Playgrounds get new lease on life

The playground is dismantled.

By Gabriella Payne

Children from disadvantaged overseas communities will soon be able to enjoy a new rejuvenated playground thanks to a joint project between the City of Greater Dandenong Council and Rotary.

Making way for the new all abilities playground, set to be completed in June 2021, the council began removing the old well-loved playground in Ross Reserve, Noble Park but didn’t want to see it go to waste.

With sustainability in mind, the Council decided to team up with the Rotary Overseas Recycled Playgrounds (RORP) project, a state-wide initiative that collects unwanted playgrounds, gently dismantling them and sending them to less fortunate communities for children to enjoy.

Council chief executive officer, John Bennie, said the project is a fantastic way to rejuvenate old equipment and proves beneficial for all involved.

“This is a great example of community spirit and environmental sustainability in action,” Mr Bennie said.

“We have 120 playgrounds in the City of Greater Dandenong, and we are thrilled to see that the equipment we replace can find a happy home for children in other countries.”

The Ross Reserve playground was successfully dismantled in October by the Rotary team and will be shipped to Sri Lanka, where it will be reassembled by the local Rotary for children in the community to enjoy.

Greater Dandenong Council is taking steps to tackle climate change and move towards a more sustainable future, following its declaration of a Climate and Ecological Emergency in January this year.

Mr Bennie said that initiatives like the rejuvenated playgrounds are a step in the right direction, helping the council and local community get closer to achieving this goal.

“We recognise that everyone has a role to play in reducing our impact on the environment and preparing for climate change. It’s great to see our vision put into action with projects like this,” he said.

While helping disadvantaged communities, the council is also simultaneously giving local children a new playground that caters for all abilities.

Construction began at the start of November on the new Ross Reserve playground, which is currently being developed by the council in collaboration with the Victorian Government.

The all abilities playground will provide a play environment for children and youth of all ages, abilities and sizes and aims to be as inclusive as possible.

With International Day of People with a Disability coming up on Thursday 3 December, this new playground is a timely reminder that all children should have access to play and have fun, no matter their abilities.

Mr Bennie said that he was looking forward to seeing the rejuvenation of the old playground and the completion of the new facilities.

“This project has so many benefits, with children overseas set to enjoy the harvested equipment, and children here able to look forward to a new, accessible playground,” he said.

The all abilities playground has been designed around the red gum environment, will consist of seven distinct playing areas and is set to be completed mid next year.

For more information visit the City of Greater Dandenong Council website at