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Gladys Elphick

Gladys Elphick Park / Narnungga (Park 25)

Gladys Elphick Park / Narnungga (Park 25) honours the life and work of Gladys Elphick, 1904-1988.

photo-icon Gladys Elphick, circa 1941

Aunty Glad (as she was known) was a Kaurna and Narungga woman born in Adelaide and raised on Point Pearce Reserve. Her maternal great-grandmother was Kudnartu (after whom Wellington Square is named).

Aunty Glad advocated against discrimination of Aboriginal people and worked as a social worker for women. As the founding president (1964-73) of the Council of Aboriginal Women of South Australia, she worked to raise the status of Aboriginal people in the community.

In 1966-71 Aunty Glad was a member of the South Australian Aboriginal Affairs Board. She was appointed MBE (The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in 1971 for services to the Aboriginal people. In 1984 she was named ‘SA Aboriginal of the Year’.

Aunty Glad possessed a “lively sense of humour” and “a shrewd personality” that “pierced through humbug”. In 2003 the Aboriginal women’s group advising the International Women’s Day Committee (South Australia) presented the inaugural Gladys Elphick award.

Narnungga means ‘native pine place’ in the language of the Kaurna People, the traditional owners and custodians of the Adelaide Plains.

Park 25 has evolved from Colonel William Light’s 1837 Plan of the City and Park Lands of Adelaide. Adelaide’s planning legacy is recognised by the inclusion of the City and Park Lands plan on the National Heritage List. Adelaide is the only city in the world surrounded by a planned and largely intact system of Park Lands.

The Adelaide Park Lands and City Layout is widely regarded as a masterwork of urban design and signifies a turning point in the settlement of Australia. Adelaide was the first city in Australia to be planned and developed, not as a penal settlement or military outpost, but as a place for free settlers.

In 2006 the State Government announced the closure of the former SA Water Depot which occupied the portion of Park 25 to the west of the rail lines and the redevelopment of the site as Park Lands was completed in 2015. This was symbolically important because it reinstated the continuity of Adelaide’s ring of Park Lands on the western side of the City.

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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