By Danielle Kutchel
Parts of Bunjil Place will go silent this weekend as the centre continues its efforts to provide accessible and inclusive services.
The library and gallery at the precinct will be modified on Saturday 18 January for Quiet Hour, to provide a low-sensory experience for members of the Casey community who have sensory sensitivity or who would appreciate the extra quiet time and minimisation of potential triggers.
Quiet Hour is in part inspired by the success of similar events at major shopping centres, and by the success of other inclusive events at Bunjil.
On the day the gallery and library will be opened an hour before normal opening hours, to ensure the environment will be quiet and calm.Activities for the current exhibition ‘Home/Land: Project Another Country’, where community members are invited to create their own cardboard structures to add to the collection or to take home, will still be offered. Staff will be available on hand to support visitors in their activities, from learning how to search for items, to receiving their own library card, to learning more about what the libraries have to offer.
At the end of Quiet Hour, the café will be opened and the Dance-O-Mat will be activated in the plaza where visitors can enjoy a quick dance and see what shows are coming up at Bunjil Place.
The event is capped at 30 people to ensure a smooth and calm experience.
Arts access/inclusion officer, active communities at Bunjil Place, Jessica Moody, said while Quiet Hour is targeted towards those with a widened sensory experience, it’s also appropriate for those who don’t like crowds, or who aren’t familiar with Bunjil Place, or even those who aren’t available to attend during normal opening hours.
“Bunjil Place has tremendous success with it’s relaxed performances in the theatre, and the team acknowledged that Bunjil Place is a vibrant arts and cultural precinct, so why not provide the opportunity for the community to also see what Bunjil Place Gallery and Bunjil Place Library have to offer?” she said.
“We’re also working to move towards making Bunjil Place an inclusive, people-friendly environment that also empowers people with autism to engage on the same basis as the rest of the community,” she added.
Quiet Hour at Bunjil Place will take place on Saturday 18 January from 9.00am until 10.00am. The event is free and visitors can register at https://www.bunjilplace.com.au/quiet-hour-at-bunjil-place