Today is the 157th birthday of Dr. José Rizal and in his honor, I am featuring Rizal Park in Rosemeadow, which is a suburb of Sydney, Australia under the jurisdiction of the City of Campbelltown. On October 26, 2012, no less than President Benigno Aquino III led the unveiling of a 5-meter-tall statue of José Rizal (one of the biggest Rizal statues in the world) created by renowned sculptor Ed Castrillo to become the centerpiece of Rizal Park. Along with the statue, a historical marker by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines was also unveiled. The president was joined by the mayor of Campbelltown, Sue Dobson, and the Premier of New South Wales, Barry O’Farrell. A video featuring highlights of the event is shown below.
The park itself dates back to the 1980s when the Philippine–Australian Friendship Association (PAFA) lobbied for a park to be named after the the national hero in 1987. On June 2, 1988, a reserved area was named Rizal Park as a result although the park remained undeveloped for quite some time. In 2006, the local Filipino community initiated efforts to redevelop the park and the Rizal Park Movement of Campbelltown (RPMC) was born. Groundbreaking activities started in 2008 and continued until 2012 culminating with the installation of the statue as the final phase of the project.
If you want to learn more, then this extensive account by Evelyn Zaragoza of the park’s history and the installation and unveiling of the statue is very informative. The park’s official web page also contains several more photos of the park and its facilities though the page is not quite informative.