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Hand prints in time

a train is parked on the side of the street

There is a hidden slice of vintage Australiana that reveals a big idea which was never fully realized.

Most people would probably be aware located in front of the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, in the heart of Hollywood, is a footpath bearing the handprints and signatures of cinema’s biggest stars, dating all the way back to 1920s. What you’re probably unaware of, is that Sydney had its own walk of fame at a similar celebrity venture, back in 1983.

Dubbed, ‘the footpath of fame’, it features a collection of cement slabs inscribed with the marks of celebrities from the worlds of entertainment, sport, politics, and even make-believe. In 2021, many of them would only be recognized by older Sydney locals such as the likes of Broken Hill artist Pro Hart, deceased racehorse Gunsynd, F1 racer Jack Brabham, and Olympian Betty Cuthbert among them – although Sesame Street’s Big Bird and Santa Clause (who, as it turns out, has suspiciously small feet) are more familiar.  If politics is your passion, press your palms in the imprints left by then opposition leader Andrew Peacock. For people into the arts there is Cookie from A Country Practice, and country fans can pay tribute to Slim Dusty and wife Joy McKean. As Tom Keneally wrote next to his handprints, cast on July 24, 1983, “Advance Australia” and “Viva Sydney.” Who needs Hollywood when you’ve got Sydney’s Pier One?

Unlike its Los Angeles counterpart, this avenue of stars is devoid of tourists. Located behind the Pier One Hotel in the Rocks, by its outside dining terrace, it largely goes unnoticed today.

Come and discover it with us.

#yougottalovesydney

IMAGE CREDIT: Maxim Boon