City of Cockburn

Wetlands Precinct Development

  • Research
  • Strategy + Design
  • Engagement
  • Placemaking + Activation
  • Communications
  • Donna Shepherd AM

Connecting with environment, history and community through built design and collaboration

Challenge + Insights

Bibra Lake is an important ecological and sacred indigenous site. The site is home to three not-for-profit groups - The Wetlands Centre, Native ARC and the Bibra Lakes Scouts. The City of Cockburn and the organisations’ representatives planned to redevelop the precinct.

The site had attracted a lot of attention with the controversy that surrounded the State Government’s plan to clear land to make way for the Roe Highway extension. (The plan and initial clearing were stopped after protests.)

Creating Communities had already formed relationships with the Whadjuk Noongar community and other local stakeholders after working in the area during the Roe 8 Rehabilitation Project.

Recognising the trust established with the community through earlier work, we are engaged again to help representatives and local government canvass stakeholders to make sure the Wetlands Precinct development would align with the values of the site’s original custodians and surrounding community.

The aim was to create a design that would encourage local residents to use and interact with the site, champion the heritage of the area, and position the development as a leading environmental, educational and recreational hub that would be a major drawcard for the south metropolitan region.

To achieve that, the City of Cockburn needed to carry out an extensive, meaningful engagement strategy which facilitated discussions with stakeholders and yielded insightful data.

 The precinct is an invaluable asset in what is a unique and varied environmental area. Community wants to be involved in their local environment and history and the upgraded precinct will offer this more and more. 

— Community Member


We used data gathered from working in the area in 2017 to create an Engagement Plan consisting of workshops with traditional custodians, young people and representatives of stakeholder groups.

Recognising the importance of connection with nature, workshop activities involved working with natural materials, collected on site, to design models of the space.

The workshops had high levels of participation from a wide range of demographics. The Project Manager and Architect are currently undertaking the final designs based on this engagement process.

 The consultation organised by Creating Communities was one of the best children’s/youth consultations I have attended. The activities were engaging, interesting, fun and yielded some great ideas. 

— City of Cockburn Children’s Development Officer

Key Milestones

150 members

Over 150 community members involved in the process.

14 initiatives

14 community engagement initiatives, tailored to specific local audiences including Traditional Owners, local environmental and community groups, and young people.


  • Community and stakeholder engagement strategy
  • Community and stakeholder engagement
  • Facilitation
  • Events production
  • Photography
  • Graphic design
  • Data analysis
  • Engagement findings report
  • Recommendations for built form, cultural recognition and ongoing community involvement

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