Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Alice's Playspace.

Bec Ho is our Executive Officer and has been working on the first Victorian playspace in our Livvi's Place National Network for the past 24 months. On Saturday 27th July, it will officially open!

When we built our flagship playspace, Livvi's Place Five Dock, we were supported by Leighton Contractors. It was a great fit, we got pro bono construction services and they had the chance to put their skills to work for a legacy creating community space.

Not long after the opening in 2009, Leighton offered Touched by Olivia a national partnership. We're proud to be building inclusive playspaces across Australia with the great team from Leighton.

It was the community development manager in Victoria's idea to work in Brimbank, and we jumped at the chance following an introduction from Barb at Play Australia.The team at Leighton including Joan, Nic, Malcolm, Penny and many more have made this project a pleasure to work on, nothing is ever too much for them.

Brimbank City Council's Open Space Planner, Adrian Gray is a very passionate play person who is charged with reinvigorating the communities play offerings. We spent a day driving around, viewing the standard dead grass, metal slide and very lonely playspaces.

In the end, we decided on partnering in a site in the centre of St Albans, a bustling, multicultural community that is being invigorated with a masterplan. Andrew Richards was charged with designing the space and partnered with the wonderful Mary Jeavons as a consultant on inclusion.

We were fortunate to be chosen to receive a grant to celebrate the Commonwealth Bank's centenary, (check out this awesome video our mates at Siberg/ Why and How Media created) this funding really kicked the pot and helped us to attract more sponsorship from suppliers, like Boral, another national partner, and the contractors involved on the job. Perhaps even better than the sponsorship is the champions we met - Michael Cluff is one of the most passionate people and advocates for inclusion, and his team of Vicky and Georgia were a dream to work with. Thao Parsons is the local branch manager, and with Brimbank CBA located just across the road, she's been a wonderful support to the project.

The result from hundreds of hours of meetings, phone calls, and hundreds of thousands of dollars is Alice's Playspace - named in honour of Alice Errington, who gifted the land known as Errington Reserve to the community for the purpose of leisure and recreation. We think she'd be pretty impressed with the outcome!

We adore the design Andrew has developed, and especially love that the playspace has a trampoline, is in the centre of town and will be part of a massive community hub.

Here's a time lapse of the construction over the past few months.

One of the best things about my job is the people I meet. We joked at the initial design meeting that our group of stakeholders would be known as the Dream Team, but I believe that is a very accurate name. John & Justine Perkins and I have been thrilled to be part of bringing the Livvi's Place National Network to Victoria, and look forward to the opening day.


Alice's Playspace
Main St, 
St Albans, Victoria. 

Official opening Saturday 27th July from 11am.

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