Australia's Best Playground

Australia’s Best Playground
competition recognizes and celebrates well designed public playspaces, and the landscape architects who are committed to designing and creating a better Australia. AILA members were invited to submit finished playspace projects, ranging from adventure playgrounds to cross fit circuits to waterplay to senior fitness courses. Selected by People’s Choice and an expert jury, the winning entrant received an all-expenses trip to Finland, courtesy of Lappset Australia.


We received 45 submissions from across the country. To view the submissions, please click here


We are excited to announce the top 5 entries with the most public votes have made it to the next round! These entries will be judged by our jury of experts with a winner from each region will win a ticket to the 2016 International Festival of Landscape Architecture: NOT IN MY BACKYARD and the national winner will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the home of Lappset, Rovaniemi in Finland!

Click here to view the shortlist!


Daniel Bennett AILA, National President – AILA
Daniel is an award winning registered landscape architect with over 18 years’ experience, and is a passionate advocate for the profession, particularly in city shaping initiatives, and of the value of integrated design thinking and strategy.Daniel’s career commenced in his hometown of Sydney, working across Australia, the United Kingdom and China.

James Grant FAILA, Principal Urban Designer - JMD Design

James is a Principal Urban Designer offering a wide range of master planning and urban design skills, having lead large multi-disciplinary teams on a number of projects. James’ master planning expertise includes major open space, recreation and urban parkland projects, as well as strategic planning for regional open space networks and recreation facilities. James is currently an AILA board member and the Immediate-past AILA NSW President.

Gary Ford AILA, Director – Outlines Landscape Architecture

Gary is an AILA registered landscape architect with over 15 years' experience having practised in Australia and United Kingdom. Gary is often involved in the development and delivery of playspaces and associated works. Gary’s interest in playspace design has been informed by this professional background alongside being a father, where he has experienced first-hand the joy a well-designed playspace brings.

Dr Barbara Chancellor – RMIT University & Play Australia
Barbara is a senior lecturer in the School of Education, College of Design and Social Context at RMIT University. Her research interests include children’s play and playscape design and adult supervision practices in school playgrounds, early childhood settings and public open spaces in local and international settings. Barbara is also a board member of Play Australia.



Key Dates

11 January 2016   entries open

15 March 2016     entries close at midnight

1 April 2016     People’s Choice voting opens

28 April 2016     People’s Choice voting closes at midnight

9 May 2016       5 finalists from each region announced

30 May 2016       national winner announced


Judging Criteria

The Judging Criteria for the competition falls under four objectives, as identified in AILA’s National Policy Statement for Play in the Urban Landscape:

  • Be as inclusive as possible - i.e. supporting equality of access and provision of play opportunities for children and people of all ages, abilities, backgrounds, cultures and genders, as well as supporting needs of accompanying carers/guardians.
  • Aspire towards a ‘community of play’ approach across the broader settlement network – i.e. it is laudable to provide a one-off play area for one gender or age group, if this is balanced with other play facilities for everyone in the area.
  • Incorporate appropriate and inclusive community consultation processes.
  • Incorporate best-practice sustainability approaches including consideration of impacts of climate change on resource use and availability, materials and construction techniques, and ongoing maintenance and evaluation procedures.
About Us

Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) is the growing national advocacy body representing 2,500 active and engaged landscape architects, promoting the importance of the profession today and for the future. Committed to designing and creating a better Australia, landscape architects shape the world around us.

Lappset Group is a leading designer, manufacturer and supplier of children’s playground equipment and outdoor exercise solutions for people of all ages. Established in 1970, the family-owned company sells its products to over 50 countries. Lappset offers outdoor activity solutions for four distinct user groups: children, youth, adults and seniors. 

Terms and Conditions

Entrants must read and accept the the Terms and Conditions prior to submitting.

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