Local News – 279

Bridging the digital divide

Marrickville Council’s Cyber Seniors Program is finishing up its term at Marrickville High School, where the school has paired student volunteers with senior residents to learn computer skills. In the hour-long classes students have been teaching seniors to search online, tweet, use YouTube and complete online forms in their first language, including Greek, Vietnamese, Portuguese and Spanish.

Odysseus Gigis has been participating in the classes held at Marrickville High School where he has been taught to use a variety of skills by Michaela, a Year 12 student who speaks Greek.
“I love helping people,” said Michaela. “It’s so, so nice. It makes me feel good. I’ll definitely continue.”

Mr Gigis has learnt to use Facebook, messenger and Skype. “They’re very good teachers. I’m enjoying it,” said Mr Gigis. “I’ve found I can take photos, I can use the Skype to talk to my brother in Greece, some cousins in Canada and America. And today I’m going to learn how to send a message.”

The program will continue throughout the year cycling through different local high schools which have offered to take part in the program. Next term will take place at Casimir Catholic College in Marrickville from May 12 – June 16 every Tuesday.

You can find more information about attending the next term of Cyber Senior classes by calling 9335 2143.


Marrickville Makeover

Marrickville Primary School is the NSW finalist in a competition that may win them a new playground. The competition is part of a campaign by 202020 Vision (a subsidiary of Horticulture Australia) to increase green space in Australian urban environments. If the school’s green space idea is selected as the winning entry then Marrickville will have a new green playground installed according to the design students have entered.

Marrickville Primary School students created a video in the style of a reality makeover program featuring the school’s concreted courtyard, which they say is “grey, miserable and hot.” According to the video their dream playground would include a vertical garden, new wooden seats and lots of flowers.

As a finalist, Marrickville Primary School will be provided with a professional design of their playground, the winner of the competition will be announced on May 1st.

Check out Marrickville’s entry at: myparkrules.com.au/organisation/?id=114


Skatepark skittered

Leichhardt Council’s plan to build a skate park beneath the arches in Callan Park has been potentially thwarted after a ruling came down from the NSW Heritage Council saying that such a project will negatively affect the heritage significance of the park.

“The proposed regional skate park would introduce a visually dominant “hard edge” urban element into a highly significant 19th century landscape,” stated the refusal letter. “The construction of the proposed regional skate park would adversely impact on the ability to interpret the significance of Callan Park Conservation Area and Buildings.”

The skatepark was workshopped with local skaters over a period of more than a year, but also provoked controversy in its removal of community performing space, The Archway Theatre, whose patrons continue to insist stay in the park. “The Minister for Environment and Heritage Mark Speakman can override this decision. Given the demolition by neglect his Government has overseen in Callan Park for the last five years, he must know how hypocritical it would be to oppose the skate park on heritage grounds,” said Mayor Darcy Byrne in response to application refusal.