Halvorsen Park playground, delivered by PAYCE and Sekisui House Australia at the award-winning urban renewal development Royal Shores beside the Parramatta River at Ermington, has won a national award for the best playground in Australia (<$500k) category. This follows its earlier success in taking out the NSW/ACT Award for playgrounds in the same category.

The Parks and Leisure Australia 2017 National Awards of Excellence were presented to the winners at a gala dinner held at the Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast. Parks and Leisure Australia, with 2500 members, is the peak industry association for professionals working in the parks and leisure sector in Australia.
The award was presented to Halvorsen Park’s designer and specialist landscape architect, Fiona Robbe.
Ms Robbe was engaged to design the playground by leading property development and investment company, PAYCE and Sekisui House Australia, joint developers of the adjacent Royal Shores waterfront residential complex.
The bespoke playground and nearby foreshore improvements were officially opened in April this year following their handover to the City of Parramatta Council as part of a Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA) between Council, PAYCE and Sekisui House Australia.

PAYCE Director, Dominic Sullivan said Ms Robbe’s design was inspired by the waterfront location, the exposed wharf piers on the river, the memorial sculpture for the World War 1 submarine, AE2, and the link to the well-known Halvorsen timber boat building business that operated on the shores of the Parramatta River for many years.
“The playground design was thoughtfully created to suit children from four to ten years of age with natural elements such as sandstone, hardwood timbers and natural rope inspired by the maritime association,” he said.

“On behalf of PAYCE and Sekisui House Australia I congratulate Ms Robbe on receiving this well-deserved national award.”

In addition to the playground, he community assets included landscaping the Ermington foreshore with nearly 300 large sandstone blocks, 4000 square metres of turf, 50 mature cabbage palms and Sydney red gums, improved cycleways and lighting and roofed viewing platforms.

Mr Sullivan said PAYCE collaborated with Council and the local community to achieve what is a wonderful range of assets for the benefit of local residents and visitors to the area.

“The Halvorsen Park playground perfectly complements the adjacent George Kendall Riverside Park and the shared cycleway and walkway along the river.

“The playground has become a magnet for young families who enjoy its waterfront location and the unique and colourful structures,” he said.