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HomeLifestyleJulia Baird on her connection to Cabbage Tree Bay

Julia Baird on her connection to Cabbage Tree Bay

Australian journalist Julia Baird shares her personal connection with the water at Cabbage Tree Bay in a new video series, Summer Night Walks, highlighting the importance of natural public spaces.

Julia takes Tim Ross on a walk around Cabbage Tree Bay and talks about the importance of her swim routine with Bold and Beautiful, a local squad who swim from from Manly to Shelly and back everyday.  Her swim routine has bonded her to the bay, and sets the tone for her day, every day. Filmed on Gayemagal land, Julia shares her experience of feeling small in the wake of all the beauty and wonder nature has to offer.

The series is part of The Festival of Place, a celebration of public and open spaces across NSW and is funded by the Department of Planning.

Executive Director, Place, Design and Public Spaces, Caroline Butler-Bowdon said international research, and experience during the 2020 pandemic shows how valuable public space is for our physical and mental wellbeing.

“A public space is so much more than what it can do for us or the space it occupies; it is what people, stories and connections bring to it that give it life and meaning,” she said.

Summer Night Walks features Ross, the host of ABC TV series’ Designing a Legacy and Streets of Your Town, interviewing public figures in their special, impactful places.

“What a privilege to ask a bunch of diverse people to slow down and tell me about their favourite places,” Mr Ross said. “We take public spaces for granted yet they bind us, nourish us and enhance our lives, as you’ll see in this beautiful series.”

Ross walks through his own favourite space, Kelly’s Bush Park, a remnant of natural bushland located on the foreshores of the Parramatta River in Hunters Hill. The series includes:

  • Journalist and author of the best-selling book Phosphorescence, Julia Baird, in Manly’s Cabbage Tree Bay
  • Triple Paralympic gold medallist, Kurt Fearnley, at Newcastle’s Fernleigh Track
  • Wendy Whiteley at her secret garden in Lavender Bay
  • Comedian Andy Saunders at the Mid North Coast’s Saltwater Reserve National Park
  • Sara Mansour, co-founder and director of Bankstown Poetry Slam, in Bankstown Arts Centre

All of the films are available to view at here.


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Manly Observer is an experiment in providing non-sensationalist hyperlocal news on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. We cover the big news across the LGA, but with a hyper focus on the Manly electorate encompassing Balgowlah, Seaforth, Freshwater, Brookvale and Curl Curl up to Dee Why. It is run by those living in the community for the benefit of an informed community. We care about an informed and connected community. That’s it. Simple. Thank you for your support in keeping quality local news alive!

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