About the project
Mallacoota Kindergarten was damaged significantly after heavy rainfall in January 2020. The site had suffered damage from smoke and ash during the New Year's Eve bushfires, which destroyed dozens of homes in Mallacoota and isolated the community for many days.
The kindergarten had up to 24 children enrolled across three and four-year-old kinder in 2021. It is owned by the East Gippsland Shire Council and operated by YMCA Ballarat.
A temporary facility was established at the Mallacoota P-12 College while the council undertook remediation works and the children returned to their original kindergarten building. But a long-term solution was needed.
On 27 February 2020, the Minister for Education announced up to $2.5 million to establish or reinstate a new kindergarten in Mallacoota as soon as possible. The new kindergarten was established using modular construction to ensure it was up and running as soon as possible.
The community now have a modern facility with a new playground, landscaping and car parking on the Mallacoota P-12 site. This co-location benefits children, families and the staff of the two education services.
In 2020, the Minister for Education announced up to $2.5 million to establish or reinstate a new kindergarten in Mallacoota.
Playground and outdoor spaces engagement
As the next step in designing Mallacoota’s new kindergarten, we asked the local community to share their ideas for the playground and outdoor spaces. This report summarises that feedback.
In February 2020, the Victorian Government announced up to $2.5 million to build a new kindergarten for Mallacoota after the original building was badly damaged by bushfire and storms. We aimed to do that as soon as possible, either at the original site or on the grounds of Mallacoota P-12 College.
Following significant community consultation and site investigation works, the Minister for Early Childhood and the Minister for Education approved the Department of Education and Training’s recommendation that Mallacoota P-12 College become the location for the new Mallacoota Kindergarten.
The Department made its recommendation after considering stakeholder feedback, listening to the views of the community and learning the outcome of cultural heritage site investigations.
Following community feedback and the fire engineering report, we are built the new kindergarten with a bushfire attack level (BAL) of 40. This means we considered the potential impact of embers, debris, heat and flames as we planned and designed the building, including what materials we used for the landscaping and playground.
We heard a range of ideas about the playground and outdoor spaces at the new kindergarten:
- The most important features include natural materials, open spaces and outdoor play equipment.
- The most popular features of the old kindergarten that participants wanted to see at the new site included the personalised bricks, heritage water pump and student murals.
- People also wanted fire protection, natural gardens, and links to the local community.
In May 2021, we began asking the community for feedback on the kindergarten’s playground and outdoor spaces.
Between 17 May to 7 June 2021, community members were given the opportunity to participate in an online survey. We received 56 responses, which helped develop a plan for playground and outdoor spaces at the new kindergarten.
We heard from community members, parents, families and carers of children enrolled at the kindergarten. We also heard from the broader Mallacoota community.
The community was asked to consider what outdoor play equipment they would like to be included on the new site.
This report summarises what we heard from the Mallacoota community during this engagement.
We thank the Mallacoota community for their thoughtful feedback and suggestions during this difficult time. We have provided the community’s ideas and feedback to the project team to consider while designing playground and outdoor spaces for the new kindergarten.
We engaged with the YMCA, Parent Advisory Group, the Mallacoota P-12 College, East Gippsland Shire Council and Mallacoota Kindergarten educators as we completed the new Mallacoota Kindergarten.
You can access a designed version of this report:
In April 2021, the Minister for Early Childhood and the Minister for Education approved the Department of Education and Training’s recommendation that the Mallacoota P-12 College become the location for the new Mallacoota Kindergarten.
The recommendation was informed by stakeholder feedback, listening to the views of the community and the outcome of cultural heritage site investigations.
We engaged with the community and project stakeholders as we delivered the new kindergarten for Mallacoota
Community Information Session - March 2021
Thank you for joining us at the information session on Monday 22 March 2021 at 7:30pm via Zoom with Dr Gordon and facilitator Gillian Hayman, to discuss the results of cultural heritage investigations, the importance of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 and next steps for the project.
The cultural heritage investigations found a significant number of cultural artefacts at the Greer St site, whilst no artefacts were found at the Mallacoota P-12 College site. For the Greer St site, the cultural heritage report "strongly recommends… that no future ground disturbing impacts occur…".
The information gathered during consultation and the site assessments was provided to the Minister for Early Childhood and the Minister for Education for final decision.
Based on the finding of the cultural heritage investigations and the Department of Education and Training’s commitment to the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006, it recommended the school site, Mallacoota P-12 College, as the proposed location of the new Mallacoota Kindergarten
Community Information Session - August 2020
Thank you to everybody who joined the VSBA, Bushfire Recovery Victoria (BRV) and trauma recovery specialist Dr Rob Gordon at the community information session on Saturday 29 August 2020 via Zoom.
The event allowed us to discuss the options, opportunities and concerns detailed in the 'What We Heard' report.
The next step is to undertake further cultural heritage assessments on both proposed sites (this will ensure any plans consider what is necessary to protect local Aboriginal cultural heritage).
We have now collated the comments and feedback into a summary of the event and a list of frequently asked questions.
Explore more about kindergartens
Reviewed 17 August 2023