Whitlam Institute

What Matters 2019 Shortlist

What Matters 2019 Shortlist

Willow Park

Willow Park

Tanush Kapoor

Year 5, Waitara Public School

As I observe the world, I see a lot of things that matter to me.

For instance, few weeks ago I was sitting on my balcony enjoying the sunny weather. Then an almost deserted Willow Park gained my attention.  This park is a children's park just in front of my house, across the street. I and my younger sister have fond memories of this park. When we came to Sydney for the first time it was the initial park to welcome us. The trees, the swings, the slides, all waved at us there. Soft sounds of kids playing in the park and birds chirping still echo in my ears. Then suddenly something went wrong...

What went wrong? Actually nothing has gone wrong with the park. It has to do with a new park just across the other street near my house. The new park is awesome. It has really amazing rides and equipment. It is the new “happening” place for kids in locality. Every child wants to enjoy the new equipment and rides. As a result, it is crowded.

I got a bit emotional. I imagined if Willow Park was a human. How might it be feeling nowadays?  What sort of sentiments might it be going through?  Willow Park might have been thinking, “Once I was a beautiful park full of life and happy people around. There were many birds chirping in my trees. Children played enthusiastically on my slides. I helped many children learn how to ride their scooters. I saw many youngsters start walking, then running and grow up. I observed many generations enjoying my lap. Children turned into parents and in turn brought their children to play with my natural surroundings. There were many children who used to enjoy feeding the birds. Many parties were organized under my sheds. I was decorated for many functions and festivals. Old and young people used to come regularly and spend time chatting or walking. I was a favourite all time place for everyone.

I was renovated few years ago when some more slides were added to me and a toilet was also built for everyone's convenience. Last year, a handy man came to repair one of my broken slides. I was the centre of attention in the area and a busy place.

But one day suddenly, everything changed. A brand new park with bigger swings and fancier decorations was inaugurated just across the road. All the children and people of locality swapped their love and affection for the new park. Even people from other suburbs came to visit it. The children love to play in this new park. It is the new favourite place for everyone.

I am left abandoned and lifeless. I am waiting for children to come and play on my slides. I am waiting for people to come and sit on my benches. I can't hear happy voices. My swings don't move much. Even the birds stopped playing on the branches of my trees. I am waiting for happy days. I am waiting for life. I am waiting for love and attention.

I am deserted. I wish my old golden days would come back. I wish I would be full of life again.  I wish my friends would come back and enjoy everything in my lap.”

I hope these wishes of Willow Park could be fulfilled. I want to request that the local council renovate Willow Park too so that it can get its life back again. I wish it will be happy again! This matters to me.