(Image taken in October 2001. Author’s own collection.)
This children’s wading pool is located below the Biddigal Reserve at North Bond and next to the Wally Weekes Pool. The Bondi Community Art mural mosaic running the length of the children’s pool features sea images.
Ramsgate Avenue, Bondi, NSW, 2026, Australia
(Latitude South 33 Degrees 53 minutes 28 seconds, Longitude East 151 Degrees 16 minutes 29 seconds)
Bondi was the home, fishing and swimming place for the Cadigal people. Aboriginal rock carvings at the Bondi Golf Course, Ben Buckler Reserve and the coastal walk at Mackenzie’s Point are protected by State legislation.
The Bondi Ocean outfalls sewage system was completed with an ocean outfall at the northern headland known as Ben Buckler.
The Australian Museum first collected stone tools shaped like a scalpel or penknife blade and made thousands of years earlier from the northern end of the beach. Some of these tools, along with other stone implements and artefacts (grindstone, nose ornaments, scrapers, spear points, etc.) and the remnants of an Aboriginal midden containing shellfish debris are now buried under Bondi’s Queen Elizabeth Drive.
Early 20th century
Although Sydney’s Bondi Beach is only a kilometre long, the Bondi and North Bondi communities developed their own surf clubs and ocean baths.
Waverley Municipal Council decided to build a children’s swimming pool (then known as the Mermaid Pool) at North Bondi and construction drawings by consulting engineers were issued on 5 February.
The Mermaid Pool was reconstructed by the Waverley Municipal Council and a mosaic wall created as a community arts initiative, involving a great deal of voluntary labour. The Bondi Community Art mural mosaic running the length of the children’s pool area features sea images.
In February, surf pollution at Bondi was 1,000 times above the acceptable level.
Extension of the Bondi Ocean outfalls system reduced surf pollution.
Waverley Council commissioned an investigation report on the North Bondi Children’s Pool from the NSW Department of Public Services. The report recommended construction of a new intake line through the Wally Weekes Bathing Pool and the existing rock shelf.
Both the North Bondi Children’s Pool and the Wally Weekes Bathing Pool lay within the tidal area covered by a native title claim, which inhibited any expansion of these structures.
Waverley Council commissioned a further report on the North Bondi Children’s Pool and a review of the Wally Weekes Pool from Patterson Britton & Partners Pty Ltd, an engineering firm with considerable experience and expertise in the design and upgrading of ocean pools. That report recommended using a submersible electrical pump to improve the water quality in the children’s pool, reconfiguring the pipes for the pump and widening the bottom step on the northern side of the pool to match the bottom step on the southern side. Council’s heritage architect approved the proposed modifications. Waverley Council approved a tender for upgrading of the Wally Weekes Bathing Pool and the North Bondi Children’s Pool, subject to confirmation of available funding.