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Category: Leisure activities

camping and caravanning; motoring; bushwalking; recreational cycling; horse riding; fishing; boating; adventure recreation; indoor recreation

MidCoast Outdoor Sports Court Strategy

MidCoast Outdoor Sports Court Strategy – Final

The MidCoast Outdoor Sports Court Strategy 2023 – 2035 is a critical supporting document to the
MidCoast Open Space and Recreation Strategy 2023 – 2035 (OSRS). The OSRS sets out the vision,
guiding principles and aspirations for our public open space, how we use it and how we care for it. This
Court Strategy is an asset specific planning document focused on one of the components of our public
open space, outdoor sports courts.

One of the eight guiding principles we have adopted in the OSRS is use knowledge and evidence based
management.

Therefore, the Outdoor Sports Court Strategy has been developed based on a foundation of evidence,
and every recommendation contained within the Action Plan is then based on that evidence. This
approach will ensure that in the future every sports court that we have will be where it needs to be and
provide value based on evidence.

The Strategy highlights that sports courts are provided for several different sports, namely; tennis,
croquet, netball, basketball, and emerging sports such as pickleball. Some of these sports have a rich
history in Australia and our region. Sports such as tennis and croquet were introduced in the 1800’s and
many courts were built. You can still see them in our small villages, such as Krimbiki and Killabakh.
These facilities were the centre of each community, with picnics and dances being held at the
community halls often built right next to the tennis or croquet court. People would travel for many miles
to attend these events. There is a legacy with these facilities and the Strategy respects this. The
Strategy also looks at more modern sports such as netball and basketball, and most recently pickleball.

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

Managing the Planning & Provision of Leisure and Recreation Opportunities in Australia

The attached file is the 2016 6th edition of Dr Ken Marriott’s leisure planning book, Managing the Planning and Provision of Leisure and Recreation Opportunities in Australia.  This was initially published by the Tasmanian Government in 2010. Dr Marriott advises: “I have full permission to use it and amend it from the Tasmanian Government.  It was commissioned by Sport and Recreation Tas as the course text for a VET diploma course I developed for them, Diploma of Management (Recreation Planning). Over 3-4 full courses between 2008-16, it was attended by around 50 mature-age students from Tasmania, Victoria, NSW and SA between 2008 and 2016.  As you will see from the title page, the book also became the course text for a 2nd/3rd year recreation planning and policy course that I ran for many years as a sessional lecturer at Victoria University.

“The 2016 book forms the basis of my 2021 book with Tower and McDonald (Routledge UK). For Australian users, it is a far better book than the 2021 UK  publication as it has a solely Australian focus and much of the very specific case material had to be deleted for the UK publication.”

Summary

Supporting materials for recreation studies at undergraduate years 2 and 3 levels.

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

WARNING

To come

Review Status: Pending

Leisure management and the World Leisure Organisation

Leisure management is the means by which organisations manipulate their resources to deliver leisure programs, facilities and services to stakeholders and the general community. The programs, facilities and services fall within the range of leisure, recreation, sport, tourism and the events industry within the mixed economy of leisure provided by government, non-profit, commercial organisations and households. A particular characteristic of the mixed economy of leisure is the capacity for government, non-profit and commercial organisations to collaborate in program, facility and service delivery.

 

World Leisure Organisation

The World Leisure Organisation (WLO) is an international body parallel in scope to World Urban Parks, one focused on activities, the other on places. WLO’s Leisure Management Special Interest Group, co-chaired by Dr John Tower of Victoria University and Dr Jo An Zimmemann-Somoza, has a wealth of information relevant to Australasian leisure managers. The information included leisure management webinars and regular news items.

 


 

Review Status: Pending

Budding playwrights note: Script review service

For budding and experienced writers, the Victorian Drama League (VDL – https://vdl.org.au/) offers a service of reviewing and critiquing original scripts by local and Australian playwrights. Original scripts can be submitted for review by a playreading committee with feedback provided to the playwright.

There is a small charge of $30 (members) or $40 (non-members) for this service.

Please read the Guidelines for Script Critique and Script Format Guide before submitting a Script Critique Enquiry via the VDL website.

 

 

The VDL LIBRARY
(03) 9663 4222 – office@vdl.org.au.
Ist Floor Ross House, 247 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 10am-3pm. Please phone or email ahead to make an appointment.

Limited shelf space means the VDL library can no longer accept hard copies of local playwrights’ work. However, if deemed suitable, the script can be added to our online script catalogue along with contact details for prospective readers and companies.

Review Status: Pending

Hobbies and leisure pursuits accommodated in Australian parks – 1994 view

This narrative has been edited from a draft written for an international audience in October 1994 by Peter Nicholls, Trustee of the AIPR Trust Fund-Education. The term “parks” refers to both urban and non-urban parks.

