Close-up shot of a Claret Ash tree with blue sky behind.
CLARET ASH: 93 Claret Ash trees, native to South Australia, will be planted along Bourke Street in commemoration of the 150th Anniversary marking the arrival of the first Presentation Sisters in Wagga Wagga.


Tree Avenue to commemorate Presentation Sisters Wagga Wagga

Published: 15 Mar 2024 10:50am

Wagga Wagga will soon feature a new 'tree avenue' along Bourke Street, decorating the space in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the Presentation Sisters in the region.

At the Ordinary Council Meeting on March 11, 2024, Council approved a request from the Presentation Sisters to jointly fund creation of the tree-lined avenue on Bourke Street, stretching from Redhill Road to Holbrook Road.

Ninety-three Claret Ash trees will be planted in honour of the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the first five Sisters from Ireland, who made the long journey to provide Catholic education in Wagga Wagga.

Council Manager City Growth and Regional Assets Ben Creighton says Council supports the tree avenue as a means of expressing appreciation to the Sisters for the meaningful role they played in the establishment of Wagga Wagga and the Riverina.

“Representatives of the Presentation Sisters met with the Mayor, General Manager, and staff to discuss this request before its approval,” Mr Creighton said.

“Staff have since completed a concept plan and costing to establish the tree avenue. The Presentation Sisters will contribute $14,762 to this initiative. Council will contribute the planting of the trees and two summers of watering, as well as the remaining costs.

“Council recognises this initiative as a way to respect and honour the work the Presentation Sisters have put into the local area.”

The chosen site marks the route the Sisters first took in 1874, from Mangoplah into Wagga Wagga.

Concept image showing plans to line Bourke street with the trees.

Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga Councillor Dallas Tout says the Sisters’ contribution to the Wagga Wagga community is still alive today since their foundation 150 years ago.

“There are multiple educational institutions within our local government area, as well as the wider Riverina, founded by the Presentation Sisters that still stand strong,” Cr Tout said.

“This includes Mater Dei Catholic College, Kildare Catholic College, Mount Erin Boarding School, Henschke Primary School, Sacred Heart Primary School, Kooringal Public School, St Joseph’s Primary School, and Wagga Wagga Public School.

“The Presentation Sisters are also the founders of ErinEarth: a community of local people aiming to care for the planet and promote sustainable living.

“The planting of the trees expresses the Sisters’ mission focus of caring for the Earth now and into the future, as well as showing thanks to the community of Wagga Wagga.”

Mayor will host a Mayoral reception, in commemoration and celebration of this initiative.

The tree avenue is expected to be completed during May this year.