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Office of Sport

$12.5M Upgrade of Henson Park Under Way

Published: 10 July 2024

Work has begun on the much-needed upgrade to Henson Park following a $12.5 million funding agreement between the Federal Government, State Government, the AFL and Inner West Council.

The Albanese Government has long supported a renewal of Henson Park, having first committed to funding its upgrade in 2019.
The investment from the Australian Government of $2.5 million for the upgrade alongside the NSW Government’s $5 million investment, $4.5 million from the AFL and $500,000 from the Inner West Council – plus the Council’s $2.85 million for surface renewal, drainage and improved lighting in recent years – has meant the dream for Henson Park to become an elite venue is almost realised.
Due for completion before the 2025 NAB AFLW and NSWRL Cup seasons, the Henson Park works will update its change facilities and improve accessibility of the heritage King George V grandstand while maintaining the venue’s historic feel.
The upgrades to the ground include:

  • Overhauling the interior of the grandstand to modernise the change room facilities, including amenities for women and girls for the first time at this ground.
  • Adding two more change rooms and a gymnasium at the rear of the grandstand.
  • A multi-use function room behind the grandstand.
  • An elevator to the grandstand to improve accessibility to the upper levels.

The ground hosts elite AFLW matches for the Sydney Swans and the Greater Western Sydney Giants as well as the Newtown Jets in the NSW Cup Rugby league competition.
AFL Sydney women’s and men’s leagues matches are a mainstay at the oval and it is often a home to the Newtown Breakaways AFL Football Club which uses the oval for its major events throughout the year including its annual Pride Round celebrations.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese:
“Henson Park has been the heartbeat of Marrickville’s sports community since its 1933 opening and I’m so proud to be part of its renewal.
“Whether it’s AFL or NRL, or other uses of the ground in the future, these upgrades will offer immense benefits to all who step onto the hallowed turf, whether elite players or weekend warriors.”
Mayor of the Inner West Council Darcy Byrne:
“This upgrade will secure the future of Henson Park as the home of the mighty Newtown Jets and a hub for women’s AFL.
“The big crowds that have been attending Sydney Swans Women’s and Jets’ games will only grow in the years to come because of these investments.”
NSW Minister for Sport Steve Kamper:
“Henson Park has an intangible atmosphere which would inspire any sportsperson.
“The NSW people deserve community facilities like this one and it’s a great thing to have so many stakeholders unite to deliver the ground-breaking upgrade to this heritage grandstand and change facilities.
“I can’t wait to see the elite surface of Henson Park be matched by its internal facilities and watch the reaction for the tens of thousands of people who play at this ground over the years.”
AFL Executive General Manager of Game Development Rob Auld: 
“Henson Park is one of the premier venues for Australian Rules football in NSW, from the elite NAB AFLW competition through to community football, and with this upgrade it will be one of the best in the country for all players and umpires.
“It’s a venue which clearly means a lot to its community and the AFL is elated to drive the project that will maintain its heritage but bring it into the 21st century and beyond through clever and necessary improvements. Thank you to the NSW and Australian Governments, as well as the Inner West Council for funding and their support throughout the process, it’s an exciting time for Henson and the entire football community.”
CEO of Newtown Jets RLFC Stuart McCarthy:
“Henson Park is Sydney’s greatest natural amphitheatre and a venue like no other. It is iconic, especially to the community of the inner west. It has been the spiritual home of the Newtown Jets since 1936.
“This project provides upgrades to the facilities for both sporting participants, female and male, grassroots and elite, all abilities and the public.
“A sunny winter’s arvo at Henson Park is hands down the best sporting experience you can find in Sydney. Long live many more of them now and well into the future.”

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