Large ornate fountain in a pedestrian area surrounded by trees and street furniture
Sculpture of a turtle laying eggs is attached to a larger part of a bronze fountain
Sculpture of an echidna is attached to a larger part of a bronze fountain

An abundance of Australian animals play in cascading pools of water, referencing the Tank Stream and all the children who have played around it.

Artist: Stephen Walker 

Artwork description

From the central cascading fountain, 4 columns in bronze rise out of the pool.

Australian plants and animals, including frogs, snakes, goannas, echidnas, crabs, birds and tortoises appear to be playing in the pools.

Located in the pedestrianised plaza on the corner of George and Alfred streets near Circular Quay, the artwork is an integral part of Herald Square and has heritage significance.

The Tank Stream Fountain was presented to the City of Sydney by John Fairfax & Sons Limited in 1981 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the first publication of the Sydney Herald in 1831.

The sculptor’s brief “was to create an association of water and bronze”. In doing so, Stephen Walker connected the fountain to the Tank Stream, the European settlement’s first water supply. An inscription on a plaque on the western front of the fountain describes the inspiration Walker drew from the fountain’s historic location. By connecting the fountain to an original outlet of the Tank Stream, the artist sought to highlight a union between the Sydney Morning Herald and Sydney’s European history.

The fountain, which is also known as the Children’s Fountain, is said to be dedicated to “all the children who have played around the Tank Stream”.


Stephen Walker was born in Melbourne in 1927 and studied painting at Melbourne Technical College and Hobart Technical College. In 1952 he began to produce sculptural work, predominantly in wood. During the 1950s and 1960s, Walker studied in England, Rome, Florence and Prague before returning to Australia in 1964.

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