New playground nurtures connection to Country

July 11, 2021 BY

Cr Anthony Aitken, Cr Mason, Wadawurrung Traditional Owner Corrina Eccles and Northern Bay College students Mia Jervies, Caleb Thorne, Aisha Abdullah and Oliver McGeachi. Photo: SUPPLIED

A NEW nature-based play space has opened up at Corio’s Goldsworthy Reserve adding to the growing amenities in Geelong’s northern suburbs.

The 4700 square metre playground incorporates natural elements including gardens, trees, constructed hills, water, sand and tree houses designed to inspire young children to play and connect with the outdoors.

Fully funded by the City of Greater Geelong, the project follows the $1.3 million upgrade to the state-of-the-art athletics facility located in the Goldsworthy Reserve.

Windermere Ward councillor Anthony Aitken said the new addition added to the unique offerings in the northern suburbs.

“Having visited the space myself, I can tell you it’s an exciting secret adventure playground that will delight children and their families once they discover it behind the athletics track,” he said.

“Council was extremely proud to invest $350,000 in this special playspace because it links natural elements with our Traditional Wadawurrung heritage, which is an amazing thing to do.”

Developed in consultation with Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, the playspace aims to encourage further understanding and storytelling of Wadawurrung Country.

The layout of the natural elements has been designed to replicate the Wadawurrung landscape with mountains, rivers, waters as well as featuring eels, birds and other animals significant to the area.

Cr Aitken said he was excited to see the vision come to life, with the park officially opening in time for the school holidays.

“Traditional Owner Corrina Eccles has had a significant impact on the space with her concept ideas for an eel catching runnel, a walkway representsing the Moorabool River and a slide that represents the Barwon River, which were all made a reality by the city,” he said.

“With a You Yangs climbing wall, flying fox and the playground’s structure constructed from trees from the site, there are so many opportunities to see, touch, smell, listen and move.

“This fantastic new playground is sure to create a sense of wonder and love for the natural environment for generations to come.”

The new facility is open to the public with the city to install story boards around the space to give visitors an understanding of the playground’s cultural significance.

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