Marrickville gift: Bethlehem playground – construction starting in March



Thanks Marrickville for $10,000 gift.

Marrickville Councillor, Cathy Peters and Mayor of Bethlehem Dr Vic Batarseh


The Mayor of Bethlehem, Dr Vic Batarseh, who visited Marrickville in 2007, has thanked Marrickville Council for its gift late last year and tells our website in this interview how it will help Bethlehem’s children.

1.      Is it true that Bethlehem has a great need for more children’s playgrounds?


Yes, in Bethlehem there is lots of children who are deprived of their basic need and basic right, which is to be a child and live like a child. They have no facilities where they can go on a normal day and play sport or spend their time. All the facilities afforded at schools are small and in tiny scales.


2.     Have you received the $10,000 from Marrickville Council and will it mean you can start on a playground or is more money needed?


Yes, with many thanks we received the money and now we are going to start the first step of this project, but we are going to need more money as this is a big project and in order to make it in an exemplary way to guarantee the safeness of our children.


3.      What was the reaction of Councillors and staff to receiving this donation from faraway Sydney?


They were very grateful and expressed their gratitude and appreciation to this distinguished relation of twinning between Bethlehem Municipality and the City of Marrickville, and hoped the other 66 twin cities that Bethlehem Municipality has would do the same or at least contribute in making something good for Bethlehem.


4.    What is the next practical step towards getting a playground?


We will start with the work at the beginning of March to construct the

infrastructure and the administration rooms.


5.    Will you make it locally or import materials from Israel, Egypt, Lebanon or



No, the material will be bought from locally, from merchants in Bethlehem city.


6.    Is there a model we can see of what you intend to build?


No, because making the model is too expensive but we can afford the

construction map.


7.   Will the people of Bethlehem get to hear that Marrickville Council in Australia, its sister-city, donated this amount?


Bethlehem Council members hold periodic meetings at the municipalities

Hall for the representatives of the Bethlehem community to discuss

several issues for the city and the project of the playground was mentioned

and they got to know that the city of Marrickville in Australia is the one

funding this project.


Also, upon the primary step, the process and the completion of this project,

people will be notified about it through several kinds of media, such as the

municipality’s website, the radio stations and newspaper.


And upon the completion of this project, at the entrance of the playground,

there will be a signboard explaining about the project and showing that the

city of Marrickville is the one that funded it, and lots of associations, schools

and groups benefiting in Bethlehem and the surrounding areas will be



Interview with Mayor of Bethlehem Dr Vic Bataresh
By Peter Manning
25 February 2012


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