Update: There’s some new equipment at this playground, water play and more.
Check out the new photos on Canada Bay’s Facebook page here.
Opened in 2009, Livvi’s Place Five Dock was a ground-breaking playground for Australia, and it’s as popular today as it was when it first opened.
If you have a child with special needs, you will feel at home in this playground and in very good company. As will your typically developing kids too.
Touched By Olivia
The Touched by Olivia Foundation was established in 2006 by John and Justine Perkins in memory of their baby daughter who had died at just a few months of age.
The Foundation partners with councils and community groups to create all abilities playgrounds where all members of the community, young and old, able and with special needs, can come together to play side-by-side.
Inclusive playspaces aim to cater for all members of the community, including those with vision, hearing and mobility impairments, as well as people with autism spectrum disorder.
There should be colour and textural changes in the playground, musical sculptures that create vibration as well as sound. There should be equipment which can be used by adults alongside the children, such as the birds nest swing, the bull riders and the motorised roundabout.
Timbrell Park, Henly Marine Drive, Five Dock
Website: Canada Bay Council website here.
This is a very large playground indeed, with plenty of space amongst the play equipment and with a lovely quiet bushy area too.
Equipment includes: a powered roundabout, a huge climbing net, a sway bridge and net play area, an all abilities ramp and slide, a bird’s nest swing, tandem bull riders, a snakes and ladders path, a musical sculpture and the natural areas.
There’s a large covered area with BBQs and picnic tables too, within the enclosed area.
Timbrell Park is very large and flat with huge grassy spaces for playing ball games, and lots of paths for bikes and trikes.
Special needs: See info on video model below. There is a terrific fact sheet on the Canada Bay Council website here. On it you’ll find detailed info on why this playground works well for children and adults with autism spectrum disorder, vision, hearing and mobility impairments. There’s another interesting article on the playground in an architecture journal here.
Nearest takeaway coffee: New cafe right beside the playground, a social enterprise managed by the Touched By Olivia Foundation
Toilets: Toilet block is just outside the playground, with both child and adult change tables.
Shade: Yes, plenty from trees and shade cloths however these can be busy in high summer and some of the playground is still in full sun.
Enclosed: Yes, fully fenced with only one exit/entrance.
Mum’s report: You will really appreciate coming here whether you have kids with special needs or not. I’m so glad my kids have such a great place to come where they see all sorts of people, all sorts of ages and stages. And there’s something about the equipment that really encourages me to get in there and play with them.
Parking: Plenty of parking along Henley Marine Drive
Bus stop nearby: Yes
If you have a child with an ASD, you might find it helpful to show them this video about Livvi’s Place before a visit. It’s a bit out of date eg there is now a roofed area over the roundabout, but it’s helpful.
You can tell myself and Ms8 had a very enjoyable visit to the playground! It wasn’t crowded the overcast day we were there, however at weekends this excellent playground can be busy.
You might also be interested in these poats:
Do visit these playgrounds. They are excellent and I’m sure you’ll join me in being so happy that the needs of ALL members of the community are so well catered to.
Have you visited one of the Livvi’s Place playgrounds?