19 October 2020

Media release

Stockland Shellharbour reaffirms its standing as a centre designed for the community, as it starts construction on its brand new inclusive playground set to open next month.*

Built in collaboration with Playground Centre and Variety – the Children’s Charity, the playground’s innovative design allows children of all abilities to play together, including those with physical disabilities, vision, hearing and mobility impairments, or spectrum disorders such as autism.

Daniel Buchanan, Centre Manager at Stockland Shellharbour, said that it was critical to remove the barriers experienced by Australians living with disabilities, so they can have the same access and opportunities that others enjoy.

“We hope this new playground will become a favourite destination for our littlest customers and the community more widely, where all children feel comfortable letting their imaginations run wild and just enjoy playing.

“We see ourselves as a town centre designed for the community, and will continue to evaluate ways in which we can create more curated experiences and add value and convenience to customers’ visits.”

Darren Hight, NSW Business Development Manager at Playground Centre, said inclusive playgrounds like the one being built at Stockland Shellharbour offer overwhelmingly positive and wide-ranging benefits for individuals, families and communities.

“A truly accessible, inclusive playground makes interactive, friendly play more likely, enriching the play experience for everyone and fostering a stronger appreciation of diversity and inclusion.

“We are proud to work with forward-thinking developers like Stockland who recognize that everyone should be able to experience the pure joy and benefits of play, regardless of their age or ability. It’s all about making sure everyone feels welcome to stay and play with a multitude of play options on offer.”

The playground design has been inspired by Shellharbour’s coastal location, and features a fishing boat, pirate ship and RRS Sir David Attenborough research vessel, where children are encouraged to interact, role play and play.

Kim Becherand, Inclusive Play Manager at Variety – the Children’s Charity, said working with Stockland Shellharbour to deliver the project provides an opportunity to create a truly inclusive playspace in the heart of Shellharbour that will engage all children and their families and carers in play.

“At Variety we believe that all kids deserve the opportunity to play. This new playspace will push the boundaries of what an inclusive playspace in a shopping centre can be. Working with the project team we’ll create a space where everyone is included, valued and feels they belong.

“The Stockland Shellharbour playspace continues Variety’s ongoing partnership with Stockland. We love working together and striving for excellence in design as we create inclusive playspaces for Stockland communities throughout Australia.”

The new inclusive playground will be located on ground level near Target.

*Stockland play areas operate with a specifically designed Covid-Safe plan which includes regular cleaning and monitoring, as well as availability of hand sanitiser.