Property and Infrastructure Specialists
Providing an innovative solution for an inclusive playground for the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Government House.
Parramatta Park Trust
Parramatta, NSW

A significant heritage site

Parramatta Park is a key cultural and recreational landscape in the Parramatta Central Business District. The Park, located in the curtilage of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Government House, is 85ha of mixed-use infrastructure including:

  • Bushland
  • Playing fields
  • Event spaces
  • Playgrounds
  • Heritage buildings

The popular site is visited by millions of people every year.

The eastern edge of the Park is home to the Murray Gardens Precinct. The area contains a rich deposit of archaeology and relics, stemming from Indigenous and European inhabitation. To activate and revitalise the precinct, Parramatta Park Trust commissioned APP to manage the development of a precinct master plan. APP experts spearheaded the works across multiple stages, the first of which was constructed in 2016.

In 2019, Parramatta Park Trust was awarded $1.5m in funding to construct an inclusive playground under the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s Everyone Can Play Grant Scheme. APP was engaged by Parramatta Park Trust to manage the design and delivery of Paperbark Playground. Using innovative design and construction solutions, our consultants responded to the following:

  • Site constraints
  • Accessibility requirements
  • Strict project budget

Providing a complete solution

APP provided a full project management solution for Parramatta Park Trust, including:

  • Project management
  • Design management
  • Superintendence

Having worked closely with Parramatta Park Trust for years through delivering their Parramatta Park Capital Works Program, our project team possessed an intimate understanding of the site-specific conditions, challenges and client needs.

APP procured and managed technical consultants whose expertise and capabilities aligned with project needs. A high level of due diligence and care was required to ensure the design process and final outcome.

An innovative design

Having managed previous approvals and associated archaeological investigations in the precinct, APP was aware of the need to protect sensitive inground relics during construction and in perpetuity.

Working closely with NSW OEH Heritage Division and the consultant team, an innovative ‘no-dig’ design solution was developed and endorsed for construction. This approach offered no sub-surface disturbance and balanced heritage considerations with the project budget. The solution enabled the development of a bespoke inclusive playground.


As contract superintendent, APP managed the delivery of Paperbark Playground. To meet the conditions of consent, the process involved an extensive site presence while managing budgetary constraints. The completed works were delivered in June 2019 - a date that fulfilled the grant requirements.

The completed playground combines the following in a holistic design:

  • Waterplay
  • Adventure play
  • Soundscapes
  • Bike/scooter track
  • Nature play

Critically, there is extensive heritage interpretation throughout the playground such as convict ‘love tokens’, inlays and illustrated panels integrated into the timber and sand stock brick structures.

In July 2019, NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces the Hon Rob Stokes opened the playground. It has served as a demonstration of design innovation, lateral thinking, and successful consultant and construction management.

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