In 2017 Save the Children undertook a youth consultation on behalf of the Town. The youth engagement report identified the need for safe spaces where youth and families can gather, particularly after school and on weekends to participate in meaningful activities to improve their health and wellbeing, and to foster a sense of belonging and connection to the community. The consultation report further identified that “positive social skills, a sense of belonging and access to recreational spaces are essential for young people’s wellbeing and positive development”. These primary protective factors are considered essential to fostering resilience, optimising mental health and wellbeing, and reducing alcohol and drug harm, along with anti-social behaviour due to young people being actively engaged in meaningful activities within the community (Youth Engagement Report, 2017; Government of Western Australia, Mental Health Promotion, Mental Issues, Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Plan 2018-2025).
Following the 2017 study and the 2015 Foreshore Access Management Plan, which developed a framework for the consistent management of the Swan River foreshore, the Town commissioned the Taylor Reserve and McCallum Park Concept Report, which provides a master plan for a range of new spaces along the foreshore. The design provides a variety of exciting new high-quality passive and active recreation spaces throughout the park, creating a destination for local, state, national and international visitors. The McCallum Park Active Area is stage two of the overall project, and includes upgrades to the existing basketball courts, new skate and scooter facilities, a new BMX pump track and landscaping features such as planting, seating, shading, car parking and barbecue areas.
Following the endorsement of the revised masterplan and the commencement of works on a portion of stage 1 – River-edge wall, the Town commenced community engagement and design refinement on stage 2 – McCallum Park Active Area. This stage is the largest component of capital works upgrades for the masterplan and will provide transformational change to the foreshore precinct.