Background

Australia is approximately the same size as the United States of America but has a population of only around 17 million people. Yet it is one of the world’s most urbanised communities, with the large majority of its peoples living on the east coast and approximately half of the population living in just two cities – Sydney and Melbourne. Also, it has been traditional for the typical Australian family to live in a bungalow style of home with a front and back area of private open space. It is however increasingly common for people to prefer high density or medium density housing.

Australians have an image of being sun-bronzed and weathered people who prefer the ‘great outdoors’. The impression that kangaroos and koalas are commonplace sights in metropolitan areas of Australia is still widely held among people of the northern hemisphere. While it may be a fact that Australians are, in reality, highly urbanised and as highly diverse in their interests as the people of other nations, they do have an innate affiliation with the countryside. But it is a harsh and often unforgiving countryside (known to Australians as ‘the bush’ or the more remote areas ‘the outback’). Yet it is a countryside of unimaginable beauty, which draws people from all walks of life, Australians and overseas visitors alike.

These facts are important background knowledge to understand the Australian culture in relation to its use of parks for recreation and leisure pursuits.

Urban parks

The earliest settlers in Australia (after arrival of Indigenous peoples perhaps 60,000 years ago) were from Britain and Europe. They found great difficulty in coming to terms with the fact of Australia’s general dry and harsh climate. This difficulty was reflected in the fact that the settlers preferred to create something of the soft lush greenery of their homelands in their development of gardens and local public open space. The typical urban park has therefore traditionally been designed along the lines of the English or European park, with large areas of manicured turf, bordered by trees and flower beds. The American parks specialist, Seymour Gold, on a trip to one of Australia’s more congenial cities, Adelaide, was heard to remark that it was the ‘mowing capital of the world’.

Whereas the main uses of the traditional ‘English-style’ park have been sitting and contemplation, the more modern park better reflects the Australian culture both in its design and its usage. Australians are now coming to recognise their country for its own special form of beauty. This is increasingly evident in parks design with greater use of brown areas, drought resistant turfs and native flora.

The ways in which urban parks are used have diversified in parallel with a growing Australian appreciation of the wide range of available recreation opportunities. Organisations such as Life. Be In It (a highly successful Australia-wide program aimed at promoting the benefits of fitness and increased activity through a ‘soft sell’ approach) has done much to bring people out to their parks for unstructured family activities such as kite flying, ball games, walking, cycling, jogging and swimming. In particular, the phenomenon of seeing hundreds of people participating in ‘Life Games’ did much to give people a new appreciation of the joys of visiting their local park.

The use of parks for public festivals has also grown in popularity. Ethnic festivals, food and drink festivals, Australian adaptations of European festivals such as the German Scheutzenfest in Adelaide, open air orchestral concerts, Christmas Carols by Candlelight evenings and free public rock music concerts are just a few examples of how urban parks are being used throughout Australia.

A modern trend in park design has been the development of linear parks. These generally follow natural corridors such as rivers or creeks, or where the opportunity arises, disused railway reserves. Linear parks suit modern leisure trends in which people look to walking, cycling, jogging, roller skating and the like as enjoyable forms of activity. Linear parks provide a means of getting from one place to another, variety in surroundings and, where they follow a natural corridor, they stimulate the modern interest in understanding and enhancing the natural environment.

Linear parks are succeeding in bringing Australians out of their houses and private gardens and encouraging them to better know and understand their neighbourhood. Creeks are again becoming status symbols instead of eyesores to be concreted and filled. Bird watching and fishing along local waterways is an emerging neighbourhood activity. Indeed it is true to say that linear parks are proving to be valuable media for community development as people who are out walking seem far more inclined to say ‘hullo’ to each other.

Regrettably, modern trends are also resulting in an increasing public perception of urban parks as being places of danger because of a perceived increase in anti-social activities taking place in parks. Public toilets in parks are avoided (and often closed) for fear of confronting antisocial activities. Fear of muggings, stabbings or bashings, excessive drinking and drug-taking are other negative reputations of urban parks which cause the general population to avoid them, particularly after dark. There is general agreement among parks managers that these fears are more a matter of perception than fact but the impact on usage is strong.

Non-urban parks

Non-urban parks are managed by a variety of agencies, most of which are in the public sector. They include the national parks and wildlife service, woods and forests agencies, water management agencies, coastal management agencies, local councils and agencies generally responsible for unallotted public lands (known as Crown land). There are also large tracts of public land – usually in the more remote regions – leased for private farming and pastoralism but still sometimes open to public access, subject to conditions. (Conditions differ between the various state-based regimes).

Most Australians have a yearning to get away from the pressures of the city life from time to time and enjoy the attractions of the Australian countryside. These getaways vary in length and intensity from the popular family drive in the car and picnic in the nearby countryside to longer and more hazardous treks into the outback.

The distances that people travel into the countryside varies but is mostly limited to the need to be home before dark. Throughout hinterlands within 1-3 hours driving time of metropolitan areas, picnic areas are abundant. One study of visitor patterns at a popular rural picnic area showed that people tended to arrive from about 11 am and the area was constantly busy until about 3 pm. By 3.30 pm the area was all but deserted.

A characteristic of Australians is that, while they enjoy the sensation of ‘roughing it in the bush’ they prefer to do so within sight of the family car. Thus problems arise in creating the illusion of a rough bush setting while providing nearby car parking. This conflict also increases environmental damage as recreationists strive to enjoy the comforts of the car with a rustic experience.

The recreation opportunities sought by the ‘day tripper’ are many and varied with the most popular being simply to drive for pleasure, using picnic areas to stop for lunch and to allow the family to get some fresh air and exercise. Short walking trails (up to an hour’s duration) are popular and opportunities to see native wildlife in safe surroundings are a strong attraction. The ubiquitous shop selling ice cream and confectionery is further evidence of the popularity of parks which combine an outdoors experience with the comforts of home.

Parks near metropolitan areas often provide a range of urban recreation facilities such as tennis courts, playground equipment, barbecues, shelter sheds, sporting ovals and seating. There is an increasing tendency to charge an entry fee into these areas – a practice which is better accepted by the public if they believe that the money collected is being put directly back into the development of that area rather than into a general revenue fund.

Travel to a rural site where it is necessary to stay overnight or longer is also highly popular. Traditionally, Australian park management agencies have provided somewhat crude camping facilities in the belief that this is what the typical Australian camper is seeking. Agencies are now beginning to acknowledge a huge and growing market for rural experiences in good quality camping and caravanning sites and that users are prepared to pay for quality.

In more remote parks, the public seeks natural recreation experiences such as bushwalking, fishing, boating, sightseeing, bird watching, camping, viewing wildlife, nature studies and photography or painting. There is also a high demand for activities which are, to a greater or lesser degree, incompatible with the natural environment. These include trail horse-riding, car rallies, trailbike riding, power boating and offroad vehicle activities.

These latter activities highlight the fact that while the Australian countryside has a rugged image that people from other countries often perceive as being harsh and unforgiving, some natural landscapes such as water frontages are quite fragile. Funding adequate to allow park managers to control (as unobtrusively as possible and notably through park design) for recreational and leisure use is essential.

National parks are of course intended to preserve and enhance the worthier natural areas of a country and are therefore highly appropriate destinations for the growing world demands for eco-tourism opportunities. In fact by world standards Australia is slow to capture its rightful share of the ecotourism market. Some specific localities are capturing the interest of overseas visitors, such as the Great Barrier Reef off the north Queensland coast and Ayers Rock (Uluru National Park) in Central Australia. Kakadu National Park of Crocodile Dundee fame is another area gaining overseas popularity. However the potential of so many other magnificent areas of Australia’s unique natural environment are still Australia’s best kept secrets in the world ecotourism market.

Conclusion

Parks – urban and non-urban – symbolise the Australian love of the outdoors. To date they have been developed in ways that have tended to reflect the perceived traditional purpose of parks as places to look at and meditate in. It is pleasing to see that modern parks managers are becoming increasingly aware of the fact that there is a huge untapped potential to develop ‘people purpose parks’ which not only cater for outdoor recreation needs but truly reflect Australian cultural values and leisure demands.

Review Status: Pending

Green Flag Awards and National Park Cities

The Green Flag Award Scheme

Parks and open spaces are at the heart of communities. The Green Flag Award Scheme is an accreditation given to publicly accessible parks and open spaces, that seeks to promote standards of good management and best practice among the green space sectors. In 1997, when the first Green Flag was awarded, the green space sector in the United Kingdom was in a parlous state.  Decades of underfunding had left many once proud and beautiful historic city-centre parks derelict, dangerous, no-go areas, and many other green spaces were neglected or barely maintained.  Experts with a shared interest in promoting natural spaces from a range of backgrounds came together in response to this decline.

Today, the Green Flag Award is managed under licence from the UK Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government by ‘Keep Britain Tidy’; a not-for-profit environmental charity which also administers the scheme in England.  Keep Britain Tidy also sub-licenses the scheme in other countries. The Green Flag Award Scheme recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for management of recreational outdoor spaces across the United Kingdom and around the world. As highlighted in the report, Celebrating Amazing Spaces (2016), the scheme has delivered change not only in the green spaces sector, but also for university campuses, cemeteries and crematoria, housing associations, hospitals and canals and waterways. A report by the Heritage Lottery Fund (2016), titled State of UK’s Public Parks, indicates that 34 million people visit a park regularly in the UK. To put this into context, more people visited a park each year than voted in the 2015 UK general election.

