New playground to celebrate 100 years of Hazel Orme
Fremantle’s oldest kindergarten, Hazel Orme Kindergarten, is home to a brand new playground thanks to joint funding by the City of Fremantle, Federal Member for Fremantle Josh Wilson, Lotterywest and the school.
The new playground has been unveiled just in time for the kindergarten in White Gum Valley to celebrate its 100-year anniversary later this year.
Designed by South Fremantle-based See Design Studios, the playground features nature-play elements, a climbing net up to a wooden ‘rocket’ tower, a slide, monkey bars and a swing to offer countless hours of fun. The project also saw an upgrade of the outdoor furniture for the kindergarten.
The project was funded through a $25,000 contribution from the City of Fremantle, $15,383 from Federal Member for Fremantle Josh Wilson, $40,000 by Lotterywest and through fundraising by the kindergarten.
Fremantle Mayor Hannah Fitzhardinge said the City was thrilled to be a part of bringing this new playground and outdoor space to life.
"Hazel Orme Kindergarten has played such a significant role in helping to care for and develop early learning for the children of Fremantle over the years," Mayor Fitzhardinge said.
"It first opened in 1923 inside one of the rooms at the Fremantle Town Hall, when a young Hazel Orme set out to provide education for disadvantaged children.
"The kindergarten later moved to the old RSL Hall on the corner of South Terrace and Price Street before finding its current home in White Gum Valley in 1973.
"We’re proud to be involved in this project to help give back to Hazel Orme Kindergarten, which has given so much to our community over the years."
Hazel Orme Kindergarten Teacher Georga McMullen said the playground was a big hit for the children.
"We waited and watched over five weeks so it was a big thrill when we could finally play on it,” she said.
“The new swing is very popular. You can sit, lay, stand and go on with friends together.
"Our play-based education program can use both the outdoor space and the indoor space to cater for the learning styles and needs of the developing little people we nurture.
"We are very grateful to Rebecca Clarkson, a parent of a former student, who has worked tirelessly applying for grants so we could have such an amazing playground.
"As well as the many parents who have attended Busy Bees in the last six months to prepare the site and install some of the elements, helping us to reduce costs."
The playground and furniture upgrades formed the first and second phase of a five-stage playground upgrade for the kindergarten.
Other stages include planting and irrigation in June and later the installation of a pump track, swings, veggie garden and proposed artwork overlay to the playground.
“To further the children’s connection to nature and celebrate local Whadjuk culture there is the opportunity to incorporate artistic representations of animal and plant species which are representative of the Nyoongar six seasons,” Ms McMullen said.
“The small artworks each depicting a different species would be installed throughout the playground for children to discover and enjoy.”
The official Hazel Orme Kindergarten 100-year celebrations will take place in Term 4 with more details to be released soon.
The playground is just one of over 100 projects the City is delivering across the 2022–23 financial year.
Visit www.fremantle.wa.gov.au/budgethighlights for more projects.
Back row L-R: Fremantle Mayor Hannah Fitzhardinge, See Design Studio landscape architect and dad Joel Barker, committee members Patrick McGill and Emma Brain. Front row L-R: Hazel Orme teacher Georga McMullen, MP Josh Wilson and committee members Rebecca Clarkson and Dominic Higgs.