna.