Recognition for Pioneering Excellence at Verrall Park

03 Nov 2016

Gold Award recognises RPS keeping heritage key in Woodlinks Village masterplan.

RPS has been recognised with a Gold Award at Ipswich City Council’s Awards for Excellence, for its work to integrate Ipswich’s pioneering heritage into a new park development.

Engaged by the Village Building Company as the lead Planning Consultant for masterplanned community Woodlinks Village, RPS knew Verrall Park would be important for the open space amenity it would offer the new community. But when the graves of some of the area’s first residents were discovered, the team’s attention soon turned to integrating the community’s past with its master planned future.

RPS Technical Director for Planning, Emma Moller says her team felt very fortunate to communicate directly with descendants of the Verrall family (for whom the park is now named) to discuss how their ancestors’ resting places could be incorporated into the park's design.

“When you are planning and designing new communities, it’s very rare that you get to make connections with people whose family members contributed to the first settlement of the region more than 130 years ago. It was an extreme privilege to work with the Verrall family to coordinate an in-depth cultural heritage investigation and the Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey that would locate the graves, and reconnect them with their ancestors,” she said.

“The Verrall family had clear ideas about how they wanted their family members to be acknowledged and remembered, and it was great to work with a client (the Village Building Company) that embraced the opportunity to connect future residents of Woodlinks Village to the history of their region.”

Originally from England, George and Sarah Verrall settled in the Ipswich District in 1850. They had 14 children and now have up to 3,000 known decedents, 2,000 of which still live locally.

In addition to the work done to preserve the grave sites, the Verrall family’s history has also been incorporated into the landscaping of the park. Seedlings from Hoop Pines located near the site of the original family homestead were propagated by existing family members Tom and Chris Verrall, and now offer shade to visitors of the park.

“I look forward to bringing my grandkids to the park so I can show them the history of the Verrall family and Collingwood Park - which is very close knit and much like a larger family,” said Tom.

RPS would like congratulate The Village Building Company, Saunders Havill and all members of the project team.

About Woodlinks Village
Woodlinks Village is a 78 hectare master planned community located in the suburb of Collingwood Park in Ipswich, QLD. Close to schools, shops, parks and transport networks, Woodlinks Village offers affordable living within 30kms of the Brisbane CBD.

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