The Jo Wheatley All Abilities Play Space on Dalkeith’s Beaton Park has won a national Kidsafe award.
Held biennially, the Kidsafe National Playspace Design Awards recognise excellence and innovation in the provision of safe, creative playspaces across Australia.
The City of Nedlands and Fiona Robbé Landscape Architects were the main winners, taking out the category for large-scale playspaces worth more than $1 million.
The awards showcase the achievements of communities working with educators, designers and the playground industry in creating amazing play environments in public spaces, schools and education and care services.
Judges assessed entries on the basis of innovative design, commitment to safe play environments, community and culture, inclusive playspace design, shade elements, sustainability and successful outcomes.
Nedlands Mayor Max Hipkins said the Jo Wheatley All Abilities Play Space had proven to be a major success since opening in June.
“The state-of-the-art playground – the first of its kind on this scale in WA – has attracted people from all over Perth with modern, high-quality play equipment that has been purpose-designed for people of all ages and people with disability,” he said.
“It began with a unique community partnership initiated by Rotary seven years ago and grew from there with the Rotary Clubs of Nedlands, Subiaco and West Perth raising funds to construct the facility, supported by a Lotterywest grant.
“The City of Nedlands responded by providing the site and peripheral infrastructure.
“COLAB found built environment professionals to provide pro bono service with Wood and Grieve Engineers donating services.
“Project partners also included the Department of Communities – Disability Services, Inclusion WA and professional infrastructure and environmental services company Cardno.”
Covering 10,000m², the facility was carefully built around and under existing trees and was designed by award-winning landscape architect Fiona Robbé, who is part of an international group developing standards for inclusive playgrounds.
Features include a sensory walkway, flying fox, active climbing, decks and slide, active swinging, accessible picnic areas, a community garden and kitchen, an informal sports and games area, exercise equipment, ramps and relaxation areas, parking (including ACROD bays), accessible toilets and nature, music, sand and water play areas.
The Jo Wheatley All Abilities Playspace was also a finalist at the 2018 Australian Sport, Recreation and Play Industry Awards in the playgrounds category recognising designs and developments that encourage more children to play, have fun and be active.
The facility was named after major sponsors Vern and Jo Wheatley, motivated by the many hours of Vern’s happy childhood spent on the Nedlands foreshore.
“It’s wonderful when a project that so many people put their heart and soul into achieves the recognition it deserves, a testament to their dedication and hard work,” Mayor Hipkins said.
The Jo Wheatley All Abilities Play Space has won a major national Kidsafe award.
City of Nedlands
The City of Nedlands is situated just 7km from Perth and stretches from the banks of the beautiful Swan River to the edge of the Indian Ocean. A population of more than 21,000 live in the suburbs Nedlands, Dalkeith, Mt Claremont, Swanbourne, Karrakatta, and parts of Floreat and Shenton Park.