Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre

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Artist impression of the front entry to the Wulanda Convention and Recreation Centre

For over 30 years there have been community discussions about the need for an indoor aquatic centre and more recent discussions have incorporated other indoor sporting facilities into the conversation.

The Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre is a multi-purpose facility designed to be a community space, with facilities and activities for all ages and abilities including children, families, youth, community groups, recreational and organised sports and those with special needs.

This development will provide substantial year round indoor facilities, addressing many community needs both now and for future generations to come.

The Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre will increase the ability for Mount Gambier to host major sporting competitions, conferences, events and performances providing significant social and economic benefits.

Council has committed to work alongside our community to ensure that this development fulfils the needs and aspirations of all potential users.

Find out more about this exciting project by:

Do you want to keep up to date with the progress of this facility?

We encourage community members to sign up for project updates or check back to this page regularly throughout the project development, participate in consultations and ask questions.

For over 30 years there have been community discussions about the need for an indoor aquatic centre and more recent discussions have incorporated other indoor sporting facilities into the conversation.

The Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre is a multi-purpose facility designed to be a community space, with facilities and activities for all ages and abilities including children, families, youth, community groups, recreational and organised sports and those with special needs.

This development will provide substantial year round indoor facilities, addressing many community needs both now and for future generations to come.

The Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre will increase the ability for Mount Gambier to host major sporting competitions, conferences, events and performances providing significant social and economic benefits.

Council has committed to work alongside our community to ensure that this development fulfils the needs and aspirations of all potential users.

Find out more about this exciting project by:

Do you want to keep up to date with the progress of this facility?

We encourage community members to sign up for project updates or check back to this page regularly throughout the project development, participate in consultations and ask questions.

  • Wulanda construction progresses

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    Construction on Council’s largest ever infrastructure project the Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre at Olympic Park Mount Gambier is progressing despite delays due to COVID-19 restrictions.

    “If you drive past the development regularly or keep an eye on the monthly time lapse videos released by Council you would have seen a lot of activity on site during the past couple of months,” Project Sponsor Barbara Cernovskis said.

    Head contractor BADGE Constructions is currently installing the roof on the facility.

    "Now that the roof is being installed, we can really see the inside of the building starting to take shape. Crews are working on ceiling framing and closing the walls and partitions between the community spaces, amenities and office area."

    There are currently about 80 people working on site each day and the total workforce is expected to reach about 120 in the coming months.

    “The blockwork for the courts, amenity facilities and aquatics area has commenced, ongoing internal electrical, mechanical and plumbing services works continues as does structural steel works in the court area and western storage area.”

    “1300 solar panels will also be installed in the coming weeks.”

    The program of works is being amended and prioritised to address any delays and challenges due to the changing environment of COVID-19.

    “It is challenging building in a COVID-19 environment, particularly due to periodic lockdowns hindering the procurement of goods and contractors from Victoria.”

    “Border restrictions have made it difficult to secure the required trades on site and it has been a challenge to find specialist trades to undertake some of the jobs required,” Ms Cernovskis said.

    The Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre will be life changing for our community and it will be worth the wait.

  • Wulanda timber beam installation and roofing

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    BADGE Constructions, Williams Crane Hire and specialist timber beam erectors have made the most of the fine weather conditions on site at the Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre at Olympic Park in recent days erecting 8 of the 13 HESS Timber rafters over the pool hall area. The largest of all, spanning 42 metres and weighing about 7 tonnes is being fitted over the pool hall in the video.

    As a first step, a 160 tonne crane lifts the beams out of the storage area in the 50 metre pool to enable the plastic covering to be removed. The crane then lifts the rafter into place. The beams are placed in a temporary ‘birds mouth’ wooden construction on top of the columns to ensure the timber settles in place, before the 110 tonne crane is used to enable erectors to screw and bolt each end securely.

    Plywood flooring is placed on top of the rafters to provide structural support to enable installers to walk on the surface when applying the roofing. SA Construct commercial roofing and cladding is on site using a mobile mill machine to roll the iron roofing sheets that measure 56 metres long. A team of 13 will wait in a line to receive 80 or so sheets today and combine them into packs of six ready for installation. The roofing will be rolled out in a staged approach. The four layer system will include placing foil, spaces and insulation down, and then another foil layer and iron sheeting to complete the roof. More than 400 iron roof sheets will be installed over the entire building.

