The final hurdle - Shirley Strickland Reserve redevelopment complete

14 July 2022

The City of Melville is pleased to announce the anticipated redevelopment of Shirley Strickland Reserve in Ardross is officially complete.

  • The City of Melville’s redevelopment of Shirley Strickland Reserve in Ardross is complete.
  • The redevelopment is a great outcome for the community and five sporting clubs who use the facility.
  • A new two-storey sporting pavilion has been built along with a raft of other improvements.
The City of Melville is pleased to announce the anticipated redevelopment of Shirley Strickland Reserve in Ardross is officially complete and open to the community.
Local sporting groups and the wider community are the big winners of the redevelopment, which includes a new two-storey community pavilion and a raft of open space improvements at the reserve named after Olympic sprinter and hurdler Shirley Strickland.
The total project is valued at $9 million and has received funding from the Department of Local Government Sport and Cultural Industries, Community Sport and Recreation Facility Fund ($800,000) and Lotterywest ($710,000).
The two-storey sporting pavilion includes six change rooms, multi-purpose community spaces, storage, a leasable space, club room and outdoor areas.
The improvements to Shirley Strickland Reserve include new sports field lighting, adjustments to the layout of playing areas, a softball back net, a synthetic cricket wicket and the redesign of reticulation systems.
The new external fitness path is 1.1km in length with distance markers on the solar lighting to assist in tracking distance and tying into the reserve wide homage to the late, great Shirley de la Hunty (nee Strickland).
The accessibility compliant path meanders underneath the tree canopy to immerse people in the natural ambience of the reserve and was one of the redevelopment elements supported by funding from Lotterywest.
New features at the reserve include a new nature play space, outdoor exercise equipment, a refurbished memorial plaque and new memorial tree, barbecues, seating and a half-court basketball court.
The five sporting clubs who use the reserve and form the Shirley Strickland Reserve Sporting Association (SSRSA) are Applecross Cricket Club, Applecross Mount Pleasant Junior Football Club, Fremantle Rebels Softball Club, Melville City Touch Association and the Southern Districts Gaelic Football Club.
The City is inviting the community to celebrate the official opening of the Shirley Strickland Sport and Community Pavilion on Saturday, 23 July 2022.
Tours of the facility will take place from 12.30pm while junior football will take place on the oval throughout the day.
The planning for this project started in 2015 which delivered a Concept Plan in December 2016. Recommencing in 2018 with a community focused engagement process, more than 1,500 households living within 400m of the reserve were invited to help progress the designs through to construction.
A Melville Talks Page was created with an interactive map where the community was asked how the reserve contributed to their quality of life, what their favourite places were and how they used the spaces within the reserve.
Following this, three community workshops were held through different stages of the design with the support of Donovan Payne Architects and artists Audrey Fernandes-Satar and Arif Satar
For more information about the redevelopment, visit
For more information about venue hire, visit
For bookings related to the new community pavilion, please contact the Leisure Facilities Supervisor, Loll Endersby on (08) 9364 0858 or at

Comments attributed to City of Melville Mayor the Hon. George Gear JP:

“The completion of the redevelopment is a great outcome for the five sporting clubs who use Shirley Strickland Reserve, along with the wider community who will benefit from the many upgrades,” said Mayor Gear.
“We’re thankful for the support of our funding partners, the Department of Local Government Sport and Cultural Industries, through its Community Sport and Recreation Facility Fund, and Lotterywest.”
“Now that the redevelopment is complete, I encourage the community to take full use of these new facilities and improvements and enjoy this fantastic reserve.
“Shirley Strickland Reserve is an important reserve for the City and supports our community to maintain a healthy lifestyle as well as provide spots to sit and relax.
“As well as consulting with the wider community, we also worked with two of Shirley de la Hunty’s (née Strickland) children Barbara and Matthew de la Hunty, to ensure their mother’s contribution to athletic career is integrated into Reserve in a manner that ensures her legacy lives on.

“The de la Hunty siblings were also kind enough to donate two large images of their late mother, for display in the community pavilion.”
Comments attributed to Shirley Strickland Reserve Sporting Association president Peter Firth:
“The facility that has been provided by the City of Melville has been a vision of both the City and the sporting clubs for the past six years,” said Mr Firth.
“This vision was to provide a facility that would provide a first class home for both junior and senior sport while also enabling the local community to get involved through access to the facility as social members or being able to use the facility for functions and local activities.
“While early days the Sporting Association is working closely with the City to ensure that the facility is maintained as a community resource for people of all ages.
“This is a fantastic example of people working together in our community to ensure that the resources being supplied by the City are used to their capacity and involving as many people in our community as possible.
“There has been a great deal of work that has gone into this facility from design to completion and the level of consultation between the City and the Sporting Association has been greatly appreciated.”
Shirley de la Hunty (née Strickland) biography

Shirley de la Hunty is known for her athletics achievements and her services to the City of Melville.

She served as a City of Melville Councillor from 1988 to 1996 and 1999 to 2003.

She qualified for the 1948, 1952 and 1956 Olympic Games, winning three gold medals in the 80m hurdles at the 1952 and 1956 Olympic Games, and the 4x100m relay in 1956.

She also won one silver medal in the 4x100m relay in the 1948 Olympic Games and three Olympic Games bronze medals (100m in 1948 and 1952 and 80m hurdles in 1948).

In addition to her Olympic Games Medals, she won three gold medals (hurdles and two relay events) and two silvers (100 and 220 yards) at the 1950 British Empire Games.

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