Love Your Park Celebration

(12.30pm, 12 Nov 2011, M. J. Dougherty Reserve, Mitchell Street, Glebe)

Hello, everyone, it's great to be here. I'd like firstly to acknowledge the traditional custodians of our land, and to pay my respects to the Elders, both past and present.

And I want to acknowledge all the artists - what a wonderful job you have done. Congratulations to you all! The tiles have added such colour and life to the walls. I know some of them have particular meanings and I hope the artists who made them will show us their work more closely and describe them for us.

The Love Your Park project was made possible by the combined efforts of many people:

  • Karen Weiss, who guided the project, is a ceramic artist who has done a lot of community work. Thank you, Karen, for your guidance, your creativity and you good cheer
  • The Glebe Community Action Group, especially Annie Atkinson who initiated the project
  • The Glebe and Redfern Neighbourhood Centres and Council's park management staff
  • The Glebe Society for auspicing the project and helping the artists
  • The University of NSW for the use of their kilns to fire the tiles and
  • Most importantly, the neighbours for their support - especially Paul and Gary for providing barbecue lunches for the hungry artists and finally
  • The children who live here, their parents and local residents

We've just been celebrating Art & About across the City and this is a wonderful and permanent continuation of it and a great reflection of the diverse community of Glebe.

We were really happy to support it through our matching grants scheme.

I know you have plans for a second project, a mural on the wall at the corner of Mitchell and Glebe Streets and I'll look forward to seeing that.

I believe that many of you came to the three workshops held here in the Reserve - the first to design and make the tiles; the second to paint them; and the third to do the time-consuming job of installing them onto the walls.

It's a fantastic result and shows what can be achieved when a community works together. And it shows what can be done by people to beautify their own environment.

The park certainly looks loved! The artists should be proud of their achievement and I ask you all now to join me in congratulating them.

Here's to the artists!

And now I'd like to invite Annie Atkinson to tell us some more about the project.