Playtime for all at Stockland Wetherill Park with launch of new inclusive playground
15 May 2017
Stockland Wetherill Park confirmed its standing as ‘the centre’ of the community, today celebrating the grand opening of a new inclusive playground for children of all ages and abilities.
The Hon. Chris Bowen MP, Federal Member for McMahon, today joined John Schroder, Stockland Group Executive and CEO of Commercial Property, to officially open the playground, celebrating together with local school and community groups.
John Schroder, Stockland Group Executive and CEO of Commercial Property, said the playground’s inclusive and innovative design ensured all children can play together, including those with physical disabilities, vision, hearing and mobility impairments, or spectrum disorders such as autism.
“With one in five Australians living with a disability, we’re proud to continue our national partnership with the Touched By Olivia Foundation here in Western Sydney, opening this terrific, inclusive play space at Stockland Wetherill Park,” Mr Schroder said.
“With close to eight million customers visiting the centre since we opened our $228 million redevelopment just over a year ago, we are absolutely focused on continuing to make a lasting, positive contribution to the local community. We hope this all-abilities playground will become a favourite destination for customers and a welcoming place for all to enjoy.”
Hon Chris Bowen MP said: “I’m delighted to open this playground today to support Stockland’s commitment to community and sustainability initiatives. This inclusive playground at Wetherill Park will play an important role for the people of McMahon in investing in shared spaces for those of all-ability.”
A playground party was held at the centre today to celebrate the opening of the space, which was designed in collaboration with Stockland’s CARE Foundation partner, the Touched By Olivia Foundation, specialists in the design and development of all-inclusive playgrounds for children of all abilities.
Touched by Olivia Foundation Executive Officer, Bec Ho said: “Our playgrounds acknowledge disability by providing easy access and fun, stimulating play areas, but they are really about celebrating the ability of all children, ensuring everyone can play and have fun.”
“We’re hoping that if children can start on a level playing field, playgrounds like this will lead to creating a community that is more inclusive.”
Designed with a local fresh food theme, the engaging playground incorporates a number of unique design features including three-storey spiral slide, in-built dual trampolines, climbing sculptures, musical play elements and sensory, interactive drawing, scented plants and tactile play spaces for discovery and learning.
The new playground is just one of a number of important ongoing community and sustainability initiatives incorporated into the $228 million redevelopment of Stockland Wetherill Park. The centre also features community focused public art projects, a $2 million solar project and the very first Jamie’s Ministry of Food cooking school for NSW, which has seen 3,000 locals take part in healthy cooking classes.
John Schroder continues: “At Stockland we are focused on providing an experience that truly engages with our customers and inspires the community, delivering more than just another shopping centre experience.”
The Touched by Olivia inclusive playground at Stockland Wetherill Park is the seventh for the Stockland retail portfolio, with the business having invested $2.3 million to date. Stockland also has an additional six playgrounds planned for the year ahead at Stockland Merrylands, Stockland Green Hills, Stockland Wendouree, Stockland Balgowlah, Stockland Bundaberg and Stockland Rockhampton.
The new playground is located in Wetherill Lane in between the outdoor dining precinct, Kinchin Lane and the 800-seat indoor / outdoor food terrace ‘The Grove’, both part of the $228 million redevelopment of Stockland Wetherill Park completed in December 2015.