Family Memories of New Farm Park from Teresa Gambaro

New Farm Park is a place of wonderful family memories for many people – it is where many of life’s special moments, big and small, have taken place.

We want to preserve these family stories so they can become a treasured part of the park’s legacy. Share with us your own family moments in New Farm Park so that we can one day fill a whole book of family stories.

Email with your story and contact details. Photos enthusiastically encouraged!

Teresa Gambaro

Teresa Gambaro, Former Member of the Australian House of Representatives and now Adjunct Professor at the Queensland University of Technology, grew up in New Farm. She shares her memories here.

Domenico, Teresa and Rosetta Gambaro in the family store 54 years ago.

“My first memories of New Farm Park as a small child of four years of age was being taken to the park by my grandparents.

I would dance to the music of the municipal band that played in the Rotunda. My Grandparents would cheekily tell me that the applause was for my wonderful dancing. I was fine with that.

As I got older and as a first-generation child of immigrant Italian parents, I spent most of my young childhood working alongside my parents at our corner store/deli which was diagonally on the corner opposite the park.

I served the customers and spruiked the grocery specials on the microphone, as my parents’ English was not good then.

I had an amazing view of life in the park. There were the picnics, the large family gatherings, the celebrations and later sporting matches that would take place there. This was life in New Farm in the early sixties.

It was a wonderful mix of working Italian and Australian families, bohemian and artistic elements, where struggling actors such as Jack Thompson would come into my parent’s store.

He lived near New Farm Park and was a regular. My Mother Rosetta would put cigarettes and other items on the chit for him, until he got some paid acting jobs.

New Farm Park is one of the most beautiful Parks in Brisbane, and when I could sneak away from the shop, I loved to run amongst the rose bushes. It still makes my heart sing and brings me great joy and happiness.

As I got older, I would exercise along with my mother and friends around the amazing circuit. There was always so much to take in, the hustle and buzz of visitors finding that perfect picnic spot, the beautiful Brisbane River and the city cats zooming past and those iconic rose bushes of so many hues and smells.

I have held numerous fund-raising and awareness days for many organisations at the park.

I have attended so many happy events there and some not so happy, commemorating loss and remembrance.

I now take my two grandsons whenever I can to play in the park; they love the playground and never want to leave. I get great joy watching them run through the rose bushes just as I did as a small child with wonderment and glee.”

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