100th Australian Changing Places facility now open at Bicentennial Park
The 100th Changing Places facility in Australia has officially been opened at the popular Bicentennial Park in Chelsea, marking a milestone for the program and the Victorian Government's commitment to build inclusive communities.
As a hub of activity for the community, this facility ensures the park caters for all ages and abilities, further complementing the existing accessible parking, playground, trails and sporting facilities.
For families like Rebecca, Amos, Noah and Joseph this facility is life changing.
“I’m thrilled. I never really thought I would get emotional about a toilet, but it’s just a huge game changer for us. We’ve recently moved from the UK back to Australia for Amos’ needs and we’re just so thankful that there are people thinking of us.”
In the past, Rebecca has used baby change tables, but now as Amos is growing older she’s had to take yoga mats into bathrooms to change him on the floor.
“We’re just at a point where he’s too tall for the baby change tables. I’ve had to change him on the floor in bathrooms and it’s unsanitary, I don’t want to do that. Usually the option is to change him in the car, but it’s uncomfortable for him, so this really means a lot for us.”
The facility was officially opened by State Member for Mordialloc Tim Richardson, on behalf of the Hon. Luke Donnellan (Minister of Disability, Ageing and Carers) with Cr. Tamsin Bearsley (City of Kingston) and SCOPE CEO, Jennifer Fitzgerald.
“To have this established as one of the first in Kingston and setting inclusion best practices is sending a message to our community about how seriously we take supporting people with disabilities and their carers to be involved, active and connected,” Tim Richardson said.
This Changing Place facility features a ceiling hoist, adjustable adult-size change table and peninsula toilet and is located within the playground so families can enjoy all that Bicentennial Park has to offer.
The Changing Places program
Inspired by the UK initiative, the first Australian Changing Places toilet was launched in Victoria by Maroondah City Council in 2014.
Victoria has been a leader in promoting Changing Places and was the first state to directly fund the construction of Changing Places in 2015. Since then it has funded 32 Changing Places and incorporated Changing Places into new infrastructure builds including hospitals, sports stadiums and train stations.
Western Australia and other states soon followed by promoting and funding Changing Places. The private sector were also early adopters with nearly every major shopping centre company in Australia committing to build Changing Places. There are now 100 Changing Places toilets across Australia, 44 of which are in Victoria.
You can learn more about the rollout of the Changing Places initiative in Victoria via our dedicated project page.
Locations of all currently open facilities in Australia and building specifications and guidelines can be found on the national Changing Places website.