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Author Archives: ParksRecreationCollection

Little Desert including the National Park

The Little Desert in western Victoria, lying south of the Western Highway that links Melbourne and Adelaide, was the subject of an intensive grassroots-led lobbying campaign in the late 1960s against a proposal to clear its native bushland for agriculture. A browse through newspaper archives of the period surprise one even now at the breadth and depth of the opposition to the government’s plans.


Kaniva Flower Show 1973 – flyer.

Various leaflets by the National Parks Service – birds, the Mallee-Fowl, tourist guides.

Review Status: Pending

Diploma of Management (Recreation Planning) (VET, 2008-2016)

Lecturer and consultant Dr Ken Marriott of Victoria has generously allowed PaRC to reproduce materials from his VET courses. (It is titled “Package 2”. Package 1 is indexed under “Project briefs” as it serves a guide to local governments on managing facilities).

Introduction to a VET course for a Diploma in Management (Recreation Planning) run from 2008-2016. Read this first. It explains the status of the materials.

Core 1 BISBINM501A Manage Information Systems

Core 2 BSBFIM501A Manage Budgets

Core 3 BSBMGT515A Manage Operational Plans

Core 4 BSBPMG510A Manage Projects

Core 5 BSBWOR502A Ensure Team Effectiveness

Elective 1 BSBMGT616A Develop and Implement Strategic Plans

Elective 2 BSBMKG408 Conduct Market Research

Elective 3 BSBMGT502A Manage People Performance

Review Status:

Open Gardens Scheme

In 2014 Open Gardens Australia announced that it would cease to operate the national scheme after June 2015. This leaflet explains its operations. The Wikipedia entry explains its history and related organisations.

Open Gardens SA was incorporated in December 2014 to continue the Open Garden Scheme in South Australia and Open Gardens Victoria was launched in 2015, as volunteer-run, not-for-profit organisations that assist garden owners to open their private gardens to the public and also organise gardening and horticultural themed events.



Review Status: Pending

Jenny Veitch, Physical activity and nutrition

Jenny Veitch. Deakin profile photos August 9 2022

Jenny Veitch is an Associate Professor in the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), at Deakin University, Australia.

Her research aims to better understand the impact of the built and natural environment on physical activity and health-related behaviours. A/Prof Veitch has a particular research focus on understanding how the design of parks and public open spaces can optimise physical activity and social interaction among children, adolescents, adults and older adults. Since the award of her PhD in 2008, she has attracted >$3.8M in competitive research funds, including three consecutive nationally competitive externally funded research-fellowships, providing support for her program of research for 13 years (2009-2021). As at September 2023 she is Chair, Faculty of Health, Human Ethics Advisory Group, Low Risk Ethics Committee HEAG-H, Academic lead of IPAN’s Stakeholder Engagement Committee and Co-Chair, of the World Urban Parks’ Children, Play and Nature Committee. She has authored >114 publications (33% lead author, 31% senior author), two book chapters and 19 reports for government/NGOs. Over 42% of her publications are with international co-authors. Her research has been cited by researchers in >109 countries and in 60 policy/guideline documents across nine countries.

Ten recent publications:
  1. Veitch J, Timperio A, Salmon J, Hall SJ, Abbott G, Flowers E, Turner AI. Examination of the acute heart rate and salivary cortisol response to a single bout of walking in urban and green environments. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, 74:127660.
  2. Veitch J, Biggs N, Deforche, Timperio A. Exploring important park features for active and social park use among adults: a qualitative study using walk-along interviews. Health and Place, BMC Public Health, 22:753.
  3. Veitch J, Ball K, Rivera R, Loh V, Deforche B, Timperio A. (2021) Understanding children’s preference for park features that encourage physical activity: An adaptive choice based conjoint analysis. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 18:133.
  4. Veitch J, Ball K, Rivera E, Loh V, Deforche B, Best K, Timperio (2021) What entices older adults to parks? Identification of park features that encourage park visitation, physical activity, and social interaction. Landscape and Urban Planning, 217, 104254.
  5. Veitch J, Salmon J, Abbott G, Timperio A, Sahlqvist S. (2021) Understanding the impact of the installation of outdoor fitness equipment and a multi-sports court on park visitation and park-based physical activity: a natural experiment. Health and Place, 71.
  6. Veitch J, Rodwell L, Abbott G , Carver A, Flowers E, Crawford (2021) Are park availability and satisfaction with neighbourhood parks associated with physical activity and time spent outdoors? BMC Public Health, 21,306.
  7.  Veitch J, Ball K, Flowers E, Deforche B, Timperio A. (2021) Children’s ratings of park features that encourage park visitation, physical activity and social interaction. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, 58,126963
  8. Veitch J, Elliott F, Ball K, Deforche B, Timperio (2020) Exploring children’s views on important park features: a qualitative study using walk-along interviews. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 7, 4625
  9. Veitch J, Flowers E, Ball K, Deforche B, Timperio A. (2020) Designing parks for older adults: A qualitative study using walk-along interviews. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, 54, 126768 org/10.1016/j.ufug.2020.126768
  10. Veitch J, Denniss E, Ball K, Koorts H, Deforche B, Timperio (2020) Increasing translation of research evidence for optimal park design: A qualitative study with stakeholders. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 17. 49
Recent projects

Optimising park features for all ages

This video outlines the research findings of A/Prof Jenny Veitch and team about the most valued park features in different age groups.

Click to play video – 3.46 MIN


REVAMP study

The Recording and Evaluating Activity in a Modified Park (REVAMP) study was a natural experiment that examined the impact of the installation of a play-scape on park visitation and park-based physical activity compared with a control park.

Click to play video – 2:23 MIN

Summary report – PDF, 1 MB

Infographic – PDF, 333 KB



This three-year project (2017-2020) identified the relative importance of park features that attract children (8-12 years), teens (13-18 years) and older adults (65+ years) to visit parks, and to be active and social during their time in the park.

Summary report – PDF, 616 KB

Infographic – Older adults – PDF, 128 KB

Infographic – Teens – PDF, 129 KB

Infographic – Children – PDF, 128 KB


Parks for heart health

This project is supported by an Australian National Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellowship.

Infographic: Important park features for adults 19-64 years – PDF, 168 KB

Review Status: Pending

Ranger careers

This short summary of the attributes sought of park rangers is orientated towards those considering a career as a ranger. It was authored by park ranger Patrick Fricker of Yarra Valley Metropolitan Park, Melbourne, at the time Manager Environment and Tourism, Yarra Area Parks. The two pages of handwritten notes are in his writing but the editorial annotations are in the handwriting of Trevor Arthur.


Appended are several pages with a syllabus for an Advanced Certificate and Associate Diploma, but their provenance and relationship to Mr Fricker’s notes are unclear.


Review Status:

John Senior: Healthy parks make healthy people

Text to come


We owe to Carolyn Rance this article dated 5 August 2014 as a profile of John Senior, who as Network Coordinator has been instrumental in populating PaRC’s Document Library in the early days of its establishment, drawing upon his excellent network of contacts within the parks and recreation sector.


“For someone who is semi-retired, John Senior is a very busy man who is happy to still be involved in work he loves.

The former manager of strategic partnerships at Parks Victoria continues to help build international networks of parks and recreation professionals and spread the message that access to open space is vital to people’s health. He spoke on both topics at the Parks and Leisure Australia national conference in Cairns in August 2014.

John Senior started working life as a civil engineer and worked with the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW). In the lead-up to Australia’s Bicentenary celebrations in 1988 he managed the project that led to re-vegetation and development of trails along many of Melbourne’s waterways.

Following the later restructure of the MMBW he joined Melbourne Parks and Waterways, which became the foundation of Parks Victoria. ‘‘I became more and more involved with parks and recreation although it wasn’t my basic training,’’ he says.

A chance meeting with Dr George Peterson, then a senior scientist with the United States Forest Service, introduced him to a growing body of research showing that contact with nature offers broad-ranging benefits to physical and mental health. John invited Peterson to visit his workplace and Parks Victoria later commissioned Deakin University’s Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences to undertake a review of international literature on the topic.

‘‘It showed that apart from the fairly obvious physical benefits from exercise in parks, it fosters psychological well-being and reduces stress,” John says. “Time spent in open spaces, whether they are urban parks or wilderness, yields both preventive and remedial benefits.’’ As global interest in the link between parks and health continued to grow, he was put in charge of arranging Parks Victoria’s inaugural International Healthy Parks Healthy People Congress in 2010.

By then he was 70 years of age and, although still working professionally part-time, had accumulated a significant portfolio of voluntary work. He has a long-standing involvement with Parks and Leisure Australia and mentors younger parks professionals through Leadership Victoria.

