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Excellence Award For Inclusive Play Space

Welcome to a safe and happy place: Bec Paton’s dream come true, a place where her daughter Sarah can play in safety with other children of all abilities.

Victoria Park Inclusive Play Space Wins Award for Excellence

THE City of Ballarat celebrated success last week winning the Award for Excellence for the Victoria Park Inclusive Playspace project at the LGPro Awards. The LGPro Awards for Excellence promote and celebrate the outstanding work being undertaken and delivered by Local Governments in Victoria. In an award category for initiatives that maximise benefits to the community, the state of the art, innovative and universally accessible design of the Inclusive Playspace contributed to it being recognised as the winner of the ‘Community Assets and Infrastructure Award, Projects $1.5 million and under’. The initiative highlights the collective efforts of the City of Ballarat and community working in partnership to achieve an extraordinary piece of community infrastructure.

Since opening in March 2016 the Inclusive Playspace is one of the busiest and most popular recreation facilities in Ballarat; around 2000 people visit each week to explore and enjoy the multiple play zones and accessible equipment, designed for people of all abilities. The Playspace has long been the dream of Bec Paton, who, along with other volunteers, has worked tirelessly to make that dream a reality.

The smile was still on Bec’s face as The Miner spoke with her this week.

“For me, we won the day we opened,” she says of the award. “Every time I drive past or come and visit and I see people enjoying the Playspace, it’s amazing, it’s heartwarming for me and for all of the other volunteers that supported the project and the corporate and community sponsors – a lot of people put in a lot of effort into this and to have it recognised at a state level was fantastic.”

Bec added the finished park exceeded her hopes and dreams. “I wanted the toilet facility to be within the fence line but I wasn’t sure if that was reaching further than I was going to get, but things like the wheelchair carousel, the flying fox which has the seat that any child can sit in it,” she said.

“I know lots of families that come here because it’s the only play space that they really feel comfortable at.

“It’s so welcoming and there are kids here just playing with everybody else.

“This is for all ages, all abilities, I have seen a lot of very big people on the whirl swing, but that’s what it’s all about and Council were on board from the start and there is some exciting news about what might come next.”