Part 10


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When we discovered that a World AIDS Day event was to take place at the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens - a walk to raise funds for AIDS organisations - we thought we should make it known that Sydney Park was a large park with AIDS Groves and a Reflection Area which could be used as a focal point for an AIDS event. We wrote a letter to the Sydney Star Observer about this and were ignored, as has become the way with the SSO in relation to community organisations which don't meet the "glamour" criteria of the paper.

The first letter was written 3 years ago in 2005 and the second letter was written recently, in 2008. It too was ignored by that bastion of "glamour" events, so we thought we would place it on our SPAIDS web pages so that those interested in the SPAIDS project would understand how the AIDS communities in Sydney have become so politicised that they are no longer able to see "the wood for the trees"!


John Burfitt,
Sydney Star Observer,
PO Box 939, Darlinghurst NSW 1300.
Email: {" }
Friday, 2 December 2005.

From: Kendall Lovett,
Mannie De Saxe's partner, and Co-Coordinator SPAIDS,
PO Box 1675, Preston South, Vic 3072.
Tel: (03) 9471 4878, email: josken_at_zipworld_com_au

Dear John,

Apparently you spoke to Mannie by 'phone on Thursday afternoon about SPAIDS and he referred you to our website for the story. He mentioned as well that there is now only one planting each year in late July on National Tree Day.

It concerns me though that you implied that the SSO probably would only consider an article about the project around that time. I wondered why it had to wait until July. Why not in the new year?

In the current issue, SSO 793, I noticed that the World AIDS Day Walk in the Botanical Gardens was a wash-out. On the other hand the SPAIDS Memorial Groves in Sydney Park are meant especially for the observance of AIDS remembrance ceremonies with long and short walks through this beautiful parkland which includes its own lakes and birdlife.

Sydney Park AIDS (SPAIDS) Memorial Groves also has its own Reflection Area, designed and built for us by the then South Sydney City Council in 2001 and dedicated to those who have died from the effects of the AIDS pandemic, as an enduring memorial .

If each of the AIDS organizations named as the sponsors of last Sunday's wash- out Walk were interested, they could quite easily sponsor separate walks in Sydney Park throughout 2006 ending up with ceremonies in the Reflection Area which overlooks the groves. If they would go and look at the SPAIDS area for themselves instead of pretending it doesn't exist, they would recognize its potential. Sydney Park is large and attractive and is in lesbian and gay heartland 'Newtown/Camperdown/Erskineville/St Peters/Marrickville. Last July Sydney's Lord Mayor Clover Moore came and planted a tree in the Groves. So, even if the AIDS organizations don't recognize the park's potential at least Clover does.

SSO need not feel that it would be overdoing things if it published an article or two about SPAIDS in the new year, would it?

Regards, Ken Lovett.

Wild swans on Sydney Park lake, 2 Aug.05.

Photo: Kendall Lovett.


To: Editor Sydney Star Observer

Subject: Walk for AIDS event

9 November 2008

Mannie De Saxe, SPAIDS (Sydney Park AIDS Memorial Groves) co-convenor,
PO Box 1675
Preston South, Vic 3072
Sydney Park AIDS Memorial Groves

Recent evidence shows an alarming rise in rates of HIV infection in Australia after some years of fairly stable rates of infection.

Educational programmes for those at risk in our communities have become necessary after many years of such programmes disappearing or being reduced by AIDS organisations around the country.

The Sydney Star Observer supports the "Walk for AIDS" event as shown by the full page item on page 28 of issue 942 of 30 October 2008, as do several other organisations listed on that page.

The annual event will be held in the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain on Sunday 23 November 2008.

Some years ago we asked the organisers of the event why it was not held in Sydney Park which is a well-developed venue with enough space to hold the two kilometre walk, and in an area where many people in our communities live.

But the main attraction for holding an AIDS event in Sydney Park is that it would also be a place of educational significance. The SPAIDS Groves have a Reflection Area in the middle which would be a good central meeting place to start off such an event.

SPAIDS co-convenors have applied for the Groves to be placed on the National Heritage list, and we were supported by Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of Sydney, who was pleased to offer any help she could for us to gain the listing.

We hope that all those organisations which sponsor and support the "Walk for AIDS" event will give consideration to the 2009 walk being held in Sydney Park.

SPAIDS hopes to have its 35th planting at the end of July 2009 when the Groves will be turning 15. We have planted over 8000 trees since 1994 and have listed about 1200 names of people who have died of AIDS. We believe this would provide an excellent educational opportunity for the "Walk for AIDS" event in 2009.

Mannie De Saxe, SPAIDS co-convenor.




7 JANUARY 2008


7 January 2008

Background history and development

The Brickworks at the bottom of King Street Newtown in Sydney’s inner west ceased being a brickworks somewhere around the middle of the 1980s.

The site then became a garbage dump and became rather polluted with all the waste deposited there.

