Centennial Park: BBQ in the Park
In this short excerpt from the film Centennial Park (1979) we see a few families and groups of people enjoying a picnic in the park, making use of the public barbecuing areas and enjoying different leisure activities.
A snippet of audio that can be heard in the background of this film says 'This is 2EA, the voice of ethnic Australia', which indicates that these picnickers could be recent migrants who brought their love of alfresco dining with them from Europe and adapted it to the casual, Australian way of life.
The early to mid-1970s was a time when multiculturalism was receiving much support from the federal Whitlam Government, which introduced services to help new migrants settle in Australia, including foreign language radio stations and translation services. Multiculturalism in turn influenced how Australians approach the barbecue and outdoor entertaining.
Centennial Park in Sydney is a park in the grand tradition of English parks with a long history. Opened on 26 January 1888, it has seen many transformations over the years, from swamp and water supply reservoir to grazing land and the scene of Australia's Federation celebrations.
Today it is used by millions of walkers, joggers, dogs, cyclists, horseriders and picnickers as well as being an oasis of peace and a retreat for those seeking a quiet place in the centre of Australia's largest city. This film traces the historical development of Sydney's Centennial Park, the people's park, and the actual purposes for which the park has been used.