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Dharaggang Park recognises Wolli Creek’s Aboriginal heritage

Callan Morse -

A previously vacant site in inner city Sydney has been transformed into a recreational park, carrying a name recognising the area's Aboriginal heritage.

Located in the south Sydney suburb of Wolli Creek, the new park, set to be known as Dharaggang Park - meaning river in Dharawal - acknowledges the four clans understood to have lived around the river; the Darug, Bidjigal, Gameygal, and Cadigal peoples.

In addition to its Indigenous naming, Dharaggang Park also features a mural, titled 'Reflection', designed by Indigenous artists Maddison Gibbs and Jason Wing which gives the park a splash of colour on its nine meter high wall.

Gibbs, a proud Gunu Baakandji woman and Wing, a Chinese-Biripi artist collaborated on the commissioned work, responding to stories by Aunty Barb Simms that explore how the river provides, the river transports and the river is time, creating the mural that highlights the significant Aboriginal heritage around Wolli Creek.

Indigenous artists Maddison Gibbs and Jason Wing co-designed Dharaggang Park's mural. (Image: supplied, Bayside Council)

Both are experienced practising artists with Gibbs' practise examining dual histories, particularly focusing on stories of past and present Aboriginal societies and spirits whilst Wing has a background on dual history public art which activate cultural stories and histories whilst providing an educational focus.

Dharaggang Park features a variety of infrastructure encouraging physical activity, including numerous shaded plays paces for all ages, multi-purpose active space with basketball hoops, fitness equipment, a ping pong table and grassed area for informal games.

Picnic shelters and tables, seating landscaping, lighting, and footpath improvements to nearby Mt Olympus Drive have also added to the park's vibrancy.

Bayside Council mayor, Bill Saravinovski said Dharaggang Park is a welcome addition to Wolli Creek, giving residents access to open space for generations to come.

The Council purchased the land in Guess Avenue from the NSW Government, with the park's design receiving input from residents.

The mural features symbols reflective of Dharawal culture. (Image: supplied, Bayside Council)

New South Wales Minister for Lands and Property, Steve Kamper, said the new park was a gift for the local community just in time for the summer festive season.

This is a great example of repurposing an unused NSW government-owned site into vital green space that will serve this wonderful community," Mr Kamper said.

"Wolli Creek is one of the fastest growing communities in Sydney, and it is important that any increase in residential development is supported with quality public open spaces such as this."

The park opens on Wednesday with an official ceremony planned in the new year.


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