“40 Years of Local Designs”

Aug 15, 2013 by in News Comments Off

“40 Years of Local Designs”

 black dress

Celebrating 40 years of promoting Sydney’s designers and creative small business entrepreneurs, Paddington Markets is venturing into new territory with innovative events and art installations. “Markets today need to be more than a place to shop” says Janet Collins, Markets Manager. “They need to feed the senses and the soul; the best markets are both a visual and a community experience”.

From November to January the markets will operate under an art installation called “High Street Shopping” a collection of shopping bags individually decorated by local designers and artists who trade at Paddington Markets. In this way the art becomes a part of the environment that we engage in, not just something that we purchase” says Ms Collins. Mannequins will be hung from the rafters, and to promote sustainability, each mannequin, is clothed in reused materials. This reinforces that Paddington Markets has been the birthing place of a number of Sydney’s now established designers and after 40 years is still a regular shopping destination for undercover celebrities, tourists, locals and interstate visitors.

A community based social enterprise, this Market also supports a centre for people who are homeless, isolated and with mental health issues. After 40 years and in a tough retail environment Paddington Markets is still giving to the community and encouraging Sydneysiders to come and support those still making creative Australian clothes and handcrafts.

While the rest of the city is focused on Art and About, “The “High Street Shopping” installation will add vibrancy to Oxford Street and create an interesting environment for all who visit Paddington”.

green dress 1

This project is made possible with the support of Paddington Uniting Church

Special Thanks to:

Reverse Garbage who have supplied mannequin’s dressed in reused materials 
Planet Cake – Paddington Markets- Birthday Cake 
Albury Environ Bags 
Kennard’s Hire, Alexandria – All Terrane Lift 
KT Keble’s – Wire Rope

Installation: Luke Rhodes 
Installation Assistant & Concept Bag Designer Kamal Kothari

Produced by Janet Collins

Where 395 Oxford Street at Paddington Markets 
When From Saturday 24thOctober 2013 to January, 2014 
Cost: Free

Media Enquiries:

Homelessness On The Rise In Central Sydney

written by Lisa Portman

In February volunteers combing inner-city Sydney streets counted 274 people sleeping rough and in overnight shelters. The number, the result of the twice-yearly Sydney City street count, was encouraging. It was well down on a recent high of 418 people sleeping roudgh in February 2010, and below the 300-plus number counted most years since 2009. However, it was only part of the picture with latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data showing homelessness across Australia jumped 8 per cent between 2006 and 2011 – mainly because of a swell in people living in what it called “severely crowded dwellings”. This meant that on August 9, 2011, or Census count night, there were 105,237 Australians battling homelessness and relying on community services such as Paddington Markets-supported Eddie Dixon Centre for food or warmth. The problem was particularly prevalent in New South Wales, where the homelessness rate rose by a massive 20 per cent to almost 41 people for every 10,000. With Homelessness Persons’ Week running from now until Sunday, August 11, now is the time to consider what we can all do to help stem homelessness.

Defining the Problem

Thankfully the number of homeless Australians in improvised dwellings, tents or sleeping out dropped from 7247 in 2006 to 6813 in 2011. This number includes 492 people in the Sydney city and inner south area, encompassing Paddington, which ranked it as one of the highest numbers in Australia. Remember those you see on the street are only a fraction of those experiencing homelessness. All up the ABS says there are 4473 homeless people surviving in the Sydney city area alone, about half of them in boarding houses. There were also 236 people staying temporarily in other’s houses and 676 in severely crowded dwellings without the space for any social relations with friends and family. There are a variety of situations faced by the homeless, with the ABS defining three types of homelessness:

  • Primary homelessness: those living on the street, sleeping in parks, squatting in derelict buildings or sleeping in cars or railway carriages.
  • Secondary homelessness: those moving frequently from temporary shelter to temporary shelter, such as emergency accommodation, refuges or staying temporarily with relatives/friends or at boarding houses.
  • Tertiary homelessness: people living in premises without security of lease guarantee, nor access to basic private facilities such as a private bathroom, kitchen or living space.

