Outstanding Monash recreation projects secure two PLA State awards


Two of Monash Council’s recreation facilities have been recognised at the Parks and Leisure Australia 2021 Awards of Excellence (VIC/TAS).

The Oakleigh Recreation Centre Redevelopment won Community Facility of the Year and Wellesley Sensory Playspace was awarded Best Playspace under $500,000 at the Parks and Leisure Australia 2021 state Awards.

The $25.35 million Oakleigh Recreation Centre redevelopment, undertaken in 2019/20, transformed the existing centre into a state-of-the art sports hub. It was recognised for demonstrating innovative design, development and operation.

A first for Monash, Wellesley Sensory Playspace in Glen Waverley engages children with additional needs. Inspired by the site’s mature eucalypt trees and resident birds, the child-safe space encourages play via sound, sight, touch and smell.

It was recognised for uniting multiple stakeholders, contributing to a ‘sense of place’ and using landscape and/or structural design innovation that delights and aids childhood development.

Welcoming the awards for acknowledging two outstanding community projects that filled a need and expanded sport and recreation options for people of all abilities, Monash Mayor, Brian Little stated “these awards underline Monash Council’s commitment to ensure that our sport and recreation facilities are of high quality, inclusive and contribute to community health and wellbeing

“Oakleigh Recreation Centre is an exceptional facility for those who enjoy participating in a range of sports and fitness opportunities. This wonderful asset really encourages the community to get involved, get active and get fit.

“Wellesley Sensory Playspace offers exciting and educational play for children of all abilities.

“It is part of Council’s vision for quality, fun, accessible, well designed and maintained playspaces. We delight in seeing children grow physically, emotionally and socially in these environments. They are also places where the community can become engaged and take an active role in the development of these children.”

The Oakleigh Recreation Centre redevelopment was funded by Monash Council, State and Federal Governments, and the Waverley Gymnastics Centre. The community was also widely consulted.

Designed by DWP Australia Pty Ltd and constructed by APM Group, the project significantly expanded the centre’s capabilities to host gymnastics, basketball, netball, volleyball and badminton. It also ensured accessibility through the provision of, quality, fit-for-purpose all abilities facilities and changerooms.

The Centre has five new indoor basketball courts, including a show court with a 3m x 5m video screen and retractable seating for 550 spectators, an upgraded gym and group fitness rooms.

The former stadium section of the old centre is now a regional level home for the Waverley Gymnastics Centre.

Wellesley Reserve Sensory Playspace was developed under the Monash Playground and Playspace Strategy 2020.

The project extended the existing playspace and is fully fenced with a child safe gate. It features:

  • New accessible pathways with artworks, textures and treasure
  • Custom designed carved tea party table and chairs with checkerboard
  • An inviting and playful environment full of sensory design elements
  • Ornamental and sensory plants and trees with a variety of colours and textures to stimulate the senses of touch, smell and sight
  • Tyre sound bouncers and sound sculptures
  • A spinning cup and wheel at the end of the rainbow
  • A wavy carnival mirror.

As the winner of two State awards, these two projects will now compete in the national awards that will be presented later this year.’

Images: Wellesley Reserve Sensory Playspace (top) and the Oakleigh Recreation Centre (below).

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