News

Trumpeting Thirroul’s new playground

Children enjoy the new playground at Thirroul beach

THIRROUL’S new $450,000 playground, featuring slides and climbing equipment was officially opened by Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery on Wednesday.

The playground includes an exciting new 25m flying fox and innovative net dome that was specifically imported from Europe.

The playground equipment suits a variety of ages and skill levels aimed at providing suitable play challenges as children develop. An interesting link to Thirroul’s past is a symbolic elephant’s head, peering from soft fall woodchips.

Long-time Thirroul resident, Don Gray OAM was just a young boy when an elephant became stuck in the nearby Thirroul lagoon in the late 1920s. Mr Gray, who was at the officially opening with his great grandchildren, reveals the story of the entrapped elephant in his book, My Thirroul.

Lord Mayor Bradbery said Council is keen to provide plenty of opportunities for children to enjoy play in an area that will stimulate their senses, encourage their curiosity, allow for social interaction with other children and also challenge them in their play.

“This new playground provides all those features as well as provides a brief piece of our local history. The art elements in the playground were designed in consultation with school children from two local schools, Thirroul Public School and St Michael’s Catholic School, Mayor Bradbery said.

“Council’s Children and Family services staff worked with children from the local area and schools to develop the design brief for the landscape architect. It was their stories and ideas on the types of play experience they wanted that drove the design. The children were instrumental in developing a theme around an early circus to visit Thirroul village and some of the stories around that event. Council’s contracted landscape architect has been able to include these elements in the new playground.”

Local contractors Landform Gardens and Umbaco Landscape Architects were involved in the design and construction.

“In Wollongong City we an exceptional array of playground opportunities scattered in over 150 parks or reserves. This new Thirroul playground now joins the Botanic Garden, Belmore Basin and Towradgi Park as one of our key recreation regional playgrounds in the city.”

The Lord Mayor was joined by schoolchildren from Thirroul Public School and St Michael’s Catholic School for the official opening.

About Mick Roberts

A newspaper journalist, writer and local historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in the Sydney and Illawarra regions of NSW for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides authoring a number of history books, Mick has owned and operated several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and is now with Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.

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