2021 Cohesive Communities Award Honourable Mention

Camden Council, NSW

Dawson-Damer Splash Park and Playground



The Project

Dawson-Damer Park was delivered via a Voluntary Planning Agreement with Greenfields Development Company and is an inclusive destination along a 2km shared path linking the Oran Park Town Centre to Pondicherry Lake. This inclusive path is anchored at one end by the Julia Reserve Youth Precinct and the water and land-based recreation, and social opportunities associated with the constructed lake. The path 2km will be Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) compliant. Dawson-Damer Park consists of a civic space, inclusive playground, accessible splash pad and outdoor gym area. In total, it covers an area of 15,000m2.

All play and social areas within Dawson-Damer are physically accessible. The play equipment has been selected to cater to all ages and abilities. Council provides wet play wheelchairs on site for use in the splash pad area. There are various options for seating and gathering, which includes furniture that complies with the DDA. The amenities block includes an accredited Changing Places bathroom and adult changing facilities.

As well as being physically accessible, the spaces are also emotionally accessible, which is particularly important for those with a neurological impairment. Pedestrian circulation is cued via a concrete path around the perimeter of the space. Shortcut paths are provided between areas of high activity, which provides secondary interaction. Interaction is graduated until the user feels enough confidence to immerse themselves in the space. Colouring on the ground plane of the playground and splash pad provide environmental cues as to where social and physical interaction can be expected. Cueing circulation and high activity areas allows users who don't read social cues to navigate via environmental cues. This allows users to make what appears to be a socially unpredictable space more predictable.

Social accessibility is provided for through a diverse range of seating and gathering options. Users who might not be confident engaging with the spaces immediately, or need a break, can sit along the edges, and observe rather than engage.

Dawson-Damer has been designed to cater to community members of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds where active and passive interaction is a natural outcome of engaging with this space.

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