Our retail town centres serve as social hubs of the community and provide an opportunity for residents to not only shop, but also to interact and socialise with friends and family. Over the last year, we have delivered a range of initiatives and features in our retail town centres that focus on accessibility and inclusion.
Following the opening of two dedicated quiet rooms at Stockland Shellharbour shopping centre in December 2016, we opened three additional quiet rooms at Stockland Hervey Bay (Qld), Stockland Green Hills (NSW) and Stockland Wendouree (Vic). The quiet rooms are designed to create a safe place for parents, carers and children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and for adults with dementia, providing a calm, low sensory environment, which can be used as a retreat away from the busy shopping centre.
According to Anne Tudor from Ballarat Dementia Alliance, “a shopping centre is not an easy place to navigate with dementia. Just knowing this space will be there is going to make an enormous difference.”
Stockland Wendouree centre manager Stevie Wright said “the community response to our quiet room and adult change facilities has been so positive, and we are delighted to be able to have such an impact on community wellbeing.”
We also delivered an adult change facility at Stockland Green Hills, which is the first adult change room in the Maitland area to assist people in the community with disabilities. The new room includes an adjustable change table and ceiling hoist to make it easier for people with disabilities to use the bathroom.
Maitland mother Susie Lane, whose daughter Claire has a form of epilepsy, was instrumental in the centre installing the facilities. Ms Lane said she would have to lay Claire on the floor to help change her, or take her back to their van, which offered no privacy. “The adult change room allows me to address my daughter’s needs with dignity and privacy, something which every person deserves. We’re so grateful.”
The Green Hills adult change facility is our third such facility with Stockland Wendouree and Stockland Nowra (NSW) also providing one.
In addition to incorporating a quiet room and adult change facility, the Stockland Green Hills redevelopment provided two inclusive playspaces. Designed in collaboration with the Touched By Olivia Foundation, the playgrounds allow all children to play together, including those with physical disabilities, vision, hearing and mobility impairments, or spectrum disorders such as autism.
We have now built 11 Touched By Olivia inclusive playspaces at our retail town centres, including Stockland Shellharbour (NSW), Stockland Baulkham Hills (NSW), Stockland Forster (NSW), Stockland Point Cook (Vic), Stockland Wetherill Park (NSW), Stockland Rockhampton (Qld), Stockland Green Hills and Stockland Wendouree, and have plans to build at least four more inclusive playspaces at our retail town centres over the next year.