Historic site opened to public for Heritage Festival
Up to 1,000 people are expected to take part in a “day of discovery” at Parramatta North’s heritage core this Saturday as part of the 2019 Australian Heritage Festival.
The family day is a great opportunity for the public to discover the formerly hidden site which has a rich and controversial past.
“Parramatta North is an amazing precinct that weaves together the stories of Aboriginal Australia, colonial heritage, institutionalisation and our culturally diverse communities,” said UrbanGrowth NSW Development Corporation Chief Executive Barry Mann.
“For the second year we are opening up this unique site to the public as part of our program to help bring the nationally listed heritage core to life and showcase our history.
“We want this to be a celebration of Parramatta’s past, present and future in collaboration with our community partners.”
The festival will feature great food, live music, children’s activities, inspiring history talks, music and walking tours that delve into Parramatta’s incredible history.
The program also includes an Aboriginal smoking ceremony and dance performance, a walking tour through Parramatta by the National Trust, weaving workshop, arts and craft for kids, a henna artist, old fashioned games, a talk from flying fox rescuers, a pottery workshop and petting farm. There will also be a bilingual children’s performance in Hindi and English by local social enterprise, Spellbound Storytime.
Last December, UrbanGrowth NSW called for submissions from individuals and organisations, including start-ups and arts and cultural heritage groups, to register their interest in partnering with the NSW Government to realise a new vision and place identity for one of Western Sydney’s most unique sites.
“From our extensive conversations and consultations with the community a new vision is emerging, one that identifies the area as a place for people to connect, that acknowledges living and past histories, and tells the Aboriginal story of the place. It is also a place where everyone’s welcome,” Mr Mann said.
“Our vision is to create a vibrant place that is future focused, respects the rich indigenous, colonial and institutional past, conserves the heritage buildings and contributes to Parramatta’s growth and strategic importance.”
Recently the NSW Government’s restoration program for the site was shortlisted for a National Trust Heritage Awards in the conservation category. More than $20 million has been spent on refurbishing several historic buildings, requiring the use of rare and fast-disappearing heritage trades to make the buildings safe, secure and weatherproof.