Competition Greens Up Inner Western Sydney Hot Pocket For Local School Community

Monday 10 April



Lucy Turnbull AO celebrates Marrickville Public School’s cool, green schoolyard in breaking ground ceremony


Imagine if your place of play and relaxation was sandwiched between industrial sites and factories, atop hot, grey asphalt and directly under a noisy flight path. 


These are some of the reasons Marrickville Public School jumped at the opportunity to enter My Park Rules, a national initiative of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) and 202020 Vision, a movement to increase urban green space by 20% by 2020. 


The competition encouraged school communities across Australia to submit their under-loved park or grey space for a chance to win a $100,000 transformation for a well-designed greener future. Selected from nearly a hundred entrants, Marrickville Public School is now the beneficiary of a brand new space to benefit the whole community.


“This will be a place of reprieve in a dense, urban area,” says Tonia Gray, My Park Rules jury member and childhood development expert. “Children benefit immensely from spending time in green spaces - including memory improvements, lower risk of childhood obesity, better reasoning skills, improved cognitive function and reduction in anger.”


Lucy Turnbull AO, Chief Commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission, cracked through the first layer of asphalt today to celebrate the beginning of the newer, stimulating schoolyard. 


“The start of the build marks a new and exciting phase for these students,” says Lucy Turnbull, who was also a member of the high-profile judging panel, “I was blown away by the passion for their school.”


Landscape Architects, Tract, led the schoolyard’s redesign and facilitated the collaboration of the Marrickville Public School community throughout the design process, “the project area has been designed to accommodate the wishes of school to be exposed to nature based play. We have focused on natural materials and native planting whilst incorporating elements that encourage social inclusion, activity and stimulation. When constructed, this courtyard will demonstrate how design can improve the wellbeing of users!” 


This includes sandstone boulders positioned in seating clusters, edible plants for the children to learn about “bush tucker” and gardening, a sandpit plus the inclusion of 320 plants and trees and a shade structure to reduce heat. 


Kerry Chambers, Marrickville Public School Principal, says, “the kids have been involved from the get go - they are the stars in their video showing why we are so in need of this upgrade, and now we’re all so excited for it to become a reality.”


The initiative could not have gone ahead with the support of (in alphabetical order); Andreasens Green, Austral Bricks, Austral Masonry, Australian Council of State Schools Organisations, Benedict Industries, Fleetwood Urban, Flemings Nurseries, Gosford Quarries, Greenline, Hills Bark Blower, Inner West Council, Landscape Solutions, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, NSW Department of Education, Sam the Paving Man, SESL, Soilbond, Street Furniture Australia, Sydney Airport, Tract Consultants and the growers of plants and trees from the Australian Nursery industry.


The playground will be officially opened October 2017.



Event Details:

  • Date & Time: 1pm Monday 10 April
  • Location Details: Marrickville Public School, 116 Chapel St Marrickville NSW 2204

    Please note - Google maps confuses Marrickville Public School and Marrickville High School. Apple Maps has a better success rate.

  • Interview Details: Lucy Turnbull will be available for a door stop interview following the breaking ground ceremony

Please ensure all outlets register attendance: Due to this being a school ground with children present we must advise the school of any / all media onsite to ensure consent and privacy requirements are undertaken.

ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES RSVP: Samantha Manson | | 0408 657 742

Filming/photography opportunity + expected visual:

  • Lucy Turnbull AO – short speech & breaking ground, marking the start of the new school park
  • Primary school children celebrating the start of the park build


  • Imagery of the playground concept, before shots and community consultation [folder]
  • Marrickville Public School My Park Rules entry video
  • As a part of the project, before and after footage will be captured to demonstrate how the students interact with the space in an effort to exemplify to other communities the difference a well-designed space can make.

Interview Opportunities (in alphabetical order):

  • Kerry Chambers, Principal, Marrickville Public School
  • Tonia Gray, 202020 Vision Advocate, childhood development specialist and My Park Rules jury member
  • Julie Lee, Landscape Architect at Tract Consulting
  • Shahana McKenzie, CEO of Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA)
  • Lucy Turnbull AO, Chief Commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission and My Park Rules jury member
  • Peter Vaughan, Nursery & Garden Industry Australia (NGIA)

About the 202020 Vision

The 202020 Vision is a collaborative national initiative of over 400 industry, councils, state and federal government bodies, business, not-for-profits and academic sectors, all working together to increase and improve urban green space by 20% by 2020. The 202020 Vision is funded by the Australian Nursery industry through a levy collected on the sale of plants and

About the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA)

AILA is the growing national advocacy body representing 3,000 active and engaged landscape architects, promoting the importance of the profession today and for the future. Committed to designing and creating a better Australia, landscape architects shape the world around us.
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