Home' The Bunyip : Wednesday 27th November, 2013 Contents “ THE BUNYIP” GAWLER, Wednesday, November 27, 2013 Page 23
THREE years ago Dale Hughes
opened his home to gay men who had
nowhere to go.
His Andrews Farm house for months
was a refuge to those who were kicked
out of home for their sexuality.
Since then, the 24-year-old has been a
proud gay rights advocate and a helping
hand to the local same sex attracted com-
Last week he was dubbed an inspira-
tion at the annual Playford Alive Local
Now living in Elizabeth Downs, the
local resident is the co-founder and vol-
unteer for a same sex attracted support
group called Paradise, which he formed
with an Anglicare case worker two and a
half years ago.
“It started up originally because the
case worker had a client...who was being
bullied and on the verge of committing
suicide,” he said.
“She put it out there, ‘do you think we
need it and why?’, and I said ‘yes’.
“We do everything, we’re always on the
phone trying to set up what we can do for
the boys, how we can help.”
Growing up with his father and his fa-
ther’s friends as parents, Dale said he had
an “interesting upbringing”.
“I didn’t have a curfew, I actually once
walked out of the house at three o’clock
in the morning. I was nine and I just
walked out of the house,” he said.
Dale, who at 16 was left to care for his
baby sister while his mother battled post-
natal depression, said he was forced to
build structure for himself.
But despite his struggles during child-
hood, he said his family was accepting
when he found the courage to come out.
“My mum always guessed...and she ac-
tually said, ‘What took you so long?’ I will
remember that forever now,” he said.
bus; I just rang him up and I was, like,
‘just so you know, I’m gay’.
“My dad likes to say ‘deadly’ when he
understands what you’re saying and he
just kept saying it.”
Dale said he wanted to help others
whose coming-out experience has not
been as positive as his.
“I’ve had a few people that said ‘I think
I might’ and that instant kicked out just
for thinking it,” he said.
The local resident said he was shocked
to receive the Inspire Playford Award last
“I feel like people are watching more
than I think they are,” he said.
He now hopes to start a cooking pro-
gram for the local community, with a
dream of one day establishing his own
living skills centre.
MORE clowns, floats and colour will
make this year’s Playford Christmas
Pageant the biggest and brightest yet.
This Saturday, more than 50 floats will
make their way through the streets of
Smithfield before joining the festivities at
Munno Para Shopping City.
Playford pageant committee secretary
Coral Gooley said this year a number
of new sporting clubs and community
groups have signed on to be a part of this
“We’ve got hockey in, we’ve got a crick-
et club, we’ve got a netball club, we’ve got
a four-wheel drive club...we’ve also got the
Fremont Elizabeth Marching Band in,”
“In the past we’ve been saying over 40
(floats), this year it’s over 50.”
Joining the newcomers will be old pa-
rade favourites, including the Flintstones,
Miss Piggy, Kermit the Frog, Alice in
Wonderland, as well as pageant icon Santa
Cr Gooley said around 1000 partici-
pants will take part in this year’s event.
“It’s bigger and brighter and there’s
more clowns,” she said.
Sponsored by Munno Para Shopping
City and Playford Alive with Mix 102.3
personality Lynne Hayes as the MC, the
event will mark its 11th year this week-
The parade will take off at 9.30am from
the corner of Jane and Queen streets, run-
ning along Anderson Walk and Warooka
Drive, before finishing at Munno Para
The celebrations will continue at the
shopping centre with activities including
Christmas carols, craft activities, face-
painting and games.
FREMONT Park is in line for a
makeover with concept plans for its
rejuvenation under way.
To be developed by Playford Council,
the redevelopment will build on from the
master plan developed in 2007 by the for-
“ The concept plans will look to create
better connectivity between the park and
the city centre, upgrade stormwater infra-
structure, create improved spaces for our
community and recognise the historic
and social significance of the park in the
broader context of the city,” mayor Glenn
He said it was one of Playford’s “most
prominent open spaces”, with events
including Australia Day held at the park.
Residents, park users and community
groups will have a chance to tell council
what they want to see in the space at a later
Dale’s open house inspiration
Santa Claus will make his way through Smithfield this Saturday.
Playford pageant bigger
Plans for Fremont Park
Artist shows not all
graffiti’s slap Dash
Mayor’s Youth Awards:
Community Involvement Award -
Matthew Orchard; Inspire Playford
Award - Dale Hughes;
Positive Playford Award - Sarah Menz.
Healthy Communities Award - Peachey Place Living
Skills Centre; Best Work Experience Placement - Dean
Miller; Best Learning to Employment Outcome -
Playford Alive Awards:
Positive Playford - Simon Atherton; Sports Award
- The Grove Tennis Club, Playford Aquatic Club; Best
Employment Outcome - Janie Pascoe, Timothy
Playfair; Best Training to Employment Outcome
- Kerrily Brand; Service to Community (group/or-
ganisation) - PACT (Police and Community Together),
Davoren Park Youth and Community Club; Service
to Community (individual) - Senior Constable Jason
Hill; Environmental Award - Southan Street Organic
Project; Outstanding Achievements by a Playford
Alive contractor – L.R.& M. Constructions;
Outstanding Achievements by a local business
- Caffe Primo Munno Para; Best Training Program
- Northern Health Pathways (a partnership between
Equals International, Renewal SA and Playford
Council); Minister’s Scholarship - Timothy Playfair,
A MELBOURNE aerosol artist is paint-
ing a positive picture of graffiti in Davoren
AJ Tan, better known as Dash, has spent the
past week creating colourful murals and sharing
his skills through workshops in Davoren Park as
part of a Playford Council initiative to break the
graffiti art stereotype.
Dash said perceptions of aerosol art have been
changing for the better.
“Nowadays people generally have good stuff
to say,” he said.
“The whole time I’ve been in Davoren Park
painting, everyone that’s been cruising past has
had nothing but good stuff to say.”
Around a dozen young local artists came out
to join in the workshops and try their hand at
aerosol art last week, which Dash said is not as
easy as it looks.
“Everyone picks up a spray can and has lots of
fun and the first thing they generally do is write
their name,” he said.
“But then, if you get them to do anything
that’s ‘gonna’ force them to use technique and
different styles, they’re going to realise it’s not as
easy as it looks.”
The England-born artist said aerosol art was a
fantastic way to get creative outdoors.
“What I love about aerosol art is...that I’m not
in a studio space,” he said.
“A graffiti artist is in the elements, in the
wind, up a ladder, in the rain, in the sun and
when people pass by I get the opportunity to sit
there and talk to them.”
Dash’s work can be viewed at the shopping
centre and on Swallowcliffe Road in Davoren
Melbourne aerosol artist AJ Tan, known as Dash, has brought colour to Davoren Park.
PHOTO: Mary Ackers
Elizabeth Downs resident Dale Hughes has
been awarded the Inspire Playford Award
as part of Playford Alive Local Heroes
PHOTO: Natalie Vikhrov
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