Parramatta Park is one of the premier parks in Sydney. It has been called a People’s Park since 1860, and it was a place of resort and activity even earlier. Within its boundaries are located historic structures and sites of significance. It is very significant for Aboriginal culture, archaeology and ecology.

Oversight of the park is the responsibility of the Parramatta Park Trust (PPT). As the population of Western Sydney grows, the PPT understands that the park needs to be an active park – not just for casual visits and picnics, but to provide a location for community activities. In recent years the PPT has introduced a summer festival, bringing many additional visitors to the park.

Decisions about balancing the usage of the park while also protecting it are made with care. HAA has been involved in providing advice to the PPT on a number of issues.

Cultural Plan of Management and CMP Plan of Management

As part of a team of specialist consultants, HAA provided input on mapping of the park at different times in the past. A key contribution by HAA was a cultural landscape framework for the plan. Our people contributed to the philosophy of the report’s writing and we engaged with the broader team to tease out and integrate issues. This document is deliberately written in a format that is easily accessible to the general public and is available on the PPT website.

This ground-breaking report has won numerous awards:

Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA), National Landscape Architecture Award 2020

AILA (NSW), Awards of Excellence in Land Management & Cultural Heritage 2020

Parks & Leisure Australia, Awards of Excellence, Strategic Planning Award 2020

Crescent Summer Series Events Monitoring

At the request of the PPT, HAA undertook an assessment and monitoring role of the impacts of the Crescent Summer Series Events on the park, ensuring no damage is sustained to part of park’s revision of the management of events – where equipment is put and how sit on the ground, brochures given to event managers explaining the reasons for the directions. A sense of curation even for an event

Ross Street Gatehouse

HAA was commissioned to write a heritage study for the Ross Street Gatehouse, one of four gatehouses marking entrances to park. The Ross Street Gatehouse identifies a boundary of the park not often recognised by the public. Our study assisted the PPT to articulate the importance of this gatehouse within the broader context of Parramatta Park.

Long term maintenance plans

HAA developed repairs plans for four important houses located within Parramatta Park. The Old Dairy, the Ranger’s Cottage and two gatehouses differ in age and style. HAA’s understanding of old buildings informed long term maintenance plans for each of these buildings. The plans are set out in a format which allows PPT staff to plan maintenance and the best methods and materials to use.

Heritage is not special – culture belongs to people.