A story on radio 104.9 on September 25 covered interaction happening between Gateways Shopping Centre and some of the schools in Palmerston. That brought back memories of those school/shopping centre interactions that used to occur in Darwin but have been discontinued.

There was a time back in the 1980s and well into 1990s when Casuarina Shopping Square had a similar arrangement with nearby schools and a lot of genuine community sharing went on. Hibiscus shopping centre also had a similar program.

As a participating school principal in both ventures I was very sad when these interactions were discontinued by more “modern day management“

Our projects included engagement with the cinemas, static work displays, and interaction by choirs and school bands.

This created an “win – win“ situation. It gave a great deal of free advertising to shopping centres and brought lots of parents and members of the community into those centres to view displays and to watch children performing.

I remain unsure to this day why it was for these programs and this level of engagement was allowed to lapse. “Modern day management” again – and that is not always the best management platform!

I’m glad Gateways has a sense of community and wonder how long that will last.

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