Friends of King Edward Park

It should be good for the life of the people (Joern Utzon)

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King Edward Park from the top of Shepherd's Hill

Friends of King Edward Park

Friends of King Edward Park is registered as an incorporated association in New South Wales under the Associations Incorporation Act 2009. The history of Friends of King Edward Park is available here.

Incorporation No: 1NC9896374
Date of Incorporation: 22 November 2011

Contact details:

Friends of King Edward Park Inc
Public Officer, PO Box 1104, Newcastle NSW 2300
Phone: 02 49297647 - International: +612 49297647

Our objectives are to:

  • Promote and protect the historic values and public recreational purposes of King Edward Park and King Edward Headland Reserve.
  • Involve the community in the objectives for the Park and the Reserve as a place of special significance in the Hunter, both in Aboriginal and European history.
  • Ensure any changes in the Park comply with its dedicated purpose.
  • Promote interest and respect for the surrounding coastal regions
  • Provide a model for coastal public recreational reserves.


OBJECTS

The Friends of King Edward Park seek to promote and protect the historic values and public recreational purposes of King Edward Park and the King Edward Headland Reserve. We seek to involve the community in our objectives for the Park and the Reserve as a place of special significance in the Hunter, both in Aboriginal and European history. We seek to ensure any changes in the Park comply with its dedicated purpose.

The friends also seek to promote interest and respect for the surrounding coastal regions and to provide a model for coastal public recreational reserves.

We also drew up a list of priorities, first among them being to put in a submission for the listing of the King Edward Park on the NSW Heritage Register. We felt that listing would mean that any further encroachments on the Park would have to be more carefully considered. Dr Robert Evans, a PH D in history, assisted by Mrs Elizabeth Thwaites agreed to undertake the research and write the submission. They were assisted by Ms Ann Hardy of the Newcastle Branch of the National Trust and the Coal River Working Party mentioned previously.

The next step was to get a website and surprising to us, and lucky for us, was the offer of a donation of one by Marina Tadiello, an Italian woman at the time living in Australia near the Park who felt a strong affinity for the park. Some of the wonderful photos on the site are Marina's. She has now returned to Italy where she is still administering the site.

In the meantime we were advised by Ms Kirsty Ruddock from the EDO to contact Ms Jacquie Svenson of the Newcastle Legal Centre. Ms Svenson offered to undertake a challenge to the approved development in the Land and Environment Court as she felt that we had a very good public interest case with wide ranging implications for development on coastal land. She advised that we would need a Senior Counsel experienced in the field and a Junior to support him. We contacted Mr Tim Robertson who had advised us before for suggestions and he offered to do the case on spec. This wonderful offer from Mr Tim Robertson and Ms Jacquie Svenson meant that we would only have to pay for a junior, a geotech engineer and a surveyor and possible court costs. We estimated this to be in the region of $20,000.00 to $25,000.00 which we felt we would be able to raise.

Our priorities changed slightly at this point, in that it became essential to raise sufficient money to cover our costs, to raise awareness about the park, the obelisk and the court case and hence to attract members. A fund raising group was formed as a subcommittee of the Friends, Rosemary Bunker, Gael Davies, Ann Hardy, Varelle Hardy and Margaret Hicks.

A very successful art show and auction were held at the local school with the help of some wonderful donations from local artists and patrons. There was a further fundraiser on Tuesday 24th April and a dinner is planned for 18th May. Our total membership is now 133 and growing. We have just started a facebook page and at the latest count there were 50 friends.

Richard le Plastrier and Peter Stutchbury, prominent Australian architects, who lecture at the Newcastle University, feel very strongly about the area, its significance in aboriginal and European history and want to address a public meeting to raise public awareness about its significance to Newcastle and the nation. A date will be advised on this webpage.

We are also attempting to setup a stall at the Growers' Market to raise our profile and increase membership. We support the local land care group at the Obelisk through our website and encourage members to join.

We have $15,500.00 in the bank, with some fund raisers planned. We desperately need more members and all offers of help will be welcomed. If we are to achieve our aims it will come down to numbers and dollars.

Margaret Ostinga 25.4.12

WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT

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