Ownership of the site had changed from private to public and by 1990 the area was under the control of South Sydney City Council. Council started cleaning up the site and ridding it of pollution and soon afterwards started grading and laying out the site for a large park to be called Sydney Park.

In the initial stages Council, which had its own nursery established on the site, planted trees to demarcate different parts of the Park. By 1992 Council was inviting community groups to plant trees in the Park to help it to become established.

At around this period, when many young people were dying from the AIDS epidemic, some members of the gay community, who had become carers for people with AIDS, approached South Sydney City Council with the request that they be considered as a community group in order to plant trees to commemorate people who had died of AIDS.

Similar groups had established memorial groves overseas and in Australia, and it was hoped that Council would be sympathetic to the request.

After about 18 months of negotiation, Council agreed to this community group being permitted to plant trees for commemoration purposes, and it was supposed that this would end up being a one-off event. The first planting by the AIDS Memorial Groves group took place on 15 May 1994. Council decided, in order to help establish the Park, to have three plantings a year and was inviting assistance from community groups.

By 1996 the AIDS Memorial Groves group had planted on 8 occasions and found a name for the Groves – SPAIDS – Sydney Park AIDS Memorial Groves. Plantings continued to take place three times a year under the auspices of South Sydney City Council until that council was merged with Sydney City Council who continued with the establishment of the Park and community plantings.

SPAIDS has continued to be part of the Park and in 2001, while still under the auspices of South Sydney City Council, a Reflection Area with a permanent stone sculpture and circular surround was built by Council as part of the development of the Park.

The Park was beginning to show signs of being fully laid out with trees grown to full height by about 2002, and soon afterwards it was decided to have only one community planting a year and that to take place on National Tree Day which is usually the last Sunday in July.

By the end of 2007 about 8,000 trees had been planted, and 1,200 names recorded of those who have died of AIDS. This figure represents about 20 per cent of AIDS recorded deaths in Australia.

For web site, contact details and further information, see
Submitted for SPAIDS by Mannie De Saxe, Sydney Park AIDS Memorial Groves Founder and Co-coordinator.

JULY 2008


Mannie De Saxe,
PO Box 1675,
Preston South,
Vic 3072,

Some time ago I wished to place an article in Wikipedia on the Sydney Park AIDS Memorial Groves of which I am the originator and co-coordinator. My entry was refused by Wikipedia on the grounds that I was not able to provide confirmation of my source material.

As I was the founder of the project I did not have confirmation sources available but Wikipedia would have been able to confirm the information from such sources as Sydney City Council which administers Sydney Park if they had bothered to try. However they chose to refuse my entry and I chose to decide that I would have nothing more to do with Wikipedia.

I was mortally offended that an open-source site would treat me in this manner. The only reason I saw the appeal for funding support was because a friend sent us information about a particular item in Wikipedia. I make it a matter of principle not to look at anything there otherwise.

Mannie De Saxe, Lesbian and Gay Solidarity, Melbourne, Australia, SPAIDS co-coordinator.

24 MARCH 2010

Retrieved from "" Category: Foundation wiki
-----Original Message-----
From: Mannie De Saxe [mailto:josken1_at_pacific_net_au]
Sent: Wednesday, 24 March 2010 12:23 AM
Subject: Fairfield infectious diseases hospital
Mannie De Saxe, Lesbian and Gay Solidarity, Melbourne PO Box 1675 Preston South Vic 3072

In an article in Wikipedia on Fairfield Infectious Diseases Hospital in Melbourne there is a section on the Fairfield AIDS Memorial Garden.

In the article there is a reference and link to our web page on Fairfield AIDS Memorial Garden - uncredited.

In view of the fact that a few years ago I submitted an article for publication to Wikipedia on the Sydney Park AIDS Memorial Groves of which my partner and I were the co-founders, Wikipedia informed us that as there was no confirmation of information contained in the article, they were unable to publish it, yet you have the chutzpah to publish the web page we put together about Fairfield, without crediting us at all.

This is quite disgusting and it ought either to be credited or removed.

Mannie De Saxe

24 MARCH 2010

Hi Mannie,

I am sorry you have been so offended and angered by Wikipedia. However, Wikimedia Australia is not responsible for Wikipedia and you will have to contact the Wikipedia volunteers at the Wikimedia Foundation’s email address: if you are having problems or have concerns with Wikipedia. I did have a look at the article you refer to and the link I presume you're talking about on the Fairfield article ( is the credit. Wikipedia only reports what has already been published elsewhere by reliable, verifiable published sources and the verifiability policy is similar to academic plagiarism rules and requires that contributors cite the source of their information. The contributors who added that section to the article apparently found your website to be a useful source and thus cited it so that future readers can go to your site and verify the information and read more about the subject.

