Monday 21 July 2014: The Community Open Day held at Riverwood North’s Washington Park residential precinct last Saturday (19 July) was an outstanding success, attracting over a thousand local residents who enjoyed a day of community entertainment, attractions and refreshments.

The day was organised and coordinated by the newly-formed residents group, Residents Organisation at Riverwood (ROAR), and supported by leading Australian property company, PAYCE.

ROAR member, Neale Owen said it was wonderful to see so many local people getting involved and working together to make the Open Day a success.

“I was really impressed that we were able to organise it so well in just three weeks and it was fun to work with such a fantastic bunch of people,” she said.

Another ROAR member, Senka Poletanovic said she was all for the changes that are happening at Washington Park.

“I really hope there are more changes to come in the future as it’s definitely been good for the area,” she said.

PAYCE’s General Manager, Dominic Sullivan said the day exceeded everyone’s expectations and demonstrated what a wonderful community spirit exists in the district.

“It was great to see so many families and friends taking advantage of the fine weather and joining in the activities that were available in and around the new Garden Plaza,“ he said.

The day started with an official opening by Lakemba MP, Robert Furolo and the National Anthem energetically sung by pupils from the Riverwood Public School.

Popular band, Pacific Sunsets kept the crowd entertained throughout the day with their toe-tapping music and many joined in when the local YMCA demonstrated some healthy, fun exercises to keep fit.

Other entertainers included My Youth duo, Samantha Terepai and Markita Galea; the Riverwood Air League Band, the Hornets; dancers and choir from Hannans Road Public School, the Riverwood Church Youth Singers; the Chinese Dancing Group and a demonstration by Manny Mansour’s Taekwondo School students.

Mr Sullivan said the Open Day brought people of all ages and cultures together and demonstrated how the design of Washington Park works well in bringing local residents and the Riverwood community together.

“There were activities for all ages, with two of the most popular being the petting zoo and pony rides, where many kids had their first experience of handling rabbits, guinea pigs and chickens or being on horseback,” he said.

“The overall atmosphere around the Garden Plaza was fantastic all day and the feedback from residents was extremely positive, with many commenting on how well the formula works of having a mix of social and private residents living side by side.”

PAYCE’s Managing Director, Brian Boyd said the Open Day was a great example of how urban renewal projects such as Washington Park could revitalise an area and bring communities closer together.

“In the three years PAYCE has been in Riverwood, we have been fortunate to have partnered with a number of local bodies, including the Riverwood Community Centre and Riverwood Public School to deliver real results in community renewal and social inclusion,” he said.

“PAYCE is committed to helping and empowering communities to realise their own potential in all its projects and the Washington Park and Riverwood communities have certainly embraced that objective.

“On behalf of PAYCE, I want to thank everyone involved with the Open Day, especially the community groups, the entertainers and volunteers for making the day a fantastic success all round,” Mr Boyd said.