COMMENDED AWARD – PUBLIC SPACES $1M-$3M
2020 Kidsafe National Playspace Design Awards
(awarded to Stewart Surveys)
City: Gunnedah (Australia)
Location : Wolseley Park
Opened: December 2019
The project to create an inclusive playground for ALL abilities (Livvi’s Place) in Wolseley Park was driven by a local mother of a child with autism. In 2013, she started a petition to address the lack of inclusive play facilities in Gunnedah. In response to her initiative, Gunnedah Shire Council decided to create a playground championing the values of “play experiences for everyone”, which are also shared by Proludic.
‘The playground design was given the nod by Gunnedah Shire Council and the concept plan was developed by Kathryn Yigman of Stewart Surveys. Proludic worked closely with Gunnedah Shire Council and Stewart Surveys to design and develop bespoke, inclusive play equipment solutions, that also represent items of local significance, such as koalas.
The large Koala Tower, the only one of its kind in Australia
The playground’s main feature is a large adventure-themed tower, the first of its kind in Australia. Nestled among the trees is the “Koala Adventure Tower”, which stands over 7 metres tall. Proludic’s Grafic Games personalisation technique has been used to apply koala graphics to the structure’s panels and showcase Gunnedah’s wildlife and its status as the “koala capital of the world”.
The large tower is designed for 2 to 12-year-olds and offers an extensive combination of physical and interactive play activities:
- A towering tube slide allows children to experience new sliding sensations
- Climbing panels and rope structures
- Play panels and sensory activities
- A play table and benches for taking a breather or enjoying slower-paced activities
An access path with wide steps and a handrail enables children aged 2 and above to safely access the tower.
A transfer platform provides children of reduced mobility with easy access to the play panels and thereby allows them to play with other children.
A recycling-inspired play zone
The nearby inclusive Recycling Truck (J2684) is not only designed as a fun space, but emphasises the importance of recycling and environmental responsibility.
An access ramp and large space inside allow children in wheelchairs to take part. Several access points have also been included to make it easier for carers to assist.
The Recycling Truck boasts an extensive range of play activities, including climbing, sliding, balancing, manipulation play, observation and thinking skills.
Several educational play panels on a recycling theme can be found inside and outside the play equipment.
There are many other inclusive items of play equipment in the playground:
- Trampolines (R34-ETP-500, R34-ETP-000) give both able-bodied and disabled children the opportunity to experience the joy and fun of bouncing.
- Tubophones (J3410) – sound amplifying tubes placed 25 metres apart – encourage children to communicate and interact.
The inclusive playspace design meets the principles of the NSW Government “Everyone Can Play” guidelines, incorporating areas for active and passive play for children of different age groups and abilities, a sensory garden, picnic facilities, park shelters, barbeques and seating.
The project then received funding from the State Government’s Stronger Country Communities program.