‘Dehumanising’: Sam Sarkis on Randwick’s Eurimbla Avenue being wiped off the map


In 2017, officials knocked on the doors of residents living on Randwick’s Eurimbla Avenue and told them their houses were to be compulsorily acquired to make way for a redevelopment of the nearby Prince of Wales Hospital.

Residents were given a date and promised fair prices for their homes, but there was no negotiating about the fact they had to move out of the Eurimbla precinct, which is wedged between the University of New South Wales on one side and the hospital on the other.

Eurimbla Avenue was wiped off the map. Source: Sydney Morning Herald.

Now, almost four years later, former Eurimbla resident, Sam Sarkis, tells The Sydney Morning Herald that while you could not pay him to move back to Randwick, he still missed his neighbours.

Mr Sarkis was one of the most outspoken critics of the compulsory acquisition process and has since moved to acreage on the Central Coast.

He tells the SMH the process (which was concluded by the end of 2018) was made unnecessarily stressful by the bureaucratic way it was managed, with many residents frantically renovating and painting their homes to get a higher valuation.

Sam Sarkis, pictured outside his home in Eurimbla Avenue, in 2018. Credit: Louise Kennerley.

Mr Sarkis was told he could not take his new toilet with him. One man was told he could not take a magnolia tree that had been planted by his mother.

“They really dehumanised the whole thing… It could have been handled better,” Mr Sarkis told the Australian newspaper.

NSW Health Infrastructure said in a statement to the SMH that more than 90 per cent of property owners reached an agreement with the government on the value of their property without needing to resort to property acquisition and the process had been conducted in line with all its statutory obligations.

The Randwick campus construction site, the former site of Randwick’s Eurimbla precinct. Credit: Steven Saphore.

“Health Infrastructure understands the property acquisition process can be difficult for residents and owners and has made every effort to support positive outcomes on their behalf,” it said.

The Eurimbla Precinct History Association has now released a book, Remembering Eurimbla, funded by the garage sales of residents moving out of their homes and a grant from Randwick Council.

When Mr Sarkis opened the book, it was beyond anything he had imagined.

“The book gave recognition,” he said. “We weren’t just a number, which was how we had been treated [during the sell-off]. It recognised that we were people with stories, with families, with histories. That’s something.”

Source: SMH.




By subscribing you accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.


Latest News

AHEPA NSW marks 90 year anniversary with grand celebration

AHEPA NSW Inc marked its 90th anniversary with a splendid luncheon at Novotel Brighton-Le-Sands in Sydney on Sunday, May 26.

GOCSA’s new Neoléa initiative host Ikarian-inspired inaugural event

On May 26, the Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia (GOCSA) launched their new initiative known as “Neoléa.”

St George College in Adelaide officially opens the Kalimera Cafe

St George College in Adelaide, South Australia officially opened its new Kalimera Cafe on Friday, May 24. Read more here.

Unley High School gets creative to incentivise Greek language and cultural learning

Unley High School has looked into ways it can incentivise Greek language learning with a focus on real-world learning experiences.

Optometry Australia welcomes Jenny Mikakos to national board

Optometry Australia has welcomed the Hon. Jenny Mikakos to its national board in the role of Co-opted Director.

You May Also Like

Immigration Minister Andrew Giles sends message ahead of Orthodox Easter

The Federal Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Andrew Giles MP, has sent a message for Orthodox Easter.

Greece bids farewell to WWII resistance icon, Manolis Glezos, in silent funeral

Greek resistance hero, Manolis Glezos, was laid to rest in Athens on Wednesday with only nine people in attendance due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Courtney Houssos MP takes first step to save GP practices at risk of closure

Courtney Houssos MP today announced the NSW Government will move to pause payroll tax audits for GPs and their practices for 12 months.