Sliding out of 2017, Swinging into 2018

We’re about to shut the gate on our biggest year yet.

The board and team at Touched by Olivia made a decision to shift from labor intensive, grassroots campaigning to a more strategic platform in 2016.

To help us on our mission, we’re dedicated to finding indisputable proof of the benefit of inclusive play. We are grateful to Janice Ollerton and Charles Sturt University for their work publishing Planning for Social Inclusion in Inclusive Playspaces. Two more studies are in early development.

There is an expectation from communities that their playspaces are inclusive,and we are delighted that decision makers are getting on board.

It was wonderful to have the NSW Planning Minister, Anthony Roberts, help us to realise the goal of reform advocating for universal design in the design and delivery of inclusive playspaces. Last month, Minister Roberts announced that all new and upgraded playspaces in NSW will be Universally Designed. He also announced funding to help us build Livvi’s Place Wagga and Warragamaba, due to be opened mid 2018.

You can find outmore about the NSW Government’s commitment to Better Open Spaces in this short video.

A great  bunch of Federal MP’s joined us for a playdate with a difference at Parliament House. There was much discussion about the National Disability Strategy and the recent senate enquiry into the delivery of outcomes to build inclusive and accessible communities. We look forward to continuing the national discussion and making sure play really counts.

Our popular storytime program expanded to 5 sites and will be back in more locations in 2018. Thousands of stories were read, songs sung, and priceless artworks commissioned at this fun and free activity we are proud to provide to communities in Ryde, Five Dock, Blacktown, Dubbo and Penrith.

Thanks to the successful Butterfly Ball in May, and the generosity of the Stockland CARE Foundation, and MJH Multi, we exceed our annual fundraising goal. This means that 100% of all funds raised continue to go to the projects, not administration. We are so incredibly grateful to be in this enviable position.

Livvi’s Places were opened across the country. We were fortunate to partner with the wonderful teams at Hume City Council, Stockland, Shoalhaven City Council and The Hills Shire Council to put five more Livvi’s Places on the map.

  • Livvi’s Place Craigieburn
  • Livvi’s Place Cloverton
  • Livvi’s Place Mollymook
  • Livvi’s Place Kellyville
  • Livvi’s Place Sienna Wood

You can find your closest Livvi’s Place here.

In the spirit of collaborative play, we joined forces with the team at Variety NSW and committed to open two projects together. They’ll be known as Variety Livvi’s Place and will be opened in Bankstown and Taree in 2018,

We commerated our 11th year by launching #RAOKTBO. Over 300 random acts of kindness were commited on November 20th. It really is cool to be kind.

Our social enterprise cafes, Livvi’s Cafe Five Dock and Livvi’s Cafe Elara, had great years with more trainee and an update to the Five Dock cafe thanks to a group of young men and funding from Sydney Community Foundation.

What an absolutely amazing year. Thank you for your love, support, belief, acceptance and inclusion in 2017. We are looking forward to breaking for the holidays and returning late January, ready and rested for an even bigger year filled with great success and lots of playdates in 2018.

Happy Holidays,

The Board and Team at Touched by Olivia.