Newcastle, NSW
Cowper St. N & Fitzroy St. Community Memorial Park Carrington since 1 December 2004
without names
In the late 1990s, parents of the Hunter Region whose children had died in the AIDS epidemic started an initiative for a permanent memorial within the city of Newcastle, the preferred form a grove of trees. A booklet depicting AIDS Quilts from the region should help financing the memorial.
In 2003, Newcastle Council proposed to close a disused small road off Cowper Street, Carrington – industrial sites existed along its southern perimeter. The project director of ‘Two Stars’ suggested the derelict land situated immediately to the south-eastern side of the bridge, opposite Connolly Park, would be an excellent location to develop a Community Park to include the desired grove of trees. The location was also most appropriate in that the Carrington community accepted the establishment of McKillop House accommodating AIDS outpatients mixing freely with Carrington residents without any hint of the rejection and stigma.
With support from the Community Greening Centre and the ACON Hunter Branch Council obligingly provided grass cover on the neglected site in time for the 2004 gathering on 1st December to mark World AIDS Day. People in attendance planted two Tuckeroo trees on the northern edge of the grassed land.
By early 2005 sufficient funds had accrued from book sales to provide the finance needed for a handsome park seat facing Cowper Street bridge and Throsby Creek, on the parkland’s north west corner. This seat was dedicated at the 2005 World AIDS Day event along with a planting of river oaks and grevilleas. In 2006, the northern side of the park was mounded high enough to accept a large Hill’s Fig tree, which was dedicated on World AIDS Day and named ‘Tree of Love’. A second fig tree named ‘Tree of Hope’ was planned for 2008 but only a plaque was dedicated on World AIDS Day 2008.

Community Memorial Park Project