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East Terrace Glover Playground: one of the first child-care centres

King Rodney Park / Ityamai-itpina (Park 15)

Did you know the early Park Lands playgrounds included a woman supervisor?

photo-icon East Terrace Playground, City of Adelaide Archives, HP1556, circa 1928
photo-icon East Terrace Playground, City of Adelaide Archives, 1624ITEM0001[12], circa 1928
photo-icon Charles Richmond John Glover
photo-icon Lord and Lady Forster, State Library of South Australia, PRG 280/1/23/320, circa 1920
photo-icon August Pelzer, City of Adelaide Archives, LS0013

Opened by the Governor-General Lord Forster and Lord Mayor Charles Glover on 11 September 1925, this playground was partly funded by Glover. At the opening, students from the Flinders Street School formed a guard of honour.

Lord Forster said at the time that "There is no city that I know of where so much has been done to provide playgrounds for the children as Adelaide".

Lord Mayor Glover contributed over £2000 to the playgrounds of Adelaide, also paying towards the Glover Playgrounds on South Terrace (1918) and n North Adelaide on Lefevre Terrace (1920).

Like other playgrounds at this time, a supervisor was paid for by the Education Department who had an office in the shelter shed and a direct telephone line to the police. The play areas were segregated by age and sex.

It was common for parents to leave their children at the playground for long periods while they were working - making them our first childcare centres.

A growing concern for child welfare led to an interest in playgrounds - and while children's fitness and health was important, the supervision offered while parents were a t work was the more important reason for these playgrounds.

This playground was designed by August Pelzer, City Gardener from 1899 until 1932. His designs guided planning throughout the Park Lands and had a significant impact on how they look today. The sign, shelter shed, and symmetrical tree plantings remain from the original layout of the playground.

This Park has a Kaurna name, Ityamai-itpina, which was the name of a Kaurna elder whom the European settlers called 'King Rodney'.

City of Adelaide acknowledges the traditional Country of the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains and pays respect to Elders past and present. We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land. We acknowledge that they are of continuing importance to the Kaurna people living today. We also extend that respect to other Aboriginal Language Groups and other First Nations.

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