Reconciliation Park Opening

(11.30am, George & James Streets, Redfern)

Thank you, Stephen, [Gilby] and hello, everyone. Welcome to this refurbished park.

There are more than 330 small parks and playgrounds across the City area and we're constantly upgrading them for everyone to enjoy.

This one is special for me. I stood for South Sydney Council in the early 80's because our area was neglected especially its park.

When work began to create the park on this vacant corner, I lobbied to get a community mural painted by the Public Art Squad on the terrace wall. It was called Think Globally Act Locally and it became joint winner of the 1985 Sulman Prize for Art.

When the park was upgraded again in 1997, it was named Reconciliation Park in acknowledgement of the special place that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have in this country and of our on-going commitment to bringing about that reconciliation.

And when we embarked on this new upgrade in 2012, we asked students at Darlington Public School for their ideas, some of which are incorporated here.

So there is a new playground with a lovely bespoke tree house that includes a perforated roof, a slide, monkey bars and swings.

We've provided more seating and places to relax, including sandstone and brick terraces which can be play space or seating.

The lawn area is for general recreation - and dog walking and the whole area is finished with new trees and shrubs.

This is now a wonderful space for our diverse community, especially families with young children.

I thank everyone who worked to make it a reality:

  • Jane Irwin, Landscape Architect, who designed the park
  • Fiona Robbe, Landscape Architect, who ran the students ideas session and produced the play equipment design
  • Wilson Pederson Landscapes, our trusty construction team and
  • Lisa Dodd and Roxana Vlack from our City Projects team.

You've all done a great job and I'm proud to open this beautifully refurbished space.