On the weekend I was very pleased to open the newly refurbished Reconciliation Park in Redfern.
I was first compelled to run for South Sydney Council because I was concerned about the lack of parks in our local area. Creating this space was one of the first things I did as a Redfern Ward Alderman, so it is a special park for me.
I worked with local residents and South Sydney Council to build the initial park and playground on vacant land bounded by George, James and William streets in Redfern. I worked with David Humphreys and Rodney Monk, who were known as the Public Art Squad, to create a community mural in the park titled 'Think Globally Act Locally'. The mural jointly won the Sir John Sulman Prize for art in 1985.
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.
When we embarked on this new upgrade in 2012, we asked students at Darlington Public School for their ideas, some of which are incorporated. There is a new playground with a lovely bespoke tree house that includes a perforated roof, a slide, monkey bars and swings.
The new playground and the relaxing green space makes for 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.
There are more than 330 small parks and playgrounds across the City area and we're constantly upgrading them for everyone to enjoy.