  • Timber beams arrive for Wulanda

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    The longest single glulam timber beams ever shipped to Australia - spanning up to 42 metres, have been loaded on to two trucks to make the journey from the wharf in Port Melbourne to the Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre construction site on Margaret Street in Mount Gambier South Australia today Tuesday 22 June 2021 and Thursday 24 June 2021.

    The timber beams at Zeebrugee Port, Belgium. Image courtesy HESS TIMBER

    13 full length glued laminated timber beams measuring 42 metres and two segmented beams were produced by German timber engineering project specialist HESS TIMBER for the pool hall within the $57.3 million Wulanda development.

    The timber rafters were crafted at HESS TIMBER’s production facility in Kleinheubach, Germany. The beams departed from Zeebrugee Terminal in Belgium at the end of April and travelled approximately 25,000 kilometres via ocean to Australia as break-bulk-cargo, arriving at the wharf in Port Melbourne on Saturday 12 June 2021.

    A specialist South Australian freight contractor used two mobile hydraulic cranes to unload the beams from the ocean freight platforms, called multi-purpose boogies (MPB), and on to each truck which will carry three to four timber beams to their destination in Mount Gambier over four loads.

    The long and oversized loads will measure 2.5 metres wide and 49 metres in length. Three certified pilots will be required to escort the loads through Victoria to South Australia.

    The trucks will travel under police escort and will follow a pre-approved traffic management plan.

    The timber beams arrived at the wharf in Port Melbourne on Saturday 12 June 2021. Image courtesy of Sandstruct.

    The travel route from Port Melbourne to Olympic Park in Mount Gambier:

    • Kooringa Way, Port Melbourne,
    • Webb Dock Road,
    • West Gate Freeway,
    • Princes Freeway,
    • Hamilton Highway,
    • Lismore – Skipton Road,
    • Glenelg Highway,
    • Dunkeld – Cavendish Road,
    • Henty Highway,
    • Glenelg Highway,
    • Worrolong Road,
    • Riddoch Hwy
    • Bay Road,
    • Margaret Street, Mount Gambier.

    Learn more about the timber used for the Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre with DesignInc Architect Ben Luppino and HESS TIMBER’s Tyson Infanti on the Timber Talks podcast.



  • Wulanda Recreation & Convention Centre CRG meet

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    The Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre Stage 3 Community Reference Group (CRG) met for the first time last week.

    The Stage 3 CRG will work with Council to provide input into the operational model and the activation of the major community centre currently under construction at Olympic Park on Margaret Street, Mount Gambier.

    Council sought broad representation from the community with 20 CRG representatives selected from: education, allied health, early childhood, retirement and aged care, first nations, disability, community services, sporting/recreation clubs, swimming, basketball, netball and music/performing arts/events industry sectors.

    “The CRG provides the opportunity for community members to contribute to the future operational model for this facility,” City of Mount Gambier Acting CEO Barbara Cernovskis said.

    Read full article

  • New brand unveiled for Wulanda

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    Council has endorsed a new brand for the Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre, as development continues on the major community facility on site at Olympic Park on Margaret Street.

    The Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre was officially named in December 2020 following extensive community consultation for name suggestions and a public vote.

    “Council really wanted to honour the cultural significance of the name Wulanda meaning ‘to cherish or enjoy’ and respectfully acknowledge the spiritual connection of our Boandik Peoples to the land and water that Mount Gambier sits upon today,” Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre Committee Presiding Member Councillor Ben Hood said.

    Council commissioned local First Nations artist Belinda Bonney to create artwork to be incorporated within the centre’s brand identity. Adelaide Design Agency KWP worked with Ms Bonney to ensure design elements were incorporated respectfully within the logo and brand through culturally appropriate digital design elements.

    “I’m really proud to be part of this process and to have my artwork, the symbol for waterways, included in the branding for the Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre,” First Nations artist Belinda Bonney said.

    “If we keep our waterways strong and flourishing for the next generation, we’ll be able to continue to meet, connect and enjoy being on Country, which is everything the centre will offer us when it is finished.”

    The logo takes inspiration from the rounded corners featured within the design of the building and the overlapping shapes reinforce the idea of connection.

