GreenWay Stories is a collection of curated tales of this magical place, encompassing it all, from the traditional owners the Gadigal Wangal people, the Frontier Wars, 1970’s bushcare, community activism in the early 2000s, to the Landcare groups and locals that are here today, dogs and all.
Acclaimed storyteller Jane Curtis heads up this intriguing project, and invites people to have their story recorded on-site, attend live interviews with historians, experts and activists, or simply listen to the curated Inner West Icons podcast, due for publication in September.
inSIGHT asked the storyteller to tell us a story…
Can you tell me a little about yourself and your inspiration for this project?
I’m an audio and digital producer with an interest in social and local history and community stories. I wanted to record the history of the GreenWay and how people use it and feel when they’re there.
As a green corridor, the GreenWay is completely unique in Sydney. It started as a grassroots idea in the late ’90s. Different groups campaigned and worked for years to get it happening. Now it’s a much loved ‘commons’ for walkers, dog owners, cyclists, bushcare, joggers, families, schools and artists.
What has been the most interesting story you have heard and why?
The story of the Bandicoot Hat really stood out. It symbolised the GreenWay’s biodiversity, how hard community activists worked, and how they got creative to appeal to the public and make the GreenWay happen.
The GreenWay is home to an endangered population of Long-nosed bandicoots. In 2011 the community group Friends of the GreenWay were collecting 10 000 signatures to get the GreenWay debated in State Parliament. To draw attention to themselves, Claire Sives made these beautiful bandicoot heads that sat on a cap. The campaigners went doorknocking as bandicoots and wore them at stalls at school fetes and markets, which they pretty much did every weekend for years.
Do you know what/ where the 12 inner west icons will be yet? If so, can you give us a sneak peek?
The final 12 are still being decided by me and through this community survey (which is still open, so please vote). The first six icons are: Reverse Garbage, Callan Park, the Witches Houses Annandale, Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative, murals and street art, the GreenWay and a bonus episode on Dogs and the inner west. Each icon will have its own podcast episode, which will be released in History Week, September 2021.
Other icons in the running are the Newtown Festival, the inner west’s Greek and Vietnamese precincts, Cooks River, Marie-Louise Salon Newtown, the flight path, Gumbramorra Swamp, artist studios, the Bay Run….
Below is an audiogram of one of the GreenWay stories. Enjoy.