Share our Space Program

New South Wales, Australia

The pilot of the Share Our Space Program was to make school play spaces available to the general public over school holiday periods.

The NSW Premier’s Office asked School Infrastructure NSW (SINSW) to assist in a program to increase the amount of community space available.

The program highlighted that, contrary to common perception, quality play spaces are just as needed in regional areas as they are in urban areas. The opening of school space offers a different profile of recreational areas for the community, which are otherwise uncommon in local parks such as hard court sporting grounds and cricket nets.

This landmark initiative is a simple concept that could offer multiple benefits in a very short timeframe. It will provide more open space to communities by realising the untapped potential of assets, which already exist. It also further demonstrates public schools as community hubs in line with NSW Education’s overall vision.

Brief

SINSW appointed HKA as the project management provider to develop an implementation plan; and coordinate resources within SINSW, the Education Minister’s office and others, to deliver a successful pilot that formed the basis of a wider rollout.

What we did

SINSW proposed HKA identify approximately 50 schools for the pilot program over the Christmas/New Year 2017 holiday period, collect lessons learned, and provide a report on the effectiveness of the project.

SINSW also engaged HKA to manage a second pilot over the Easter 2018 holidays which saw increased participation and greater input from school Principals. HKA is now managing the project on SINSW’s behalf and rolling out the program over Christmas 2018; pushing the program out to a wider audience with 235 schools participating state-wide.

Outcomes

The pilots were a success, with no major incidents and positive feedback from the community.

HKA is currently developing a long-term strategy for the SINSW to develop a policy that allows opening schools to be conducted in a ‘Business as Usual’ manner; reinforcing the program as a permanent initiative within NSW public schools.

The success of the Share Our Space Program is unprecedented in comparison to similar international programs. To date, 276 schools have participated in the program, whereas in comparison, the largest similar program was in New York City and involved 290 schools and took over 70 years to rollout! As you can see, SINSW has had tremendous success with this program over an incredibly short period.

Project Details
  • Client
    School Infrastructure New South Wales
  • Year
    2017 - 2018
  • Value
    AUS$30 million
  • Services
    Advisory
  • Sectors
    Infrastructure