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The Politics of Everything

May 3, 2022

Cities are amazing – built environments full of diversity, energy, culture, and pace. What makes a city more liveable though as cities get more crowded, traffic intensifies, and people struggle to find affordable housing close to their schools, workplaces, and communities they know and love? Does a city need our refining to truly sing in 2022?

I am speaking today to Dr. Tammy Wong Hulbert – who I met almost 20 years ago when we worked together at Customs House on Sydney’s iconic harbourside foreshore. Now based in Victoria, an hour’s flight from Sydney Australia, Tammy has a real sense of what makes cities liveable.

Tammy is an artist, curator, and Senior Lecturer at RMIT University, School of Art, Master of Arts (Arts Management) specializing in curating. In 2021 she was the recipient of an Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools (ACUADS) Research Innovation Award.

Her research focuses on ‘curating inclusive cities’ enacted through collaborations with marginalized urban communities, to unearth and care for their perspectives and build citizen participation through exhibitions and public art projects. These methodologies stem from Tammy's art practice which focuses on expressing the multi-layered and fragmented spaces between cultures, a result of her position as a fourth-generation Australian of Chinese descent and living in a super-diverse and postcolonial society.

She has remained dedicated to increasing the dialogue around Australia’s relationship with Asian and Chinese communities through arts activity and has worked with a wide range of contemporary artists and communities in Australia and Asia in galleries, museums, and public spaces during her career.

Her most recent curatorial project was Becoming Home: Stories of Chinese Australians at ArtSpace Realm in Melbourne, Victoria (2022). She is currently working on an ARC Linkage project Vital Arts: Skilling young people for their futures awarded in 2021.


Hear Tammy discuss:

  1. What makes a city liveable and how do we know we are in one?
  2. Why is inclusiveness such a big part of a liveable city dynamic – any examples of good and bad models you can share?
  3. As a child of an immigrant family, what do you make of how transferable are “city living experiences” from one big city to another?
  4. Cities have become in some ways less vital during the Covid-19 pandemic where many people had to be in lockdown ad there was some movement globally away from traditional centres to more space, more affordable housing, and lifestyle changes – tree or sea change for example. How does that affect the viability of cities long term?
  5. Take away: What is your final takeaway message for us on The Politics of Liveable Cities?



To connect with Tammy: