Sod turned for Pia’s Place playground in Whiteman Park

Turning of the sod ceremony for the $1.25 million Pia's Place playground at Whiteman Park. Picture: David Baylis  d490463
Turning of the sod ceremony for the $1.25 million Pia's Place playground at Whiteman Park. Picture: David Baylis d490463

THE first sod has been turned for an all-abilities playground at Whiteman Park to honour the memory of Perth baby Pia Rudd who died suddenly from SIDS.

Parents Tony and Amy Rudd, representatives from the Touched by Olivia Foundation, today joined Planning Minister Rita Saffioti to mark the start of the $1.25 million project.

The start of construction marks the culmination of years of planning by the Rudds, who wished to create a special place for all children, in memory of their late daughter.

Amy and Tony Rudd with Eva (9) and Gillian (4) at the Pia’s Playground launch event. Picture: David Baylis

The Rudds have been supported in their fundraising efforts by the Noranda Lions Club as well as the foundation, which specialises in developing inclusive play spaces.

The nature-based playground, to be known as Pia’s Place, will feature customised play equipment including an elevated lighthouse, polished concrete slides, a basket swing, an all-abilities carousel, a sensory garden and family-friendly shelters.

Located near the Mussel Pool East tram stop, the playground will be suitable for children of all abilities including those with physical disability and mobility challenges.

Ms Saffioti said she was delighted to see the project progress to the construction phase.

“The commitment that the Rudds and their supporters have demonstrated in bringing this inspirational project to fruition should be commended,” she said.

“Whiteman Park is a popular attraction for both locals and visitors alike; Pia’s Place all-abilities playground will further cement its place as an iconic Western Australian family destination.”

WA company Nature Play Solutions has secured the tender for construction.

The project is being funded via a $1.25 million grant from the WA Planning Commission and will be managed by the Touched by Olivia Foundation.