Alexandria Park Community School

Uncle Terry Denzil is paving the way for Aboriginal design and inclusivity at Alexandria Park Community School.

Across every generation, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders have played, and continue to play, an important role and hold a prominent place in local communities and families.  

They guide younger generations and pave the way – not only through generations of advocacy and activism, but in everyday life.  

In 2022, RCC worked closely with Schools Infrastructure NSW and Tanner Kibble Denton (TKD) to deliver Alexandria Park Community School – a vibrant and unique Kindergarten to Year 12 school located in the heart of Sydney. It was an honour for our project team to work closely with local Elder and school mentor Uncle Terry Denzil throughout the school’s design and construction.  

In 2022, Uncle Terry’s commitment to Aboriginal education in NSW public schools was recognised at the 17th Nanga Mai Awards, where he received the Outstanding Contribution to Educational Achievement by an Aboriginal Community Member Award for his work at Alexandria Park Community School. Nanga Mai is an Eora (Sydney) word “to dream.” You can read more about these awards here. 

RCC worked closely with TDK to design Alexandria Park Community School in a way that paid respect to the traditional custodians of the land – after community-wide consultation, it was decided to name the gymnasium “The Denzil” in honour of Uncle Terry’s contributions.  

Working with the school’s leadership team, Uncle Terry sought knowledge and permission from Shayne Beckham, Cultural Mentor, to name school buildings and significant spaces in the Gomberee language, and introduced Gomberee language lessons into school programs. 

Through consultation with Uncle Terry and Aunty Deb, Aboriginal influences from local areas were incorporated into the core of the design, including: 

  • An Aboriginal dot painting inspiration via perforation patterns on the dominant façade screening 
  • Incorporating historic NAIDOC Week posters and a Welcome to Country Mural on the main wall of “The Denzil” 
  • Inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander plants within landscape works, with a focus on native species from the local area 
  • Inclusion of edible native plants in the garden outside the teaching kitchen spaces    

This NAIDOC Week, we would like to acknowledge and thank Uncle Terry, Aunty Deb, and all Elders who have made, and continue to make, significant contributions in their communities.