Cranebrook Connects Community is a group of locals who are working together to create the community they want to live in, here in Cranebrook. The group wanted something to show they were proud of Cranebrook, celebrating the resilience and unique character of their community, and “Creating Cranebrook” began as a result. NCNS Community Development team supported Cranebrook Connects Community to make a Magnetic Places grant application to Penrith City Council, and the creation of our new ‘Welcome to Cranebrook’ sign commenced.

Working with Blue Mountains artist Henryk Topolnicki from Art is an Option, Cranebrook community members of all ages created the concept of the sign, as well as a bench to provide seating at their local park, Sherringham Reserve.

The works of art feature native plants and animals, including the native egrets that resemble cranes and inspired the original Cranebrook name.

Once Henryk completed and installed the artwork, a party was needed!

Held on Wednesday 31st May, Cranebrook Taking the Next Steps recognised Reconciliation Week as well as celebrating the launches of Creating Cranebrook’s artwork and Sherringham Reserve’s newly-completed multi-sport court.

Penrith City Council’s Donita Hulme spoke about the community-informed design of Cranebrook’s new recreational facility before Levi, a student from Cranebrook High School, cut the ribbon and declared the court open for the community to enjoy.

Thanks to NSW Government Community Builders funding, Penrith City Council was able to install the new court in response to community feedback revealed through NCNS’ youth engagement. Penrith City Council and NCNS’ Youth Team worked with local young people to create the sports court’s eye-catching art panels during digital art workshops. Creating Cranebrook’s new park bench provides the ideal spot to enjoy the buzz of excitement on the new multi-sports court, or to sit and watch the activity at the popular skate park.

On 31st May, you would have needed to join the queue to take the Hot Seat on the new park bench, thanks to the Reconciliation Trivia competition. Contestants both young and old walked away with chocolate prizes, whilst learning more about Aboriginal languages, local communities, the history of Aboriginal rights and the process of reconciliation. Thank you to the Cranebrook High School SRC for contributing questions for the trivia.

Whilst sitting on the park bench, you’ll notice the sunflower sculpture shining from the nearby garden. Installed by local community members as part of the Creating Cranebrook workshops, thanks to the support of Community Greening, the garden also provided volunteers with an opportunity to learn practical tips for creating a wicking, drought-tolerant garden of their own.

At Cranebrook Taking the Next Steps, Community Greening’s Phil Pettitt and Brenden Moore were there talking about native plants, showing us how to plant native seedlings to take home, and sharing the tastes of bush tucker like native plums, pine plums and finger limes. After listening to Brenden’s didgeridoo playing, Cranebrook’s younger residents enjoyed the Paint Penrith REaD stories and fun activities with NCNS Early Childhood team. Whilst using playdough to make Aboriginal flags and lots of ‘abstract’ art was colourful, the highlight was seeing the community handprints of all sizes gather on the banner, creating a vibrant Reconciliation artwork.

The ‘Welcome to Cranebrook’ sign is on the corner of Borrowdale Way and Sherringham Rd, and the new park bench is on the Hosking St side of the sports court – be sure to check them out and let us know what you think!


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