plans progressing for Future Aboriginal gathering space

The Aboriginal gathering space that will feature at the front of the future Sydney Children's Hospital Stage 1 and Minderoo Children's Comprehensive Cancer Centre (SCH1/MCCCC) is beginning to take shape, with design drawings and landscaping presented to community members.
The redevelopment team has been working with Aboriginal start-up organisation Yerrabingin to ensure the new hospital building is culturally inclusive and features environmentally conscious native landscapes and place-making designs enriched with Indigenous narratives.  
At a recent workshop, the project's architect, BLP, and landscaping architect, Aspect Landscaping, collaborated with Yerrabingin staff and community members on the landscape design.
The SCH1/MCCCC landscaping design prioritises outdoor areas that are welcoming, engaging and transformative for patients, carers and staff, showcasing native species that represent Randwick's unique landscape -– from the wetlands to the headlands.
Some of the features include:
  • greenery in hospital entrances
  • warm tonal paving
  • a central courtyard, a shared zone and gathering place – all with native plant surrounds
  • seating and picnic areas, with shelter
  • accessible play areas with nature play/sensory options
  • landscaped terraces
  • accessible pedestrian paths and ramps
  • an outdoor pet area with seats and plants
  • an outdoor space associated with the Aboriginal gathering space
Landscapers are committed to facilitating an integrated approach to Aboriginal cultural recognition and storytelling within the planting, paving and play elements, including in the dedicated Aboriginal gathering space.  
Workshop participants discussed the plant and tree selection planned for the adjacent outdoor area – providing feedback through brainstorming and interactive activities.  

The redevelopment team has and continues to engage with Aboriginal patients, families and staff to boost access to culturally safe spaces in and around the new hospital buildings to improve health outcomes in the Aboriginal community. Learn more about how nature and healing is being nurtured within Aboriginal gathering spaces.
What will the Aboriginal gathering space include? 
Complementing the external landscaping, the new hospital’s front-of-house spaces will feature a family meeting area, kitchenette and workplace amenity.
Sydney Children's Hospital Aboriginal Health Outcomes and Equity Manager Natasha Larter said the areas would provide the community with a welcoming, familiar and safe space - especially for those who have travelled extensively.  
"The versatility of the spaces - that the outside connects to the inside - will allow our families to feel comfortable while needing to be in the clinical environment," said Natasha Larter.  
"Health is holistic for Aboriginal people, so the layout reflects the interconnecting nature between the physical environment."  

Visit the project page to learn more about SCH1/MCCCC.
IMAGE: Artist impression of potential future space. Please note that elements of the design are subject to change.