Thursday March 30th, marked the official opening of Barnardos, Warrawong’s new outdoor garden and play area. Proudly designed and installed by Shaw Landscape Group, the space promises to provide a safe and inviting sanctuary for children and their families to enjoy.

Shaw Landscape Group attended the open day alongside local community members and dignitaries, including Aunty Lorraine Brown, Wollongong’s MP Paul Scully, as well as key representatives from Barnardos, WIN News and the Illawarra Mercury.

Shaw Landscape Group attended Barnardos centre open day for the official opening of their new gardens
Guests enjoying the grounds of the newly landscaped outdoor gardens and play area

Barnardos open day 2023 landscaped gardens
Barnardos, Warrawong’s new outdoor garden and play area

Barnardos open day 2023 landscaped gardens
Barnardos Team Members paying their respects during the ‘Welcome to Country’ ceremony

Guests were warmly greeted with a ‘Welcome to Country’, followed by the official unveiling of the meeting room names and inspirational presentations from Barnardos CEO Deirdre Cheers and Centre Manager Maria Corsiglia. After enjoying celebratory refreshments and morning tea, guests had an opportunity to explore the grounds.

Re-doing the children’s outdoor area was a dream come true for Barnardos. “We want families to take a break from the outside world when coming to Barnardos and this space will provide that opportunity. One family said ‘ it feels like an oasis in the middle of Warrawong”, say Maria.

Paul Scully Wollongong MP and Centre Manager Maria Corsiglia
Paul Scully MP for Wollongong and Barnardos Centre Manager Maria Corsiglia

Barnardos open day March 2023 new landscaping
Guests and family members engaging with the media

As strong advocates for providing a safe haven for children who may be at risk of neglect or abuse, Barnardos were extremely proud to bring their long awaited landscape vision to life. Encompassing a variety of textural and diverse ‘sensory’ experiences, this newly landscape garden and play area was thoughtfully designed to help nurture and enhance the well-being of vulnerable children. Featuring a working mud kitchen and sandpit, veggie garden, teepee, custom built timber bridge, shaded sandstone log seating area and vibrant mix of tactile trees, plants and shrubs.

“We wanted a natural space for children to play and explore, a space where they could relax and enjoy quality time with their families, to feel that this is “their” place” says Maria. “We know the new environment will help children regulate their emotions and support them in having quality time with their parents and those special to them, creating unique memories for the families in a safe and nurturing environment. This play space will support children’s creativity and natural play, connect them to their senses and creative side. We can’t wait to see what the children make out of this space and the many memories they will create”.

Children with WIN News for the opening of Barnardos new gardens
Media interviews with WIN News

Barnardos open day 2023 landscaped gardens
Guests and key personnel enjoying views of the newly landscape gardens and play area

Shaw Landscape Group are proud to be part of such a meaningful project and are excited to see what this space can do for the Illawarra community! To see more completion photos from this impressive landscape, jump on our projects page here.