The Rotary interactive play sculpture at Yarra Bank Reserve, Hawthorn will capture the spirit of place, defining the new playground to be constructed there in early 2021.  Situated in Glenferrie Ward in the City of Boroondara, and on the banks of the lazy ol' Yarra River, the playground will be a gift to the community from the Rotary Clubs of Glenferrie, Camberwell, Hawthorn and Canterbury with a grant from The Rotary Foundation, marking a fruitful community partnership that has existed for 100 years.
The key message of the all-abilities play feature will mark the theme: "When people work together they can create something magnificent"
To see what the playground will look like when opened in 2021, Rotary ANZ's Centenary Year, click on "Read more..."

Artists impression of playground design, looking south east

The Rotary Interactive Play Sculpture will be the centrepiece of the new playground, easily seen from any vantage point in the Reserve, and from the street and the river.

Community consultation was held by the City of Boroondara in November 2019. The key themes heard from the community were:

  • People generally like what they have now and would love new and updated play equipment.
  • There is support for more interactive sensory play opportunities, fencing and more adventurous equipment for older children.
  • Find ways of acknowledging Indigenous heritage, nature and boating.
  • Great opportunity to retain both Yarra Bank Reserve and Pridmore Park playgrounds and create two unique spaces, please keep both.

Artists impression, looking north east at the interactive play sculpture.

The new Yarra Bank Reserve playground concept design is now complete and includes the community’s most popular requests:

  • A unique interactive play sculpture drawing on the theme of the thriving rowing community and marking Rotary's 100th Anniversary in Australia and New Zealand
  • Various sculptural play elements reflecting other themes
  • A climbing adventure mound and slide down to a natural landform
  • A unique water sculpture. 
  • Nature play interactions, including balancing and clambering among the trees, rocks and logs. 
  • Increased access with paved picnic and play surfaces suitable for users with limited mobility.
  • A refreshed picnic and barbeque area.
  • Upgrades to the access road and car park to increase traffic flow and allow for a wheel chair accessible car park space.
  • A fence to provide separation between the park, play space and picnic area and the vehicular access and the river.
  • Increased opportunities for wheelchair users and a range of abilities.

The Interactive Sculpture Will Celebrate the Power of Working Together

The sculpture will feature two sets of two wheels, any one of which can be turned by a child, either alone or together with an adult. Wheelchair access will be easy, and the wheels can be operated from a sitting position.
Eight oars will raise and lower and twist as the wheels are operated. The two wheels mounted on the pole on the right will operate the four oars above the wheels, and the two wheels on the left similarly will operate the oars on the left of the sculpture
The faster the wheels are turned the faster the oars will raise and lower. two teams can compete for the fastest oar movement. The wheels may represent the Rotary wheel in the final design.
The supporting wooden platform serves as bench where adults can sit and supervise, or just enjoy the park views!
Other elements may include magnetic play, sound and light. The finish is likely to be a combination of steel and copper. A central gathering and seating plinth will be incorporated, with the overall size of the piece expected to be approximately seven meters in length and five meters in height.

The interactive play sculpture will be creatively unique, making it an impressive attraction for this new District playground, while promoting Rotary's values of service, fellowship, and collaboration.