Mosman Council, Mosman Chamber of Commerce and local businesses have partnered with social enterprise Play For All Australia to provide inclusive upgrades to 12 playgrounds across the local government area.
Powered by the generosity of local businesses, the Play It Forward program will replace 12 low-back infant swing seats with high-back Australian-made inclusive versions, giving all young children the same opportunity to play, connect and belong in the local community regardless of their ability.
Mosman Mayor Carolyn Corrigan said Council, which also sponsored an inclusive swing seat upgrade, was keen to bring the Play It Forward program to Mosman.
“Council wanted to support the Mosman community to swing into action and make play more inclusive for all children. It was terrific to see our local businesses get behind the program to support social inclusion in the community and help build a world of play and belonging for all children,” Cr Corrigan said.
Play for All Australia was established by Caroline Ghatt and husband Tim Smith, whose son Marcus lived with a significant disability, to generate awareness and dial up social inclusion across local communities. “Play is vital for all children and the local playground is where community is built, and connections are formed. We want to ensure that no family is left out of their local playground. That’s why our goal is to equip communities with swings that are inclusive to all children, regardless of their ability, in their vital early years” Ms Ghatt said.
At the program’s launch on Friday 22 October, Play For All Australia will dial up social inclusion by setting up a tech-enabled inclusive infant swing seat at Balmoral Beach Playground that will visibly promote the program both online and in the local community.
“The tech-enabled swing has a built-in counter that will record every swing providing a fun and interactive way for the community to join the cause because the more swings made on it, the faster the sponsored inclusive swing seat upgrades are unlocked across the community,” Ms Ghatt said.
Mosman Chamber of Commerce President Tamara Keniry said local businesses had thrown their support behind the initiative by sponsoring the inclusive swing seat upgrades.
“Play it Forward helps educate the community on the importance of inclusion and this wonderful initiative has brought together business and families in a way that benefits both, with many of our local businesses welcoming the opportunity to be involved,” she said.
The launch of the program follows its successful implementation in Hunters Hill which saw 10 infant swing seats across all of the local government area’s playgrounds upgraded to include high-back inclusive versions.
Local businesses including Bendigo Community Bank, Di Jones, Harris Farm Markets, Rotary Club of Mosman, Mosman Council, Music N’ Me, Mosman Toyota, The Works and Vine Apparel have sponsored seats, as well as Mosman Council and Play for All.