Project name

Playground Forward Design program 20/21, which includes the Playground Tester program

Project objective

From Brighton to Beaumaris, over a 10-year period, we’re upgrading all 61 playgrounds around the municipality. The program is guided by Bayside’s Playground Improvement Plan.

Each year, Council seeks input from the community on how they would like to see playgrounds in their area improved or upgraded. First we consult with the users of our playgrounds: the children and young people of Bayside. This is our Playground Tester program and the input we receive helps develop concept plans which are further refined through broader community. Once a final design is agreed, the playgrounds are constructed the following financial year.

The playgrounds that we are consulting on as part of the 20/21 - 21/22 Playground Forward Design program are:

  • Hanby Street Reserve
  • Train Street Reserve
  • R G Chisholm Reserve
  • Tricks Reserve
  • Donald MacDonald Reserve
  • Whyte Street Reserve

Please note, the Hampton Foreshore Recreation Node has been removed from the Playground Improvement Program as the feedback showed that it is not well used. As part of the relevant foreshore masterplan, a picnic table, seating, mural and low-level indigenous planting will be added to this space which may increase its patronage.

Project impacts

The project will deliver six renewed pocket park/local play spaces. These are upgrades of existing facilities and do not intend to expand the footprint of the playgrounds or removal of significant vegetation. This detail will be clarified with the draft designs that will be available for public comment in the future.

The upgrades will cater for children of all ages and abilities, promote intergenerational use and ensure adherence with all Australian Safety Standards. Playground upgrades will adopt principles of universal design ensuring that they are not only able to be accessed, but enjoyed by community members of varying abilities. The playground improvement plan aims to provide a range of play opportunities that suit the needs of residents within walking distance to their home and also destination playgrounds within the municipality.

Council aims to provide playgrounds that:

  • offer and encourage play experiences that promote independence for people of all abilities
  • are sympathetic to the surrounding area and neighbourhood
  • maintain a connection to nature
  • use natural materials where possible
  • are easily and safely accessible along footpaths and trails
  • can be reached via safe road and rail crossing points
  • promote intergenerational use
  • adhere to all relevant Australian Safety Standards
  • provide a connection to the community.
  • site context
  • level of dependence upon the park locally
  • provision for different ages and abilities
  • general level of amenity, shade, paths, seating and accessibility of social spaces
  • variety of types of activity - movement versus static - imaginative/role play/creative play - presence of vegetation, natural elements and loose materials - degree of challenge - degree of open ended-ness
  • how the playground complements the neighbouring reserves

The community will be engaged prior to all playground upgrades, feedback will be considered in line with budget and recommendations of the Playground Improvement Plan.

Each playground has been assessed to determine its priority for upgrade using the following criteria:

  • missing items
  • specific design problem.

What information do we need from the community?

In the first phase of engagement, we invite the community (particularly playground users) to tell us what they would like to see in the new playground designs (based on the precinct plan detailed in the Playground Improvement Plan). We welcome information about anything unique about the site; history to be celebrated, or other issues that should be taken into consideration. Playground designers use this feedback to develop concept designs.

In the second phase of engagement, we ask the community for feedback on the draft designs and whether they reflect the community’s aspirations. The designs are then revised before finalising and constructing the playgrounds.

What can the community influence?

  • playground components including the layout, style, equipment and design
  • possible inclusions and exclusions in the design
  • overall theme/look and feel of the playground

What can't the community influence?

  • installation of shade (sail or planting)
  • expanding footprint of the playground in most circumstances
  • budget allocated for each playground upgrade or replacement
  • timeframe for delivering the individual playground improvement
  • location of the playground (utilisation of current site)
  • landscaping or other open space features outside of the playground area
  • provision or upgrade of public toilet or other facilities in the vicinity hat is not included within the Public Toilet Improvement Strategy
  • provision of outdoor fitness equipment or older adult equipment.

Stakeholders and community

This stakeholder assessment is a generalised understanding of sections of the community that have a connection to the project or matter. This information is used to understand the types of tools and techniques that will achieve the strongest and most effective outcomes for engagement and communication.

Impact: What level of change will the stakeholder / community segment experience as a result of the project / matter

Interest: What level of interest has been expressed or is anticipated

Influence: Reference to the IAP2 Spectrum.





Playground users, considering children and their parents/guardiansHHInvolve
Users of the open space or community facilities surrounding the playgroundHMConsult
Neighbouring residentsHHConsult
People with dogsLMConsult
Early years providers, including schoolsLMConsult
People living with disabilityHHConsult

Selected tools and techniques

The tools and techniques selected for this project are informed by the project content, stakeholders and type of feedback sought. The impact of COVID-19 may restrict our ability for face-to-face communication, as well as slower distribution of printed mail.

Key tools for communicating the project

  • signage (with QR codes linking back to the survey on HYS) at the six playgrounds
  • email/phone liaison with the Playground Testers and their parents/guardians
  • social media, especially 'sponsored' posts to increase audience reach
  • Council's e-newsletter This Week in Bayside
  • email notification to Have Your Say registered members and project subscribers
  • website news stories
  • Let's Talk Bayside magazine delivered to all homes in Bayside
  • Council's e-newsletter This Week in Bayside.

Key methods for gathering feedback

Phase 1 - Playground Tester program (Bayside Buccaneers)

  • online engagement through Have Your Say, including opportunity to ask questions – surveys for each of the playgroun
  • printed survey and consultation materials, including in accessible formats available on request.

Phase 2 – Feedback on concept designs

  • online engagement through Have Your Say, including opportunity to ask question
  • as a result on COVID stage 4 restriction, face-to-face engagement sessions could not be held
  • printed survey and consultation materials, including in accessible formats available on request.the Bayside Buccaneer Playground Tester program which invites feedback from children via online survey.

Project timelines

  • Timeline item 1 - complete

    Call for Playground Testers

  • Timeline item 2 - complete

    Playground Testers provide input into concept plans

  • Timeline item 3 - complete

    Develop concept plans

  • Timeline item 4 - complete

    Seek wider community feedback on concept plans

  • Timeline item 5 - active

    Detailed design of playgrounds

  • Timeline item 6 - incomplete

    Find playground builders

  • Timeline item 7 - incomplete

    Build playgrounds

Decision making process

Concept plans are developed from input from the Playground Tester program. Playground Testers and the broader community are invited to comment on the concept plans. This feedback then informs the detailed designs.

A Project Working Group, consisting of a cross-functional team of Council officers, evaluates and approves each final design against the objectives in the Playground Improvement Plan.

Council tenders for playground builders and then the playgrounds are constructed the next financial year (budget permitting).

Unless significant impacts to project scope, timing or budget occur, no further formal decision making by Councillors is anticipated.