On Wednesday 30 August Year 8 travelled by train to Olympic Park to expand our knowledge of liveability. When we arrived, we met 2 park rangers at Cathy Freeman Park, split into 2 groups and discussed what made a certain place liveable. We looked at issues like aesthetics and comfort levels, social connectedness and access to facilities and services. We also found out that this beautiful suburb was once actually an industrial abattoir. We then split into even smaller groups. Each had to look out for what made Olympic Park even more liveable for a certain group of people in the community, e.g. people with special needs or a young family. The groups then reconvened and our rangers took us to places where liveability factors were emphasised. First of all we looked at the art in the area because public art can tell a story as well as increase aesthetics.
In Cathy Freeman Park we came across 2 artworks: The Cauldron and The Attractor.The Cauldron was used in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games to hold the Olympic flame. The Attractor looks like a ladder and it symbolises effort to reach the top, to be the best. We then discussed social connectedness in a community, the relationships people have with others. We then stopped at a park for lunch that had its own café and Ping-Pong tables for workers, a great place to connect with others. After lunch we re-joined our rangers and we all had to evaluate the access to facilities and services in the area. This particular area had many services and most had easy accessibility but the district did not have a post office or even a Woolworths. We looked at a few residential buildings, then stopped to talk about how repurposing old industrial spaces improved liveability. We visited the old brick pit.
After the industry shut down there was a massive pit left behind but before the site could be redeveloped it was flooded with rainwater and then found to be colonised by an endangered species of frog! Now the frog’s habitat is protected and the recycled water is used for all the toilets in the area. Year 8 generally enjoyed the excursion and we have all expanded our knowledge on the different aspects of liveability.
Story by Jared Simion / Photos by Noah Da Cunha and Oscar Kim