    Logo inspiration image - overlapping circles representing a place for all - 2 overlapping rounded triangle shapes representing W for Wulanda - Dots (circles) from waterways symbol from Belinda Bonney's artwork

    The intent behind the branding was to reflect the landmark nature of the facility, a space that will elevate and enhance community connection, wellbeing, culture and identity.

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    Wulanad Recreation and Convention Centre logo





  • Community Reference Group Applications open

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    City of Mount Gambier is seeking applications from the community for the Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre Stage 3 Community Reference Group (CRG).

    The CRG provides an opportunity for members of the community to have input into the future operational model for the major centre currently being built at Olympic Park on Margaret Street, Mount Gambier.

    "The committee is established by Council to provide considered advice to assist decision making on matters associated with the development of the centre," City of Mount Gambier Acting CEO Barbara Cernovskis said.

    “The new CRG committee follows the work of the former CRG which was established in May 2018 to provide advice to assist Council with the initial planning stages of the development. As we move forward with the build, the Terms of Reference for the CRG have been updated to better reflect the construction and operational/activation phases of the project.”

    The CRG seeks up to 21 individuals and representatives from the education sector, allied health sector, early childhood sector, retirement and aged care sector, first nations community, young persons (aged 12-25 years), disability sector, community services sector, sporting/recreation clubs, swimming, basketball, netball, music/performing arts/events industry and other community groups.

    The committee will meet once every two months.

    Apply today:

    Applications must be received by 5:00pm on Wednesday 10 March 2021.

  • Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre Update

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    Construction on site at the Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre is moving quickly as head contractor BADGE Constructions makes progress on the development of the major two-story structure at Olympic Park on Margaret Street.

    City of Mount Gambier City Infrastructure General Manager Nick Serle said loadbearing block walls had been erected within the building internally, in readiness for slab brace walls and concrete columns to support the structure.

    “The installation of the foyer and emergency stair formwork is underway and footings excavation and concrete works have also begun in the sports courts area,” Mr Serle said.

    The refurbishment of the existing outdoor 50 metre pool has commenced, in addition to initial works for the internal 25 metre pool, learn to swim pool, program pool and splash pad area.

    “The stairs and handrails have been removed from the 50 metre pool and excavation, reinforcement and concrete works for the footings for the internal pools is underway.”

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  • Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre

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    The Community and Recreation Hub will now officially be known as Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre after Council endorsed the name for the facility being built at Olympic Park at its monthly meeting last night.

    Wulanda means ‘enjoy or cherish’ in Bunganditj language, representing the Boandik community as the traditional owners of the land.

    “The Bunganditj Language Reclamation committee feel that the choice, ‘Wulanda’ Recreation and Convention Centre is an excellent combination of Bunganditj and English,” Bunganditj Language Reclamation Committee member Aunty Michelle Jacquelin-Furr said.

    “In terms of reconciliation it is important to recognise the long association with country of First Nations People and to acknowledge their place in modern society. The inclusion of Bunganditj in the name contributes to the healing process for the First Nations People and acknowledges our place on country, here in Berrin.”

    Wulanda accounted for majority (44%) of the community vote during the consultation period from Friday 23 October 2020 to Friday 13 November 2020.

    “Council received 143 submissions regarding the name for the building, with Wulanda the clear favourite, followed by Mount Gambier CoRe at 35% and Berrin at 21%,” City of Mount Gambier Acting CEO Barbara Cernovskis said.

    Community preferences for the facility’s extended title were also presented to Council for consideration and endorsement.

    “The preferred extended title was for Community, Sport and Recreation Hub at 57%, Sport Recreation and Entertainment Centre at 22% and Convention and Recreation Centre receiving 21% of the preferences.”

    “After much deliberation Council decided that Recreation and Convention Centre was the best reflection of the social and economic benefits the facility will return to our community,” Ms Cernovskis said.

    Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre was chosen following a total of 162 name suggestions provided during two rounds of community consultation to find a name in 2019.

    "Community input into the naming process has been invaluable and Council thanks residents for their interest and contributions to find a name for what will be the largest facility of its type in our region."

    “The Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre will feature state of the art aquatic fitness, sports, cultural, youth, café and creche facilities and Council is excited to take another important step towards bringing this project to life for our community.”

    “Now that we have a name, Council will develop a brand that reflects the aspirations of the community for the facility to be a place that people want to visit, experience and return to,” Ms Cernovskis said.

