Scarecrows show the way to a sustainable food future


From Saturday 19 January, visitors to the inner city suburb of Islington will see a friendly mob of scarecrows on display at the intersection of Beaumont Street and Maitland Road as part of a street exhibition celebrating sustainable food in the area.

The exhibition, which will run for two weeks until 3 February, aims to showcase Islington as a hub for sustainable food production and retail in Newcastle and a thriving suburb with much to offer those who visit.

A website has been created to list details and localities of local foodies in the suburb and surrounding areas.

The project is a joint initiative of the Islington Village Community Group and the Watson Transition Street group, who have a common aim to increase the resilience of the local community by empowering residents and strengthening relationships between people.

The scarecrows were created by students of Islington Public School with the help of local community volunteers. Local business owners will take care of them throughout the exhibition.

The scarecrows have been constructed almost entirely from organic, recycled or reused materials. Many of the clothes were donated by the local Op Shops (Mission on Fern Street and Vinnies on Maitland Road). Filling was sourced from newspaper and plastic bags or from local business Remake, which recycles products for craft projects that would otherwise go to landfill.

When the exhibition ends the scarecrows will be donated or recycled to a new life elsewhere.

ABC Open goes back to school

On 23 September ABC Open Producer Anthony Scully gave up his Sunday to run a workshop at Islington Public School for local community members wanting to get involved in ABC Open’s Now and Then project.

Now and Then is about opening a window on the past by retaking old photographs in their current context. Islington Public School’s 125th anniversary this year was a great opportunity to dig through the photo archives at the school and show how things have changed. The fact that Anthony was also once a student at the school added a personal dimension to the workshop.

The photos taken at the workshop are featured on the ABC Newcastle and ABC Open websites, and on the Islington Village Flickr site.

Find out more about the workshop and current ABC Open projects at the ABC Open website.

A new playground for Islington Park

Islington playground construction

Work on the new Islington Park playground has begun. The existing equipment has been removed and construction is underway on the new area, which will include a climbing net, swings, spinning play items, water play feature, low climbing walls and a junior play structure with slides and rope play. Areas have also been prepared for a new children’s cycleway and two new picnic shelters.

Construction on the new playground is expected to be completed (depending on weather) by the end of August. For more information go to the City of Newcastle’s website.

Cleaning up Islington Park

Clean Up Australia Day 2011
Clean Up Australia Day is Australia’s biggest community participation event. In 2011 more than 565,510 volunteers across 7,400 sites collected an estimated 16,464 tonnes of rubbish across the country.
This year we’re cleaning up Islington Park again. Last year we had a committed band of 14 volunteers collect 28 bags of rubbish from the park and creek, if you’d like to help us out, meet us at the picnic shelter near the Islington Park playground on Sunday 4 March from 9.00 am.
Please wear covered shoes, long pants and a hat and bring gardening gloves if you have them. Bags will be provided. You can register beforehand at the Clean Up Australia Day website or just turn up on the day.
You can also check out photos from last year’s clean up and keep up to date with news and events on the Islington Village Facebook page.
Hope to see you there!

Works underway on Throsby Creek

Hunter Water have commenced rehabilitation works along Throsby Creek. The works will involve constructing rock toe protection and rock revetment on the creek banks behind the existing mangrove populations, as well as battering the bank. The construction work is planned to be completed on the Southern Bank by the end of March 2012, weather dependant. Works on the Northern Bank are expected to occur from early April to the end of May 2012.

During February and March access will be closed to the footpath/cycleway between Islington Park and Graham Bridge on the southern bank. For more details go to

It’s on again!

Throsby Long Brunch 2010

The Throsby Big Brunch is on again this month in Islington Park!

 The Throsby Big Brunch is an Islington Park Placemaking initiative and the brainchild of Melanie McKinnon, an enthusiastic Tighes Hill resident. After a successful launch in 2010 the event promises to be even bigger in 2011 thanks to a successful application for funding from the Newcastle City Council Community Assistance Program and the fabulous support of local Throsby residents.

On Sunday 30 October from 10 am onwards residents of Carrington, Islington, Maryville, Tighes Hill and Wickham are invited to the table to share food, harvest and conversation under the fig trees in Islington Park. To find out more and reserve your free seat, go to

Hunter Water’s rehabilitation plans for Throsby Creek

Throsby Creek erosion near Graham Bridge

At the June Islington Village Community Group meeting Julia Irwin and her colleagues from Hunter Water were invited to provide a presentation on Hunter Water’s proposed works to rehabilitate eroded sections of Throsby Creek.

The proposed works, which are currently scheduled to commence by the end of 2011, will involve construction of rock structures behind existing mangroves to stabilise the creek banks on the Maryville side of the creek from the Hunter Valley Research Foundation site to the Union Street footbridge, and on the Tighes Hill side of the creek from Graham Bridge upstream to Tighes Terrace. A concrete ramp will also be contructed on the creek bank downstream of the footbridge (on the Islington Park side) to allow access for Hunter Water maintenance.

The Hunter Water team also discussed studies currently underway to inform future works on the creek, including investigating options for removal of sediment and rubbish from the creek.

Once the rehabilitation works have been officially approved and scheduled Hunter Water will begin communicating with residents in the streets surrounding Islington Park on any impacts they may experience while the construction works are underway. Further information will also be published via this website and through the Tighes Hill Community Group website.

If you have any questions or concerns relating to the proposed works please email them to Graeme Pauley, coordinator of the Tighes Hill Community Group, at: or Paul McBain, coordinator of the Islington Village Community Group, at:


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