Bowraville is located on the Nambucca River in the Mid North Coast of NSW. In 2016, Nambucca Valley Council adopted the Bowraville Connections Concept Plan. Using grant funds, Council commenced upgrades to amenities, shelters and pathways in a recreational precinct adjacent to the town centre. This included a skate park, BMX track, football fields and clubhouse, creek-side picnic area and basketball courts.
Further consultation was undertaken with input from the local Aboriginal Land Council, an Aboriginal language centre, schools, preschools, sporting clubs, mothers’ groups, the Council Access Committee, the Chamber of Commerce, and residents. The result was a ‘playspace for everyone’ concept plan with inclusive play equipment and subtle indigenous design elements. The playspace was opened at a community event in 2020 by the Mayor, with a smoking ceremony performed by local Aboriginal Elders.
Both the playspace and the precinct have delivered much needed community infrastructure. Consulting with local groups and applying inclusive principles helped shape a positive space for the community to be proud of.
The recreational precinct is connected to the town centre by concrete footpaths. Playspace areas are linked by internal footpaths, which use soft ochre colours, feature stones and locally significant native plants. Ample parking is available adjacent to the playspace, with level access.
The playspace includes active play equipment for different ages and abilities (accessible swings, a wheelchair-accessible spinner and a climbing tower) and imaginative equipment (percussion instruments and quiet areas). Rubber soft fall is used around equipment.
Covered accessible seating is available in the playspace. The recreation precinct provides access to picnic areas and barbeques, toilets can be found at the nearby sporting fields, and there are shops and amenities in the local town centre.
Children from all backgrounds enjoy the playspace – including the neighbouring preschool, which makes regular excursions.
It is also a meeting place for playgroups, and is well visited by local families in the afternoon and on weekends. Many people from out of town come to Bowraville for the variety of activities available in the precinct, and visiting sporting teams and their families tend to stay after the game to play and catch up with new and old friends.
"It’s been a really important project for us. Our town is going through a pretty significant healing process. This has been something really positive.”
Gwydir Shire Council