  • What's in a name? - Have your say now

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    City of Mount Gambier has shortlisted three potential names for the Community and Recreation Hub: Wulanda, Berrin and Mount Gambier CoRe. Council is calling on community members to make their preferences known and recommend an extended title for the new facility.

    Council received 162 name suggestions following two rounds of community consultation to find a name in 2019.

    “Council appreciates all of the contributions provided by the community and Elected Members had a difficult decision to whittle down the list of potential names,” City of Mount Gambier CEO Andrew Meddle said.

    “Several names that incorporated First Nations language from the Bunganditj dictionary were suggested, representing the Boandik language of the traditional owners of the land.”

    The Regional Sport and Recreation Centre Committee shortlisted three names that met the criteria for Council’s endorsement at its monthly meeting this week, including:

    • Wulanda - Bunganditj language which means ‘enjoy, cherish’.
    • Berrin - Bunganditj language which means ‘Mount Gambier’.
    • Mount Gambier CoRe - an acronym for community and recreation that references centre, hub, heart.

    The Bunganditj Language Reclamation Committee reviewed all community submissions and provided its support for the use of the two suggested Bunganditj names.

    The following terms are also presented to the community to guide and inform Elected Members on community sentiment regarding an extended title for the new facility:

    • Convention and Recreation Centre.
    • Community, Sport and Recreation Hub.
    • Sport, Recreation and Entertainment Centre.

    "You may like the sound of Wulanda Convention and Recreation Centre, or perhaps Berrin Community, Sport and Recreation Hub. The community is now invited to tell us which combination of names they like best" Mr Meddle said.

    To indicate your preferred name for the Community and Recreation Hub, complete the Name the Facility form.

    “People without internet access are encouraged to visit the Library to lodge their online submission. One submission per registration is permitted,” Mr Meddle said.

    Community consultation opens on Friday 23 October 2020 and will close on Friday 13 November 2020 with submissions presented to Council for consideration and a final decision.

    “The name of the Community and Recreation Hub is important. It is the largest project that Council has ever undertaken and it needs a name and brand that reflects the aspirations of the community for the facility to be a place that people want to visit, experience and return to,” Mr Meddle said.

  • Community and Recreation Hub Project Management Team

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    Turner & Townsend Associate Nick Argyros is Council’s Project Manager for the Community and Recreation Hub project. Mr Argyros has more than 30 years of experience in the construction industry and has worked for architectural, construction, project management and development firms in Adelaide.

    In recent years, Mr Argyros has project managed the City of Salisbury Council’s $35 million Community Hub project, as well as the City of Marion Council’s City Services $15 million Depot Redevelopment and performed the role of Superintendent for the Adelaide City Council’s $20 million Rundle Mall redevelopment.

    “Nick has a wealth of experience in managing projects of this scale and is Council’s advocate during the build and the contact point between the contractors, community and Council,” City of Mount Gambier CEO Andrew Meddle said.

    "I look forward to working closely with the City of Mount Gambier, the greater community and DesignInc to deliver this iconic project" Project Manager Nick Argros said.

    Mr Argyros will also liaise with the BADGE Constructions team including Senior Construction Manager Mark Wyatt and Site Manager Grenville Smith.

    “Council is fortunate to have DesignInc Site Architect Ben McPherson, who was born and raised in Mount Gambier, living locally during the week throughout the build,” Mr Meddle said.

    "Ben has 11 years experience and worked on the Osbourne Naval Shipbuilding Project, building the facilities for the Australian Governments $35billion Future Frigate Shipbuilding Program. He was also part of the HMAS Cerberus redevelopment in Victoria and the New Royal Adelaide Hospital."

    "Working on the Mount Gambier Hub in a leading role is a fantastic opportunity to contribute to such a significant project in my home town" Site Architect Ben McPherson said.

    City Infrastructure General Manager Nick Serle has been appointed as Council’s senior representative to report back to Council on progress associated with the project. City of Mount Gambier Procurement Officer Lisa Hinton was closely involved with the tender process and will be involved throughout the build to ensure that all contractual regulations are met.

    Council and the project management team will meet monthly to monitor the build progress.

    The Community and Recreation Hub project is supported by a $15 million grant from the Australian Government Regional Growth Fund and a $10 million grant from the South Australian Government Regional Growth Fund.

Page last updated: 19 October 2021, 15:45