Kate, Jason and adorable Milla met me at Pirrama Park one sunny Spring morning. Pirrama Park in Pyrmont is one of the jewels in the City with harbour views, a terrific playground, water features and barbeques. Formerly a base for the water police, it was acquired by the City of Sydney in 2005. Luckily it was saved from development and turned into the stunning public green space we have today. Much more than a park, it serves as an outdoor community anchor where a sense of strong community is built over playdates, picnics and a run through the fountains. It was the perfect place for a “ninja” style photo session. Milla got to play on all her favourites with mum and dad while I snapped away.
I asked each of the families participating in the Kids in Sydney project to answer a few questions about living in the City. Here is what Kate had to say:
Why did you choose to raise your family in the city? What is important to you about a city lifestyle?
Jason and I never made a conscious decision to raise a family in the city. Both coming from small rural towns in New Zealand we imagined that we would bring up a family in the usual New Zealand way – the three bedroom house with a big backyard, just as we grew up. We moved to Australia 10 years ago to find new exciting opportunities and to experience “big” city life. We only ever imagined that we would be here for two years. But we fell in love with the city and living in Pyrmont and have been here ever since. When we decided to have a family the thought of moving out to the suburbs did cross our minds, but we realised that we would miss out on the things we really loved about the city. We can both walk to work and do not miss the stress of travel and traffic jams (and feel good about being environmentally friendly). We love the close proximity to everything – supermarkets, cafes and restaurants and the Fish Market. Entertainment is never far away so we never get bored. Pyrmont is such a welcoming and safe community. Raising Milla in an environment that felt safe was a priority. And not to mention the beautiful foreshore parks.
We also realised that the city was a perfect and convienient place to bring up a child. Milla’s daycare is a short walk away as are swimming, dance and music classes. There are amazing clean playgrounds and large parks to run around. And valuable cultural experiences on our doorstep including museums, art galleries, concerts, festivals, and markets.
What has the City done that makes it easier/desirable for you to raise children in the city?
People think we are crazy bringing up a child in a small apartment – until when we explain to them that our backyard is a beautiful waterfront park with an amazing playground with a water feature. Also on our doorstep are amenities such as the Maritime Museum, Aquarium, and Wildlife Park etc.
It’s so easy to bring up a child in the city. There is always something to do. You don’t have to plan a big day out… you can just walk outside and find an experience. Milla is so lucky to have so many things to experience. I think if we lived outside of the city we wouldn’t experience nearly as many things as we do.
With fabulous dog friendly parks and apartment buildings the city has also made it really easy for us to have a family pet dog – Something that Milla just loves! We as a family definitely don’t feel that we are missing out on anything living in the city… if anything we think we are gaining by being spoilt with choice.
What improvements could be made to make it even easier/more desirable to raise a family in the city?
Now that Milla is coming of school age we have been a little concerned about the uncertainty of the local primary school. We want Milla to have a stable education, particularly in her first years, and the thought of the children being transported out of area to another school while the local school is possibly being rebuilt worries us. It would be great if there was a firm plan for a school that doesn’t disrupt the children’s education and can also accommodate the number of children of the area now and children in the future.
And here are a few images of our morning together down at Pirrama Park.
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If you are interested in participating in this project email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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