- Please see the Sydney Jamboree Site Induction on the Induction tab on the database
Where is “Home” for Sydney Jamboree 2018?
The “Home” of Sydney Jamboree 2018 is a special place on the southern bank of the Paramatta River. It is called the Newington Armory and Nature Reserve. Sydney is a busy, bustling city of 5 million people but our special place is a quiet grassy space where plants and animals from the Sydney area have survived and which has a fascinating history. From the grassy hill we look out onto the tall, brightly lit high rise buildings in the centre of Sydney. From this home base we will venture out into many different parts of the city for our awesome activities.
- Whose home was this place originally?
Our Jamboree home was originally the home of the Wann-gal Aboriginal people, before European settlement. There was abundant food for these people with fish and other sea food from the river, possums, kangaroos and a great variety of edible and useful plants: seeds were crushed to make a drink like coffee, berries were eaten, leaves woven to make baskets and mats, string and medicines from bark. They had all they needed to live well.
- Why is it called the “Newington Armory”?
The buildings you will see around our Jamboree Home were built from about 1897 and were part of the Royal Australian Navy Armament depot. Armaments such as gunpowder, explosives, torpedoes and rockets were all stored here – but not any longer with the depot closing in 1999. Because of their important history the 100 buildings, railway line, signs, fire hydrants and anything else from this history are part of our heritage and we must care for them while we are living in our Jamboree Home.
- What happened in the year 2000?
Can any Australians forget the excitement of the Sydney Olympics in that year? This area, including the Armory, was where that excitement was focussed. The area was transformed from a badly degraded place with contaminated soils, into the buildings and other facilities needed for the Olympics and a large urban parkland, including the Newington Armory. Not only did Cathy Freeman win the 400m sprint for Australia but we now have a once contaminated wasteland transformed into a special part of Sydney.
- Is there anything else that is part of our cultural heritage and protected in our home base?
YES!! The trees scattered across the mown grassy part of our home base were planted as part of the life of the site as an armaments depot. They will be a lovely shady place to sit and talk with friends, maybe have dinner. They also look after us by taking the carbon dioxide from the air and making oxygen for us to breathe. We can sit under these trees, but we can’t climb or swing from them, hang anything from them, tie anything to them or put anything in the branches. They are our friends – we need to respect and care for them.
- Native plants and animals that will share our Jamboree home with us.
There are some special and rare plants and animals that have made their home around the Newington Armory. The Green and Gold Bell Frog lives in places like the reedy creek that crosses between Groups 1, 2 & 3 and Groups 4, 5 & 6. Please stick to the road when you walk between these Groups. Hopefully Sea Eagles will be nesting in the forest beside the Armory and if they are we will be able to watch them feeding their babies on the Bird Discovery Centre web cam. And then there are the wetlands beyond the flats. This is a place where our migratory wetland birds – those that breed in the Arctic and then fly all the way south to Australia for our Summer – come and feed, before flying all the way back to the Arctic for Summer up there. And there are all sorts of other special native animals, plants and vegetation communities beside where we will be camping.
- Friendly wildlife.
Some of the local wildlife are likely to be very friendly and would love to be able to eat all your left-over scraps. We must not let them do this because it is not healthy for them. These birds are the White Ibis (a big white bird with a very long beak) – sometimes called “Bin Birds” – and the black Australian Ravens. There are also some introduced animals such as Hares (big rabbits really) and we won’t be feeding them either. So, as much as some wildlife might ask you very politely to give them some food – just tell them that we care that they stay nice and healthy.
- Caring for our environment.
As Girl Guides we are all interested in doing our best to care for the environment. One way we will be doing that will be to recycle all our paper, cardboard and plastic during the Jamboree. We will also be reducing food waste in two ways:
- Take only what you can eat so you don’t waste food
- If there are left overs – make sure they go in a food bin which will be composted or taken to feed farm animals.
You can make a difference!!