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NSW Nationals

A new playground, designed with elements to enable inclusive play for all children has been opened at Albert Park, Cootamundra, thanks to joint funding of $200,000 from the NSW Nationals in the state government’s Everyone Can Play grant scheme and $200,000 from Cootamundra Gundagai Regional Council, in conjunction with the Touched By Olivia Foundation.

Nationals Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said it was an honour to be at the opening of this unique playground which would provide a place to challenge and encourage active play in an environment designed to incorporate nature.

“This playground has been created as a space where children can delight in the giant treehouse, swing on all sorts of different types of swings, and have their imaginations sparked by water features,” Ms Cooke said.

“Everyone feels welcome here. Every child can play here. This project has been designed so that all children can enjoy this space, regardless of ability. The vision that has been shown in regard to diversity and inclusion is remarkable.”

“I also recognise the efforts of Mayor Charlie Sheehan and Cootamundra Gundagai Regional Council staff in seeing this vision come to life along with the Touched by Olivia Foundation.”

Extensive community consultation and feedback was sought throughout the process of the design of this playground. Thoughts and ideas from children regarding how they wished to play was an integral part of the process and contributed to the overall design.

Along with connecting children to nature and providing an inclusive space, this playground also acknowledges the Indigenous connections to the park, incorporating the theme of a long-neck turtle.

The aim of the Touched By Olivia Foundation is to work in partnership with local councils and corporations to build and maintain state of the art inclusive play spaces, encouraging families and social groups to meet in a child-friendly environment.

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