Aboriginal Interpretive Playspace Wins Prestigious Award

Yirran muru, the Aboriginal interpretive playspace located behind the Shellharbour Civic Centre, has won silver at the 2023 Landscape Excellence Awards.

From the escarpment to the sea, Yirran muru takes people of all ages on a cultural journey following in the footsteps of local Aboriginal people.

Shellharbour City Mayor Chris Homer said he thrilled with the award, though not surprised it had received industry recognition.

“The Aboriginal Interpretive Play Space is an incredible addition to our city”, Mayor Homer said.

“Yirran muru is a unique space that allows us to share local Aboriginal culture through play and the natural environment.”

“A lot of thought, consultation and planning went into the design and construction of this playspace, and what an amazing achievement it is.

“If you haven’t visited this beautiful playspace yet, it is something you really need to see,” he said.

The awards celebrate the highest standards and achievement in landscape construction, design and maintenance in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, showcasing outstanding levels of complexity, quality of workmanship, management expertise, innovation and creativity.

The prize was awarded to Simpson Landscapes and Consulting in the Commercial & Civil Construction $750,000 to $1.5 Million category.

The design aimed to enhance biodiversity of the site by using natural materials and the additional planting of native plants as well as seating, paths and landscaping which improve connectivity to and around the Shellharbour Civic Centre grounds.

There are multiple interactive elements within the playspace, including Burri Burri – a hand carved timber whale, a canoe across Jubborsay (Lake Illawarra), a gunya (dwelling), a treehouse lookout, sandpit, climbing equipment, bush tucker plants and more.

The playspace also includes an interactive language wheel, where visitors can listen to and learn words from the Dharawal language and learn more about local Aboriginal culture.

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