In 2006, John and Justine Perkins, lost their baby daughter Olivia at 8 months old to a rare disease. In the darkest grief parents could experience, the Perkins felt compelled to transform their tragedy into a positive for others and create a lasting legacy in their daughter’s memory. Six weeks later, Touched by Olivia Foundation was created.
During Olivia’s sickness, The Perkins realised the blunt reality that many children, including children with disabilities, are not afforded a basic human right – the opportunity to play. They decided that the very cornerstone of Olivia’s legacy must be born out of play for all, where everyone would belong, regardless of difference. It was clear to the Perkins that the perfect environment to fulfill their dream and be true to Olivia’s memory, was through the creation of inclusive playspaces, called Livvi’s Places.
Did you know:
- 1 in 100 children are on the Autism Spectrum
- 25% of Australian children are overweight
- 1 in 5 Australians have a disability
- Play is a fundamental social building block
The Touched by Olivia Family works hard to ensure that government, corporate and communities collaborate together to create inclusive playspaces.
In less than 10 years, Touched by Olivia has spread its wings and opened 19 Livvi’s Places across Australia. These playspaces are underpinned by the principles of universal design and reinforce the basic right that every child needs to play. Many more playspaces are planned to help Touched by Olivia reach its ultimate goal – to become redundant. This will happen when every playspace in Australia considers the needs of all people.