Our goal is to create and shape communities that thrive now and into the future.
We seek to achieve this goal at our shopping centres, offices and business parks and in the residential and retirement living communities we create by focusing on health and wellbeing, community connection, and education.
We believe we have the ability to make a positive contribution in these three areas because they align with our skills and experiences, and our proprietary customer and industry research tells us that these are the areas that contribute most to liveable communities.
Our focus on health and wellbeing is supported by research that illustrates the value residents place on parks, open spaces and recreational infrastructure and a feeling of safety within their communities. Infrastructure is critical in supporting community health and wellbeing, including accessible amenities and services, active public transport options, parks and recreation facilities, walking paths, cycle ways and inclusive playspaces. We also seek to activate communities with programs that support positive physical and mental health for all ages and provide access to fresh, healthy food.
Our primary health and wellbeing target is for all of our Residential and Retirement Living communities to score above the Australian national average National Wellbeing Index by FY17.
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Whiteman Edge became our first residential community in Western Australia to include a Touched By Olivia Foundation (TBO) playspace, Livvi’s Place. The playspace opened in November 2015 and is a shining example of collaboration and community consultation.
The playground, designed in partnership with Touched By Olivia Foundation, welcomes people of all ages and abilities. Livvi’s Place is the first of its kind in Western Australia, with accessible structures and sensory and inclusive equipment. The playground aims to include in play time children with physical disabilities, vision, hearing and mobility impairments and autism spectrum disorders.
The park includes a treetop climbing structure, a 3m high slide, a double flying fox with a seat and harness to cater for people with a physical disability, a wheel spin and a bespoke cubby house with wheelchair access and musical chimes. There are also tactile stimulants, water play and facilities such as a public restroom, a BBQ and picnic seating.
“A Touched By Olivia Foundation inclusive playspace is a natural fit for Whiteman Edge,” said Matthew Napper, Stockland National Sustainability Manager, Residential. “We worked together with the City of Swan to conduct face to face and online community consultation to create the perfect playspace. As we continue to develop the community, the City of Swan is growing at an incredible rate. Of its 124,782 residents, approximately 3,772 are children and adults requiring daily assistance as a result of disability.”
“Last year our project team, Touched By Olivia Foundation, and EPCAD Landscape Architects visited local primary schools to explore what the ‘ultimate playground’ looks like to our most important stakeholders – the kids, parents and carers.”
Rachel Ezzard, Development Professional Residential, said: “Livvi’s Place is a fantastic addition to Whiteman Edge, bringing some greatly anticipated amenity. The project team and residents are extremely happy with the outcome of the park.”
Our community development and investment programs seek to support greater community connection by fostering self-sustaining social cohesion. Infrastructure that supports community connection includes community centres, hubs, public art, place making initiatives and multi-use formal and informal spaces. For greatest impact, we seek to engage with community groups on all projects and encourage participation in the vision, design and development process.
Our primary community connection target is to make a meaningful contribution to our community through work with community groups supported directly and through the Stockland CARE Foundation.
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We have close working relationships with a variety of community organisations that help deliver social infrastructure and programs in and around our properties and communities. Our project and asset teams and state office employees can draw on a suite of partnerships for advice, resourcing and implementation support. These partners all align to Stockland’s community focus areas of health and wellbeing, education and community connection.
In FY16 we expanded our partner suite and now have 15 community organisations that we regularly work with across Australia. We also increased our community development activities, implementing a total of 561 initiatives across our business units and investing more than $4.05 million in financial support. The total value of Stockland’s community investment in FY16 was more than $10.42 million, including the $4.0 million transfer by Stockland to the Stockland CARE Foundation.
Amongst our new partners, in March 2016 we announced our new three year partnership with Bowls Australia, designed to boost the health, wellbeing and connectedness of more than 11,000 residents living in our retirement living villages across the country.
Regular physical activity for retirees has been shown to be the key to maintaining good health and vitality, and one of the most effective ways to improve emotional wellbeing. Recent research from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, however, shows people aged 65 and over have the lowest participation rate in physical activity nationally, at 47%, as well as the lowest rate of involvement in organised sport, at 17%.
At Stockland, we encourage our retirement living residents to get involved, keep fit, stay connected and be a part of something they can enjoy in a group. Regular social and competitive lawn bowls, coaching clinics, and free health and wellbeing seminars are just some of the ways that the Bowls Australia partnership will continue to support our residents. A framework to benchmark resident participation has also been established with Bowls Australia and this will be used to create a meaningful participation and engagement target in FY17.
We seek opportunities to implement a range of community learning and education activities. Infrastructure that supports education includes the effective design and delivery of schools, libraries and learning hubs, local employment facilities and co-working spaces.
Our primary education target is to achieve a Stockland National Liveability Index score of 80% satisfaction with access to education across our residential communities.
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Our new partnership with The National Theatre for Children is helping to provide access to educational resources of excellence within our residential communities. Launched in FY16, the program with The National Theatre for Children is open to all schools located in and around our existing communities. Some 29 schools are already participating in the program, which focuses on educating children and young people about preserving and protecting the environment within our communities.