What is Being Done Across Australia

The number of homeless people in Australia has increased despite a 2008 federal government – led by the once-disposed-now-returned Prime Minister Kevin Rudd – announcement to half homelessness by 2020. In NSW, a Homelessness Action Plan has been developed to help tackle the problem and set state-wide directions for the best outcomes for those already homeless. It aims to tackle homelessness by preventing it, responding effectively to it and breaking the cycle, and includes actions ranging from helping prevent evictions to finding the right support for those tackling issue such as drug abuse to improving accommodation models for those needing help. However, as the latest ABS data confirms neither have yet made an overwhelming impact. The upcoming September Federal Election has put homelessness advocatecs and agencies on the front foot. As Australians prepare to head to the polls groups such as the Council on Homelessness are pushing for commitments from both major parties for funding to tackle homelessness.

What You Can Do

Politics can be a fickle business so relying on politicians to tackle the issue can be problematic, and as the old adage says ‘if you want something done right, do it yourself’. Getting out into the community to volunteer, making your voice heard and using your money to make a difference can all make a real difference in the lives of the homeless. For example, something as simple as contacting your local politicians and councillors to ask what they are doing to tackle the issue and making it understood that it matters to you can have an impact. The more politicians hear from constituents the more they know what issues matters to them. Alternatively, get out into the community and volunteer your time. Groups such as Paddington’s Eddie Dixon Centre get no government funding and survive solely on volunteer and financial support from the community. Serving up to 60 lunches a day for homeless people such as 38-year-old ‘John’, who has mental illness and has slept rough on Paddington streets for the past 10 years, means their need for volunteer support is limitless. Without groups such as this many homeless would have no where else to turn. There are countless support groups needing your support in Sydney alone. Even shopping smartly can help – for example buying birthday presents at Paddington Markets supports a not-for-profit organisation that supports the Eddie Dixon Centre that support homeless people. This is a great example of how using your spending power can make a difference. Or you can directly donate money to the support services you like, which is generally tax deductible and ensures your money goes exactly where you want it.

More Always Needs to be Done

Despite national and state plans launched in the past few years, the latest statistics show homelessness is a complex and resistant problem. Helping those facing the prospect of sharing a room with too many others or a night in Kings Cross should be something everyone endeavours to do. Homelessness is an issue that can affect anyone for a variety of often unavoidable reason, especially in today’s volatile economic environment. Something we should all strive to remember as the numbers are tallied from the latest street count made by volunteers combing the streets at 1am on a cold Sydney morning.


‘HANGING AROUND – Umbrella Project’


Spring has come early to Paddington with an explosion of vibrancy and colour at Paddington Markets. In association with Kulchafest, a month long celebration of art and culture in Paddington. ”Hanging Around – the Umbrella Project” reminds us that colour and creativity are important to our lives and community. Umbrellas provide shelter and protection from harsh weather.

Paddington Markets is a not-for profit that provides shelter and support for the homeless and isolated and is also committed to provide support for small local Australian artists and small businesses. In hanging these umbrellas, Janet Collins said ‘When I see an umbrella I think of shelter, which is what our homeless centre achieves, it also is a reminder that Paddington Markets open rain, or shine.”

Paddington Markets marks it’s 40 focused on supporting creative locals and serving the local community. Without the Market, the Eddie Dixon Centre for the homeless would not operate. “Our umbrellas hang to celebrate life and creativity whilst remembering that lives also hang in the balance”.

Paddington Markets has a long history of supporting the arts and culture and we believe that Australian designers and creativity should be nurtured and promoted.

“There is no reason that art, culture and community need to be marginalised or sacrificed because of our society’s preoccupation with business and profits. We need to encourage creativity if we are going to prosper as a society and economy into the future”

Tina RendellThornton talking about Kulchafest August 2013 ! This project is made possible with the support of Paddington Uniting Church.

Special Thanks to:


  • – All Umbrellas
  • Kennard’s Hire, Alexandria – All Terrane Lift
  • KT Keble’s – Wire Rope
  • Installation: Luke Rhodes
  • Installation Assistants: Shawn Li
  • Sophie Harvey
  • Photographer:
  • Filip Przerwa

Produced by Janet Collins

Where: 395 Oxford Street Paddington at Paddington Markets

When: From Friday 9th of August

Cost: Free


Tina Rendell Thornton Phone 0419 984 002 Email: Tina Rendell

What’s On

Upcoming event: Paddington Produce Market, 27th September

  • Click to open larger map