Vale Chérie Hoyle

Chérie Hoyle was a powerhouse of a woman, whom I first met in Whyalla in the mid 1990s when she and her partner, architect Paul Downton arrived with a mission of turning what was known as the steel city into a piece of eco-city.

They were heady times, and Chérie’s optimism and belief that together we could make magic happen was contagious. The Centre for Urban Ecology office opened in Halifax Street and its counterpart in Whyalla ALCUE (Arid Lands Centre for Urban Ecology) opened in Whyalla’s main street, run by the late Joanne Waters.

Both these offices attracted a diverse range of people, all with the belief that there was a better way to build – that was good for the environment and good for people too.

Cherie Hoyle
Chérie Hoyle

Chérie was a storyteller. When she talked of how it could be, you could picture it and you could feel her energy. This was in a time of business-as-usual, including that climate change was someone else’s problem, instead of it being everyone’s problem.

Not all of what was planned happened, but magic did happen with the building of Christie Walk and Chérie played an enormous role in getting there.

In the words of fellow collaborator in the early days, Emilis Prelgauskas

“Chérie did what she was able to do, and no-one could ask for more and further, she leaves a huge legacy for those of us continuing in that direction.”

Vale Chérie, a life well lived.

Sue Gilbey is resident at Christie Walk.

2 Responses

  1. Graham Kirkwood

    Her vision was as powerful as her determination to leave the world better than she found it. What she leaves are nuggets of gold along a pathway that will inspire others to follow.

  2. Grace McCaughey

    So sorry to read that Cherie is no longer with us, at least in body, because her unique spirit will live on.
    I am also sad to know that not many Christie Walks have been built around the country. Or have they?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *