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parks &leisure AUSTRALAS IAN

Volume 18.2 Winter 2015 ISSN: 1446-5604

WINTER 2015 Sport & Physical Activity

Taking Action Sports Seriously

Sustainable Urban Parks

Active Living Census


ANZ Tennis Hot Shots ANZ Tennis Hot Shots (ANZTHS) is Tennis Australia’s official developmental program specially designed for primary aged kids. ANZTHS uses low-compression tennis balls, smaller courts and racquets, and is designed to get more kids playing tennis more often. In the past 12 months over 750,000 children have experienced ANZTHS which provides a fun and friendly environment where families and kids can get involved in tennis, within their local community.

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CONTENTS Features 10 12 14 18 20 22 24 26 30 32 34 36 38 41 42 44 46 47 48 50 54

Sydney’s Green Grid Game Changer NZRA – Taking Action Sports Seriously A Day in the Life of Hume City NZRA – Engaging with New Zealand’s Coach Force Planting for the Common Good Australia’s Largest Skate Park Headgear Wildflowers, wildlife and way-markers NZRA – Sport and Active Recreation Active Utility Active Living Census Brisbane: Our Active, Healthy City PLA gets Digital TeamUp A Fair Go for All A First for the Southern Hemisphere PLA welcomes Hayes Knight An Insight into Planning Sustainable Urban Parks Join us on Social Media

Regulars 4 From the PLA President & CEO 6 From the NZRA Chair & CEO 8 Generate 56 Research Connections 58 PLA Advisory

PRODUCTION EDITOR Natalie Raad nraad@universalmagazines.com.au EDITORIAL COORDINATOR Garry Henshall Mobile: 0418 509 708 garry@parksleisure.com.au DESIGN Adele Burley ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER (& NSW SALES) Emil Montibeler: 0411 424 335 SALES/ACCOUNT MANAGERS Antonia Bewley (Qld): 0418 424 410 Pilar Danlag (Vic & Tas): 0414 468 243 Sandy Shaw (SA): 0418 806 696 Bonita Sullivan (WA): 0407 072 325

ADVERTISING SENIOR DESIGNER Martha Rubazewicz ADVERTISING PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Joel Hannah

CHAIRMAN/CEO Prema Perera PUBLISHER Janice Williams CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER Vicky Mahadeva ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Emma Perera ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Karen Day CIRCULATION MANAGER Mark Darton CREATIVE DIRECTOR Kate Podger

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12 PRINT PRODUCTION MANAGER Lilian Ohanessian EDITORIAL PRODUCTION MANAGER Anastasia Casey PREPRESS MANAGER Ivan Fitz-Gerald MARKETING & ACQUISITIONS MANAGER Chelsea Peters

COVER IMAGE Adelaide Oval. Photography by Sarah Long.

Circulation enquiries to our Sydney head office 02 9805 0399. PLA Journal is published by Universal Magazines, Unit 5, 6-8 Byfield Street, North Ryde 2113. Phone: (02) 9805 0399, Fax: (02) 9805 0714. Melbourne office, Suite 4 Level 1, 150 Albert Road, South Melbourne 3205 (03) 9694 6444, Fax: (03) 9699 7890. Printed by KHL Printing Co Pte Ltd, Singapore. This book is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any process without written permission. Enquiries should be addressed to the publishers. The publishers believe all the information supplied in this book to be correct at the time of printing. They are not, however, in a position to make a guarantee to this effect and accept no liability in the event of any information proving inaccurate. Prices, addresses and phone numbers were, after investigation, and to the best of our knowledge and belief, up to date at the time of printing, but the shifting sands of time may change them in some cases. It is not possible for the publishers to ensure that advertisements which appear in this publication comply with the Trade Practices Act, 1974. The responsibility must therefore be on the person, company or advertising agency submitting the advertisements for publication. While every endeavour has been made to ensure complete accuracy, the publishers cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. This magazine is printed on paper produced in a mill that meets Environmental Management System ISO14001 * Recommended retail price ISSN 1446-5604 Copyright © Universal Magazines MMXV ACN 083 489 463 www.universalmagazines.com.au Please pass on or recycle this magazine.

Winter 2015 | AUSTRALASIAN PARKS AND LEISURE 3


FROM THE PLA PRESIDENT

KEVIN LOWE PLA National President

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hope you are enjoying the new look journal and agree it looks fantastic and is packed with great industry information. I encourage you all to share your knowledge with your industry through contributing articles and referring the journal to others. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome our newest national partner, KWP Advertising, who has joined PLA as a National Media Partner. KWP is a key advertising agency with specialised skills in digital and social media, and this partnership will significantly improve our social and general media connections with the industry as well as benefit our members, sponsors and other partners with a wider

range of engagement platforms. The last edition of the PLA Journal focused on parks and public spaces and provided some excellent examples and case studies to learn from. It was a fitting edition to begin our new Journal format. Working through the themes of our 50 Point Plan, the focus of this edition is sport and physical activity, and the significant impacts this area has on our society in terms of health and wellbeing of our communities. Our role as industry professionals is to join the dots around layered planning, multi-use facility provision and functional and appreciated open space/public realm as well as program promotion that will facilitate usage of these spaces to promote good physical and mental health of all Australians. As has been outlined previously in other journals, infrastructure investment is also a key driver for our communities, not just to encourage usage to build communities’ physical and mental health and match sport participation to facility availability, but it also drives local economies in construction and creates ongoing business opportunities with significant multiplier effects of up to six times for each dollar spent. Get it right and your community uses, owns, promotes and protects these

areas and helps you to invest further; get it wrong and you better sharpen up your media skills for the Today Tonight interview. At the time of writing I am at the Vic/ Tas state conference and a take home message from Steve Moneghetti was his 4 L’s which are Living, Learning, Leading and Legacy so think about the legacy you leave through the work you do. Finally I just want to highlight the ground being made by PLA in recent times with its rebranding, repositioning and increasing of key partnerships and sponsorships. This activity is growing our industry presence and has only been possible through the hard work of our PLA staff and those in the regions volunteering their time as a unified and effective peak industry association. I would like to thank and congratulate you all for your ongoing efforts in what has been challenging economic times. I hope you enjoy this edition of the Australasian Parks & Leisure Journal and I look forward to seeing you at the National Conference in Sydney in October. Kevin Lowe PLA National President

FROM THE PLA CEO

MARK BAND PLA Chief Executive Officer

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opefully by now you have noticed that the new look journal is themed along the lines of our diverse sector that promotes the good use of leisure time for a number of social, health, environmental and economic benefits to our communities. The last journal focussed on parks and open space with this issue taking a

look at the physical activity and sport development aspects of our sector. I have often said when asked about PLA’s role in physical activity, that what we and our members do is absolutely pivotal in the promotion and development of physical activity whether this be incidental by way of developing parks and places for people to get out and about, or alternatively through the many thousands of sports fields, facilities, centres or programs developed in local communities that target deliberate activity by way of intervention. For some reason, the importance of this is often overlooked and we constantly find ourselves having to state a case for the importance of place and what PLA and its members do by way of its role in physical activity. Late last year the Federal and State Governments across Australia developed what is known as the ‘National Active

Parks and Leisure Australia would like to thank our National Partners:

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Recreation Working Group’ (NARWG) tasked with developing strategies and partnerships to encourage and increase involvement in active recreation. I have recently met with representatives from NARWG to discuss closer alignment with PLA and their potential involvement at the Sydney 2015 National Conference. This will hopefully be the first step in showcasing the importance of our sector to State and Federal Governments and developing stronger relationships as the people behind the places that promotes the good use of leisure time which includes both incidental and deliberate activity. We are here, we are ready, and we are more than willing to join agenda’s for mutually beneficial outcomes to the communities in which we all serve. Mark Band PLA Chief Executive Officer


FROM THE NZRA CHAIR

KIRI POPE NZRA Chair

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hat makes recreation and sport tick in New Zealand? That’s the question we have aimed to answer during our recent review of the New Zealand Recreation Association (NZRA) strategic plan. NZRA has traditionally been focused on supporting the capability of professionals, working across all aspects of recreation. Our work has aimed to help ensure that recreation experiences provided to everyday New Zealanders are the best they can be across all the places, spaces and types of recreation they participate in. I’ve stepped into the role of NZRA Chair during what promises to be an exciting period of evolution for our organisation.

While Sarah Beaman is passing over the baton following the completion of her term as Chair, I’m happy to say that she will stay on as a Board member to continue her valuable contribution. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank outgoing Board members Mike Henton, Mike Orchard and Nigel Muir for their dedication and service to NZRA during their terms. It is also opportune to welcome Alison Law, Mark Bowater and John Brimble to the Board and also Annie Dignan in her role as Outdoors Advisor to the Board. The next phase of NZRA’s journey is being informed by our members and the sector. We have recently undertaken a sector-wide survey and national workshop series to help us develop a new strategic plan. This plan will ensure we continue to be relevant to the needs of our members and the wider recreation sector. The strategy workshop series and sector survey have played a vital role in helping us to answer the big questions – what is our purpose? Who are we here for? What would be lost if our organisation did not exist? I’m glad to say that the willing, passionate, articulate participation of members, non-members and key

stakeholders has helped us to create a clear picture of the many needs, issues and challenges facing the sector and our organisation. It has also highlighted what NZRA currently does well. The feedback we have received has allowed us to understand the sector’s needs and wants in order to prioritise our efforts and set clear objectives and goals for our future. These objectives are outlined in our new draft strategic plan, available on our website. As renowned business strategist and author Michael Porter said, “the essence of strategy is choosing what not to do”. In developing our new strategy we have been acutely aware that we cannot be all things to all people. We need to ensure we do not get stretched too far and that we prioritise what we do to ensure our organisation and dayto-day operations are most effective for our members, current and future. I’m confident that we are in a good place and encourage you to provide any thoughts on how we can continue to deliver for our members and keep pace with the rapidly changing sector. Kiri Pope NZRA Chair

FROM THE NZRA CEO

ANDREW LESLIE NZRA CEO

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ll too often we see organisations speaking on behalf of their members, industry or sector without putting in the time to truly understand the challenges faced by those they claim to represent. To make sure the New Zealand Recreation Association doesn’t fall into these traps, we’ve surveyed people in the sector about the key challenges they contend with. We’ve also run roadshows throughout New Zealand to meet faceto-face with people across the sector and to understand what they want out of our work.

What has emerged is a clear list of themes that affect the whole sector. Unsurprisingly, fiscal constraints continue to rank highly. We are being told time and time again that providing quality recreation opportunities and catering for increased demand is a challenge in a climate where rising costs are outstripping additional funding or customers’ willingness to pay more. Many of you have also told us that complying with new legislation can be time consuming and expensive, so we need to advocate to central government to stress the need for reduced red tape and more consideration of the downstream effects of legislation that can increase the costs of doing business. Other challenges identified by the sector include retaining staff, providing career pathways and professional development opportunities, and finding ways to bring the sector together to ensure it speaks with one, much louder, voice. While these overarching themes are clear from our surveys and workshops, we are aware that different subsets

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within the recreation sector face their own unique challenges. We need to ensure that our advocacy caters for the unique cultures and needs of each recreation subset we represent. The next step for us will be to make sure some of these challenges and priorities are understood by decision makers in central and local government. Effective advocacy aims to influence and we know that we can do more. We need to do more to communicate the value of recreation and the many benefits it can provide, from healthier and more connected communities to reduced crime and increased tourism. Our strategic plan will be published in August, and it will recognise the high priority the sector and our members place on advocacy. Over the next few years we will do more to make the sector’s views heard, build partnerships, and lead and influence those in local and central government. And of course, we will keep on listening to what the sector has to say. Andrew Leslie NZRA CEO


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PROJECT-BASED MENTORING PROPELLING SPORT AND RECREATION LEADERS FORWARD THROUGH PROJECT-BASED MENTORING WORDS: JENN HALLIDAY, CHAIR, THE GENERATE NETWORK

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n December 2014, The Generate Network held a Hui for excellent parks, recreation and sport young professionals from around New Zealand to develop professional and personal skills. The young professionals were asked, “What opportunities do upcoming and current young professionals need to enable them to be capable leaders?” The participants wrote on post-it notes with their ideas. The most common thread among the notes was “mentoring”. Mentoring is a service that many professional development bodies around the world provide for their members. Mentoring classically sees a more experienced or senior individual provide advice to a younger or less experienced individual. A Generate Network member was asked what mentoring opportunities he or she was looking for. The answer was “set me up with a mentor”. When approached from this angle, mentoring is turned into

an unofficial dating scheme. A young professional sheepishly asks a valued co-worker or superior out to coffee to talk about becoming a mentor. At the coffee date, each party talks a bit about themselves to see if they “click” as mentor and mentee. If the personal connection is not there, the “relationship” does not seem to continue. On the other hand, organisations may organise a sort of ‘blind date’ between a mentor and mentee. If this is the case, there is a chance that awkward conversations continue and limited mentoring occurs. The ability to track these kinds of relationships can be difficult for organisations or indeed even businesses trying to encourage collaborative dialogue. Discussions are had blaming either the young professional for not asking for mentoring or the experienced professional for either not being skilled as a mentor or not putting the effort in. What if instead of trying to fix this method, a new method is considered?

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At Generate we believe our industry is able to consider a new method incorporating collaboration across sectors, across ages, and across seniority. Projectbased mentoring: when an experienced professional and a young professional collaborate on a project, review, or issue to achieve an outcome. Not only does the industry benefit by an outcome actually being achieved but also the two parties involved learn far more from each other. The mentee learns how the mentor deals with a problem, speaks to stakeholders, writes a report, or dreams up solutions. There is no awkward coffee date, and there is no set up by the organisation. There is only the project to work on and if the collaboration works well, they will inevitably continue their conversations beyond the project. The “project” part of project-based mentoring can be any activity that your organisation or company is currently undertaking or about to undertake. The


project could be a sub-committee reviewing a process, an article to be written in your monthly newsletter, connecting with a new partnership or the organisation of an entirely new service. There are conferences to speak at that could be spearheaded by a senior manager and a junior manager. A project could even be simply inviting a young professional along to a series of meetings set up to solve a problem. The New Zealand Recreation Association regularly recruits Generate Members to sit on their project and review committees that often have many senior leaders involved. Members of Generate are also asked to create presentations or be present on panels at development events throughout the country. Working on these projects provides a reason for mentees to discuss issues within the industry with experienced professionals. It also provides a platform for a young professional to provide a view that the experienced professional may not have considered. Articles and research are a great example of projects that provide opportunities for learning from both the senior professional and the less experienced professional. Eve Craker, from

Generate Network Australia, co-wrote the article “Barking up the right tree” with her supervisor Ray Scheuboeck at Adelaide City Council. Not only did he provide guidance for the article but it also created an opportunity to co-present at a state conference. The Generate Network has seen great initiatives come out of subcommittees or task groups. By creating a single focus for a group, there is clarity and direction for the professionals to interact and collaborate. The Generate Network actively seeks opportunities to create projects with other organisations or be a part of current projects and has placed many members on committees, projects, conferences, and more. Upcoming and current young professionals are asking for mentoring to enable them to be capable leaders. The Generate Network encourages organisations, senior professionals, and young professionals to explore the possibilities of project-based mentoring. For more information on the Generate Network in New Zealand and in Australia, please visit: www.generatenetwork.org ■

Generate Forum

EXPANDING INTO AUSTRALIA The Generate Network, through its close partnership with Parks and Leisure Australia is expanding into Australia! We are excited for the new prospect of being able to widen the opportunities and networks for sport, parks, and recreation young professionals across the Tasman. Eve Craker, Chair of Generate Network Australia, is looking for professionals interested in collaborating on this new project and other projects to get involved. To receive more information on the Generate Network Australia, please email: chair@generatenetwork.org.

Pirongia

Winter 2015 | AUSTRALASIAN PARKS AND LEISURE 9


Narrabeen Lagoon Wyong Colongra Bay Reserve Destination Play Space

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Gosford Avoca Beach Southern Foreshore Redevelopment

$50,000 Gosford Adcock Park Redevelopment

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Hornsby Brooklyn Shared Path Boardwalk

$307,500 Pittwater Multi Use Regional Trail Upgrade At Narrabeen Lagoon

$171,150 Blue Mountains Great Blue Mountails Trail Blackheath to Mt Victoria

Hornsby

$12,500

Hornsby Quarry Parklands Master Plan

$100,000 Penrith

Blue Mountains

Warringah Griffith Park Coastal Trail Access Improvements

$90,000

Parramatta

Our River Path, Play and Planning

Blacktown

Parramatta Ways

$187,500

Grantham Heritage Mega Park

$75,000

$130,000

Manly Marine Parade Landscape Master Plan Public Domain Improvements Project

Lane Cove

Grand Cliff Top Walk - A World Class Signature Trail

$200,000

Wander Through Warraroon Reserve, Walking Track Upgrade

$232,000

$58,605 Canterbury Fairfield

Marrickville Botany Cycleway Link Kendrick Park

$200,000

Lang Road Pedestrian Bridge Feasibility and Bridge Style Manual

Fairfield Adventure Park

$12,000

$100,000

Waverley Coast Walk Extension, Stage 1 Planning Works

$85,000 Bankstown

Randwick

The Salt Pan Creek Recreation Corridor

$135,750

Hurstville Rockdale Lighting to Path - Cook Park, Lena Street to Senoni Avenue, Dolls Point

$120,000 Sutherland Shire Detailed Design of Stage 6 Woolooware Bay Shared Use Pedestrian/Cycleway

$70,000

Gannons Park Shared Walking and Cycle Way Trail Extension

Coastal Walkway Malabar Headland - Construction of Western Walking Track

$200,000

$200,000 Sutherland Shire Cronulla Coastal Walkway - Don Lucas Reserve

$200,000

SYDNEY’S GREEN GRID GOVERNMENT GRANTS $3MILLION IN A BID TO IMPROVE SYDNEY’S PARKS AND OPEN SPACES

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he Department of Planning and Environment is partnering with local councils across Sydney to improve the city’s parks and open spaces, after the release of $3million in grants and the first funding for Sydney’s Green Grid – an interconnected network of Sydney’s parks and green spaces. The latest round of funding under the Metropolitan Greenspace Program (MGP) will be shared by 24 local projects reaching across metropolitan Sydney, as well as Wyong and Gosford. A Department spokesperson said the NSW Government is dedicated to investing in open spaces for the benefit of the community, encouraging an active, healthy lifestyle.

“Sydney and the Central Coast are renowned for natural beauty and these funds can only improve local open spaces by adding bike and walking paths, cycleways, picnic spots and play spaces to be enjoyed by the public,” the spokesperson said. “These projects will also form part of Sydney’s Green Grid – which will see a connected network of green spaces linking bush land, parks, waterways and centres across the city.” The MGP has granted $35million to councils for 562 projects across the metropolitan area between 1990 and 2014. All 41 metropolitan councils and the two Central Coast councils are eligible to apply for grant funding and approximately $3million is available annually on a dollar-for-dollar matched funding basis.

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Narrabeen Lagoon

For more information about the program visit the Department of Planning and Environment’s website: http://www. planning.nsw.gov.au/metropolitangreenspace-program Images: The Narrabeen Lagoon MultiUser Trail in the Warringah Council was granted $250,000 in the 2012-13 round of Metropolitan Greenspace Funding (MGP). In addition, the latest round of MGP grants will be offering the adjoining Pittwater Council $171,150 to carry out track construction on the northern side of the lagoon to improve the trail between Deep Creek and Bilarong Sanctuary. Images courtesy of ASPECT Studios. ■


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GAME CHANGER THE GAME IS CHANGING AND THE DELIVERY OF COMMUNITY SPORT NEEDS TO CHANGE TOO. WORDS: TRAVIS VALLANCE

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e all know that sport makes the world a better place. But the harsh reality is that only 60 per cent of Australians aged 15 years and over participated in organised sport and physical recreation in 2013-14. That’s down from 65 per cent two years prior (ABS, 2015). In fact, only 1/3 of Australians are getting enough physical activity to benefit their health. The National Physical Activity Guidelines say adults should average 2 ½ hours of vigorous physical activity a week and five hours for children. This is a tough ask when Australians are increasingly time-poor, budget constrained and overwhelmed by new forms of entertainment. Whilst many of us play traditional club sport, it’s not the answer for everyone. The Australian Sports Commission’s megatrend research shows that

demographic, generational and cultural change is reshaping the way people spend their leisure time. Personalised sport for health and fitness is on the rise. Extreme and alternative sports are particularly popular with young people. Our increasingly aging and multicultural population are looking for opportunities to get involved. This has very real ramifications for community sport and recreation providers. Participation is shifting. People are put off by inflexible schedules, cliquey cultures, high costs and limited opportunities for beginners and veterans. More and more people are looking for flexible, social and less structured ways to get active. Sport will always be an important part of our society, but the shift away from traditional community sport is not simply a temporary aberration. People want opportunities that fit with their lifestyle rather than having to fit

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their lifestyle around sport. Traditional sport, with its traditional Tuesday and Thursday training, and its traditional Saturday game, is no longer the answer for everyone. Signing up as a season-long member of the local sporting club is a burdensome commitment for a lot of people. There are plenty of trailblazers taking advantage of these trends. Group fitness training has grown immeasurably over the last decade. The Colour Run, Tough Mudder and other large-scale participation events are increasingly popular. Crossfit, Park Run and Bounce have quickly gone from the edge to the mainstream in people’s psyche. The game is changing. We can’t expect people to fit their lives around sport anymore. We, as a sector, need to rise to this challenge. Rather than being reactive, we need to get on the front foot, adopt


ups - their philosophies boil down to three fundamentals: • Understand your customer • Generate ideas simply and quickly • Get feedback early and often

UNDERSTAND YOUR CUSTOMER

SPORT INSPIRES HOPE, INSTILS DISCIPLINE, REDUCES DEPRESSION AND DISEASE, RAISES SELFCONFIDENCE, RAISES AWARENESS, RALLIES COMMUNITIES, DEFINES NATIONS, DEFIES GRAVITY AND DENIES PREJUDICE” – NIKE, ‘BETTER WORLD’ COMMERCIAL.

a generative mindset and take action to influence the future of community sport and recreation. To do this, we need to take a new approach - one that involves testing ideas quickly, getting feedback directly from users and learning as we go. “Everyone has a plan, until they get punched in the face” – Mike Tyson. Our challenge is to find a fit between what we can deliver and what people want. It’s not like building a house where there are drawings and schematics to follow. The traditional planning approach doesn’t work when faced with complexity and uncertainty. We are operating in a situation where a change in context or an incorrect assumption about people renders months of strategy and planning redundant. We need to be entrepreneurial. We need to be flexible, iterative, and experimental. We need to adopt the approaches of other sectors that deal with extreme uncertainty – entrepreneurs, social innovators, start-

Success in this new paradigm involves identifying new ways to serve and support people by uncovering latent needs, behaviours, and desires. In other words, we need to put people first. We need to be human-centred. The Australian Sports Commission’s market segmentation for sport participation research provides us with a great first step into the minds of the customer and highlights the complex motivations, attitudes and behaviours of people towards sport and active recreation. The private sector has used target markets to sharpen its activities for decades. Keeping your typical customer at the centre of your thinking is an important discipline. It requires getting an in-depth understanding of your customer and finding a way to provide sporting opportunities that are unique, different and valuable to them. Customer insight is the evidence base from which to take our best step forward. The entrepreneurial sectors have many methods, be it design thinking; human centred design; or user experience design. At its most basic, it involves talking to, listening to and observing people to get an appreciation for what they really want. It involves connecting with users who represent your mass market. It also requires us to embrace the cohorts on the outer edge, such as parkour and LARPing, who are creating their own trends themselves. It involves getting out of the building.

GENERATE IDEAS, SIMPLY AND QUICKLY Steven Johnson’s popular TED Talk says that good ideas come from the connected mind. Very rarely do ‘eureka’ moments provide the solutions and that great ideas are more likely to emerge over a coffee than they are from the boardroom. The clever individual is unlikely to out-think a collection of clever people. Good ideas come from interacting with people who share a similar purpose and vision for a better future. The start-up sector is being reshaped by the belief that connecting ideas is far better than protecting them. That progress comes from the meeting and mating of existing ideas to make new ideas. The emergence of open source software allows people to contribute their expertise for the collective benefit of all. Crowdfunding has opened the doors to people funding other people’s

bright ideas. Why not source solutions from the crowd too. Harnessing the collective wisdom of the crowd involves inviting a broad range of participants from the community and other different sectors; making the experience iterative and experimental; and keeping it big picture focussed. Practical wisdom is where you will uncover promising ideas simply and quickly, but you won’t know if you’ve found the right ideas until you’ve tested them.

GET FEEDBACK, EARLY AND OFTEN Complex social challenges require the freedom to learn our way toward a viable solution. A smart entrepreneur starts small and builds incrementally based on continual, rapid, real-time feedback from the market about what works and what doesn’t. They shy away from the inflexibility of traditional business planning, in favour of lean methodologies and ‘minimum viable products’ that stress the importance of doing just enough to start learning and building from there. The community sport sector needs to learn by doing. It needs to adopt an action learning approach where building, measuring and learning happens rapidly and repeatedly. Getting feedback early and often is essential. That way your decisions are guided by what’s best for the end user. That way you won’t over commit your resources too early and, ultimately, it gives you the best possible indication that you are building something that people actually want. Community sport is changing in a big way. If we embrace this uncertainty with flexibility and a generative mindset, anything is possible. ■

Winter 2015 | AUSTRALASIAN PARKS AND LEISURE 13


Dr Holly Thorpe speaking at the Sport NZ National Conference.

TAKING ACTION SPORTS SERIOUSLY

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overnment policy makers and traditional sporting organisations need to recognise global trends to adequately provide for growing numbers of participants in ‘action sports’, according to Dr Holly Thorpe, a senior

lecturer in sport and leisure studies at New Zealand’s University of Waikato. The term ‘action sports’ refers to a wide range of activities such as BMX, kite-surfing, skateboarding, surfing, and snowboarding. These sports are mostly individualised and differ from traditional

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competitive sports, which can be seen by participants as rule-bound, achievementbased and over-regulated. According to Dr Thorpe, the need to recognise broader opportunities than traditional top-down models of sport is clearly illustrated in recent research and statics.


“Simply, many traditional sporting organisations and governments are recognising that action sports are not going to fade away and it is now time to pay attention to these activities and try to understand what makes them unique.” She said despite many years of ignoring these sports, governments and traditional sporting organisations are more increasingly taking note of these trends. For example, in their 2013 report The Future of Australian Sport the Australian government recognised the growth of action sports as one of six “megatrends shaping the sports sector over coming decades”. Increasingly, other countries and sporting organisations are also starting to take the significance of youth participation in typically non-competitive, noninstitutionalised, action sports seriously. According to Dr Thorpe, the growth of action sports is affecting broader trends in youth sport participation in many countries. She said statistics from the US show increasing rates of participation in non-competitive, informal and noninstitutionalised sports, at a time when youth involvement is declining in many traditional team-sports such as basketball, American football and ice hockey. The number of recreational surfers in the US grew 49.4 per cent between 1987 and 2001 to an estimated 2.2 million participants. In Australia, there were more than 2.5 million recreational surfers in 2012 (note this is more than 10 per cent of the Australian population), and according to the International Surfing Association, there are more than 35 million surfers in more than 100 countries. In 2008, skateboarding was identified as the fastest growing sport in the US with more than 10.1 million participants. With such growth and increased visibility, action sports are attracting a greater diversity of participants, with increasing popularity among girls and women, and minority groups. Some cultural commentators are also talking of the ‘greying’ of action sports, with many of the early participants now in their 40s and 50s, and sharing the experience with their children and grandchildren. In her latest book, Transnational Mobilities in Action Sport Cultures, Dr Thorpe said the rise of transnational action sport media and corporations continues to play a significant role in the spreading of ideas, images, and styles across borders. Importantly, participation rates do not account for the broader cultural reach of these activities. According to a recent report by Global Industry Analysts Inc, the action sports industry, which includes media,

events, clothing and equipment, continues to expand with Global Industry Analysts Inc predicting that the global board sports industry will reach US$20.5 billion by 2017. As a result of media coverage and the inclusion of action sports into mega-sporting events such as the Olympics, many action sports experienced exponential growth between the late 1980s and early 2000s. For example, snowboarding witnessed a 385 per cent increase in participation between 1988 and 2003 to an estimated 70 million snowboarders worldwide.

THE HISTORY Action sports gained popularity in North America and Europe during new leisure trends in the 1960s and 1970s. Dr Thorpe said these activities have increasingly attracted alternative youth who appropriated and infused them with a set of hedonistic and carefree philosophies and sub-cultural styles. She said many participants resent the label ‘extreme sports’, and see it as a label imposed upon them by corporations seeking to profit from their unique sporting cultures and identities. Various other definitions have been used in the past, however, the term ‘action sports’ is increasingly preferred by participants. While each action sport has its own unique history, identity and development patterns, early participants sought risks and thrills, and touted anti-establishment and do-it-yourself philosophies; core members saw their culture as ‘different’ to the traditional rule-bound, competitive, regulated western traditional institutionalised sport cultures. Scholars including Associate Professor Becky Beal, Professor Douglas Booth, Associate Professor Robert Rinehart, Dr Thorpe and her colleague Associate Professor Belinda Wheaton have investigated the unique histories, development patterns, institutionalisation, and globalisation of action sports. As these scholars reveal, since their emergence in the 1960s, action sports have experienced unprecedented growth both in participation and in their increased visibility across public space. During the mid and late 1990s, television agencies and corporate sponsors began to recognise the huge potential in action sports as a way to tap into the highly lucrative youth market. Mainstream companies quickly began appropriating the ‘cool’ images of surfers, skateboarders and snowboarders to sell products ranging from energy drinks to credit cards.

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The global exposure of the X Games and Gravity Games, the inclusion of action sports into the Olympic Games (particularly snowboarding, freestyle skiing, BMX, mountain biking), and the popularity of extreme sport video games and movies (e.g. Blue Crush, Dogtown and ZBoys), helped further expose these sports to the masses. As a result, action sport athletes have become household names. Indeed, skateboarder Tony Hawk, surfer Kelly Slater and snowboarder Shaun White were identified as being among the top 10 most popular athletes among 13-34 year olds in North America.

ACTION SPORT RESEARCH FROM THE MARGINS TO THE MAINSTREAM: INFORMING POLICY Dr Thorpe said there is increasing recognition amongst governmental and international sporting organisations that trends in youth sport participation require serious attention, and due to this, action sport researchers are also gaining new opportunities to inform policy. Since the mid-1990s, scholars from many disciplinary backgrounds have employed an array of methodological and theoretical approaches to understand and explain the experiences of action sports cultures within local, national, global and virtual contexts in historical and contemporary conditions. Dr Thorpe said much of this work has been published in academic books and journals, and is largely inaccessible to the general public, with few scholars trying to work with agencies and organisations to implement change. She said a noteworthy exception is ‘Lifestyle sports and national sport policy: An agenda for research’ by Associate Professor Belinda Wheaton and colleagues at the University of Brighton for Sport England. This paper has been heavily downloaded since its publication in 2005. There is an increasing focus amongst some action sport researchers on collaborating with agencies and traditional sporting organisations to enhance understanding of action sports and trends in youth sport participation, said Dr Thorpe. By working in this way, action sport scholars hope to open up exciting new avenues for research to inform policy relating to the potential for newer, alternative, action sports that will enhance children and youth’s health and wellbeing. ■


RECENT ACTION SPORT RESEARCH PRESENTATIONS COMMONWEALTH RESEARCH PRESENTED AT THE NEW ZEALAND RECREATION NATIONAL CONFERENCE In 2013, Dr Thorpe was commissioned by the Commonwealth Advisory Board of Sport to research and illustrate the potential of action sports for making a valuable contribution to the health and wellbeing of children and youth in both (re)developing and developed nations. This research appeared in their annual report the following year, and included three distinct case studies: the role of informal sports in post-earthquake Christchurch; a grassroots parkour group in Gaza; and ‘Skateistan’—a Non-Government Organisation (NGO) in Afghanistan that uses skateboarding to help educate and empower local youth. This research titled ‘Action Sports and Recreation for Youth Development: Global and Local Insights’ was then presented on November 28, 2014 at the annual New Zealand Recreation Association Conference at Lincoln University in Christchurch. The presentation was well received and facilitated valuable conversations about trends in youth participation in informal, unregulated action sports in New Zealand communities, and the need for more research in this area.

ACTION SPORTS AND THE OLYMPIC MOVEMENT In 2012, Associate Professor Wheaton and Dr Thorpe published an article in the special issue of Sociology journal focused on the London Olympics. This paper, titled ‘Generation X Games, action sports and the Olympic Movement: Understanding the cultural politics of incorporation’, was read by a key member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) who invited the authors to visit Lausanne to discuss their research and understandings of the issues related to trends in youth sport, and the cultural politics surrounding the inclusion of other action sports into the Olympic programs. In 2014, Associate Professor Wheaton met with the IOC to discuss the inclusion of new action sports into the Olympic program, and the potential for more research on this subject. Dr Thorpe said the meeting had “forged a valuable relationship with an organisation that has stated its intention to include more action sports into their programs.”

SPORT NZ NATIONAL CONFERENCE WORKSHOPS: ACTION SPORTS IN NEW ZEALAND COMMUNITIES In April 2015, Dr Thorpe and Associate Professor Wheaton facilitated two workshops at the Sport New Zealand National Conference in Auckland. The workshops focused on action sports in New Zealand communities from the perspective of two different panels of experts. One panel included three CEOs of sporting organisations: Hilary Poole (Netball NZ), Phil Holden (NZ Rugby League), and

John Brimble (Sport Otago). The other panel featured action sport advocates who are actively working to develop action sports in New Zealand communities. This group included Robett Hollis, an ex-professional snowboarder, Parkour New Zealand CEO Damien Puddle, three-time world champion body boarder Mihi Nemani, CEO of OnBoard Steve Hodges, and ex-professional snowboarder and founder of Wahine on Waves Fiona Duncan. Both panels were invited to respond to a series of questions about strategies for better utilising action sports in the development of healthy children, youth and communities. The panel discussions were presented in front of an audience and were also filmed. The footage was edited to produce a 20 minute video montage revealing the perspectives of the CEOs and those working to develop and support action sport initiatives. This video, entitled “Do decision makers and young people see eye to eye” is now available on the Sport NZ website and via Youtube. The action sport advocates revealed insights into the various struggles of developing action sports in New Zealand, as well as unique strategies to provide safe, supportive and enjoyable experiences of a wide array of participants, however, it was the CEOs that demonstrated broader knowledge of the institutional changes needed. Both groups also commented on the importance of understanding, respecting and even celebrating difference. Due to their unique cultures and histories, action sports should not be fitted into traditional sporting models. The following morning, and immediately after a presentation from New Zealand’s Minister of Sport and Recreation (Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman), Dr Thorpe presented the video and key findings from the two panels back to a full house.

UK-BASED INFORMAL AND LIFESTYLE SPORTS SERIES The University of Brighton, in conjunction with University of Brunel, is hosting a series of six workshops throughout 2015 focused on ‘Exploring the Social Benefits of Informal and Lifestyle Sports’. Organised by Associate Professor Wheaton and colleagues, the seminars are funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). They will focus on scholarly debate around the social value of informal and lifestyle sport, establishing the potential of informal and lifestyle sports, identifying future potential and challenges, informing policy debate, and establishing innovative approaches to enhancing and developing active lifestyles. The first two-day seminar was held at the University of Brighton on April 24 – 25 and focused on ‘Mapping the Policy Context’, with a presentation by American action sports scholar Professor Becky Beal. Dr Thorpe said this six-part series was an important development in bringing together international researchers, as well as policy makers, educators and participants, to contribute to the conversation about the potential of informal sports for improving the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities in the UK and beyond.

Winter 2015 | AUSTRALASIAN PARKS AND LEISURE 17


People enjoying the new 50-metre pool at Broadmeadows Aquatic and Leisure Centre

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF HUME CITY

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ume City is a progressive, sustainable and vibrant city located approximately 25km north-west of Melbourne. It covers a Municipal area of 503sq km. Hume City is an area of existing contrasts, from major industrial corridors to urban residential areas and vast expanses of rural land. The population of Hume City is 175,000 with a growth rate of 1.7 per cent annually. The estimated population by 2030 is expected to be over 270,000. Hume is home to people from many different nations and residents come from more than 140 countries and speak over 120 languages. The City has experienced low participation rates in physical activity – participation rates are currently 66 per cent (state average is 84 per cent) – measured through national benchmarks (this is up from 60 per

cent in 2005). Added to this, health data indicates the need for a range of policy/ strategies/facilities and activities to engage the community. The continued need for improved health outcomes and subsequent facilities and programs is a major financial challenge facing a growth municipality with regeneration also occurring in the established areas of the City. Some of the initiatives implemented by Hume City to address the issue of low participation in physical activity include the following projects:

NEW AQUATIC AND LEISURE FACILITY The redeveloped Broadmeadows Aquatic and Leisure Centre which includes a new indoor 50-metre pool opened its doors in February this year for the Hume community to enjoy. Hume City Council completed the $13.23million redevelopment

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which provides the community with a firstclass sports and recreation facility. The upgrade to the Broadmeadows Aquatic and Leisure Centre will provide increased opportunities for local swimming clubs, schools and the broader community to improve their health and fitness. The completed redevelopment includes: • New indoor pool with eight swimming lanes, moveable boom and concourse bench seating for up to 400 patrons • Redesigned entrance featuring a mural painted by local street artists • Upgrade to ground floor amenities • Additional floor space in the upper level gymnasium • New landscaping work • An outdoor breakout area The Broadmeadows Leisure Centre attracts more than 400,000 visits each year and this redevelopment will ensure that even more people can access this community asset.


Spectators enjoying a Premier League match at John Ilhan Memorial Reserve

PREMIER FOOTBALL The John Ilhan Memorial Reserve located in Broadmeadows has undergone significant transformation over the last five years. Originally known as Barry Road Reserve, the facility became the home to then Victorian Premier League club Hume City FC in 2009. In 2011, the sports reserve was renamed after the late entrepreneur and philanthropist John Ilhan - founder of Crazy John’s Phones - who grew up in Broadmeadows and was an active participant in a range of local sports. On the back of the Hume Leisure Strategy and Hume’s partnership in the FFV North West Region Soccer Venue Strategic Review and Feasibility Study, Council committed funding of $10.2million for a staged development of the reserve. The development has been an opportunity not only to provide for facilities to cater for the growth of soccer in Hume, but to also provide a pathway to foster and develop talent from the local community and enable them to compete locally at the highest levels. The first stage of development was the delivery of Hume’s first synthetic soccer

pitch to the south of the site, the creation of the NPL competition pitch (including 200 lux lighting) and to the west of the site there is a combination grass athletics track and fourth soccer pitch. The jewel in the crown of the development is the state-of-the-art $3.5million dollar sports pavilion. Built to FFV Class ‘A’ standards the facility contains four change rooms with individual player amenities, dual official’s rooms, administration offices, medical rooms, covered grand stand with seating for 500 spectators and a magnificent social room and corporate area with panoramic views across the reserve. The site is home to the Hume City Football Club which competes in the NPL league in Victoria.

more frequently in a greater range of leisure activities. The Craigieburn Dog Park is one of the more diverse facilities which opened to the community of Craigieburn in November 2014. Hume City Council believes the most important asset is good health and our pets play a major role in the good health and wellbeing of our community. Craigieburn Dog Park provides diversity in the type of recreational opportunities available in an open space setting. The dog park invites dog owners to exercise with their dogs in a welcoming location, encourages socialisation between dogs and provides a meeting place for dog lovers. Dog owners can take the time to encourage their dog to use the exercise equipment, rummage through the plants, clamber over rocks and logs and run freely. In addition to the Craigieburn Dog Park, Council will be developing a dog park at Sunbury and another is planned for Broadmeadows in coming years. Further detailed information on any of these projects can be obtained by contacting Hume City Council Leisure and Youth Services Department on 02 9205 2464 or via email leisure@hume.vic.gov.au ■ Three fury friends enjoying various activities at the Craigieburn Dog Park.

DOG PARK Hume City Council is committed to achieving the very best for its community as identified in the five-year Hume City Leisure Strategy. It is planned that residents of Hume City will be a more physically active, healthier, connected and happier community where more people participate

Winter 2015 | AUSTRALASIAN PARKS AND LEISURE 19


ENGAGING WITH NEW ZEALAND’S COACH FORCE WORDS: FRASER MAY

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rom volunteer parents helping junior sports teams to professionals guiding All Blacks and Olympians, coaches play a huge role in keeping New Zealand active. People like Sport Wellington Community Coach Advisor Kelly Curr are tasked with building the framework that supports New Zealand’s coaches. Each sport has a national association that provides a coaching framework. These organisations need to keep coaches engaged, and ensure coach development is ongoing. But the success of a coaching program can vary drastically depending on the priorities and approach of the organisation that ‘coaches the coaches’, as well as the level of time and information available to them. Ms Curr recently presented at the first of two New Zealand Recreation Association ‘Engaging with Your Communities’ workshops in Wellington. She said national sporting organisations do an excellent job of providing a coaching framework and instructing coaches in technical skills, but important ‘soft skills’ can be overlooked, such as how to get feedback from participants. “National associations provide a framework for coaches in their sport. They’re really good at providing information on the technical skills. A lot of what gets brushed over is how to engage, how to get feedback – how to coach rather than what to coach. “There is recognition now that development needs to be ongoing. In the

past, first time coaches may have done a three-day course and after that there might not have been any opportunities for ongoing development, or the coaches may not have been aware of them.” Sport Wellington provides several programs to assist organisations in helping coaches to upskill, including ‘Getting Started in Coaching’. Now in its third year, this KiwiSportfunded program has already met with significant success, helping 530 of Wellington’s beginner coaches gain essential skills in the past year alone, Ms Curr said. The Getting Started in Coaching program

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is provided free of charge to help beginner coaches gain knowledge of how to coach based on the individual they are mentoring rather the skill they are teaching. It also covers planning a coaching session and behaviour management techniques. Ms Curr said a lot of Sport Wellington’s coaching programs are founded on the Sport NZ Sport and Recreation Pathway, which recognises different stages of ability from learning the fundamentals through to helping people excel. She said including steps such as having an adequate recognition program and providing training for people who educate


2015 NZRA NATIONAL CONFERENCE New Zealand’s premier recreation sector event – the NZRA National Conference 2015 – will be held at Te Papa in Wellington November 18 – 20 with the theme of Navigating Recreation. NZRA Chief Executive Andrew Leslie said the National Conference was an important event for New Zealand recreation as it enabled people from across the sector to identify opportunities for collaboration, share knowledge and improve the way recreation opportunities were provided. He said the event would include both national and international experts, with opportunities for attendees to improve their skills, and also to celebrate the year’s shining lights and standout moments, as well as see the ‘big picture’. “Recreation is a diverse industry. It’s all too easy for people to work in silos or limit themselves to their own networks without realising the potential for broader application of their ideas. “Events like the National Conference give us the opportunity to share success stories, as well as the challenges we’ve faced, and discuss the ideas that have helped us overcome them. This enables a stronger, more inventive and more knowledgeable recreation sector,” Mr Leslie said. He encouraged those who have found solutions to their problems, met with interesting experiences or been inspired by recreation to present their findings at the conference through seminars or workshops. The National Conference will also feature field trips and an impressive line-up of networking and social events, including the annual NZRA Awards dinner recognising outstanding contributions to the sector by individuals and organisations. Mr Leslie encouraged those with an interest in the recreation sector to “jump on board” to explore the benefits of recreation for individual and community wellbeing, the spaces and places that enable sustainable recreation experiences, the changing nature and demographics of the people of Aotearoa, and the concept of risk as it applies to the recreation experience and health and safety.

coaches in a coaching framework can go a long way towards building lasting links between communities and sporting activities. “Imagine Sally’s mum turns up to the beginner coaching class. From day one we need to think about how to keep her involved in coaching. Does she get a certificate or a newsletter mention, and how is she going to develop as a coach?” Communication, engagement, and understanding who makes up your audience and community are important for organisations and associations in planning a coaching framework, Ms Curr said. Helping coaches to keep developing is also vital as coaches are often the interface between participants and any given sport and play a key role in engaging the sporting

Registrations for the conference opened in early June. See www.nzrecreation.co.nz or email info@nzrecreation.org.nz for more information.

CONFERENCE THEMES WELLBEING - Recreation contributes to individual wellbeing and the development of connected, productive and vibrant communities. Discover the wellbeing benefits provided by recreation and examine innovative approaches to providing recreation programs and activities, navigating the context you operate in, and identifying community change. SPACES AND PLACES - Access to open spaces, parks, trails, playgrounds and community sport facilities stimulates physical activity and better overall health, yet many communities lack adequate access and opportunities. Challenge yourself to conserve the spaces and places we as a sector are entrusted to protect, and chart a course towards new ways of working in partnership with communities while keeping pace with resources and technology. PEOPLE - Who will you be providing recreation services to in the future? What age, ethnicity, and resource profile will they be? What makes them tick? What will be their concerns, challenges and aspirations? Explore the future of our communities and prepare for what’s ahead. RISK - Risk is often thought of in a negative way – danger, hazard, injury, gambling and legislation – but it’s important to remember that for many of us, risk adds to the recreation experience by allowing us to challenge ourselves physically, socially and mentally. We have a responsibility to keep people safe but we must do it in a way that doesn’t eliminate risk to the point that people seek thrills elsewhere. How do we strike the right balance?

community. Ms Curr said this is where the regionally delivered ‘CoachForce’ program comes in. This program, run regionally across New Zealand, aims to increase the capability of regional associations in developing the skills of a greater number of coaches, contributing to increased participation in organised sport at a community level. Ms Curr said programs like Getting Started in Coaching and CoachForce also allow Sport Wellington to measure how many coaches progress from their starting point into the next stages of development. “I think our best results have been around the Getting Started program because we can measure how many coaches have been retained and how

many students are participating.” Ms Curr said national associations are increasingly aware of the need to be more creative in identifying how to engage and retain coaches, looking at different ways of helping communities to engage, whether through online forums, or more in depth workshops. Although approaches differ between organisations, this is something of a transitional phase, and there is no “right way” just yet, said Ms Curr. “A lot of what we’re doing at the moment is quite innovative. What we want to see is the impact on the coach themselves, and the impact in schools on student participation and the retention of those students.” ■

Winter 2015 | AUSTRALASIAN PARKS AND LEISURE 21


PLANTING FOR THE COMMON GOOD WORDS: WAYNE WESCOTT, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, GREENFLEET

Greenfleet CEO Wayne Westcott.

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ith all governments tightening their belts, national parks and protected lands have to stretch their dollars further than ever before. The business model that funds our protected lands is broken. While protected areas are typically financed

through government grants or private philanthropies, the Productivity Commission has recently recommended that cash-strapped state governments charge entry fees to national parks. Some state governments, including those in New South Wales and Tasmania, have taken the lead, collecting fees at car parks and camping grounds. The Productivity Commission has also suggested that greater use of private sector investment would provide better tourist experiences for visitors. But before governments turn their attention to theme parks and tourist hotels, there is a better way. There are currently billions of dollars available in carbon markets – and this can provide the funds required to revegetate large tracts of land in national parks and even help establish new national parks. In Australia, thousands of individuals and organisations are making voluntary commitments to offset the carbon emissions they generate. Greenfleet, for example, is supported by everyone from families wanting to offset their annual car use to companies with a commitment to corporate social responsibility. Together, these commitments have helped us plant more than 8.5 million native trees in 400

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native and biodiverse forests. Greenfleet and other sources of carbon offsets have access to funds to plant trees, and national parks need finance to support the work they do. Connecting the two requires a new model to enable us to access carbon rights on public land. This issue was enthusiastically explored last year at the international World Parks Congress in Sydney. The Congress brought together more than 3,000 delegates from 160 countries to explore nature-based solutions to global challenges such as climate change. Greenfleet has already invested in millions of trees on protected lands – helping to regenerate parks decimated by bushfire or regenerate over-grazed land. In Victoria, a strategic plating program at Kinglake National Park has restored 21,500 native trees destroyed after the Black Saturday Bushfires. The trees, funded by many corporate partners committed to carbon offsetting and good corporate citizenship, are regenerating vital habitat favoured by threatened species. At Kosciuszko National Park in New South Wales, forests of more than 600,000 trees revegetating over 600 hectares of degraded land are taking shape. A former


GREENFLEET HAS ALREADY INVESTED IN MILLIONS OF TREES ON PROTECTED LANDS – HELPING TO REGENERATE PARKS DECIMATED BY BUSHFIRE OR REGENERATE OVER-GRAZED LAND.”

refuge for rabbits, the land had been an ongoing liability for the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. Greenfleet’s revegetation work has rehabilitated degraded land at little cost to the taxpayer. However, these projects were funded on the basis that Australia would be operating within a compliance carbon market – with a carbon tax and ultimately emissions trading scheme. In a voluntary carbon market, we need a different model that enables large-scale investment and protects carbon rights. A carbon agreement must do two things – it must protect the trees we plant, and protect the carbon rights associated with those trees. Greenfleet aims for trees to be protected for 100 years – which ensures enough carbon has been collected to offset any emissions generated by the supporter that is funding the planting. We need legal protection of the trees because otherwise we are reliant on the vagaries of government and shifting philosophies and policies on climate change.

Gaining carbon rights on private land is a fairly straightforward process – we simply put it on title. Public land poses a much greater challenge, because it generally has multiple land use approaches. National parks occupy crown land, and by their very nature, are owned by the government on behalf of the community. Until fairly recently, no state in Australia allowed for the recognition of carbon rights on crown land. However, Victoria passed the Climate Change Act (2011) which permits this to occur, as does legislation in WA. This means that it is now possible for national parks in Victoria to transfer carbon rights legally. We are currently working with a number of governments to ensure that governments can assign the carbon rights of crown land to a third party. This is a truly innovative approach to carbon offsetting – but once agreement has been reached, we will have a mechanism to bring private money to fund the public good. ■ Photos courtesy of Greenfleet.

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Winter 2015 | AUSTRALASIAN PARKS AND LEISURE 23


AUSTRALIA’S LARGEST SKATE PARK

Kids at South Hedland Youth Space

AUSTRALIA’S LARGEST SKATE PARK IS AT HOME IN NORTH WEST WA WORDS: ALISON KENNY

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he Town of Port Hedland officially opened Australia’s largest skate park at South Hedland Youth Space in March 2015, and it is already being hailed as one of the most successful projects in South Hedland. Working with project partners BHP Billiton, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd, Lotterywest and LandCorp through the Royalties for Regions program, the Town of Port Hedland proudly unveiled the $3.8million project as part of the revitalisation of the South Hedland CBD. Town of Port Hedland Mayor Kelly Howlett said that the project was a result of positive community engagement and collaboration with youth, residents, industry and government. “Located on the corner of Forrest Circle and McLarty Boulevard next to the South Hedland Aquatic Facility, this facility will continue to provide a major benefit for youth, families and the broader community for years to come,” said Mayor Howlett. The construction of South Hedland

Youth Space was initiated in 2011 when the Town engaged with youth, schools and community leaders through workshops and events to establish a master plan for this space. Throughout the construction of the park, the town’s young people were consulted and excellent feedback was received from youth who have been treated to behind the scenes tours during construction, making the skate park a true youth zone. Statistics demonstrate that young people make up a large part of our population and their contributions, both socially and economically, are what will ensure the town continues to grow and develop. At a workshop held in November 2012 the suggestions put forward showed that the skate park was highly desired by both young and adult community members, and the longterm implications it will have on their quality of life. Key features included integrated pathways to connect the space with

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surrounding areas, landscaping, open areas for events and meetings, two skate bowls, viewing platforms, shade and lighting as well as vibrant colours and an involvement by youth in the construction and landscaping process. From the feedback received at the numerous workshops and forums, a proposed plan was presented in 2013 on how young people envisaged the park. The Town of Port Hedland appointed Convic, global leaders in skate park solutions, as project contractors and construction got underway in August 2014. Working closely with the Town of Port Hedland, Convic concluded construction five weeks ahead of schedule in February 2015 and final landscaping and installation of shade structures were put in place by Landmark Products ahead of the official opening on March 21, 2015. Again our youth were engaged at the closing stages of the project, being consulted options to choose preferred colours for artwork that would be


used as branding of South Hedland Youth Space. Kids were also given the opportunity to help with landscaping and implementing the finishing touches to the skate park ahead of its opening. The contributions of key partners played a pivotal role in the construction of the South Hedland project, with principal funding partner BHP Billiton Iron Ore ($2.3million) and supporting partners Lotterywest ($650,000), Fortescue Metals Group ($500,000) and LandCorp ($350,000 through the State Government’s Royalties for Regions Fund), bringing the project to life through their involvement. South Hedland Youth Space has resulted in a place for all to enjoy and is a tribute to the extensive community consultation and engagement undertaken during its planning, development and construction. The ideas of the town’s young people and the strong alliances and support of our partners are reflected in the amazing facility. “Reflecting the project’s objectives of creating an open space where all members of the community can feel

THE IDEAS OF THE TOWN’S YOUNG PEOPLE AND THE STRONG ALLIANCES AND SUPPORT OF OUR PARTNERS ARE REFLECTED IN THE AMAZING FACILITY.”

safe and comfortable and that enhances the South Hedland Town Centre, the skate park is ideally located within the heart of South Hedland CBD within easy reach of community facilities and retail outlets,” said Mayor Howlett. “It is a fundamental component in the revitalisation of South Hedland CBD with major benefit and value for youth and families.” At the opening hundreds of kids attended, scooting, skating and BMXing around the bowls and ramps of the skate park. With young members of the community continuously engaged in the consultation process from the beginning, the opening event was suitably themed. Following the official ribbon cutting with the project partners, the event was celebrated with skating competitions, workshops, demonstrations and live

Kids on skateboards at South Hedland Youth Space

music in conjunction with the Town’s regular Markets and Melodies community evening. Kids were also treated to free clinics for skateboard, scooter and BMX riders with Freestyle Now in the week prior to the opening. The Town of Port Hedland and funding partners are extremely proud of this project as it demonstrates what can be achieved by working closely and extensively with the community. South Hedland Youth Space continues to attract kids of all ages and abilities and open spaces are being used by community groups and families as a recreational area. ■ For more information on the opening, visit the Town’s website: www. porthedland.wa.gov.au, Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ townofporthedland or call 08 9158 9300.

South Hedland Youth Space (day)

South Hedland Youth Space (night)

Winter 2015 | AUSTRALASIAN PARKS AND LEISURE 25


HEAD GEAR WHY RUGBY HEADGEAR OFFERS LITTLE TO NO PROTECTION FOR OUR CHILDREN AND WHAT WE NEED TO DO ABOUT IT WORDS: DAVID EAGER, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, UTS

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o your kids play Rugby? Do your kids wear headgear to protect their heads from accidental collisions, bumps and knocks? Do you think the headgear that is commercially available provides an adequate level of impact protection to your kids during those important growth years? Did you know that multiple head impacts without concussion can cause permanent brain damage? Common to all codes of football is the issue of head injuries, particularly concussions and mild traumatic brain injuries (or MTBI). One measure that has been taken to minimise the detrimental effects of head injury issues in rugby is the implementation of ‘soft-skinned’ headgear. In Rugby Union, the International

Rugby Board (IRB) is the body that governs the sport’s regulations on protective equipment. IRB imposes dimensional and material property limitations to design. These design limitations include: • Material thickness no greater than 10 mm (10 + 2 = 12) • Material density no larger than 45 kg/ m3 (45 + 15 = 60) • Material must be uniform - sandwich construction is not allowed • Minimum gmax or maximum acceleration value of 200 g – where g is expressed as the ratio of acceleration experienced / normal acceleration of gravity (9.81 m/s2) Due to these limitations, the headgear design is less than optimum.

26 AUSTRALASIAN PARKS AND LEISURE | Winter 2015

It is important to note that where head impact can occur, the accepted maximum acceleration value of 200g is used as the threshold for the prevention of serious head related injuries. It is known that any head impact above 200g and/or 1000 HIC is potentially dangerous and may cause severe brain injury or morbidity. The IRB has the view that providing protection below 200g increases the risk of injury, as it would encourage players to use their heads more in collisions and tackles thus taking greater risks. This is the paradox of risk argument – risk homeostasis – as more protection is provided we modify our behaviour and take greater risks than what we would otherwise have taken if no or less risk protection had been provided. For the elite athletes at the international level this argument holds some weight. However, in junior rugby this logic is exposing children to potentially dangerous and preventable head impacts. The functionality of soft rugby headgear has raised discussion as to whether it reduces the risk of concussion or whether it acts solely to minimise superficial injuries such as head lacerations, bruises, and the common cauliflower ear. The use of headgear has not been made mandatory by the IRB. If the purpose of wearing soft headgear is to prevent cauliflower ear that occurs to forwards why do we see elite backs such as Matt Giteau and Berrick Barnes wearing headgear. Do they know the headgear offers little to no impact protection? Not even for young children who play rugby is it mandatory to wear headgear despite evidence that confirms head impacts can have a long-term detrimental effect on childhood development and dementia later in life.


Concussions are a very controversial topic in the rugby world and have varying effects on individuals depending on the energy exerted during the collision. A concussion is defined as an injury to the brain resulting in the temporary loss of brain functionality. In many cases, there is no sign of physical trauma such as cuts or bruises, although a blow to the head typically induces concussions. Currently, there is an on-field concussions assessment policy implemented by the IRB that explicitly removes players from the game if they are suspected of having a concussion. Clearance must be obtained by a doctor or approved practitioner before allowing a player to return to the game. Generally, single concussion does not cause permanent damage, however, if a second concussion occurs shortly after the first, it does not require a strong blow for the effects to be permanent. As frightening as this all sounds, the IRB continues to restrict the design of headgear to the technical specifications mentioned above for both elite and junior players alike. The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) tested two popular commercially available types of headgear. The headgear was attached to an instrumented headform and dropped onto the steel anvil surface. The frontal and lateral sections of each headgear were also tested by dropping the instrumented headform onto sections that were cut from the headgear and placed on the steel anvil surface. The results of impacting the forehead area of the two products at a drop height of only 300 mm is presented in Figure 4. The products were consecutively impacted three times in the same location and both products continued to deteriorate with successive impacts. The significantly high g-max values obtained in this experiment confirmed that current commercial headgear does very little to prevent concussion and MTBI.

RECOMMENDATIONS It is recommended that the IRB amend its regulatory limitations with respect to headgear design. This includes increasing the allowed thickness to 20mm, density to 75 RD, and allowing composite or sandwich designs. The research undertaken by UTS has confirmed that even small modifications to the thickness and density yield significant improved headgear performance. These improvements will not only minimise superficial injuries, as current headgear does, but also significantly decrease the impact force to the head that players experience. It is also recommended that the IRB require labelling and education instructing players to discard and use

a new headgear if they receive a head impact and at the end of each season as we know that the performance drops rapidly with successive impacts. It is also recommended that the 200g minimum should be decreased to a more tolerable level of 80g and a maximum g-force limit stipulated. It is further recommended that headgear wearing in junior rugby be mandated and that the headgear have properties that attenuate head impacts to a tolerable level so that children who play rugby do not suffer permanent impactrelated head injuries.

CONCLUSIONS The absence of a recognised standard for soft-skinned headgear that is designed to attenuate concussive level impacts is a significant deficiency within Australian rugby and is of major concern. This is of particular concern in junior rugby where young children are being exposed to head impacts that can cause permanent brain damage.

28 AUSTRALASIAN PARKS AND LEISURE | Winter 2015

The Australian Rugby Union should re-evaluate the headgear design within IRB Regulations to allow for improved performance for headgear worn by children playing junior rugby. Risks taken by the junior rugby players is something that needs to be addressed through reconsideration of design attributes in protective equipment, rather than intervening after the traumatic event has occurred such as field monitoring. ■

REFERENCES [1] Eager D, Chapman C, Suwidji K, Is current rugby headgear adequate? 8th Australasian Congress on Applied Mechanical, 23-26 Nov 2014, Melbourne Australia. [2] Suwidji K, 2014, An experimental investigation into the impact attenuating properties of rugby headgear, BE thesis, University of Technology Sydney, Australia. David Eager is an Associate Professor at UTS. He represents Australia on the ISO/ TC 83 Sports and other recreational facilities and equipment and is on the Kidsafe Board.


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WILDFLOWERS, WILDLIFE AND WAY-MARKERS BRINGING STEEL AND CERAMICS TOGETHER IN THE CITY OF HOBART’S NEW PUBLIC ART PROJECT WORDS: CHRIS VINEY, JOURNEYS EDITOR, RACT

S

teel is hard, but malleable and ductile – fired clay is hard, but inflexible and brittle. Steel encloses space with rustcoloured lines – fired clay fills space with solid, multi-coloured forms. Bringing these two contradictory materials together to tell the stories of a particular Tasmanian place – a place with an unusually rich suite of stories – was the challenge set by the City of Hobart when they commissioned ceramicist Wendy Edwards, blacksmith Simon Pankhurst and landscape architect Sue Small to create sculptural installations along the New Town Rivulet Linear Park in Lenah Valley, a residential suburb north of the Hobart CBD. Much-loved by generations of local people, the rivulet has long been a place of quiet contemplation and riverbank rambles - of casual nature study walks and serious flora and fauna research, and of sketching, painting and writing - all to the soundtrack of birdsong, breeze in the eucalypts and the running stream that flows down from kunanyi / Mount Wellington to meet the River Derwent. An earlier series of sculptured bollards and poles by Audrey Hutchinson had

become unstable and had to be removed. After extensive community consultation, key themes for the new installations emerged – flora and fauna; geology and geomorphology; threatened plant and animal species; and the imprint and impact of people. A particularly intriguing aspect of the location that informed the thematic development was the proximity of the museum built in the early 1840s in the Greek revival style on the instructions of Lady Jane Franklin, whose husband Sir John Franklin was Lieutenant-Governor of Van Diemen’s Land. Lady Franklin planned the building as a glyptothek, a place for the display of sculpture and paintings, but it grew to include collections that reflected her deep interest in the botany, zoology and geology of the colony. The artists’ response to the brief and the community consultation that followed was to design and construct two major sculptural installations as well as a series of smaller way-markers that encompassed these themes. ‘Flora’ is a four-metre tall sculpture that references two local plant species, bluebell (Wahlenbergia spp) and kangaroo grass

30 AUSTRALASIAN PARKS AND LEISURE | Winter 2015

(Themeda triandra), combining them to suggest a posy of wildflowers that Lady Franklin may have gathered on her walks along the rivulet. Simon Pankhurst constructed the steelwork using forged twisted rods and Corten plate steel. Wendy Edwards created the petals and seed heads from glazed and unglazed ceramic forms. “Bringing the two materials together in a strong and robust way was a difficult but eventually satisfying process,” said Wendy. “Simon and I both found working at this scale with two such different materials was challenging – but a lot of fun.” Simon agrees: “Yes, this is big steel and the decorative ceramic elements are also large. Incorporating the ceramics into the structural lines of the steel raised problems that we had to solve together,” said Simon. “It didn’t always go smoothly”, explains Wendy. “Simon and I live and work near each other in Birchs Bay (40km south of Hobart), and from my studio I could often hear the clang of his hammer as he worked on the sculptures – and occasionally an outburst when things weren’t quite going to plan!” ‘Foray’ is a series of smaller waymarkers, placed close to the ground at


five sites of interest. Together, their profile suggests the skyline of kunanyi /Mount Wellington; independently, their sinuous form reflects the bends of the rivulet. Wendy’s glazed ceramic panels, carrying text and illustrations particular to the locations, are set within the frames of bent steel bar. ‘Fauna’ is a lively and vibrant sculpture of scrolled steel bar and a variety of hand-made ceramic tiles. Referencing the native fish, a species of Galaxias that has survived despite the impact of people on their environment, this piece is installed in a clearing with a view down to the rivulet and up towards the mountain. Landscape architect Sue Small, the

®

third member of the collaborative team, worked closely with Simon and Wendy to select the most appropriate locations for the sculptures. “A key aspect with ‘Flora’ and ‘Fauna’ was to achieve a balance between the proportions and the positioning of the works, so that they respond as well as possible to their surroundings,” said Sue. “I feel that this has been very successfully achieved with the two large-scale sculptures.” City of Hobart Lord Mayor Sue Hickey says that close community consultation was a feature of the project. “Local people have a strong commitment to this part of the Rivulet,

Photos (left, centre and right) courtesy of Jonathan Wherrett

especially with its connection to the Lady Jane Franklin Museum,” she said. “A good example of the depth of interest among locals and the value of their input was the multi-faceted contribution we had from residents.” The works were installed alongside the New Town Rivulet in December 2014. When walkers encounter them during a stroll through the riverside forest, their experience is enriched and their understanding of the rivulet’s place in history and the natural world is enhanced. ■

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Winter 2015 | AUSTRALASIAN PARKS AND LEISURE 31


SPORT AND ACTIVE RECREATION NATIONAL SPORT AND RECREATION SURVEY IDENTIFIES OPPORTUNITIES

S

port NZ has released the results of its 2013-14 Active New Zealand Survey, detailing adult participation, interest levels, and the range of locations and activities in which New Zealanders participate in recreation and sport. Titled Sport and Active Recreation in the Lives of New Zealand Adults, the results show growth in volunteer involvement, and a small increase in the number of adults participating in sport and recreation since the last Active NZ Survey in 2007-08, as well as high levels of interest in taking part in more sport and recreation. Sport NZ Chief Executive Peter Miskimmin said these changes should be seen as a ‘positive scorecard’, for adult participation in recreation and sport. “With 74 per cent of adults participating in recreation and sport on a weekly basis, a one per cent increase might not sound like much, but in light of a lot of things that are happening internationally, to not only hold our own but even increase slightly is a great result.” Mr Miskimmin said some of the key changes identified by the survey included a slight move away from club sport, growing gym membership, and increased participation in activities such as cycling, running, tramping and canoeing/kayaking. “In our grandparents’ day, you were a member of a club, and you stayed for life.

Now the multitude of activities on offer is huge, and it’s important to recognise that not everyone wants to pursue their recreation through clubs in the traditional way.” Mr Miskimmin said the survey results confirmed a trend identified by central government and many regional councils which were investing in walkways, cycleways and programs that could help people to be more physically active without necessarily belonging to a club. “The market is responding, and we need to recognise how it’s happening so we can provide the best response possible. With greater insight, we are more able to recognise and plan. This survey is crucial to recognising these trends, whether it be for facilities, programs or communities. “Because we’re on the edge of change – an increasingly time-poor society with more sedentary lifestyles and increasing technological engagement – anyone in a sport and recreation role needs to do their utmost to recognise what’s going on.” Mr Miskimmin said he was pleased with the survey findings on adult volunteer involvement, which had risen by 2.8 per cent. “Within communities, it’s great to see that people want to be actively involved. Its part of the old adage – if you get kids involved, the parents get involved too. For people involved in planning for recreation and sport, it’s important to create the communities

32 AUSTRALASIAN PARKS AND LEISURE | Winter 2015

where this can happen.” He identified New Zealand Football’s ‘Little Dribblers’ as a program which had benefited from the participation of committed volunteers in successfully establishing an early start for young footballers. He also highlighted the need for initiatives such as Sport NZ’s Sport Beyond School program, which aims to overcome barriers to participation by identifying and tackling the points where people are likely to drop out of sport and recreation. While some activities saw declining participation, Mr Miskimmin said it was important to understand the drivers behind the trends rather than making decisions based on a knee-jerk reaction. He said many sports had looked to modify how they operated to adapt to the changing needs of people in New Zealand, for instance providing three-on-three basketball leagues, 20/20 cricket, five-on-five hockey, and a range of modified versions of traditional sports that not only hold onto their base of passionate sportsmen and women, but develop it further. Mr Miskimmin said it was important that councils and recreation planners used the Active NZ Survey as part of a range of resources to identify trends and factors that were changing recreation, and to find meaningful activities for groups that traditionally had low participation levels.


SPORT AND ACTIVE RECREATION IN THE LIVES OF NEW ZEALAND ADULTS 2013/14 ACTIVE NEW ZEALAND SURVEY RESULTS A quick look at...

Adults

A quick look at...

74%

of adults (2.5 million people) take part in sport and recreation in any given week – a small increase from 2007-08 (1%).

Women, older adults (50 years and over) and Asian peoples (compared with all adults) continue to participate less.

Men and younger adults (16 to 24 years old) participate the most.

Who

The most popular sports are –

The most popular activities are recreational by nature –

What

golf swimming

Each year, almost

walking

adults volunteer in sport and recreation

Where

– an increase of almost 3% from 2007/08.

jogging/ running

cycling

netball

tennis

football cricket

touch rugby

91.3

Almost all participants % took part in sport and recreation at one or more man-made facilities. The most popular being a path, cycleway or walkway in a town or city (53.1%).

3%

Membership of any club or centre (over 4 weeks) has remained stable (around 1/3 of participants) since 2007/08; however sports club membership decreased by 2 percentage points, while in contrast gym membership increased by 3 percentage points.

Each year, around 550,000 adults (17.0%) take part in one or more sport and recreation events

How

– fun runs/walks are the most popular.

Most adults

Participants (adults who took part in sport and recreation)

(everyone who completed the survey)

Among participants, most Just over

65.6%

67.5% take part on three or more days a week.

4 out of 10

(42.4%) participants received coaching or instruction. i t ti

The most common way (35.2%) people pay to participate is pay-to-play (ie, per visit, entry or hire).

are interested in either trying a new sport/activity or doing more of an existing one.

Why

Almost all participants (and particularly women) say that fitness and health is a key reason for taking part in activities. A similar proportion of participants (and particularly men) say they take part for enjoyment.

$$$

90.7% 87.9%

A lack of time is by far the number one reason interested participants give as a reason for not doing more sport and recreation. Cost comes a distant second.

See www.sportnz.org.nz/activenz13-14 for more information.

Image: Sport NZ

While there was a ‘mountain’ of information available in the survey results, including barriers to participation, the initial results were set at a ‘macro’ level across the nation, and Sport NZ would break the information down into regional profiles within the next year or so, he said. “I think firstly at a macro level, it’s about looking at the activities and participation, then taking it down to the micro level of how to apply the learnings to communities.” Helping providers and councils to stay ahead of the curve and to make smart decisions about how they operate in future is part of the brief for the New Zealand Recreation Association (NZRA). NZRA CEO Andrew Leslie said the Active NZ Survey provided precisely the kind of information decision makers needed to change the way they operated or to make a case for change. “It’s a good result for recreation. The top three activities people participate in are recreation-based activities, rather than sport, and that’s something planners should take notice of.” Mr Leslie said the survey results showed the value the public placed on recreation opportunities and provided food for thought for planners, providers and those responsible for deciding how rates and taxes are spent. “More than half of the people surveyed said they wanted to enjoy more recreation or sport – whether it’s an existing activity or

an entirely new one. There’s demand here and now and people in the sector may want to ask – ‘are we actually meeting it? “A great example is cycling and cycleways, both are booming and there’s an expectation that there will be a certain level of cycleway provision. “There are regions that aren’t meeting demand and others that are investing heavily. But even in those areas that are investing in cycleways there are challenges, such as showing that the investment they are making is important when considered against other areas.” Mr Leslie said in cases where recreation investment was being questioned, the survey data could help to demonstrate the need, especially when presented alongside other research that clearly established the health, community and economic benefits recreation could provide. It could also identify opportunities to engage groups that weren’t currently participating, and recreation and sport providers might consider whether they could cater for those groups better by creating new programs or making their competitions more accessible, he said. “Recreation participation is increasing but we can’t be complacent. There are certain populations that aren’t participating and we can do more there. This is where the philosophy of community engagement and community recreation is so powerful – it’s

about empowering people to make their own decisions about how they participate in recreation by providing choice and responding to feedback,” he said. Mr Leslie suggests councils and providers harness community engagement techniques such as public meetings, online surveys or whiteboards at public libraries or community halls, to find out what specific communities wanted and to cater to that demand. Similar techniques could be used when it comes to catering for older people, who were often overlooked despite widely reported figures showing the average age of New Zealanders is increasing. “As New Zealand’s population ages, recreation providers need to consider whether the places and spaces and activities they provide are meeting older people’s needs. Is the new cycleway or walkway that has been proposed catering for older users; is it accessible; is it designed to cater for the older customer?” The 2013-2014 Active NZ Survey was undertaken over 12 months, among more than 6,000 New Zealanders aged 16 years or older across a diverse range of ages and regions. Sport and Active Recreation in the Lives of New Zealand Adults and further research on the Active NZ survey can be found in the Knowledge Library on Sport NZ’s website: www.sportnz.org.nz ■

Winter 2015 | AUSTRALASIAN PARKS AND LEISURE 33


ACTIVE UTILITY WORDS: LAURI FILIPPONE, ACTIVE EVENTS OFFICER, MOONEE VALLEY CITY COUNCIL

I

n February this year Moonee Valley City Council’s Sport and Recreation team launched an exciting new series of events and activities for the community to enjoy over Melbourne’s warmer months. With the goal of encouraging the community to get active while also exploring our many different parks and gardens, the ’Active Utility’ was sent out to a variety of locations across the municipality. The community had told us they were looking for more opportunities to get out and about enjoying events and activities in our parks and gardens. They said they wanted greater opportunities to participate in activities on a casual basis, and we listened. Our Ford utility was transformed into the ‘Active Utility’ with fun, eye-catching decals and filled to the brim with sport and leisure equipment for the community to use at fun free pop-up style events. The ute entered parks and gardens, and our Sport and Recreation team pumped up the music and unpacked a whole range of gear including cricket bats and balls, footballs, tennis racquets, soccer balls and goals and t-ball sets. There were bubbles, kites to fly, hula hoops to swing, Frisbees to throw and ropes to skip. There was something for all ages and abilities to enjoy. Families enjoyed classic games of quoits and children took part in sack races. Our friendly team encouraged

Riverside Park, Active Utility supported by Fun2Move Family Fitness

people to stay and play, or to use the equipment further afield in the park. Most people chose to stay, reinforcing the feedback that people really are looking for activities that aren’t highly active, but provide opportunities to interact with other people. The Active Utility helped to bring people together in parks and reserves, where they may normally play sideby-side, but not necessarily interact. The community was excited about the activities and pleased to see our team facilitating access to such a wide variety of free and enjoyable leisure opportunities. One of the roles of our active program is to support organisations that contribute to community wellbeing. And as part of the Active Utility, we worked with local providers Fun2Move Family Fitness to provide a free family fitness session as well as running a unique and fun yoga session in the park with Guru Dudu. Although the Active Utility was a trial as part of our broader summer events program for the year, its popularity has led to requests from community groups to have the utility visit their events and activities. We found the Active Utility was

Woodlands Park, Active Utility

34 AUSTRALASIAN PARKS AND LEISURE | Winter 2015

more successful when we partnered with other providers, giving people another reason to visit us. As a result, we see this concept expanding further for the 2015/16 summer period, visiting more locations and working with more partners to deliver exciting active events. Social media played a vital part in promoting the ‘pop-up’ events, allowing us to communicate in real time with the community, especially when Melbourne’s temperamental weather played such a big part in where the Active Utility would be. We will host many more activities as the mercury heats up later this year. The community will no doubt be keeping an eye out for the next event, with one resident saying the program was “heaps of fun! The kids all loved having fun with the toys. The coordinators were all heaps of fun and interacted really well with all the kids! Looking forward to doing it again next year!” The Sport and Recreation team aims to continue encouraging the community to stay and play in our parks and gardens by delivering a bigger and better ‘Active Utility’ this coming summer. ■

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ACTIVE LIVING CENSUS

Olympian Kristi Harrower

WORDS: LINCOLN FITZGERALD

I

t’s not often Australia’s Local Government Areas are presented with a unique opportunity to thoroughly investigate the health and wellbeing of residents. Generally, rate revenue cannot stretch to such luxuries as meaningful in-depth analysis that seeks input from every member of the community, so councils must work with state and national data that takes an overarching view of Local Government Areas and its people. A Victorian State Government funding grant presented the City of Greater Bendigo with the chance to conduct its 2014 Active Living Census and obtain relevant and reliable health and physical activity data specific to the region. The Census was made up of 56 questions and data was collected for residents three years of age and older. City Chief Executive Officer, Craig Niemann, said the findings were compelling. “We now know about participants’ current leisure activities, how they would like to be active and the barriers to doing so. Participants also rated their health status and answered questions about their fruit and vegetable intake, if they smoked and how much they usually drank,” Mr Niemann said. “This data is the first of its kind. It’s a rare insight into the lifestyles of our residents and will help focus both Council and staff on delivering projects that improve their overall health and wellbeing.” Bendigo is located in the centre

of Victoria and the Greater Bendigo Municipality is home to close to 108,000 people. The Census was mailed to every house in the Municipality, as well as being made available online. It was completed by 17,437 people, which is about 16 per cent of the population. To put this in perspective, the Victorian Population Health Survey is completed every four years and surveys between 30,000 and 35,000 people from across the state. “This was the largest response to any consultation carried out by the City. It was accompanied by an extensive marketing campaign and a range of prizes were on offer, so staff went to great efforts to create interest in the project,” Mr Niemann said. “I believe the success of the campaign comes down to the people who featured in the advertisements – a mix of recognisable faces from the community, including a local musician, green grocer, the Mayor at the time and Olympic Basketballer and resident Kristy Harrower, as well as a seniors’ walking group and a mothers’ group. “The key was to convey to residents that we wanted to hear from everybody. You didn’t need to be the fittest or most healthy person; we just wanted to connect with everyone. “Greater Bendigo is the second largest Municipality by population in regional Victoria and we know our residents rate low on a number of health indicators, so we are very grateful to those residents who did

36 AUSTRALASIAN PARKS AND LEISURE | Winter 2015

participate as this information will be used in their best interests.” Responses were received from every suburb and town in the Municipality and across males and females aged three to 100. The high response rate meant the results could be broken down and separated into adults, children and seniors, urban and rural areas, suburbs and towns, and the top 20 physical activities. Participants were also asked to rate the City’s facilities and nominate any barriers that prevented them from taking part in physical activity. 82 per cent of respondents rated their health status as either ‘excellent’, ‘very good’ or ‘good’. Almost half (46.8 per cent) of the participants tucked into the recommended two serves of fruit a day but less than 10 per cent filled their lunch box or dinner plate with the suggested five serves of vegetables each day. Walking was the most popular form of physical activity, followed by swimming, cycling and gym/fitness. The City’s open spaces were used heavily and received high quality ratings, while barriers to participation included time pressures, cost and personal issues such as lack of motivation, embarrassment and poor health. “The data that was collected provides us with the evidence needed to direct funding to certain projects and initiatives,” Mr Niemann said. “Not always does the focus have to be on major projects, but rather looking after or enhancing what is already available. For instance, the people that use our open spaces, which were reported as being very popular, want more facilities such as toilets, lighting, shade and seating. “It was good to see the results confirmed some of the work the City was already doing, especially around investment in facilities that service organised sport, which the Census found had more frequent participation than non-organised activities such as fishing or bushwalking. “Also, to address the barrier of cost, the City has recently installed free fitness stations in a rural part of our Municipality and opened a free splash park. At our events there is free bike parking to encourage people to combine fitness with the purpose of travel and a range of free physical activity events for children have been held in areas identified through the Census as being least active. “There is always room for improvement, both from the perspective of residents improving their own health and wellbeing and for the City to consider how it can best support its residents to lead healthy and active lives.” The City looks forward to tackling the issues thrown up by the Census but doesn’t plan on doing it alone. Increasingly, it is focussing on the


Walking in Greater Bendigo

them to look at the Selected Findings to see how their suburb compares or if their favourite sports made the top 20. It’s also a great resource for schools to refer to and help them best meet the needs of children in their area, as the ďŹ ndings indicate children are most active when they’re young but as they get older their interest drops off,â€? Mr Niemann said. “There are many organisations in our community that are focussed on the health and wellbeing of residents. I’m proud to say the City has been able to develop and present these ďŹ ndings, which can then be used by other organisations and community to attract future funding or inform the development of future events or services. Everyone has a role to play.â€? â–

How do people rate walking facilities?

Participation in walking

Overall, 79.5% of residents who reported walking for exercise rated the walking facilities in Greater Bendigo as good or excellent in terms of their quality and 85.7% in terms of their accessibility.

Walking is the most popular physical recreation activity among Greater Bendigo residents, with 32.2% of the Greater Bendigo population (32.9% urban; 28% rural) reporting that they went walking for exercise in the previous 12 months.

6SHFLÂżFDOO\WKHZDONLQJIDFLOLWLHVLQ Strathdale were rated highest for quality and accessibility.

Walking is less popular in Greater Bendigo (Active Living Census 2014) compared to the rest of Victoria and Australia (Exercise, Recreation and Sport Survey, 2010).

Facility quality rating 32.2%

36.6%

35.9%

How often do people walk?

Where do people walk?

The majority of all residents who went walking for exercise in the past 12 months did so once a week or more.

Bendigo CBD is the most popular place to walk in Greater Bendigo.

Average of all facilities Bendigo CBD

68.8% of residents walk in their home suburb, with 31.2% travelling outside their home suburb to walk.

4%

Kangaroo Flat

Less often

Strathdale

16.1%

79.8%

One to three Greater Bendigo

Victoria

Australia

times a month

23.6%

Eaglehawk

Once a week or more Bendigo CBD

Walking is most popular among residents of:

51.9%

Strathdale

9.7%

Kennington (38.9%)

Walking is least popular among residents of:

Eaglehawk

Facility accessibility rating

Other localities

Strathdale (38%) Flora Hill - Quarry Hill - Spring Gully Golden Gully (37.7%)

Other localities

Kangaroo Flat

7.6%

Average of all facilities

7.3%

Who walks?

Bendigo CBD

People of all ages and genders participate in walking for exercise. Females aged 35-69 reported the highest rates of walking.

Bagshot - Huntly (20.1%)

Male 14.5%

Heathcote - Knowsley - Mount Camel (24.8%) Maiden Gully (28.1%)

Ages 3 - 11

Female

Is the activity organised?

Kangaroo Flat

The vast majority of people who reported walking for exercise said the activity was not organised by a club, association or other organisation.

Strathdale Eaglehawk

15.7%

8.1%

12 -17

18.4%

17.8%

18 - 34

37.1%

25.7%

35-49

47.6%

36.0%

50 - 69

45.1%

27.4%

70+

24.8%

96.2%

Other localities

Non-organised

3.8%

excellent, good

Organised

average

poor, very poor

34 This extract is from Active Living Census 2014,Selected Findings, produced by City of Greater Bendigo. For further details, please see the full report at www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/alc

Active Living Census - Walking

importance of resilience and how people can help themselves. A whole-ofcommunity approach is required to turn any negatives into positives and the City plans to re-survey the community every four years to provide an update. In the meantime, it looks forward to planning collaboratively with the community and would like to implement initiatives that see it partner with other organisations like schools to deliver infrastructure that can be shared with the wider community.

There’s also opportunities to develop policy, introduce targeted programs, activities and events that will help improve residents overall health and wellbeing. The Census ďŹ ndings are presented in two reports – the Selected Findings document is highly decorated, colourful and userfriendly, while the Topline Report is for the statisticians at heart. “A number of families completed the Census, so we’re encouraging

Active Living covers

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Winter 2015 | AUSTRALASIAN PARKS AND LEISURE 37


City Cycle on Riverwalk

BRISBANE: OUR ACTIVE,HEALTHY CITY IMPLEMENTING STRATEGIES AND PROGRAMS TO ACHIEVE BRISBANE’S ACTIVE AND HEALTHY VISION WORDS: JACQUI COWELL

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risbane is home to over 1 million people and has an ever-growing demand for activities and facilities that promote an active and healthy lifestyle. This isn’t surprising, given the city’s subtropical climate and wealth of open spaces. Brisbane is an ideal location to enjoy an active and healthy lifestyle. Council is investing in infrastructure and programs that promote this active and healthy lifestyle. By 2031 we hope all residents and visitors, regardless of age, gender and ability are able to enjoy: • diverse and accessible recreational opportunities; • support for their chosen physical activity, play or sport; • public spaces, parks, community venues, sporting facilities and clubs that are easy to access and provide safe, diverse opportunities for everyone to meet, play and exercise; • natural assets which offer unique, accessible places for recreation and relaxation. Brisbane City Council has implemented a number of strategies and programs that

contribute to achieving Brisbane’s Active and Healthy Vision.

BE ACTIVE AND HEALTHY IN BRISBANE Council provides the community with an array of Active Park and Recreation programs. These include: • Active Parks – free or low-cowst activities for all ages at more than 50 parks across Brisbane; • Chill Out – free or low-cost activities tailored for people between the ages of 10 and 17; • Growing Older & Living Dangerously (GOLD) – free or low-cost activities tailored to Brisbane residents 50 years and over; • GOLD ‘n’ Kids – free or low-cost activities for children aged four years and over and grandparents to enjoy together; • Heart Foundation Walking – a free program of walks led by trained volunteers; • Active School Travel – a program to promote walking, cycling, scootering,

38 AUSTRALASIAN PARKS AND LEISURE | Winter 2015

carpooling and/or catching public transport to school; • Active Communities – an initiative to encourage cycling and walking in 10 Brisbane suburbs; • Black Diamonds – free or low-cost activities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in Brisbane. The Outdoor Recreation Management Strategy for Brisbane’s Natural Areas 20112021 is also supporting Brisbane’s Active and Healthy vision. The strategy enables Council to take advantage of managing Australia’s most biodiverse capital city. Its key goal is to sustain outdoor recreation in Brisbane’s 8000 plus hectares of natural areas. The strategy ensures the Brisbane community experiences unique active and healthy activities within our bushland and wetland areas while at the same time protecting their environmental, social and economic values. Bushwalking, cycling, horse riding, orienteering, kayaking and rock climbing are some of the activities enjoyed in Councilowned and managed natural areas. Council is well known for its innovation in providing facilities, programs and


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Aqua Zumba at Jindalee pool

services that are accessible and inclusive. Ensuring people of all ages and abilities can participate in recreational activities is a priority for Brisbane. Brisbane is proud of: • having Australia’s first Braille trail in Queen Street Mall; • exceeding national targets for accessible CityCats and buses; • offering inclusive play experiences in Council parks and accessible swimming pool and change facilities.

ACCESS MORE THAN 600 COMMUNITY FACILITIES Council also offers more than 600 facilities to not-for-profit community organisations to rent through lease or licence arrangements for the delivery of community, sport, recreation and cultural activities and programs. In doing so, Council helps provide for the physical, cultural and social wellbeing of the community. Facilities are provided at lowcost with tenants responsible for their dayto-day management and maintenance. Council plays a vital role in providing community facilities in Brisbane, primarily by funding facility improvement/ development, leasing land and facilities for community activities and planning for future needs. Many of these facilities are located on trust land managed by Council.

Whites Hill Reserve Playground

Cycling Brisbane is a free-to-join membership program and website, dedicated to all things cycling in the city. From cycling events, training courses, to the latest deals and discounts from supporting businesses, Cycling Brisbane provides Brisbane residents and visitors with the information they need to get out on their bike or a CityCycle (Brisbane’s public bike share scheme). Council is also using Cycling Brisbane to shape Brisbane’s cycling future. Brisbane residents can have a say, participate in surveys, enter competitions and share cycling experiences on the website. With an investment of $120million over four years, through the Better Bikeways 4 Brisbane program, cycling in Brisbane will continue to get easier and safer.

LAND MANAGEMENT PLANNING FOR COMMUNITY FACILITIES In 2014, Brisbane City Council engaged CPR Group to prepare a network land management framework for community purpose land that it manages and holds in trust from the Queensland Government. In Queensland, local authorities are appointed as trustee to manage trust land for public or community purposes. Trust land is available for the general community

BRISBANE IS A FANTASTIC PLACE TO RIDE YOUR BIKE Council’s Brisbane Active Transport Strategy 2012-2026 works to deliver a high quality, connected and accessible pathway network that will encourage people of all ages and abilities to regularly walk and ride. With over 1100 kilometres of bikeways and paths, a multitude of bike-related events, facilities and tools, Brisbane has some of the best cycle facilities in the country. It is a fantastic place to ride your bike. To help keep residents and visitors up to date with the growing number of cycling facilities Brisbane has to offer, Council has developed Cycling Brisbane.

City Botanic Gardens Playground Accessible Carousel

40 AUSTRALASIAN PARKS AND LEISURE | Winter 2015

to use and includes parks, recreation and sporting areas. As trustee, local authorities may enter a trustee lease or permit with a secondary user (e.g. a sport and recreation club) for part or all of that trust land. Brisbane City Council manages in excess of 435 hectares of trust land through secondary use arrangements, and the network land management framework represents almost 45 per cent of this estate, along with 40 parks and more than 60 community organisations. Council is the first local authority in Queensland to take a network approach to land management plans for secondary use of community purpose trust land. In the past, the preparation of individual land management plans has been an onerous and costly exercise and as a result Council sought to find a more coordinated and cost effective approach to meeting its obligations under the Land Act 1994, while demonstrating consistent management of all of its community purpose land. This approach recognises that Council manages all of its community leased land, both trust and freehold, consistently. It aims to facilitate a prompt approval process and reduce red tape for the Queensland Government, Council and the tenant. These are just some of the many ways that Brisbane City Council is supporting its residents and visitors to participate in an active and healthy lifestyle. ■


PLA GETS DIGITAL

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reat news! Parks and Leisure Australia (PLA) is thrilled to announce that KWP! Advertising has joined PLA as a National Media Partner. A full-service advertising agency with specialised digital and social capabilities, KWP! brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the table. KWP! Managing Director, John Baker is excited about the partnership: “we’re proud to be working with the people behind Australia’s great places and helping PLA further the interests of its members through digital communication and the effective use of social media. Work like this is the reason we exist!” Kevin Lowe, Parks and Leisure Australia President said: “What a great opportunity to partner with KWP! who will significantly improve our digital engagement and general connection with the industry as well as benefit our members, sponsors and other partners with a wider range of engagement platforms.” KWP’s Head of Digital, Bryn Liepins takes a collaborative approach to working with clients. “I’m looking forward to working with PLA and its members. The

Kevin Lowe, PLA President (left) with John Baker, KWP Managing Director (right).

digital space offers a huge opportunity for the industry in terms of using mobile, location and data collection to improve the community’s experience with public spaces.” Based in Adelaide, KWP! offers strategic communication and marketing solutions for diverse businesses across all national

markets including, tourism and hospitality, food and beverage, the financial sector and numerous Government agencies. ■

Winter 2015 | AUSTRALASIAN PARKS AND LEISURE 41


activity with or knowing when and where to get involved. Now, the information can literally be in their hand.

WHY TEAMUP?

TEAMUP NEW TECHNOLOGY PROMOTING PARTICIPATION AND HEALTHY LIFESTYLES @ FRANKSTON CITY COUNCIL

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rankston City Council in partnership with VicHealth has recently commenced use of the TeamUp Application to increase community participation through awareness of and access to sport and recreation activities, and to allow Council to promote a wide range of activities in a format that is accessible to all. TeamUp is a community hub that enables people to connect with organisations and individuals locally,, providing ing access to hundreds of sports and activities for people to get active, when and where they want to. The App provides choice and flexibility to the way in which people can access sport and leisure opportunities, and caters for all levels of fitness. Users simply download the application or go to the website, sign up and begin

searching for local groups, activities and events to get involved in, helping overcome hurdles that limit participation – such as time, transport, lack of social connections and cost - and breaks down some of the resulting health inequalities that can further disengage participants. TeamUp is a great tool for groups, teams, organisations and physical activity providers to promote their events and activities to people in the local area. Frankston City Council, like many Councils, has hundreds of recreation and leisure activities being undertaken on any given day, ranging from structured activities such as croquet and fitness classes, to more unstructured activities like walking or jogging. Often all that is stopping someone participating in sport or a recreational activity is someone to undertake the

42 AUSTRALASIAN PARKS AND LEISURE | Winter 2015

Participation trends have changed so much over time, people are now seeking alternative ways of getting involved in sport, seeking a wider variety of recreational activities and moving away from membership based activities. People want access and the ability to undertake an activity when they can fit it into their schedule, often The TeamUp App provides this convenience whilst also being in a format that can be readily updated and added to. The TeamUp Application can be utilised by both individuals or sporting organisations, which provides flexibility for participants who want to become a member of a club as well as those just looking for a recreational activity or someone to undertake a sport or leisure activity with, such as having a hit of tennis. It is hoped the introduction of an App as an alternative way of engaging people in physical activity will reach sections of the community that we have not previously been able to. Frankston City Council has a higher than state average of obesity and type 2 diabetes, particularly in women, and whilst this cannot be attributed to inactivity alone, it is definitely a contributing factor as is being socially disconnected. The App should assist in bridging this gap by providing a fun and social way to get involved. Frankston City Council is currently in the process of engaging the community to utilise the TeamUP Application through media, clubs, community groups, neighbourhood houses and networks. This project is still in its infancy, however, initial indications are very promising. ■


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A FAIR GO FOR ALL WORDS: PROFESSOR JEFF WALKLEY

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ost of us like to think of ourselves as being fair-minded, and have long supported the quintessential Australian catch-cry of ‘a fair go’. Overall, we have a culture of supporting people down on their luck, those experiencing a rough-ride, and people and communities find all sorts of ways to lend a helping hand. In the spirit of these national sentiments, Australia is embarking on a world-leading initiative designed to address the inequity that has confronted people with a disability, their families and carers for much of the past. Being born with or acquiring a disability in Australia has often resulted in inequitable outcomes depending on the state you were born or living. A person who was born with or acquired a disability in one part of Australia was likely to have very different access to services and opportunities than someone with the same disability in another part of the country. This inequitable situation was counter to the Australian ethos of a fair go, and is in the process of being changed; a change that may have profound impact on the leisure management sector. At the forefront of this social policy change to address the inequity experienced by people with a disability and their families is the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The NDIS is an ambitious social policy designed to provide the resources necessary for people with a disability to engage in life, just like any Australian who does not have a disability. The NDIS is in many ways the culmination of social policy change that has been implemented in the states and territories of Australia since the 1970’s. At that time debate focussed on the failings of institutionalisation, which had existed as the predominant social policy related to disability for over 100 years, leading ultimately to most people with a disability now living in the community. Running in parallel with this major social policy change was the emergence in the

Players and teacher from Sunbury & Macedon Ranges Specialist School enjoying an Interschool Netball Carnival conducted by Belgravia Leisure, in partnership with Netball Victoria, SEDA, Footys4All and Football Federation Victoria.

1990’s of the concept of individualised support, an approach that recognised that each person with a disability had needs which were unique, and resources should be individualised to the person. The NDIS is a predictable outgrowth of these social policy changes, and the opportunities this will bring to the leisure management sector are equally predictable. Two complementary actions will occur: (1) people with a disability, their families and carers will look toward community providers rather than disability service organisations for services and programs; and (2) governments will preference community providers so as to promote communitybased service and program provision.

PEOPLE WITH A DISABILITY People with a disability comprise approximately 18.5 per cent of the Australian population. This is a substantial number of people, approximately 4.2 million, which offers a large market segment that has been largely untapped by the leisure sector. This number may increase. With the ageing of the Australian population, and the phenomena that disability incidence increases with age, the future is likely to see more and more elderly people with a disability, which could in turn increase the overall prevalence of disability in Australia. People with a disability strive to achieve life outcomes similar to others, including optimal health, happiness, community engagement and economic security. In spite of this aspiration, available evidence confirms that people with a disability experience significantly

44 AUSTRALASIAN PARKS AND LEISURE | Winter 2015

poorer health. The incidence of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity are some of many examples of physical health ailments that are more prevalent among people with a disability. Adding to this disease burden, people with a disability have a higher prevalence of mental health ailments, such as depression and anxiety. It is known that people with a disability have fewer social contacts and friendships, as well as less community engagement and lower economic security than people who do not have a disability. Combined, this information demonstrates that people with a disability would benefit substantially from community-based health promotion opportunities.

COMMUNITY-BASED OPPORTUNITIES ARE BEST There is ample evidence that people with a disability benefit from sport, exercise and aquatic programs just like any other person without a disability. Typical outcomes include improved skills, satisfaction, strength and cardiovascular fitness, and these outcomes occur when standard exercise prescription principles are used. Less is known about the outcomes for people with a disability from involvement in programs run in community-based leisure centres, but what is known from research conducted in Australia is very encouraging. A group of RMIT University researchers sought to gain insight into the use of community-based leisure centres


among people with disability. It was found that improving physical health and psychosocial health (such as improved social integration and less stress) were important reasons why leisure centres were utilised. Importantly, this research found that through participation in a program offered in a community-based leisure centre, people with a disability increased their social network, felt better about themselves through gaining social acknowledgement, and engaged in more health-related physical activity. These findings were subsequently confirmed in a larger research project, which found that a dance program offered in community-based environments, including a leisure centre, led to better outcomes of people with a disability, their parents and extended family, than when the dance program was offered in a place segregated from the general community. People with a disability are an untapped market for the leisure management sector, yet the approaches commonly used to attract people who do not have a disability into leisure centres may be insufficient. Commonly, people with a disability, their families and carers report barriers toward participation in sport including lack of knowledge about what’s available, cost, transport difficulties, program

offerings and staff capacity. Conversely, people with a disability report being encouraged when information is available, staff are skilled and supportive, programs that align with their interest are offered, and offerings occur in their local community (e.g. leisure centre).

CREATE A CULTURE OF INCLUSION Key things can be done by the leisure management sector to increase patronage by people with a disability in community facilities. Being welcome by supportive and skilled staff into an accessible local venue creates an opportunity for people with a disability to escape the health and social inequity they have persistently encountered. With thousands of employees in the leisure sector, managers may see the task of helping their staff become supportive and skilled in working with people with a disability as daunting, but with the emergence of online training, it has become possible, as shown by the recently released YouMeUs system. Physical accessibility is mandated by regulations and legislation in Australia, and while important in promoting access to a venue, may not alone be sufficient to encourage people with a disability to a leisure centre. Often,

access is also about being welcomed, and seeing evidence of being welcomed. The Companion Card program is a scheme that is designed to support people with a disability who require the help of an attendant carer to engage in programs and services offered by community venues, such as leisure centres. Importantly, for people with a disability, their families and carers, learning that a leisure centre is affiliated with the Companion Card program indicates a place that has an accessible, welcoming and supportive culture – attributes which will increase patronage, create benefit and a fair go for all.

RESOURCES National Disability Insurance Scheme: http://www.ndis.gov.au/ Disability in Australia – The numbers: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/ mf/4430.0 Disability, Health and Inequity: https:// www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/media-andresources/publications/disability-andhealth-inequalities-in-australia Community Leisure Centre – Research: Lante and colleagues (2009), Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability; 36(3): 197-206http://emotion21.org.au/ research/ Staff Training: http://www.youmeus.org.au/

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Winter 2015 | AUSTRALASIAN PARKS AND LEISURE 45


Image courtesy of Ipswich City Council

A FIRST FOR THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE IPSWICH CITY COUNCIL HAS DELIVERED THE FIRST LED SPORTS FIELD LIGHTING PROJECT IN THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE

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pswich City Council has delivered the first LED sports field lighting project in the Southern Hemisphere. Craig Maudsley, Ipswich City Council’s COO of Works, Parks and Recreation said the project was completed as a trial and test of the luminaire. “After extensive due diligence of projects completed in Europe, the AAA-LUX technology was the only real alternative to Metal Halide that we could find. “After some long distance calls from our electrical team, and observation of projects completed here in Australia on tennis facilities, we decided to do a retrofit at our Ipswich Rangers Rugby Union fields. We wanted to do a full exact ‘lamp for lamp’ replacement. The light plans indicated it was very do-able, and with over 400 projects completed in Europe across football, hockey and other facilities, the real test was to physically see

them on a field here in Australia.” Ipswich City Council believes the outcome was better than imagined, and is achieving 147 lux average with good uniformity, and the capacity to dim to 50 lux and 100 lux and zone as required. Established in 1968, the Ipswich Rangers Rugby Union Club provides Junior Boys and Girls, Colts, Open Men and ‘Golden Oldies’, with an opportunity to play and support Rugby Union in the Ipswich Region. The club currently caters to over 250 registered players, with over 10,000 supporters visiting the club grounds annually. The two full size rugby fields also cater for local primary/secondary school rugby competitions, as well as Oztag. The new lights were needed to replace the ageing lights that had stopped being maintained due to the high costs involved. Prior to the replacement, only half of the

46 AUSTRALASIAN PARKS AND LEISURE | Winter 2015

lights were working, illuminating less than half the field. Club Secretary, Len Sims, was very enthusiastic about the final results. “We were able to instantly swap fields when all of our field one towers failed last week due to over-heating, minutes prior to kickoff. Usually this would take us 15+ minutes to allow the lights to warm up. “We just walked across to the second field and turned them on – with instant full-field illumination. The new LED lights practically turn on like a normal light-bulb, with no warm-up period required. “Feedback from the players has been very positive. We’ve had plenty wanting to train under the new lights as a preference already, as it’s like daylight compared to the old lights that were in place. Players have also commented the new LED lights allow better peripheral vision compared to traditional sports filed lighting systems.” ■


PLA WELCOMES HAYES KNIGHT

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Kevin Lowe, PLA President (left) with Tim Sargent, Director Hayes Knight (right)

ayes Knight has joined PLA as a National Partner. Hayes Knight provides high quality and timely accounting, audit and taxation advice and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the table. Hayes Knight Director, Tim Sargent is excited about the partnership: “We’re proud to be supporting Parks and Leisure Australia. I feel very honoured to be on the board of PLA and very much looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead. To be part of this growth industry and to be able to assist the organisation with my financial skills and expertise was a key factor in joining.” Kevin Lowe, President, Parks and Leisure Australia is equally excited: “What a great opportunity to partner with Hayes Knight. With our evolving professionalism as an organisation and continual growth we have

seen the need for additional professional advice in the areas of finance and governance. Our partnership with Hayes Knight brings in significant skills in this area that will strengthen our decision making and strategic input into PLA’s direction.” Hayes Knight is a federation of independent accounting firms represented by nine progressive offices in capital city locations across Australia and in Auckland, New Zealand. All members of the Hayes Knight Group have been selected for their technical competency, professional success, ‘real world’ attitude and approach, client focus, and desire to achieve the right result. Bottom line: they take their work seriously but not themselves. ■ Media contact: Nicoll Parton, Parks and Leisure Australia – 0427 968 981.

Winter 2015 | AUSTRALASIAN PARKS AND LEISURE 47


AN INSIGHT INTO PLANNING WORDS: SUZANNE SUTER, SUTER PLANNERS

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nyone can plan - you just need to know what to do and aim to get as much experience in planning as you can. If you work in a Local Council do some planning yourself or get involved in some of the planning tasks if you have a consultant ‘on board’. A good planner can plan for anything (any topic, any issue, any community need) - to be a good planner you need to follow a sound process and admittedly be quite driven to achieving good outcomes. The planning process has four relatively clear stages and eight main components as outlined in the diagram below. The planning process considers: • What is • What could be • What should be The following aims to give you a ‘feel’ for the sorts of tasks that are often undertaken when planning for open space or a sport, recreation or community facility

POTENTIAL PLANNING TASKS PROJECT SET-UP • Meet with managers and key people at the commencement of your planning to gain a full understanding of the issue, desired outcomes and any ‘politics’ that

you should be aware of.

• Prepare for the planning including the development of a Project Brief with a proposed approach and tasks. This will very likely need to include a Consultation Plan. • Consider setting up a planning group to guide and be involved in the planning. This will help broaden the thinking and should result in greater support for the directions and outputs.

Suzanne Suter

HELPFUL HINT: Make sure you know what the expectations are and be clear about the reasons for the planning.

HELPFUL HINT: Make sure the background information is relevant to your planning. Don’t make this a ‘tick box’ exercise and try not to go overboard.

