Clover's eNews - No 583

I was honoured today to welcome 304 people from 41 different nations to become Australian citizens.

This week I also farewelled Sydney Festival Director Lindy Hume who is leaving the post after three very successful years. Each director brings something of their own cultural bias and individual genius and Lindy certainly gave us a memorable and inspiring series of Festivals. Lieven Bertels is the new Director for Sydney Festival and I look forward to working closely with him.

I was proud to present the students who received the Dux medal and were inducted into the SRC for 2012 this morning at Sydney Girls High School. I believe it is important for women to hold leadership positions, and I hope these girls will apply their skills and intelligence to help build and strengthen our community.

Over the past 21 years Sydney Park has evolved from a former brickworks and rubbish tip into an urban oasis with nine hectares of gardens, a thriving wetland, more than 12km of tracks for walkers and bike riders and an award-winning, all abilities, playground.

I'm very proud of what the City has been able to achieve in Sydney Park and I am looking forward to celebrating this milestone with local residents and park visitors on Saturday from 2 to 4 pm. There will be coffee, cup cakes and entertainment for children and four legged friends. I hope to see you there.

The City works extremely hard to help homeless people in Sydney. We are the only council in Australia to have a dedicated Homelessness Unit and we are working to reduce the number of rough sleepers in our city by 25 per cent by 2013. Every year we rely on volunteers to help us conduct a Street Count to collect accurate and up to date information about the numbers of rough sleepers in our area.

If you would like to volunteer for our Street Count on Monday 20 February, please register at

The City's first Committee Meetings for 2012 will be held this Monday with around 33 items up for debate. Committee meetings are open to the public and held in Sydney Town Hall.

Sydney Mardi Gras celebrations begin this Sunday with Fair Day at Victoria Park. Dozens of stalls, great food and music will kick off an amazing calendar of events. It's great to welcome local hero Kylie Minogue back to the Mardi Gras Parade for the first time in 14 years. I wish everyone a happy and safe Mardi Gras 2012.

This week:

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