Yirran Muru Earns National Excellence Award

The winning streak continues for Shellharbour City Council's Aboriginal Interpretive Playspace, after taking out the Play Spaces Award of Excellence and Regional Achievement Award at the Australian Institute of Landscape Architecture Awards.

The play space, titled Yirran muru (Dharawal for 'Many pathways'), has received eight prestigious industry awards since its opening in 2023.

Mayor Chris Homer said Yirran muru would now proceed to the Australian Institute of Landscape Architecture National Awards program.

"I am immensely proud of the success and recognition that this project has and continues to receive. It is a true testament to the strength that lies in collaboration," he said.

"Council has worked closely alongside the Aboriginal community for 30 years."

"Through our relationship with the Aboriginal Advisory Committee and on important projects like Yirran muru, we are ensuring local culture and heritage is protected, respected and shared," Mayor Homer said.

The project's Landscape Architect and Horticulturalist, Fiona Robbé, from Fiona Robbé Landscape Architects, said that they were proud to have designed a play space that carefully weaved the values, language and stories shared by the Dharawal community.

"We loved designing the play space as a map, depicting the traditional travel journeys as stepping stone paths leading from the ocean to the mountains," Fiona Robbé said.

"Yirran muru functions seamlessly as an accessible educational precinct, a meeting place, and a play space for the Shellharbour community," she said.

Local Aboriginal community member and collaborator on the project, Dr Jodi Edwards said that everyone learns and benefits from Yirran muru.

"The backyard (Yirran muru) was an amazing opportunity to showcase regionally, nationally and internationally what can be achieved when Aboriginal people and the wider community come together to partner for the youngest and adolescence in the broader community," Dr Edwards said.

"The partnership is so much more than mere words of reconciliation - it is reconciliation in action," she said.

Yirran muru will proceed to the National Australian Institute of Landscape Architecture Awards, held in October this year.


  • Winner - Playspace Award of Excellence, NSW Landscape Architecture Awards 2024
  • Regional Achievement Award, NSW Landscape Architecture Awards 2024
  • Winner - First Nations Community Partnerships, NSW Local Government Excellence Awards 2024
  • Winner - Playspace Award (under $500k category), Parks and Leisure Australia Regional Awards of Excellence 2024
  • Winner - Education and Interpretation, National Trust Heritage Awards 2024
  • Highly Commended - Aboriginal Heritage, National Trust and Heritage Awards 2024
  • Winner - Diversity and Inclusion, 2024 Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA)
  • Silver - Landscape Excellence Awards 2023

Learn more about Yirran muru on the Shellharbour Civic Centre website.

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