Play For All started in March 2016 as a community FaceBook group in response to some local council designs for a new flagship playground on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. While it ticked the accessibility box, it fell very short of being inclusive to kids of all abilities. How could we support a neighbourhood playground that we couldn’t all use and enjoy?
Through Facebook we connected with the community to start a conversation. It was the beginning of our journey. We discovered the (then) Warringah Council Open Space policy for parks and playgrounds did not offer any guidelines for inclusivity. It wasn’t just design revisions for one playground we needed to work on. We had to drive change around the policy that governed all 220 playgrounds on the Northern beaches.
Our vision is for the Northern Beaches to be the most inclusive play centre in the world; a place of belonging for all our children and families.
We navigated the murky waters of the local council amalgamation process and vigorously campaigned for an amendment to the 2015 Northern Beaches Open Space Strategy.
Success came in June 2016 with Council Administrator Dick Persson, a key supporter of our cause, delivering a Mayoral Minute (originally penned by Warringah Council Mayor Michael Reagan – also a key supporter) that recognised the fundamental importance of inclusivity in our community with a policy change. We had the green light that we needed to start designing and building a future of play for all our kids.