Hilltops Council have resolved to proceed with signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Touched by Olivia Foundation for the provision of an inclusive playground as part of the Burrangong Creek revitalisation project.
Established in 2006, the Touched by Olivia Foundation is a not for profit organisation that specialises in collaborating to design, develop and when needed, raise corporate sponsorship and community funds for the development of inclusive play spaces.
“Working with Touched by Olivia provides an opportunity to create a truly inclusive play space in the centre of Young that will engage all children and their families and carers in the act of play,” shared Mayor Brian Ingram.
Bec Ho, CEO of the Touched by Olivia Foundation said that in less than 10 years, they have created a national network of inclusive play spaces that are underpinned by the principles of universal design and reinforce the basic right that every child needs to play.
“The intention in the design of an inclusive play space is that the play of all users of different abilities is so intermingled, that visitors to the play space will not realise that it is an inclusive play space,” said Bec Ho.
”When completed, this play space will dramatically reduce the barriers experienced by people with special needs which is so very important in this community.”
Preliminary community engagement for the project has commenced and a small collective of parents, grandparents, educators and disability sector advocates have met to discuss the Touched by Olivia Foundation and what they would like to see included in an inclusive play space. A Hilltops ‘Friends of Livvi’s Place’ group will be established with members of the community welcome to join the group. The ‘Friends of Livvi’s Place’ group will work with Council to engage Hilltops residents on their thoughts on the design and location of the playground.
Council has allocated $275,000 to the project and will work closely with the community and the Touched by Olivia Foundation on designs and potential sponsorship opportunities.