My Place: the Royal Park wetlands

The Age: My Place: the Royal Park wetlands. Vanessa Gavens. April 12, 2015

This peaceful interface of man-made shapes and nature is no longer threatened, writes Vanessa Gavens.

I am so grateful that the proposed East West Link tunnel exit will not swallow up my place any time soon. Photo: Supplied

I sit here and listen to the squawks of water birds and the gentle splashes of frogs and ducks hitting the water. The low hum of traffic noise from the adjacent Tullamarine freeway provides a mere background tone.

I sit here and marvel at the interface of man-made shapes and nature, as though Jeffrey Smart takes on the bush! Bold shards of bright yellow and red create unexpected angles against the royal blue panes and straight lines of the apartment blocks behind.

These are framed above and below by a cloudless blue sky, a soft line of trees and bulrushes, and calm reflective water in the foreground.

I sit here and watch a mother duck glide by with her very young ducklings following in perfect single file and wonder whether they have to learn to swim in a straight line or if it comes in their DNA.

I sit here and feel the gentle breeze, carrying with it unlikely sounds from the zoo up the hill; an elephant trumpeting and a lion’s roar.

I sit here and am so grateful that after the recent state election, the proposed East West Link tunnel exit will not swallow up my place any time soon.

I sit here and celebrate the fact that the impact of urbanisation does not have to be an angry collision, but can maintain harmony and a sense of place for such a diversity of creatures.

My place is the wetlands of Royal Park.

What is your favourite place – the place where you find serenity and joy? Perhaps it is a place of deep reflection or one of melancholy. Send in your 250-word piece to You can even attach a photograph.

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