History Lab
History Lab

History Lab

Impact Studios



History Lab || exploring the gaps between us and the past || This series is made in collaboration by the Australian Centre for Public History and Impact Studios at the University of Technology, Sydney.

Recent Episodes

3. Red Light Green Light
SEP 4, 2023
3. Red Light Green Light

In the rapidly gentrifying Darlinghurst of the 1980s, a turf war raged over one of its earliest trades. In this story, we visit the street corners and safe houses where sex workers competed for customers, looked out for each other and stood their ground. Along the way, veterans of the street-based trade describe a changing industry, sharing stories from the frontline of the fight for law reform and workers’ rights. 


If you would like to sign the petition to bring the statue of Joy back to Darlinghurst, visit http://tiny.cc/dfhavz 


Image: Woods Lane 1968 (Tribune negative; Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales courtesy SEARCH Foundation) 




This audio story is a production of the Australian Centre for Public History in partnership with the Paul Ramsay Foundation. 


Producer: Catherine Freyne 

Sound engineer: Judy Rapley 

Music: Blue Dot Sessions 

Archival: ABC Library Sales 



  • Julie Bates, veteran sex worker activist; Principal of Urban Realists Planning and Health Consultants. 
  • Chantell Martin, veteran sex worker; Co-CEO of Sex Workers Outreach Project. 
21 MIN