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Josie Agius

Josie Agius Park / Wikaparntu Wirra (Park 22)

photo-icon Josie Agius
photo-icon Netball in the Park Lands, City of Adelaide Archives, 1258ITEM0011[55], date unknown

Park 22 honours the life and work of Josie Agius, a Narungga, Kaurna, Ngarrindjeri and Ngadjuri leader and among South Australia's first Aboriginal health workers.

Aunty Josie supported girls’ sport in the numerous netball courts situated throughout this Park.

Born at Wallaroo in 1934, Aunty Josie grew up at Point Pearce and later moved to Adelaide. She worked as an Aboriginal education worker at Taperoo Primary School, was patron of the NAIDOC awards and championed reconciliation.

Aunty Josie helped develop cultural protocols for hospitals, community health services and schools. She became well known throughout South Australia for her Welcomes to Country in the traditional Kaurna language.

In 2015, then Premier Jay Weatherill said of Aunty Josie:

“As a strong leader in her community, she took every opportunity to share her culture and build relationships with the broader community.

"She was incredibly generous in sharing her stories and made an outstanding contribution to our state."

Wikaparntu Wirra means ‘netball park’ in the language of the Kaurna People, the traditional owners and custodians of the Adelaide Plains.

The Park is home to 24 new netball courts used by over 200 teams throughout the year, with an estimated 180,000 people using the courts for school and amateur netball games.

Park 22 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 Plan 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.

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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