Internationally he leads a taskforce that aims to expand and revitalise the International Federation of Park and Recreation Administration (IFPRA), a world urban parks organisation dedicated to city liveability and a sustainable environment through parks, open space and recreation.

Since retiring from Parks Victoria two years ago he has added consultancy to his activities. He is project managing the production of best practice guidelines for programs based on the Healthy Parks, Healthy People model for the International Union for Conservation of Nature, an organisation dedicated to finding pragmatic solutions to the world’s pressing environment and development challenges.

John says that as well as benefiting park users, programs that raise awareness of the social and health benefits of park use boost recognition of parks agencies and their employees as providers of valuable social services.

Stronger links between the people who operate the world’s parks and protected areas help promote best practice worldwide and assist professionals develop operational skills in management and advocacy. ‘I want to pass on my knowledge and I’m passionate about helping people recognise the health benefits offered by parks,’ he says.”

John Senior has authored three narratives “Green space and public health” on this website – to access, type those keywords into the search box.

Review Status:

Ranger Uniforms and Emblems

In the early 1970s, mission brown and yellow were the colours chosen for signs and other labelling by the National Parks Service in Victoria. This revealed some USA influence. A decision was taken in the early 1970s to shift to olive green and cream. Notes of a Rangers’ Training Course held at Kiata in the Little Desert in 1973 indicate that a green uniform was modelled.

Uniform emblems from Victoria 1961-75 and Queensland 1978.


Ron Turner, Ranger in both Victoria and from 1978 Queensland (see his memoir First Ranger in the Document Library), writing for PaRC in 2023, has supplied the following recollection:

“When I joined the National Parks Authority in 1961 rangers were issued with clothing made by the Cushen Clothing Company of Melbourne. Shirts and a dress jacket carried a shoulder patch on each side. The jacket was never popular with rangers who often commented on its inadequacy. Issued clothing included both dress and working shirts with a brown tie, and both long trousers and shorts. Wet weather clothing, and a rubber-soled golf shoe and/or riding boot were supplied on an annual request basis. Complementing the uniform was a scout commissioner’s type of hat. The only good thing about this hat was the shade afforded but it was so stiff it could only be worn quite flat. There was no tilting it or pulling it down to reflect personality; it was an awful thing to wear. To make the point at one stage one of the country rangers pulled it down onto the Director’s head!


“Having been superseded more than 40 years ago, these uniforms would now be collectors’ items.


“The Victorian rangers had formed a Victorian National Parks Rangers’ Association of which I was the Secretary. The issue of a better uniform was often to the forefront of our discussions and we were modestly active in evaluating styles of clothing and colours, even viewing uniforms as made by various manufacturers. We had also opted to have the Wedge-tailed Eagle as an emblem for shoulder patches, etc.

“I had been to the first ever NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service conference held at Royal National Park, Sydney, in 1967, and been very impressed with the style and colour of their brand new uniform with its lyrebird insignia.

“Dr. L.H.Smith, the then Director of the renamed National Parks Service diplomatically led with his concept of having the kangaroo as the official emblem. The rangers, as a group, felt the kangaroo was already vastly ‘overdone’ on commercial logos and ‘Skippy the Bush Kangaroo’ had not long been released on television. Our efforts were not entirely in vain for I was asked if I would ‘model’ a uniform as proposed by the National Parks Service at our forthcoming annual training course. In due course my measurements were taken at the Commonwealth Government Clothing Factory. In 1973 the training course was held in the controversial Little Desert National Park area and I fronted the conference in this new uniform, complete with a softer, more appropriate hat.

“As far as I was aware the above uniform was the only one of its kind ever made and those six metal buttons must now be ‘scarcer than hen’s teeth’!”


A 1996 sign manual for Queensland‘s Department of Natural Resources (forestry and forests recreation) will be made available in PaRC as soon as scanning is complete.



Review Status: Pending

Greening Port Moresby – Book

In 1989, the National Capital District Interim Commission, the provincial government for the capital city of Papua New Guinea, published a guide to gardening in the city, compiled by the Manager, Parks, Gardens and Sports with the assistance of many staff and other contributors.

The book has parallel texts in English, Tok Pisin (Melanesian Pidgin) and Papuan Motu.

The book has been scanned to make it available to a wide audience. Given the size of the files, the book has been split into sections. But before opening or downloading the book, please read the warning at the foot of this post.

Front cover, inside cover, frontispiece, inside back cover, back cover (15MB)

Pages 1-68 (44MB)

Colour photos in centre

Pages 93-160


To come

Review Status: Pending