Each year parks, reserves and green spaces are nominated for the Green Flag Award. To be a successful Green Flag Award winner, industry experts assess the nominated parks against 27 different criteria divided into eight sections. This includes a ‘welcoming place’, ‘healthy, safe and secure’, ‘well maintained and clean’, ‘environmental management’, ‘biodiversity, landscape and heritage’, ‘community involvement, ‘marketing and communication’ and finally, ‘overall management’.

Green Flag Awards Australia

On 24 November 2021, the Australian 2021 award recipients at the Parks and Leisure Australia Awards of Excellence were announced. Across Australia, City Parklands (Qld) (Roma Street and South Bank Parklands), Western Down Regional Council (Qld), Queanbeyan Palerang Regional Council (NSW) (Queanbeyan and Queen Elizabeth II Park), City of Greater Bendigo (Vic) and City of Campbelltown (SA) were recognised as nation-leading examples of the eight criterion sections of the Green Flag Award. Winning a Green Flag Award brings with it a wealth of benefits, from the status of being affiliated with a prestigious awards programme through to tangible benefits such as boosting tourism and creating revenue opportunities. Upgrading a site to achieve Green Flag status can, for example, bring about improvements to health and education, reduce crime and improve the general cleanliness of an area, whilst at the same time providing a boost to its profile. Additionally, improving facilities at a park/green space and engaging more with the local community can have a knock-on effect to the regeneration of an area.

Movements like the Green Flag Award are needed if parks and open spaces are to raise the standard of achievement for the environment and well-being of communities.

National Park Cities

The Green Flag Award Scheme has led to other movements such as the National Park City Foundation, which was established as a registered charity in the UK to promote the idea of bringing ‘National Park Cities’ to life in London and internationally. According to the United Nations, two-thirds of people will live in urban areas by 2050. With 70% of the global population predicted to be living in cities by 2050, the need to have wildlife, nature and biodiversity in our cities has never been more crucial for our well-being and existence. The ambition by the international NGO World Urban Parks to establish 25 National Park Cities by 2025 worldwide is testament to this. In fact, Adelaide has already risen to the challenge.

In December 2021, a formal announcement was made by the  global National Park City Foundation that Adelaide had been named the world’s second National Park City, enhancing the city’s reputation as the most liveable in Australia. The South Australian Minister for Environment and Water remarked that, Adelaide National Park City status isn’t just another title for our city, it is a trigger to promote and connect people with on-ground action to look after our environment for everyone’s health and wellbeing, as well as boost our economy through increased tourism.”

(The title National Park City reflects the distinctive UK meaning of the term National Park which encompasses private land, unlike Australian usage which has traditionally been confined to public land. The UK national park is analogous to a zone within an Australian planning scheme).

The legacy of the Green Flag Award scheme has also sparked the establishment of the ‘Green Flag Award Knowledge Day’ as part of the World Parks Congress which took place in December 2021. The international online event was organised by World Urban Parks and hosted virtually by several major cities: Los Angeles (USA), San Pedro (Mexico) and Sydney (Australia). The Congress brought together city and community leaders, park professionals, partners, affiliates and engaged citizens under the shared goal of advancing parks through intentional successful strategies.

Review Status: Pending

Tread Lightly!

Tread Lightly! (Australia) was a community organisation established to promote responsible use of outdoor recreation sites by users. Queensland public servant Neil Ames has assembled this narrative, based upon recollections of the late John Wood, who was president for 10 years.

The model came from the United States where Tread Lightly (US) is still very alive and functional: see https://www.treadlightly.org/. Its mission has been “Promoting responsible recreation through stewardship, education and communication. Plus, we get out there and live it.” Tread Lightly (US) originated from the US Forest Service which wanted to partner with recreational users of forests to minimise recreation-related impacts resulting from all types of outdoor activities including off-road vehicles (mountain biking, bushwalking, camping, fishing, hunting etc).

Jan and Ivan Scudamore introduced the program into Australia in the early 1990s. Jan was Executive Officer of Tread Lightly (Australia) from its inception and the driving force. Tread Lightly (Australia) had a board and three chairmen over the ~10 years of operation, namely Brian Woodward, Rob Seymore and John Wood. Jan was also a board member of Tread Lightly (USA) and acquired a quantity of educational, training, promotional, research, management and operational material from the US Forest Service and the Off Highway Vehicle Association of USA.

Eventually it was decided to close Tread Lightly (Australia) down due to lack of financial support.

After an interregnum in the offices of Sport and Recreation Queensland based in Toowoomba, the collection of physical resources was secured by PaRC and many items scanned. The materials are not saved in a single digital location in the library, as the library is based on a keyword search engine, but the items that are not copyright are now accessible to all.

Review Status: Pending