Convic’s top skate park

Therese ColmanAugusta Margaret River Times
Martin Luther King III with Convic’s Simon Oxenham at the Margaret River Youth Precinct opening on June 3.
Camera IconMartin Luther King III with Convic’s Simon Oxenham at the Margaret River Youth Precinct opening on June 3. Credit: Chloe Fraser

From the early days of the original Margaret River skate park to the opening of the new Youth Precinct, Convic’s Simon Oxenham has been the man behind the international award-winning projects.

He was involved from the start, attending the first community meeting in 1993 and driving the need for a skate park in Margaret River.

“I’d just moved to Margaret River, had three young kids myself, and there was a clear need for a facility,” he said.

“I knew what the community required, and that was a skate park.”

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Mr Oxenham grew up in Queensland, skating around Brisbane from age six and building skate ramps in his backyard.

A chance meeting with fellow skater Cameron Melville marked the beginning of the pair’s skate park business venture.

Mr Oxenham, a plumber by trade, and Mr Melville, a civil engineer, joined forces and were awarded the contract for the original Margaret River skate park in 1999.

“May 2000 was the completion of our first project together,” Mr Oxenham said.

“That skate park was the birth of an industry in Australia, and it really took off after that.

“It meant we had to invent our own tools and parts because nothing existed.”

“Along with the construction side of things, we had to build a business off the back of that, but I knew nothing about business.

“I flirted with disaster for a few years.”

Mr Melville was killed in a motorbike accident in December, 2002, but his legacy has lived on in Convic’s projects. Mr Oxenham said the business had grown internationally.

“About 20 years on, we now have more than 700 skate park projects and youth spaces worldwide with award-winning architects, landscapers, and an office in Dubai,” he said.

“The Margaret River Youth Precinct has such a personal importance to me, and I want to thank the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River, everyone who was involved with the project, and mostly the entire Convic team.”

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