BACKGROUND ANALYSIS

DEMAND ANALYSIS

• Pull together all background

• Identify community needs raised in

information that you may need (maps, listings, data, past reports). You may need to liaise with others in your organisation to ensure all material is gathered. Consider local and state reports and information. • Review the past reports and planning. Often it is good to summarise these within an easy to read chart format. You can then draw on this information when undertaking your demand and supply analysis.

previous planning and past community liaison with your organisation. • Analyse demographics for a whole area or region as well as for smaller catchments such as suburbs. This will give you an understanding of the character of the community and the implications relating to your planning. • Consider the implications of projected population figures with regards to future demand. • Review usage data to understand current demands, particularly if you are

THE PLANNING PROCESS (A GENERAL GUIDE)

STAGE 1: START UP

1. PROJECT SET UP 2. BACKGROUND ANALYSIS WHAT IS 3. DEMAND ANALYSIS 4. SUPPLY ANALYSIS

STAGE 2: DEMAND & SUPPLY

STAGE 3: ANALYSIS & DIRECTIONS

STAGE 4: THE REPORT

5. DETERMINE GAPS, ISSUES, OPPORTUNITIES 6. DEVELOP DIRECTIONS AND SOLUTIONS

7. CONSIDER IMPLEMENTATION 8. DEVELOP THE REPORT

48 AUSTRALASIAN PARKS AND LEISURE | Winter 2015

WHAT COULD BE

WHAT SHOULD BE


planning for a specific facility.

• Undertake consultation to research needs. This could be with user groups, community interest groups, the broader community and/or other stakeholders. The consultation approach will depend on the project. • Consider the implications of trends and industry benchmarks e.g. participation trends, Parks and Leisure Australia and State Government benchmarks relating to open space provision. • Undertake a ‘potential participation’ analysis if required using current ABS data as a basis. The analysis will indicate what the participation numbers in your area would be if participation levels were the same as national and state participation levels. A comparison with actual participation (user) numbers should then be undertaken. • Undertake other tasks aimed at understanding demand as appropriate. HELPFUL HINT: Be comprehensive and don’t rely on any one source of information, e.g. benchmarks or consultations on their own are generally not enough.

SUPPLY ANALYSIS • Obtain a data base listing if you are planning for open space or a number of facilities. This should be an Excel file that can be added to and linked back to GIS. • Consider any information relating to your ‘planning topic’ based on the previous planning analysis. • Consider supply issues, gaps and opportunities raised through the community consultations. • Review mapping, listings and aerials as appropriate. Mapping provides the ‘bigger picture’ and listings and aerials enable a more detailed analysis. • Undertake site visits and use a consistent proforma to record your site visit findings. • Determine the hierarchy and character of your open space or facility. If you are doing an open space strategy you should determine the hierarchy and type of each parcel of open space. This can be done through aerials and site visits. • Where there is more than one parcel of open space or facility involved, map the allocated hierarchy and type and analyse the provision based on this mapping. • Undertake a capacity analysis if required (generally for specific reserves or facilities). • Undertake any other tasks that will assist you to understand supply. • Assess the provision based on the

information and consider the gaps and issues. HELPFUL HINT: The best way to understand supply is to see it and hear it (go to the site, talk to the people).

HELPFUL HINT: Without a Plan for Implementation and support from others in achieving implementation, your planning could go nowhere.

DEVELOP THE REPORT • Determine the report format (the

DETERMINE THE GAPS, ISSUES AND OPPORTUNITIES

Contents Page).

• Consider the key information, findings

• Draw together all key information and findings and summarise these as appropriate. • Analyse the findings (what do they mean, what issues or opportunities ‘stand out’ the most). • Present the findings visually through maps and drawings if this assists. • Identify the gaps, issues and opportunities (often this is done through an Issues and Opportunities Paper). HELPFUL HINT: Draw together the various pieces of information to give you the findings (like a jigsaw).

DEVELOP DIRECTIONS AND SOLUTIONS • Consider the implications of the gaps, issues and opportunities and potential solutions. • Consult on the findings and the potential directions and solutions. • Draw draft design sketches to present ideas if you are planning for a specific facility or reserve. • Determine the potential directions and provide a rationale for each direction (so that people can understand the reasoning). HELPFUL HINT: Involve others in the planning at this point. One person cannot have all the solutions no matter what you know.

CONSIDER IMPLEMENTATION • Develop an Action Plan that outlines specific projects and can guide future works programs. • Determine or obtain costings for projects and directions if required. • Consider establishing an ‘implementation group’ to guide the implementation. This can be the project group that guided the project and should include members from across your organisation. • Include clear recommendations potentially as part of an Implementation Plan in your report.

and analysis that should be included in the report (and what should be included as an Appendix or not included at all). • Determine the best approach to presenting the directions and recommendations. • Finalise and include concept designs if these have been developed. • Finalise costings if these have been determined. • Develop a Draft Report (which could include a more than one report). • Obtain feedback on the Draft Report/s. • Add good graphics (if you can) and finalise the Report/s. HELPFUL HINT: Don’t provide a report full of background information as the main focus should be on giving directions. The principle of 1/3 background, 1/3 findings and analysis and 1/3 directions seems to work. This can sometimes be best achieved by having a separate Background Report.

CONSULTATION Consultation is crucial to planning and it is essential to get the process right and involve the right people. The approach to consultation will depend on the topic or issue being addressed and its relevance to the community as a whole, stakeholders and individual groups. A Consultation Plan should be developed at the commencement of your project and the approach to consultation should be assessed and where necessary revised during the project. Consultation is a ‘paper’ in itself! HELPFUL HINT: Don’t consult unnecessarily but also don’t underestimate the importance of consultations, including with other staff who often know an awful lot. Without planning there is a risk of ‘plonkism’ including poorly located and designed facilities and open spaces. As such planning is essential. The process of planning can be positive if you do it well. If you don’t, the planning and the outputs can be a nightmare. Take care to ensure you achieve the first outcome. ■

Winter 2015 | AUSTRALASIAN PARKS AND LEISURE 49


Once Central Park Sydney. Photo by Peter Brennan

SUSTAINABLE URBAN PARKS IMPLEMENTING STRATEGIES FOR MORE SUSTAINABLE AND RESILIENT URBAN PARKS WORDS: STEPHEN THORPE AND SHANE WALDEN

T

he sustainability of our urban parks and their resilience in the face of disturbance and development is the central management challenge. Changes such as urban growth and densification, new and growing demands, changing user expectations, climate change and declining resources will require new and creative responses from urban park managers. The theory underpinning sustainable, resilient parks and park systems is available and readily understood. Some of it has been available for almost 10 years although there is little evidence of it influencing practice in Australia. In some ways this is understandable because we know that behavioural change, especially for organisations, is complicated and needs to be timely, easy and attractive to achieve, as well as being socially acceptable. This paper should be read in conjunction with ‘Planning and Managing for More Sustainable and Resilient Urban Parks’ where a number of strategies have been identified to assist in creating and managing parks to be more sustainable and resilient. This paper in discusses how strategies can be operationalised through the design of parks and in their management policy and practice.

STRATEGIES Ahern (2011) has identified resilience strategies that can relate to a park or park system. The key strategies are multi-functionality, redundancy, diversity, connectivity and adaptive planning and design. Most of these relate to innate features of the park system that need to be addressed through planning and design. Multi-functionality and adaptive management are useful approaches to managing the system. Woodward (2008), in comparison, has identified complementary strategies to increase the likelihood of retaining function when consistent maintenance is not provided. Risk management is evident in her recommended structure for parks; reducing inputs by working with nature and engaging with people. By working with nature, rather than against it, landscapes can be created with amenity value that complements the ambient climatic and environmental conditions. Once people are on side and understand the goals and maintenance intent, interventions can be minimised in line with these new expectations. The ability to survive and function without high levels of inputs or interventions is important for establishing landscapes in areas of urban growth.

50 AUSTRALASIAN PARKS AND LEISURE | Winter 2015

Resilient parks are able to transition from higher intervention during establishment to lower intervention without noticeable loss of amenity or functionality. To begin discussing these strategies, the starting assumption is that urban parks are part of a system, or network that needs to be managed. This will optimise its capacity (meeting needs where and when they occur) in matching the supply (park availability) with demands (user needs). This is a practical approach derived from many years of improvements in managing park systems.

MULTI-FUNCTIONALITY (i.e. multiple-use or purpose parks) This is a fundamental idea for public spaces. We don’t know who all of the users are, or the purpose for which they want to use the space; so traditional logic is to make it as versatile and flexible as possible. In doing this, it is important to decide what demand types and levels a park can meet. Conflicts between park users are becoming more common. For example, the creation of dog-off-leash areas in parks where there are children’s playgrounds has led to many heated exchanges between dog owners and parents. Similarly, ball games in formal


garden areas are usually restricted. Sport is played on clearly demarcated areas and players/organisations are given exclusive rights, via licences for their games. Parks have always been used for multiple activities but they have not always been designed in this manner nor have they always been managed to support multiple activities. Sustainable parks need to be designed to include flexible spaces; these could be either open and unstructured or more defined but able to be modified by users. For example, the ‘loose-fit’ parks described by Ward Thompson (2002) lend themselves to this approach. These places are under-signed, unregulated and unconstrained. They enable unstructured, challenging play and can be semi-wild, derelict or ‘found’ places. Policy needs to emphasise sharing spaces and positive interactivity between users. This is particularly important where parks are used by organised groups, such as sporting clubs or exercise groups. Licences or permits giving exclusive use rights should be avoided as it is essential to enable multi-use of parks to optimise the supply of available parks in meeting varied demands. Management actions need to reinforce spatial and temporal separation of activities, where this is required, and to support beneficial interaction whenever possible. For example, co-locating playgrounds in

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parks with ovals and providing shade, water and seating can enable family visits that meet the requirement of multiple family members while another member participates in sport.

REDUNDANCY (i.e. duplication of parks within the network) and Diversity (i.e. differentiation of parks) To some extent, these qualities already exist in most park systems. Having more than one park usually offers more than one place for an activity to occur. If those places are differentiated, a wider range of activities can occur. For example, if a family visits their local park and the grass is long, they can easily go to another park in close proximity and see whether it has been mown and is more suited to their visit. This takes some of the pressure away from timeliness of maintenance. Maybe there are already other families using the park and it is too busy and noisy; the family can simply find another park. If a family wants to fly a kite at their local park but it has trees, they can go to another nearby park where there are less trees. The family might want to visit a playground that is accessible for all abilities. The nearest playground might not be suitable but there is a specially designed playground at another park. To be more sustainable, the park system could have multiple parks with similar capacity and providing similar

use opportunities. For example, having a number of paired sports ovals distributed throughout the parks system will provide options for teams and clubs without allowing any one group to dominate. Policy needs to make sameness explicit and avoid the tendency for each park being developed in a unique way. Standardisation of park types will provide reliable opportunities for users to move around the park system. Creating multiple options for users can also reduce management inputs and interventions in maintenance and development programs because every park doesn’t have to meet the total evident demands. In practice, this shouldn’t be difficult in many park systems because the planning standards have created redundancy and diversity in a network of different park types in hierarchical, nested catchments. This is an important concept to understand in managing the park system. To begin with, the catchment relationships will influence the functioning of the system. For example, a typical park system may have the following types of parks: • Local parks within easy walking distance (i.e. 400m) of every home servicing the needs of people living in a neighbourhood. • District parks within 10-15 travelling time (usually by car) from every home servicing the needs of people living in a suburb.

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• Regional parks within 30 -60 minutes travelling time (by car) from every home servicing the needs of people living in a municipality. The optimisation of hierarchical network with nested catchments requires that each type of park should be developed to support only the level and type of demands it is intended to meet. For example, putting BBQ’s in a local park can attract people from a broader catchment and bring demand for associated facilities, such as toilets and car parking. This demand will either need to be met, with capital made available to upgrade the park to the next hierarchical level, or the demand is not met and there will be a continuing conflict around the failure to deliver a requested development. The former brings potential for neighbourhood conflicts. This ‘Catch 22’ situation is a common management problem in urban parks.

CONNECTIVITY (i.e. facilitating movement between parks or linking to other networks) Connectivity is a key issue in enabling users to enjoy the benefits of multi-functionality, redundancy and diversity. It has become a key feature of many plans to improve open space or park systems. This reflects the limitations that exist in the available supply of parks and the fact that parks are typically fragmented and distributed over a wide geographic area. Generally this is as a result of the accessibility requirements of planning standards. Economic and other constraints limit the acquisition of new parks to rectify past failures or meet new needs or excess demand in the current open space supply. The capacity of existing parks requires optimisation, through redundancy and connectivity, to enable demand balancing in peak demand periods. To be more sustainable, the park system design should make as many connections between parks as possible. They are best if

they echo the amenity and safety features of the parks they link. They can be linear parks, easements or other available spaces. Providing directional signage, widening footpaths, landscaping nature strips or plantings street trees that mark connections between parks can encourage people to move between parks. Policy needs to reinforce the role and importance of connectivity and facilitate connectivity improvements as opportunities arise. A simple example would be the acquisition of all, or a portion, of a strategically located property as it becomes available in the marketplace. Management actions should seek to reinforce connections by keeping them attractive and safe. Whilst these spaces are relatively expensive to maintain, they are often strategically important in enabling connections that optimise the use of other parks. The small interconnecting landscaped areas in many residential areas, between courts or streets, are often seen as a nuisance by park managers. Frequently they are placed on a low maintenance regime. This can lead to litter accumulation, graffiti and other cues to users that the space is not safe. Instead areas identified as strategic connections should be managed as strategic links with appropriate levels of maintenance. Sustainability and resilience are greatly assisted if the parks system has been planned and designed to facilitate optimising supply and demand. Although the innate characteristics of the system are important, the way the system is managed is also makes a key contribution to sustainability. Like all managers, parks managers work within constraints. Frequently the focus is on efficiency to minimise costs while meeting a range of user needs and levels of demands. System or network characteristics have a significant impact on management. The decisions that managers make about

maintenance, renewal, upgrade and usage of parks can optimise the characteristics that make parks more sustainable. The park system and each park, or group of parks, within it will have performance objectives relevant to its management. These objectives apply to services provided and include speed, flexibility, dependability, quality and cost. One or more of these will determine the type of services provided. Not every park is a high quality and high use park, thereby justifying a high expenditure. A suburban botanic garden has quite different needs to a similar-sized park used for general passive recreation activities or nature conservation. In the case of the botanic garden, service will generally need to be high quality and dependable to preserve heritage values. For a general passive recreation park they may need to be low cost and dependable to respond to wear and tear and keep it presentable for use periods. A conservation park could require speed and flexibility in interventions to address threats. These are the main performance objectives and it doesn’t mean that the others are irrelevant; they are just not the main drivers. Often these objectives are not made explicit or the stated objectives are different to the actual objectives evident in management actions. If this is not evident how can we expect the park users to understand what we do and why? The table (TABLE 1) below summarises sample performance objectives for the three park types discussed. Depending on the performance objectives selected for each park or group of parks, a different operations typology will exist. By way of example, there are few botanic gardens and each is unique and valued by individuals and groups within the local and broader community. Most services will be low volume, high variety, have relatively low or predictable variation

TABLE 1 BOTANIC GARDEN

PASSIVE RECREATION PARK

QUALITY COST

CONSERVATION PARK



SPEED FLEXIBILITY DEPENDABILITY

TABLE 2

 

BOTANIC GARDEN

PASSIVE RECREATION PARK

CONSERVATION PARK

VOLUME

Low

High

High

VARIETY

High

Low

Intermediate

VARIATION

Low

Intermediate

Intermediate

CUSTOMER INTERACTION

High

Low

High



 

Note: the double tick indicates the most important objective that is the main driver. 52 AUSTRALASIAN PARKS AND LEISURE | Winter 2015


in levels of demand, and may require high levels of customer interaction. This is an expensive type of service. In comparison, general passive recreation parks are more common, they are all similar and mainly neighbours and users take an interested in them. Most services will be high volume, low variety, have predictable variation in levels of demand, and require less customer interaction in their delivery. This is a lower cost service to provide. Conservation parks tend to fall somewhere in the middle. There can be lots of similarities making services high volume, but the variety and variation in levels of demand is less predictable, and customer interaction may be high if there are strong advocates in the community who need to be engaged. The table (TABLE 2) summarises the operations typology for the three park types. The lowest cost services to deliver are high volume, low variety, low variation and low customer interaction. The highest cost services are the opposite. Making the right choice not only has significant cost implications it also affects the place and its users. Often park managers are trying to standardise services for cost efficiency. Take mowing for example, it is set up as a service to all park types to create high volume, and reduce variety and costs. The work is carried out when park usage is low (i.e. during working hours) to minimise customer interaction. Variation is mainly seasonal and is similar across all parks. Equipment is often high capacity and crews are sized to ensure that handwork and machine work are completed in a similar amount of time. Often this approach creates problems because the performance objective is clearly low cost and dependability. This doesn’t work if the quality of mowing is critical or if speed of response or ability to change the service to accommodate changed site conditions (i.e. users) is important. This is when complaints are received about windrows in formal garden lawns, sports grounds not mown on Friday or user groups displaced by noisy mowing equipment. When park managers deal with the need to be efficient (with resources) and responsive (to the needs of users and the parks themselves), it is known as the efficiency-responsiveness trade-off curve (Simchi-Levi, 2010). For example, users might want toilets in a park to be cleaned in response to demands influenced by weekends, public holidays and fine weather. Services might be scheduled for regular cleaning every day. The flexibility to respond to demands could be costprohibitive. The right place to be on the

curve will depend on the types and levels of demands, the amount of parks and their capacity, and the inherent characteristics of the park or park system. Finding this place is not easy and it will change for different performance objectives. Having predetermined but flexible options for operations will provide the ability to change services without unduly increasing operational and supply chain costs and with little or no delay in response time. One of the key strategies to improve business flexibility lies in understanding and managing the supply chain. This means the steps involved in delivering a service from extraction of raw materials to delivery to the customer or user. Supply chains can be either efficient or responsive. Efficient supply chains are appropriate for services where there is stable and predictable demand that needs to be supplied at the lowest possible cost. A responsive supply chain is better suited to services where there is high variety and you must respond quickly to unpredictable demand. This is a challenge as both economic and personnel resources do not provide the responsiveness demanded. One management response is to develop a ‘push’, ‘pull’ or ‘push/pull’ supply chain strategy (Simchi-Levi, 2010). The supply chain can ‘push’ for low ‘uncertainty’ demand and allow customers to ‘pull’ for high ‘uncertainty’ demand. For example, the push could be planned maintenance activities and the pull could be customer requests. In the correct circumstance demand-driven supply chains maximise productivity, minimise risk, and improve customer service. A ‘push/pull’ supply chain attempts to provide an optimal solution to variable uncertainty with the supply chain pushing for low uncertainty demand (i.e. predictable) and allowing customers to pull high uncertainty demand (i.e. unpredictable). Council direct labour can supply the capacity to meet low uncertainty demands through a level capacity plan and supplementary capacity can be sourced from contractors as required to chase increases in demands. Contractors often have a more flexible workforce; there is less demarcation and they can more easily increase or decrease the size of their workforce. Alternatively, for given circumstances, contractors may be more efficient in organising delivery of low uncertainty services and leave a council to deploy staff for the high uncertainty demand that will have inherent inefficiencies and additional cost but provide timely and flexible response.

