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New park at New Epping

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The North Central Review
The North Central Review
The North Central Review is an independently owned newspaper publishing company based in Kilmore that is responsible for publishing two community newspapers each week, covering communities within the Mitchell Shire

A community park enriched with Wurundjeri culture has officially opened in New Epping, providing a central meeting place for stage one residents and workers.

In collaboration with property group Riverlee and City of Whittlesea, New Epping is a $2 billion mixed-use precinct transforming 51 hectares of land into a new suburb.

Initially planned to be a road reserve, council and Riverlee worked together to transform the park into an amenity including a shared path, seating areas and a nature-themed playground with a custom play structure featuring timber platforms, slides, custom nets, a firefighter pole, a swing set, and a flying fox.

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The park also features a host of other precinct-defining leisure, wellness, and hospitality highlights at New Epping, complemented by the now open Grounders Café and the Northern Private Hospital, set to open in early 2024.

A community event and smoking ceremony to celebrate the opening of the park at New Epping. ​

Designed in consultation with the site’s traditional owners, the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung of Kulin Nation, including Wurundjeri Elders Aunty Joy Murphy-Wandin and Craig Murphy, the public park takes its name from the Woi-wurrung language – woorike jellicka – meaning banksia play.

Riverlee project director Ben Row said the park displayed Riverlee’s devotion to working with the Wurundjeri to implement stories, knowledge, and culture into the development.

“The design and naming of the park came to life through a series of workshops with Wurundjeri Elders, which uncovered important opportunities to weave local traditional owners’ stories and culture into the project,” he said.

“As New Epping evolves, we are committed to enriching the masterplan with Wurundjeri narratives, inspiring the wider community to engage with Wurundjeri culture and language as they have the opportunity to do at woorike jellicka.”

Greenshoot Consulting principal Jeremy Gaden, who partnered with Riverlee to lead engagement with the traditional owners, said the banksia element was developed in the landscape design of the park, including animals that lived there.

“It was Aunty Joy’s idea to involve Wurundjeri children and have them draw the banksia and animals, which are now incorporated throughout the park,” he said.

A community event and smoking ceremony led by Aunty Joy celebrated the opening of the park, where families from New Epping and beyond gathered.

Key dignitaries at the event included Member for Thomastown Bronwyn Halfpenny, City of Whittlesea director of planning and development Emma Appleton and Northern Private Hospital chief executive Shaune Gillespi.

For more information on New Epping, visit

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