A first for a Western Australian shopping centre, Hawaiian’s Melville has commenced a pilot ‘Quiet Hour’ initiative, aimed at providing a low-sensory shopping experience for those who need it. Occurring every Tuesday in August from 10.30am – 11.30am, Hawaiian’s Melville will provide an age and autism-friendly shopping experience aligning with the ‘Quiet Hour’ initiative occurring within the centre’s Coles tenancy.
The pilot program was developed in consultation with the City of Melville and Alzheimer’s WA, following a deepening commitment from Hawaiian to provide better age-friendly services, and support those with health concerns that might make a regular shopping experience difficult.
The following will be observed during ‘Quiet Hour’ include turning off lights where suitable, signage to indicate Quiet Hour to shopping patrons, turning off in-centre music and the offer of sensory headphone kits (mufflers) for complimentary hire at the Guest Services Desk.
Hawaiian’s Melville will also work with other retailers within the centre to encourage tenant participation.
Hawaiian’s General Manager of Shopping Centres (Suburban) Scott Greenwood said the centre would look to implement Quiet Hour as a permanent initiative from 27 August, following a successful pilot series this month.
“There are many noises and distractions in an ordinary shopping experience that many of us are not aware of, but that can be challenging or prohibitive for individuals with noise or light sensitivity. As part of our commitment to providing an inclusive environment for the local community, we are continually seeking new ways to adapt our centre amenities and surrounds to better serve our patrons,” Greenwood said.
City of Melville Mayor Russell Aubrey congratulated Hawaiian Melville on the initiative, which undoubtedly will have a meaningful impact on the community.
“Hawaiian Melville recently joined the City’s Melville Age Friendly Accessible Business (MAFAB) Network, which brings together dedicated City officers and local businesses who work together to implement age-friendly and accessible initiatives to support the older population, including people living with dementia and with disabilities. We are thrilled to see ‘Quiet Hour’ become a permanent initiative as an outcome of the MAFAB network,” he said.
Patrons are encouraged to provide feedback on the initiative to the Hawaiian’s Melville Guest Services Desk throughout the trial.