Female Friendly Changeroom Facilities Upgrade Officially Open

Published on 26 March 2024

Female Friendly Changerooms

Instigated as part of a broader effort to improve local sporting facilities and increase participation in sport, the female-friendly upgrades included improvements to foyer space and provision of lift access to first floor level, the rearrangement of ground floor change rooms, trainer and umpire rooms, a first aid room, an accessible toilet, amenities, and additional storage areas.  

Central Park is the home ground for Stawell Football and Netball Club and the Swifts-Great Western Cricket Club, who use the facilities throughout the year and where the Stawell Gift, Australia’s premier professional athletics carnival, is held annually over the Easter long weekend. 

The upgrade cost $2.1 overall and was designed to meet the AFL Guidelines for changerooms, with funding provided by the Victorian Government Local Sport and Infrastructure Fund ($800,000), the Australian Government Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program ($655,000), Northern Grampians Shire Council ($655,000) and Stawell Football Netball Club ($35,000) contributed funds.  

At the official opening Shane Field, President Stawell Football Netball Club, Cr Murray Emerson, Stawell Gift Event Management Board and Brent McAlister, CEO Northern Grampians Shire Council, joined Minister Jacinta Ermacora, Member for Western Victoria, in congratulating all those involved in creating this impressive space. 

Mayor of Northern Grampians Shire, Cr Rob Haswell, expects the upgrade to be of significant benefit to the local sporting community. 

“The council worked extensively with community stakeholders on this project and the future needs of the community were central to our discussion. It was decided that we needed to ensure a practical and workable space that was accessible to everyone, with robust and durable fittings and finishes to ensure that the work withstands the rigours of a high-impact environment.  

This upgrade offers a high-quality build and an aesthetically pleasing outcome, and the new installations should minimise ongoing running costs. We have brought the facility up to current standards and have ensured that disability access standards are met. The lift and its entry and exit spaces have capacity to stretcher access also. The council team worked very hard to ensure that the upgrades were ready for the Gift. We look forward to seeing the facilities getting full use,” said Cr Haswell.  

Minister Ermacora accompanied Mayor Cr Haswell on an inspection of the facilities prior to unveiling the official plaque together. She recognised the various funding streams and said that the $35,000 contribution from the Stawell Football Netball Club was the most important of all, acknowledging the team effort it must have taken to raise this amount. 

“I am very excited about the female friendly aspect of the changerooms, a too long neglected aspect of sporting infrastructure, and am very proud to be a part of the official proceedings; thank you so much for inviting me.” 

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