Community stories eNews: 31 January 2024
In 2020 the Bruny Island District School Parents & Friends committee identified the need to upgrade the ‘Billabong Playground’, which caters for children up to five and their families.
Working with a local landscaper, the plan was to retain the swings, cubby house, bike path and sandpit and add an above ground timber tunnel with climbing grips over it, a small princess castle and artificial grass covered seats/jumping pods. They also intended to create a safe water play area incorporating a cauldron that fills with water and can be released via a plug. This flows into a wetland area beyond the playground fence. All this would be surrounded by plants and surfaces that stimulate sensory play.
While there were some changes along the way, the main installation and repair took place in early October 2022 and was ready for use mid-October. The work was undertaken by a local contractor, with volunteers adding plants and the artificial grass seats, as well as some timber sleeper steps in mid-October 2022.
The project was supported by a $10,000 SRC grant, thanks to the support of the Bertalli Family Foundation. However, local businesses were also asked to contribute to the project, which meant they could also install a timber shelter. The Playground is now fully functional with the 65+ students from the school and wider community being able to access it.
But the project resulted in far more than just a great play space for the children. It has strengthened the connections between the school and local businesses and the community more broadly. Additionally, the project gave a small group of volunteers the confidence to know that they can achieve great outcomes to improve their community. They displayed courage and aspiration, values that have been included in Bruny School’s values and it’s fantastic for the students to see the results they can bring, not only individuals but the entire community and future generations.