Addison Road Marrickville

Addison Road Centre: A surprise find in Marrickville

I have always wanted to visit Reverse Garbage but somehow never got there. It is located in the Addison Road Centre, which during my last discovery (of Marrickville), I realised is a blog post in its own right. Technically it is not a suburb and doesn’t fit within the brief I have set myself – to discover suburbs of Sydney. But I decide to be flexible and set off to find out more about this interesting place within the suburb of Marrickville.

Addison Road

On the way up Addison Road from Enmore Road, I pass Coffee Alchemy. You won’t miss out on your coffee or roasted bean in Marrickville. Then an interesting shopfront catches my eye. Blue tiles in a white background spells out that the shop once sold Billiards.

It is not far to the Addison Road Centre. Opposite the entrance, a sign explains that the site was a Military Depot from 1913, housing soldiers and horses. In the early 1970s it became an immigration centre and in 1976, a community centre.

Little shopfront in Addison Road

Little shopfront


On the Honour Roll for Peace

Addison Road Centre Entrance

I cross the road. On either side of the entry gate is the recently inaugurated (October 2016) Honour Roll for peace. Names on small metal plaques are attached in rows to a rusty post.

I recognise one name from earlier suburban discoveries. The plaque for Pemulwuy has a sprig of rosemary tucked behind it. There are more names that I recognise. Dr Helen Caldicott, Reza Barati and Gough Whitlam. I read later that people can purchase a plaque to honour “a person, group or organisation who has pursued peace”.

Historic Army Barracks Buildings

Past the Drill Hall

Historic Army Barracks Buildings

Corrugated Iron Huts

Living Museum

The Honour Roll is part of the Addison Road Community Centre’s Living Museum which has also created a self- guided Heritage Trail. I find the first marker and start to follow the trail. The Community Centre Organisation (ARCCO) is a non-government organisation which works hard to promote community. I discover a new theatre. The Depot Theatre is presenting Educating Rita soon. I think I’ll book tickets.

WW 1 Architecture

The corrugated iron huts around the precinct are typical of WW l architecture. Well preserved, NGOs and different community organisations now use them for offices and other activities. Turkish, Serbian, West Indian, Indonesian, Greek and Portuguese organisations all have premises here which are used for a range of activities.

A large, but dead, Sydney Gum tree still stands, providing habitat for local flora and fauna. A freshwater creek that used to meander through the site was filled in to provide more room. Today, after heavy rain, water is unable to drain away fast enough and the area often floods.

Addison Road Centre Art Work

Art Work

The Bower Addison Road

The Bower

Every Sunday there is a market on site. I have heard that it is worth visiting on market day. And if Street Food is your thing, a Street Food Market is held on the first and third Saturday of every month.


I wander behind some of the corrugated iron huts to the old drill hall and then through the ungated Addison Road community garden. It looks loved and well cared for. The Inner West Council runs the nearby Marrickville Community Nursery. Locals buy native plants here.

The Bower Reuse and Recycle Centre looks like a place to find any number of treasures. Their philosophy of repairing goods that would otherwise go to landfill and training people in handy skills (eg basic carpentry, furniture repair and basic upholstery) sits well with me.

Historic Army Barracks


Reverse Garbage

Outside Reverse Garbage

Street Library

Outside the Bower is a Street Library box. Readers can take a book and/or leave a book. I have always wanted to install one of these outside my home. I really get down to it.

At last, I come to Reverse Garbage, the reason for me being here. The large warehouse displays all sorts of goods from end rolls of paper and plastic bottle caps to new pottery goblets. Goods spill out onto the forecourt. As they say, one man’s trash is another person’s treasure. I inspect a new looking child’s life jacket. Unfortunately, it is too big for my little grandson, or I would be taking it home with me. Living on a water access only property means life jackets for all on our tinny.

Inner West Perfect Match program

A Perfect match

Public Art in Marrickville

This one above a supermarket

Perfect Match Program

I leave Addison Road Centre feeling enthused that yet again I have made a great urban discovery. Local residents may be well aware of all that Addison Road Centre has to offer, but I had no idea.

Walking back to the station along Illawarra Road, I pass yet another example of the Perfect Match program – a painting of a car on the wall of a car service station. A date at the top of the front wall indicates that the building was erected in 1884. There still are so many vestiges of history to be found in Sydney and her suburbs.

Reasons to Return

The Henson Pub is on my way, but it is too late for me to go in today. This neighbourhood pub is a gastropub. Apart from growing much of its own produce locally, it uses many local suppliers. On the awning of Banana Joe’s Foodworks, is another metal figure. A banana resting in a hammock. Seeing these figures in situ is definitely one reason among many that will bring me back to visit Marrickville and the Addison Road Centre.

I’m pretty sure you will also enjoy exploring Balmain and Dulwich Hill with me.
Next stop: Freshwater

Useful information:

The Addison Road Centre is in Marrickville in Sydney’s Inner West, 7km South West of the Sydney CBD .

Plan your trip at

Read more about the Addison Road Community Centre here.

And a map to assist you: (You can download it here) (NOTE that the time indicated on the map does not allow for any stops. I take an average of 4-5 hours when I explore):

Addison Road Walk Map


  1. Great tour again Jo. Love the photos, tale and that you get there by train. I must go back to Marrickville.

  2. Your grandson will be big in no time! Buy the life jacket. Haha.

    Great post as always….

  3. Love the painting of the car on the service station wall, it really pops out; great foreshortening and 3-dimensional effect.
    Reverse Garbage looks like a good treasure hunt.
    Thanks for another great post.

    1. Author

      Thanks Bernadette. Yes-the street art in Marrickville is amazing.

  4. Joanne
    There is so much good street art in Sydney nowadays but you got to hunt it down as its not out there in your face. Great article.

    Did you get to see much of Vivid .. I say a bit and didn’t think it was as good as past years. It may be that I have seen it every year and it’s starting to get a bit same same now .. what do you think?

    1. Author

      Thanks Albert. I love street art and enjoy the surprise of finding something special in unexpected places. No I didn’t get to Vivid- in fact have only been once. Joanne

  5. Hi Joanne. Happy to hear you enjoyed your visit to Reverse Garbage and Addison Road Community Centre – both very interesting places to spend a day.

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