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Towradgi playground a hit with the kids

Towradgi Park’s play space has been awarded the national Playspace Award of Excellence from Parks and Leisure Australia.  PHOTO: Warren & Diana Ackary.

TOWRADGI Park’s play space has been awarded the national Playspace Award of Excellence from Parks and Leisure Australia.

The award recognises the involvement of children and community members in developing the innovative playground.

Wollongong City Council received the award at the PLA national conference at Newcastle on Wednesday September 19.

Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said local children and council staff worked together to build a playground that offers exciting play experiences for all ages, and “the best tower slide in all Australia”.

“Our feedback from children and visitors to the park is simple: they love it,” he said. “And I would like to invite all community members in the city to visit this playground to see for themselves how wonderful the different play areas are and also to use the public seating and barbecue equipment at the site. It’s a wonderful part of our city.”

The Towradgi Park Play Space exhibits innovation and industry best practice as it:

  • incorporates natural landscaping elements with play;
  • features the tallest tower slide within public open space in Australia;
  • features a custom made net climbing structure;
  • offers extensive shading and seating for families and carers;
  • provides a range of play equipment designed at catering for different stages of children’s development, physical and cognitive growth;
  • involved children in the planning, design and installation phases of the project; and
  • combines children’s artwork in the finish of materials such as expression poles and an amenities block mural.

The key elements of the playground were derived from consultation with local school children. The children said they wished to climb, spin, slide, rock and swing. The playground features a maritime themed rope structure, aligned to the nearby 1800s ship wreck of the Queen of Nations and is boarded by black rocks, a feature of the nearby Towradgi Point.

A ‘junior play area’ is strategically located within the space to both allow for interaction with children of other ages.

Adjacent to the ‘junior play area’ a nest swing offers group swinging activities, allows for young children to swing in a safe manner and is also suitable for children with physical disabilities. This item is focused on delivering inclusive play opportunities and observations onsite indicate that it is working very well.

A ‘senior play area’ offers a larger set of swings which address the children’s feedback whereby they seek experiences that ‘make them feel sick in their tummies’ and where they can ‘fly high in the sky’.

For more information you can call Council’s Customer Service Centre on (02) 4227 7111.

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 Limted), Sydney based, City News, and is now with Torch Publications.

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