Colourful murals, chalk art, new seating, lighting and a temporary bike track are all part of a bold initiative to transform Lakemba and help make spaces feel safer for women and girls.

City of Canterbury Bankstown has partnered with Transport for NSW under the Safer Cities: Her Way program to deliver the series of activations at the Women’s Rest Centre Walkway, Lakemba Railway Station and Gillies Reserve.

The program aims to empower women, enhance the feeling of safety and give women and girls more say in shaping community spaces.

The activations across Lakemba were co-designed with local women, who took part in “walk shops” to identify ways to help the town centre feel safer for everyone. Feedback included improvements to lighting, wayfinding, signage and public art.

Residents are encouraged to check out the activations, which will be running until September:

  • Women’s Rest Centre  Activations around the Women’s Rest Centre are intended to create a more inviting space and increase visibility. This includes a welcome sign, tree and path lighting, murals and chalk art by local female artists.
  • Lakemba Railway Station – The precinct has been spruced up to create a more welcoming area for people to move through and spend time in. This includes the installation of colourful seating, art decals with family-friendly games, tree lighting and a lit up ‘Lakemba’ sign.
  • Gillies Reserve – The reserve has been decked out for families to spend time in, including the installation of a temporary bike track, play equipment and outdoor seating.

Canterbury-Bankstown Mayor Bilal El-Hayek said locals have already noticed and embraced the new additions around Lakemba.

“These activations have been a great way to brighten up the area, while involving women in the design of our community spaces,” Mayor El-Hayek said.

“Women have the right to feel safe and move freely, no matter what time of the day or night.”

Transport for NSW’s A/ Executive Director of Cities Revitalisation and Place, Brooke Wharton said “The NSW Government conducted a survey seeking community input to better understand the concerns and experiences that affect the community’s feeling of safety. The survey revealed that many women do not feel safe after dark. If they felt safer, they would walk more, use public transport more often, and go out more at night.”

We’re excited to partner with the Council on the Safer Cities: Her Way program in Lakemba Town Centre. By enhancing key public and community spaces such as the Women’s Rest Centre, Lakemba Railway Station, and Gillies Reserve, we aim to help make these places feel safer and foster stronger connections between our local transport hub precincts and the community.”

For more information and to have your say on the outcomes of this project, visit