Fifteen kids from five schools across Sydney today retraced the steps of one of Parramatta’s greatest success stories, Sir James Martin, walking from Parramatta Square to Sydney’s Martin Place.
The students – from Parramatta High School, Riverside Girls High School, Marsden High School, Sydney Secondary College Balmain, and Conservatorium High School – replicated the journey of Martin who in the 1830s used to walk from his home in Parramatta to Sydney so he could go to high school.
A penniless Irish boy, Martin went on to become Premier of NSW, Chief Justice and was a key architect of the country’s first system of public education.
City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Pierre Esber, who farewelled the group on their journey alongside Deputy Premier Prue Car and Opposition leader Mark Speakman, said James Martin’s story was a continued source of pride and inspiration for the City.
“We should never forget that one of Sydney’s most recognised boulevards is named after a kid from Parramatta,” Cr Esber said.
“James Martin rose from the humblest of beginnings to the highest ranks of the State government – all because of his determination and love of learning, traits that are part of our City’s DNA.”
Dr Patricia Azarias, co-founder of The Lysicrates Foundation which partnered with the NSW Department of Education to host the walk, said the event aimed to inspire a new generation of kids from Western Sydney.
“Everyone needs a hero they can look up to,” Dr Azarias said.
“This is about every kid in Western Sydney realising they too can grow up to be Premier or Chief Justice and make their mark on the State or achieve whatever it is they want to do.”