The Moose Imagination Tree opens today at Monash Children’s Hospital
A world-class interactive space imagined by The Walt Disney Company, built by Moose Toys.
The tree, which was officially opened by The Hon Martin Foley MP, Victorian Minister for Health, has been a labour of love that started from the opening of the Monash Children’s Hospital, creatively imagined and nurtured by The Walt Disney Company and built through the generous support of Moose Toys.
This wonderful space has been created for children and adults alike, from the children who have been confined to the hospital due to illness, to those visiting their sick siblings, and to parents who need a small sense of relief and happiness during stressful and worrying times. Guests to the tree are encouraged to explore, restore and play through a variety of sensory experiences.
Standing at over 16 metres tall, the tree spans four levels of the Monash Children’s Hospital and offers up a variety of activities and spaces for visitors to explore, play or relax. This magical and wondrous space has been designed and created to help transform the patient’s hospital experience.
At the centre of the tree is a magical area known as ‘The Knot’, a special place that invites visitors to place their hand on it and share their deepest desires, dreams and thoughts. These are then carried up into the tree in a dazzling display of sound and stardust. As the sky above the tree moves from day to night, stardust carries what we’ve imagined up to the sky, until it overflows and is released into the brightest star above.
At the base of the tree on level 2, guests can partake in a host of unique activities, climbing grassy hills, following animal tracks in the mud, lounging around the watering hole, playing floor games and listening to the sounds of the wild.
Level 3 is an inviting space filled with a collection of hanging artefacts. Here, guests can bang away on drums or dig through an African basket filled with smaller instruments to create lively beats and harmonious melodies.
As guests travel upward through the Moose Imagination Tree, they find themselves leaving behind the wild activity of the grasslands and lower canopy, and moving toward more peaceful spaces that promote quieter, deeper connections.
On level 4, there is a relaxing space for friends to congregate, connect and unwind, leaving behind the world they are in, even just for a few moments.
On the very top level, a true retreat, guests can lie back on large beanbags that blend in with the surrounding canopy to read favourite books or watch the sky change from day to night, which is when the Imagination Tree becomes alive with the power of possibility.
“Monash Children’s Hospital cares for over 100,000 children every year,” said Andrew Stripp, Monash Health Chief Executive. “Children might be with us for an hour and then go home, but others are with us for many months at a time due to chronic illness. The Moose Imagination Tree is remarkable because it caters to all of those patients and their families.”
“We’re incredibly grateful for the support, vision and creative strength of Moose Toys and The Walt Disney Company who have brought The Moose Imagination Tree to life.”
“At Moose Toys, we are deeply entwined with the Monash Children’s Hospital. With over a decade of partnering together, they have become part of the Moose family,’’ said Paul Solomon, Co-Owner of Moose Toys. “We are incredibly excited to help bring to life The Moose Imagination Tree, a structure that will help cement Monash Children’s Hospital as a world class paediatric hospital.”
“The Moose Imagination Tree is the physical embodiment of everything our foundation stands for. Allowing kids to be kids no matter what their circumstances, to have access to the pure power of play and to use their imaginations. Helping them forget they are in hospital, makes it so meaningful. We exist to make children happy and we believe this spectacular structure will most definitely do this.”
Kylie Watson-Wheeler, SVP and Managing Director The Walt Disney Company ANZ said “Disney is famous for storytelling, it’s at the heart of everything we do, allowing us to transport generations to a magical place where the everyday no longer exists, anything is possible and for a brief moment you’ve become a part of something bigger.
The Moose Imagination Tree was imagined by The Walt Disney Company and created by our Disney Imagineers over the last seven years. A truly global effort across our company bringing together a team that consisted of animators, musicians, talent artists, projection experts, creative directors, graphic designers and our best storytellers.
Disney worked alongside local Monash Health practitioners including play therapists and Paediatricians, allowing the creation and foundation of the tree to be grounded in research and best practice. We have a goal to deliver comfort and inspiration to families facing serious illness by reimagining the patient journey in children’s hospitals. We couldn’t be more excited about this wonderful project!
A living, breathing interactive space, a place for people to come together to restore, connect and play. The tree that will forever shine under the brightest star. A star that embodies the heart of the Monash Children’s Hospital, which is why we are so proud to be collaborating and giving back to the community.”