“There was lots of goodwill toward this subject matter from the general public. People were interested in a requiem — a very traditional way of honouring the dead — and it just touched people’s hearts.”
Walk into Woollahra Library at Double Bay, where you’ll see children whizzing down a slippery slide and students quietly engrossed in literature among the leaves of the indoor garden, and it’s clear libraries are much more than books and microforms.
‘So comprehensive was the eradication of all signs of nightlife that the only clues remaining are the rows of hostels with their confused backpackers, spilling out on the street clutching old guidebooks, wondering what they’re doing here.’
“We realised that once you provide really good food, you do more than provide food itself. You provide dignity and respect and self-worth,” he says. “I always remember this one guy I was having dinner with and he said, ‘Rob, for one hour each week, I don’t feel homeless.’
If you think all this concrete is unnecessary, you’re probably right. It was originally poured by the Randwick Council during the Great Depression to create jobs for local men and easier access to swimming for the community. This is essentially a concrete beach.
The minute I cross over the Blue Mountains I immediately feel at peace. I love the pace of life out here, the silence and the breathtaking sunsets. Plus the courtesy wave is well and truly alive in the bush.