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The Festival of Place

Summer Night Walks

A place is so much more than the space it occupies. It’s the people, stories and connections that bring a place to life. In this series, Summer Night Walks, Tim Ross invites some leading public figures and those charged with planning our public spaces for the future to take him on a walk to a special place in their neighbourhoods that has had a lasting impact on them.

Summer Night Walks is proudly delivered as part of The Festival of Place, a year-long NSW Government program of virtual and physical events exploring, celebrating and reimagining our civic places. The Festival of Place also supports the Premier’s Priority to increase the proportion of homes in urban areas within 10 minutes’ walk of quality green, open and public space by 10 percent by 2023.

Tim Ross: Kelly’s Bush Park, Hunters Hill

Tim shares his connection to the history and stories of Kelly’s Bush Park, Hunters Hill, his favourite local public space. Filmed on land unceded by the Wallumedegal Clan, Kelly’s Bush Park has high local significance as a remnant of natural bushland located on the foreshores of the Parramatta River in Hunters Hill

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Andy Saunders: Saltwater National Park, Mid North Coast

Comedian Andy Sanders takes Tim to Saltwater National Park on the Mid North Coast. Filmed on Biripi land, the area is of immense cultural significance to the Biripi People. This is a place Andy’s family have been connected to for millennia, and which is now co-managed by the Aboriginal community, the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and local council. Andy’s mum, Aunty Pam Saunders, a Biripi Elder, also shares her memories of growing up here.

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Sara Mansour: Bankstown Arts Centre

The Bankstown Arts Centre is a cultural facility for artists and community groups to collaborate. It’s home to the largest poetry slam in Australia. In the video, filmed on Darug land, Sarah takes Tim to this important public space from which a community of poets has formed.

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Rob Stokes: Bungan Beach, Northern Beaches

Tim joins NSW's first ever Minister for Public Spaces, Rob Stokes, at Bungan Beach. He shares his connection with the 600m long surf beach and the area between Bungan and Mona Vale Heads that he became familiar with as a child and is now part of his local electorate of Pittwater. The video was filmed on Kurringgai land.

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Wendy Whiteley: Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden, Lavender Bay

Wendy and renowned artist, the late Brett Whiteley, set up their family home in Lavender Bay in 1970 and lived there together for two decades. Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden is now one of Sydney’s most loved public gardens for all to enjoy. The video is filmed on Gooweebahree land.

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Kurt Fearnley: Fernleigh Track, Newcastle

Tim meets Kurt at the 17km Fernleigh Track in Newcastle running along the old goods line on Awabakai land. The track is a shared space for rollers, runners, walkers and cyclists to be immersed in nature.

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Julia Baird: Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve

Julia shares her personal connection with water as she takes Tim on a walk around Cabbage Tree Bay. Her swim routine has bonded her to the bay, and sets the tone for her day, every day. Filmed on Gayemagal land, Julia shares her experience of feeling small in the wake of all the beauty and wonder nature has to offer.

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Jim Betts: Ballaarat Park, Pyrmont

Jim spends hours every weekend walking through Sydney, discovering every nook and cranny. Having never had a driver's licence, Jim sees the world through the eyes of the pedestrian and shares with Tim some of his favourite spots across Sydney, including this walk around Pyrmont, filmed on Gadigal land.

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