CONCLUSION The resilience of parks and park systems to withstand disturbance and continue functioning is becoming more important. Whether it is demographic change, climate variability or resourcing, parks and their managers must be responsive. A number of strategies are available to prepare for change and ensure that parks are more resilient. These strategies are not difficult to operationalise, however, it will require a change of approach by park planners and managers. Planning for sustainability needs to consider today’s requirements as well as those of tomorrow. Multifunctional landscape forms will assist in meeting unforeseeable demands. Planning for connectivity will ensure that the best experience and usage is available throughout the network. For the design of parks to deliver sustainability it is essential that consideration is given to their operation, maintenance, renewal and replacement. It is imperative that parks managers influence organisations to create and promote policies that demand resilience and sustainability of parks. Optimising the supply of parks to meet the various levels and types of demand is a fundamental challenge. Influencing the planning and design of parks so that maintainability is considered will increase sustainability. The use of operations management theory will assist parks managers in making their operations, and therefore their parks, more sustainable and resilient. ■

REFERENCES: Ahern, J. 2011. From fail-safe to safe-to-fail: Sustainability and resilience in the new urban world, Landscape and Urban Planning, 100, 341-343 Simchi-Levi, D. 2010. Operations Rules – delivering customer value through flexible operations. The MIT Press, Massachusetts. Ward Thompson, C. 2002. Urban open space in the 21st century, Landscape and Urban Planning, 60, 59-72. Woodward, J. H. 2008. Envisioning Resilience in Volatile Los Angeles Landscapes, Landscape Journal, 27: 1, 97-113. Stephen Thorpe is the Manager Asset Management and Maintenance, and Shane Walden is the Manager Parks at Wyndham City Council. The authors can be contacted at stephen.thorpe@wyndham.vic.gov.au or shane.walden@wyndham.vic.gov.au

Winter 2015 | AUSTRALASIAN PARKS AND LEISURE 53


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RESEARCH CONNECTIONS TITLE:The Influence of the Internship on Students’ Career Decision Making AUTHORS: Michael Odio, University of Houston, USA Michael Sagas, University of Florida, USA Shannon Kerwin, Brock University, USA ARTICLE ABSTRACT: The internship experience is generally recognised for its educational and careerrelated benefits (Gault, Leach, & Duey, 2010); however, scholars are beginning to question the merit and expected benefits of undergraduate internships in sport management (King, 2009; Schneider & Stier, 2006). Further research has found evidence that the internship experience may negatively influence students’ intent to enter the profession (Cunningham, Sagas, Dixon, Kent, & Turner, 2005). The current study uses a longitudinal approach and qualitative analysis to examine the influence of the internship on students’ career-related decision making. Findings show that the internship plays a major role in shaping students’ career trajectory; however, many students come away more confused about their career path than before their internship. Further findings reveal issues related to intern supervision and the type of learning opportunities available to students. PUBLISHED: Sport Management Education Journal 2014, vol. 8, pp 46-57 To access Journal: http://journals. humankinetics.com/smej-contents Price: US $30.00.

ARTICLE ABSTRACT: Mentoring has typically been studied in business environments, with fewer studies focusing on academic contexts and even fewer in the field of sport management. This study examined the mentoring relationships, and specifically the mentoring functions that occurred among sport management doctoral dissertation advisors (mentors) and their doctoral students (protégés). Semistructured telephone interviews were conducted with 13 individuals. Participants collectively described examples of all of Kram’s (1988) mentoring functions, with coaching, counselling, and exposure and visibility cited most frequently. Fewer instances of protection and direct sponsorship were mentioned, although there was evidence of considerable indirect sponsorship. Protégés provided more examples of role modelling as compared with their mentors, and the entire process of completing a doctoral degree can be viewed as a challenging assignment. A discussion of these findings within the context of the relevant previous academic literature and suggestions for future research are also provided

psychological outcomes using quantitative methods. This research sought to investigate music and exercise using a qualitative approach. Sixteen gym members aged 17–67 were interviewed about their exercise and music use while at the gym. Through thematic analysis, we found three distinct groups of exercisers, ‘Socialisers,’ ‘Workers’ and ‘Groupers,’ who engaged differently with other people and with the gym environment, and showed contrasting use of music while exercising. Socialisers were largely ambivalent towards music for exercise, while Workers displayed sophisticated tailoring of playlists to facilitate increased effort. Groupers used music as a shared reference when exercising with other people. The groups differ in both gym social interaction and gym music use, and further research should explore how life stage and age might be influencing this. In contrast with existing literature, a liking for contemporary styles was found among exercisers in their 40s and 50s. The findings suggest a strong influence from developments in music technology on the use of music in exercise, with important implications for exercise facility managers who wish to make their premises appealing across the lifespan.

PUBLISHED: Sport Management Education Journal, 2014, vol. 8, pp.14-26 To access Journal: http://journals. humankinetics.com/smej-contents Price: US $30.00.

PUBLISHED: Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health 2015, Volume 7, Issue 3, pages 411-427 To access Journal :http://www.psypress. com/journals/details/2159-676X/ Price US $40.00

TITLE: How do gym members engage with music during exercise?

TITLE: Exploring Mentoring Functions within the Sport Management Academy: Perspectives of Mentors and Protégés

AUTHORS: Rachel Halletta & Alexandra Lamonta, Centre for Psychological Research, Research Institute for Social Sciences, Keele University, Newcastle-under-Lyme, UK

AUTHORS: Jacqueline L. Beres and Jess C. Dixon, University of Windsor, USA Address author correspondence to Jess C. Dixon at jdixon@uwindsor.ca

ARTICLE ABSTRACT: Music is widely used to accompany exercise, and research has investigated its effects on a range of physical, physiological and

56 AUSTRALASIAN PARKS AND LEISURE | Winter 2015

TITLE: Do Green Buildings Perform as Designed: A Case Study of the First LEEDNC Gold Certified Building at RIT? AUTHORS: Jeffery Rogers and Sultan Alraddadi, Rochester Institute of Technology, New York, USA ARTICLE ABSTRACT: Numerous buildings that are designed under the USGBC’s LEEDNC certification


framework have been in operation for at least five-years. In order for this building to be continued to be recognized as a green building it must meet the USGB’s LEEDEB re-certification framework. Therefore, it is reasonable facility managers to ask if green buildings are performing as designed. The goal of this case study is to determine if the green technologies and strategies designed within a LEEDNC certified or green building are performing as designed. The objectives of this case study are to assess the operational performance of the green technologies and strategies for: (1) water and (2) energy usages relative to design parameters. The expected outcome of this case study is a methodology for facility managers to assess the operational performance of the green technologies and strategies. The results of this case study were inconclusive regarding the assessment of the levels of performance of the green technologies and strategies for water and energy usages. It was impossible to assess the actual vs. design green water and energy systems performance without adequate metering data representing the outputs from the green technologies and strategies over the five-year operational period. PUBLISHED: International Journal of Facility Management 2014 Vol. 5, Issue 2 To access Journal: http://ijfm.net/index.php/ ijfm/article/view/114/118 Price: free of charge.

TITLE: A narrative investigation into dimensions of experience at an outdoor aquatic facility: a pool is more than a place to swim. AUTHORS: Anderson, A. R; Ramos, W. D; Middlestadt, S. E. Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Michigan State University, USA, California Department of PUBLIC HEALTH, USA ARTICLE ABSTRACT: This study used a site-based qualitative research approach to understand aspects of the experience and satisfaction of current users of an outdoor aquatic facility. These aspects described how users identify the setting and perceive positive consequences of partaking in activity at an outdoor aquatic facility. We conducted in-depth interviews with targeted users and analyzed them using systematic constant comparison analysis consistent with tenants of the grounded theory approach. Results indicated that the

experience of users gathered around five basic categories of experience: (a) weather and natural environment, (b) physical makeup of the facility, (c) activities engaged in while at the facility, (d) management/ administrative issues impacting experience, and (e) community and family. Results also indicated the importance of affective aspects of the facility such as sense of place, family, community, and social interactions. The findings and analyses of these categories can better inform recreational and public health professionals about the needs of various members of their communities in using aquatic facilities; the impact of experiences at aquatic facilities on physical, mental, and social well-being; and overall satisfaction with particular experiences at aquatic facilities. PUBLISHED: International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education 2014 Vol. 8 No. 2 pp. 143-156 To access Journal: http://journals.humankinetics.com/ijarecurrent-is Price: US $32.00

12 from 1990 to 2011 in NJ. A majority (52.2%) of the cases were new onset; 31.8% secondary to an acute exposure incident and 20.4% to repeated exposure. These represented 0.3–1.6% of all confirmed cases of WRA received during these time periods. Maintenance workers (34.9%) and lifeguards (31.8%) were the most common occupations. Conclusions: Swimming pool workers were identified from three states where the pool environment was either a trigger of preexisting asthma or associated with new onset of WRA. Regulations to require air monitoring and improvements in ventilation are recommended to reduce exposure levels of chloramines, the presumed etiologic agents. Clinical assessment of patients with asthma should include consideration of the effect on respiratory symptoms from exposures in a swimming pool environment. ARTICLE WAS PUBLISHED IN: Journal of Asthma February 2015, Vol. 52, No. 1, Pages 52-58 To access Journal: http:// informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/027 70903.2014.950428 Price: US $52.00

TITLE: Swimming facilities and workrelated asthma AUTHORS: Kenneth D. Rosenman, Melissa Millerick-May, Mary Jo Reilly, Jennifer Flattery, Justine Weinberg, Robert Harrison, Margaret Lumia, Alicia C. Stephens, and Marija Borjan Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Michigan State University, USA, Public Health Institute, contractor to California Department of Public Health, USA, and New Jersey Department of Health, USA ARTICLE ABSTRACT: Background: Exposure to chlorinated water in swimming facilities may aggravate preexisting asthma or cause new onset asthma. This may be a particular problem for individuals who work and therefore spend prolonged time at swimming facilities. Chloramines formed by the interaction of chlorine-based disinfection products with the nitrogen in water from human sweat, urine and skin cells are the suspected causal agents. Methods: Cases were reviewed from the state surveillance systems in California (CA), Michigan (MI) and New Jersey (NJ) to identify individuals with confirmed work-related asthma (WRA) attributed to exposures in swimming pools, water parks or hydrotherapy spas. A standardized method was used to confirm cases. Results: A total of 44 confirmed cases of WRA were identified; 17 from 1994 to 2011 in CA, 15 from 1991 to 2012 in MI and

TITLE: Energy performance of aquatic facilities in Victoria, Australia. AUTHOR: Rajagopalan Priyadarsini School of Architecture and Building, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia ARTICLE ABSTRACT: Purpose – This paper investigates the energy performance of aquatic centres in Victoria. Design/methodology/approach – Physical and occupancy characteristics and energy consumption from various centres were analysed to understand the interrelationship between numerous factors that contribute to the energy consumption of these facilities. Findings – The energy usage intensity of the facilities ranged from 632 to 2,247 kWh/m2 or 8 to 17 kWh/visit. Primary and secondary indicators were examined to find the key performance indicators. Research limitations/implications – This study sheds some light into the overall energy performance of aquatic centres in the temperate climate of Australia. More samples need to be collected to perform rigorous statistical analysis leading to a reliable benchmark model. System-wise investigation of energy consumption is required to determine where the energy is being used and the saving potentials of each system.

Winter 2015 | AUSTRALASIAN PARKS AND LEISURE 57


RESEARCH CONNECTIONS CONTINUED... Practical implications – This study has arisen from the need of managers of large aquatic and recreation facilities to benchmark the energy consumption of their own facilities. This study will fill the gap that currently exists in the area of energy rating systems for aquatic centres. Social implications – The results of this study showed that aquatic centres consume around seven times more energy than a commercial office building. Thus, if the energy consumption of aquatic centres could be reduced by as little as only 10 per cent, at least 3.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emission can be reduced. Originality/value – Environmental design standards for aquatic centres have generally been overlooked due to the complex nature of these buildings. As a result, this sector suffers from a general lack of both qualitative and quantitative information and benchmarking. ARTICLE PUBLISHED: Facilities, 2014, Vol. 32 Iss: 9/10, pp.565 - 580 To access article: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/ abs/10.1108/F-02-2013-0015?journalCode=f Price: AU $32.00

TITLE: Exploring the effect of aquatic exercise on behaviour and psychological well-being in people with moderate to severe dementia: A pilot study of the Watermemories Swimming Club AUTHORS: Christine Neville and Tim Henwood, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Queensland, Aust. Elizabeth Beattie and Elaine Fielding, School of Nursing, University of Technology, Queensland, Aust. ARTICLE ABSTRACT: Aim – To explore the effects of a dementia-specific, aquatic exercise intervention on behavioural and psychological symptoms in people with dementia (BPSD). Method – Residents from two aged care facilities in Queensland, Australia, received a 12-week intervention consisting of aquatic exercises for strength, agility, flexibility, balance and relaxation. The Psychological Well-Being in Cognitively Impaired Persons Scale (PW-BCIP) and the Revised Memory and Behaviour Problems

Checklist (RMBPC) were completed by registered nurses at baseline, week 6, week 9 and post intervention. Results – Ten women and one man (median age = 88.4 years, interquartile range = 12.3) participated. Statistically significant declines in the RMBPC and PWBCIP were observed over the study period. Conclusion – Preliminary evidence suggests that a dementia-specific, aquatic exercise intervention reduces BPSD and improves psychological well-being in people with moderate to severe dementia. With further testing, this innovative intervention may prove effective in addressing some of the most challenging aspects of dementia care.

ARTICLE PUBLISHED: Australasian Journal on Ageing, June 2014 Volume 33, Issue 2, pages 124–127. To access article: http://onlinelibrary.wiley. com/doi/10.1111/ajag.12076/abstract;jsessi onid=47035DE5046E2F727AC0384DCE49 DB11.f04t04?deniedAccessCustomisedMe ssage=&userIsAuthenticated=false Rent, or access through Cloud or PDF AU $6.00 to AU $38.00. ■

PLA ADVISORY NEWS WORDS: PENNY DAVIDSON, CHAIR PLA ADVISORY

T

he start of 2015 has been quite busy for PLA Advisory. We have prepared and provided to the PLA National Board a Discussion Paper on endorsements and other partner relationships. The Board is currently considering this document. We have also established a Research Working Group, whose initial priority is to reflect on how effectively PLA provide member access to current research information. In order to provide the National Board with recommendations and ways to improve PLA links to research the group will first liaise and consult with members – through a brief online survey – so if this is an important issue for you please provide some feedback on your experience when this survey comes out. The Research Working Group is comprised of John Wood,

Michelle Prior, Anand Pillay and Penny Davidson. PLA Advisory has also established a Climate Change Working Group. This group is led by Richard O’Byrne; other members are Daniel Bennett, Tim Rowe, Damien VanTrier, Greg Dingle, and Gerry Charlton. The group is yet to meet at the time of writing this update, but there will likely be plenty of opportunities for members to input, at least one of which will be a workshop at the PLA National Conference in Sydney this year. We also need to say thank you and farewell to Donna Ellis and Daniel Miller. We greatly appreciate their preparedness and effort in contributing PLA Advisory activity. We also happily welcome Jeff Dominikovich, Damien VanTrier, Liam Cole, David Cooney, Fiona MacColl, Brad Sutton, Adrian Cope, and Chris Munro to PLA Advisory General. New members

58 AUSTRALASIAN PARKS AND LEISURE | Winter 2015

are always welcome to this larger group; they will receive occasional calls for assistance to write documents, review documents, reflect on issues or join working groups. In March, PLA Advisory put out a call for park managers (in Victoria) who would be interested in their parks being the sites for interviews and data collection for a Deakin research project. PLA Advisory would like to thank the Park Managers who have offered to assist the Deakin research group pursue this project: health benefits and associated economic value of parks and park use in Australia. The project is currently finalising ethics approval, methodology and survey instruments and plans to commence data collection in June. No doubt we will provide more information on this project as it comes to hand. ■


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