Ray Newey was born in 1934 and became one of Millers Points’s ‘new’ residents when he moved to there in 1995 to live in high-rise residential building Highgate. In his interview he talks about his schooling, early work experiences, National Service, his career in real estate, local identities including Shirley Ball, community development, personal philosophy, Lend Lease mentorships, partnerships; the Resident Action Group and multiculturalism. In the excerpt below he discusses one method for building community relationships in Millers Point – the establishment of a tennis club.
This interview is part of Housing NSW’s 2005 Millers Point Oral History Project. The City of Sydney acknowledges the State Library of New South Wales as the archival custodian of the project and digital preserver of the masters.
I have always had a philosophy in life that you put back into life what you get out of life, so I have always believed you can only improve your own lot and improve everybody else’s lot if you are prepared to do something for both. I looked around to see what I could do and that is when I came up with the idea of coaching the kids at tennis because they were putting a lot graffiti on the buildings and becoming general nuisances around the place so I felt it was a duty to do something to try and assist the situation which I did.
The boys tended to stay at tennis and the boys even now are getting into their sixteens, seventeens and eighteens. They are still being coached on a Sunday morning on a free basis. The girls tended to leave the tennis when they got into their teens, seemed to get out of the way of wanting to play tennis, but now we’ve got a whole group of new juniors, mainly girls, who we coach on Sunday morning between eleven and twelve, and Thursday afternoon between five and six. They are the new up and coming players of Millers Point’s future.
The boys that are still there today that started with us five years ago – most of those I would say would be definitely the champion at their school and some of them have gone out and won championships at large, so they have become very, very good tennis players. Then we got people to join the club and we have a membership in the club now of over fifty people and so it helps to support it. The kids’ tennis is basically supported by charity and also through the assistance of the Observatory Hotel.