Wednesday, November 24, 2010

North West Playground Research Project 2010-11

The Kidsafe WA Playground Advisory Service team has begun working on an exciting new research project. With the assistance of the Department of Health, Kidsafe WA’s Playground Advisory Service will be investigating outdoor play provision in regional and remote locations in the State’s north west.

There is extensive international research about the impact that social infrastructure such as parks and playgrounds have on the health and wellbeing of children and communities. Quality nature-based playgrounds in particular have been shown to support children’s healthy development. However, playgrounds are often difficult to create and maintain in regional and remote WA towns, which can often lead to unsafe or unexciting playgrounds.

A Reference Group of professionals from the children and family, education, landscape and local government sectors has been established to ensure multi-disciplinary expertise.

This project aims to meet with families, children’s services, local government and Aboriginal groups to gather views and perspectives about playgrounds, explore perceptions of children’s play and the specific difficulties of playground provision faced by remote communities to identify –

  • The level of satisfaction with local playground and playspace provision
  • Perceptions of safety of local playgrounds
  • Perceptions of provision of risk and challenge in children’s playspaces
  • Difficulties or otherwise of planning and development of playgrounds in remote locations
  • Maintenance and sustainability issues and concerns.

Design and maintenance issues and concerns will be discussed with the Reference Group to develop low cost solutions to these areas of concern.

The project team is also keen to discuss the concept of ‘connecting to country’ with Aboriginal groups in relation to supporting children’s connection to nature in playground design. It is hoped this will assist education strategies for the implementation of the Early Years Learning Framework with its strong emphasis on connecting children to nature and supporting children’s sense of belonging.

A range of face-to-face consultation meetings, forums and focus groups are currently being scheduled for February and March 2011 and we would love to speak with as many people as we can.

KARRATHA – 14–15 February
ROEBOURNE – 16 February
PORT HEDLAND – 17 February
NEWMAN – 18–21 February
TOM PRICE – 22 February
PARABURDOO – 23 February

KUNUNURRA – 21–22 March
WYNDHAM – 22 March (AM)
HALLS CREEK – 23 March
DERBY – 24 March
BROOME – 25–28 March

To participate in this project, share your views, provide assistance or find out more contact Kerry (9340 8939) or Tracy (0428 875 503) or email