Congratulations to Marrickville Council for recently installing new signage in Richardson’s Lookout – Marrickville Peace Park. Refer to the photos of the signage below.
The original proposal to have Richardson’s Lookout re-named a Peace and Reconciliation Park was initiated by the Gallipoli Centenary Peace Campaign (GCPC) in early 2014 in anticipation of the Gallipoli Centenary commemoration in April 2015.1
The reasons for this initiative were set out in GCPC’s Mission Statement which stated:
“The Gallipoli Centenary Peace Campaign does not believe that Australia as a nation was born in war. We honour and respect all Australians who have died and suffered in war both overseas and in Australia’s frontier wars and respect the contribution and suffering of their families and loved ones. We also honour and respect all those who have pursued the path of non-violent resolution of national and international conflicts.
We appreciate that many young Australians died and were wounded at Gallipoli. We deeply regret the tragic loss of life in the killing fields of the First World War. This and other wars have had terrible consequences not only for the soldiers but for their loved ones and descendants, and for Australian society generally. The experience of war encourages us to redouble our efforts in peacemaking and peacebuidling.”2
Richardson’s Lookout was chosen as an appropriate site for a Peace and Reconciliation Park because of its historic value to Aboriginal people, represented by the three story poles and the ‘Looking Out’ installation present, as well as the park’s use for National Sorry Day events and the significance of its military and settler histories.3
Early support for the proposal came from members of Pax Christi (NSW), Marrickville Residents for Reconciliation, Marrickville Peace Group, Marrickville Greens and the Cooks River Valley Association. GCPC also collected several hundred signatures on two separate petitions at a number of local street stalls to help promote its campaign. Council also consulted widely with the local community on the proposal.
In April this year, Council officially endorsed the re-naming of Richardson’s Lookout as ‘Richardson’s Lookout – Marrickville Peace Park’. GCPC’s preferred name, ‘Richardson’s Lookout – Marrickville Peace and Reconciliation Park’ was deemed too long to be registered by the Geographical Names Board.
Soon after the official re-naming, Council erected temporary signage at two sites within the park – one on the eastern side and the other on the western side – and proceeded to consult with stakeholders with respect to the content of the permanent signage.
On Friday, 18th September 2015 council workers replaced the temporary signage with permanent signage having received feedback on the text from a number of groups including GCPC and Marrickville Aboriginal Consultative Committee (MAAC).
It is particularly pleasing to see that the new signage acknowledges the role of Pemulwuy as a leader of Aboriginal resistance to European invasion and the dispossession of the Indigenous people.
It is GCPC’s sincere hope that the re-naming of Richardson’s Lookout – Marrickville Peace Park will inspire us all to become more resolute about peace and, in particular, to do what we can to promote peace-making, peace-keeping and humanitarian security, both nationally and internationally.
1. Refer to GCPC’s original ‘Peace & Reconciliation Park Proposal’ here.
2. The full text of GCPC’s Mission Statement can be read here.
3. More information about GCPC and the rationale for the Peace Park can be found here.
Updated Oct 14, 2015
There will be a ceremony to officially launch the Marrickville Peace Park on Sunday 8th November 2015 starting at 11.00am. The launch will take place in the Peace Park which is adjacent to the corner of Holt Crescent and Richards Avenue in Marrickville overlooking the Cooks River. All welcome.
Open and enlarge photos below to read the text. Also see the map below.