Manager City Reserves, City of Albany
Jacqui Freeman is the Manager of City Reserves for the City of Albany. She has been in this role for nearly two years and was previously in the role of Developed Reserves Coordinator for 5 years. Coming from an environmental consultancy background, Jacqui was new to playgrounds and has taken to them like a duck to water, developing a passion for working with the community to provide great connected places and a diversity of experiences for all to enjoy. The development of an all abilities playground at Eyre Park earned the City the Kidsafe National Playspace Design Awards in 2016.
The City of Albany is one of many regional centres with limited budget for play spaces, where the developments do not provide the kind of play spaces seen in the metropolitan areas, which can cost up to a few million each. Therefore the challenge is to create a range of diverse parks and experiences across the existing Public Open Space network and hierarchy of parks. This network provides a playground trail encouraging users to ride and walk between different parks also being part of community cycling activities and events. Working with the community has ensured the success of this network which host a range of activities including pump tracks, fitness equipment, theming and key features. A key example was working with the Friends of Emu Point installing the first fitness equipment for Albany where they took ownership of the project, undertook research and ensured the best outcome for their community.