It's important to understand that Wikipedia articles are not written by Wikipedia as such or by the Wikimedia Foundation. Articles are entirely "user generated" and purely written by interested volunteer contributors from around the world. Likewise, new articles are not approved by Wikipedia or the Wikimedia Foundation but by volunteers. So it wasn't the foundation or even Wikipedia who deleted your article, but a volunteer administrator. The administrator who deleted the article and the contributor who added the information to the Fairfield article and cited your website are two unrelated people working in completely different areas of the project and the contributor had no possible way of knowing anything about your deleted article when they added that information and used your website as a source. So there was definitely no “chutzpah” or any offense intended by any of the volunteers.

I had a look at the deleted article on the Sydney Park AIDS Memorial Groves. It was problematic for a number of reasons - it did not explain how or why this park was notable and it appears it was written from firsthand knowledge. All article subjects need to meet a certain level of notability to be included in the encyclopedia, which is generally assessed by the availability of significant coverage in verifiable reliable published sources which are independent from the subject itself (such as newspaper and journal articles etc). Additionally, you wrote on the uploaded article “Copyright Mannie De Saxe and Ken Lovett ". Wikipedia does not accept any material under copyright. Wikipedia is a project to build an unrestricted copyright free encyclopedia and all material needs to be released under a compatible free license or it cannot be accepted. The copyright notice you wrote on the page automatically disqualified it from inclusion. However, it's unlikely it would have been accepted in that form anyway due to the fact that it did not cite any independent published sources and did not explain how or why the memorial meets the inclusion criteria.

You are welcome to write to the volunteers regarding the Fairfield article, but it is unlikely the reference to your website will be removed because the contributors are using the link to give your site credit for information in the section, which is required under Wikipedia policy.

Yours sincerely,
Sarah Ewart
Wikimedia Australia

12 APRIL 2010

Dear Sarah,

Thank you for taking the trouble to send me a lengthy and detailed response to my complaints.

However there are many items in your letter which need to be addressed.

If our Fairfield web pages were used, you would be aware that all our web pages state from the "Mannie and Kendall's Web Page" index page that there is a copyright statement at the bottom.

Now the mere fact that we put items on our web pages means that they are available to www and anybody who want to make use of the material will do so. As you would be aware, these copyrights are observed in the breach by everybody around the world, and our web pages would be no exception.

Under these circumstances, wouldn't it indicate that our Fairfield site was also subject to the same copyright.

Another matter which needs clarification concerns my submission of our SPAIDS article to be listed in wikipedia. Wouldn't it stand to reason that if it was copyright then it would not be acceptable for publication, yet we sent it in for that purpose.

Now considering that we are the founders and co-coordinators of the SPAIDS project it stands to reason that there are no other organisations which in effect are responsible for what we submit about the Sydney Park AIDS Memorial Groves. The fact that the Groves are in a public park which is run and maintained by Sydney City Council would seem to suggest that this is some sort of confirmation about the existence of the Groves.

As for the volunteers who scrutinise and approve or otherwise articles which have been submitted, there have been many complaints over the years of the autheniticity and accuracy of many of the articles, but, as we have noticed over time, many of the articles are still there, a glaring example being one about an organisation in Sydney called Pride, which has gone through many reincarnations and rebirths.

It seems to us we have been excluded because we are not a vast organisation with vast networks of people who can vouch for the material, and assuredly copyright has been ignored on possibly as much as 90 per cent of submissions.

I am fairly computer literate but found that the problems I was confronted by when making our SPAIDS submission made it impossible to try again, particularly as nobody bothered to communicate with us to check on our article and help us with making it available to everybody. We have counters on all our web pages and people from around the world look at items we have. I have also just checked the article I submitted and was unable to find the copyright on it which you say is there. As far as I know the only copyright notice is on our index page, as I have aready stated.

Wikipedia has not helped their image by some of their actions and I for one have ceased to worry about them. However it was from a counter on our Fairfield page that we came across the wikipedia article with the reference to our web page.

I am obviously aware of how wikipedia articles come into existence and believed that I was also able to contribute to an open source encyclopaedia of this nature, but ended up sadly disillusioned.

Thanks again for your response but I think some further clarifications are needed about wikimedia and wikipedia and how they do - or don't operate!


Australian AIDS Quilt Web Site - Part 1 - Blocks 1 to 40

Australian AIDS Quilt Web Site - Part 2 - Blocks 41 to 80

Australian AIDS Quilt Web Site - Part 3 - Blocks 81 to 120

World AIDS Day Australia

HIV/AIDS ISSUES PART 5 (Quilt Displays)


Mannie & Kendall's Home Page

Mannie also has a personal web site, which may be found by clicking on the link: RED JOS

Mannie's blogs may be accessed by clicking on to the following links:

MannieBlog (from 1 August 2003 to 31 December 2005)

ACTIVIST KICKS BACKS - AKB (from December 2005 onwards)

RED JOS BLOGSPOT (from January 2009 onwards)

This page updated 12 MAY 2014 and again on 9 FEBRUARY 2017

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