Back to Top

Category: Narratives

Textual narratives explaining key concepts and specific subjects. Cascading from general to specific, eventually they will include variously concept summaries, subject summaries and geographic summaries.

Greening Port Moresby certificate

In the late 1980s an initiative called “Greening Port Moresby” was run by the National Capital Interim District Commission, the provincial government for the capital city of Papua New Guinea. It was run by the Parks, Gardens and Sports Branch. Certificates were printed with the intention of enrolling members of the public, to increase their awareness of the need to plant trees and flowers, reduce rubbish and minimise burning of the grasslands around the city. No register was kept and the initiative did not gain much traction.



Review Status: Pending

Development of a Melanesian Port-City – 1989

This conference paper was delivered by Mr Jack Kutal, a Commissioner of Port Moresby’s National Capital District Interim Commission, to a international conference in May 1989. Although the headline subject is somewhat outside the scope of PaRC, the paper does contain useful insights into city design and also into some differences between European culture and Melanesian culture.

NCDIC was the provincial government for the capital of Papua New Guinea.



Review Status: Pending

Leisure planning and climate change – Invitation to share knowledge

Prominent consultant Dr Ken Marriott delivered an important paper to the Victoria/Tasmania Regional Conference of Parks and Leisure Australia in June 2023. It presents climate change as a here-and-now challenge to local governments and others providing leisure facilities. The paper has been uploaded to the PaRC Document Library along with accompanying slides.

Discussion of and responses to any of the issues and recommendations presented in this paper are invited. Similarly, anyone wishing to join a “working group” on the issues is invited to make contact. The author’s contact details are provided at the end of the paper.

Review Status: Pending

Australian Heritage Parks Association

The Australian Heritage Parks Association was a national group representing the owners and managers of theme parks with a heritage theme. Members as at 1986 are listed in the 1986 Conference program.

PaRC has not been able to contact the former office-bearers. The group’s company registration was terminated in 2008. Any former office-bearer or member representative is invited to improve this stub of a narrative.

6th Biennial Conference – Echuca

PaRC has uncovered some papers from its 6th Biennial Conference, held at Echuca, Victoria in 1986, including a list of attendees.

Reference in the National Library of Australia catalogue.

Funding the Dream by keynote Crawford Lincoln

Preserving Technologies by T.J. Hobson

Historic Buildings and the Heritage Park by Allan Willingham

Knowing Your Visitor: A Survey of Visitor Types by Philip Pearce

Management Structures and Systems for Resolving Conflict by Paul Power.



Review Status: Pending

Healthy Spaces and Places

Healthy Spaces and Places is a web-based national guide for planning, designing and creating sustainable communities that encourage healthy living.

Foremost it is for planners, as they can help tackle some of Australia’s major preventable health issues by planning places where it is easier and more desirable for more Australians to be active – walking, cycling and using public transport – every day.

But it’s also for everyone who can make a difference to the overall health and well-being of Australians – design professionals, health professionals, the property development industry, governments and the community.

Healthy Spaces and Places supports and complements planning and design initiatives throughout Australia.  It is a single source of easy-to-find, practical information from experts in health, planning, urban design, community safety and transport planning.

This website includes:

Planning for healthier outcomes can be applied to all parts of Australia. It is just as applicable in metropolitan areas as it is in regional cities, towns, villages and remote communities.

For an overview, download Healthy Spaces and Places: a national guide to designing places for healthy living.

The material provided within Healthy Spaces and Places focuses on how to create environments that support physical activity but does not provide in-depth information on nutrition, food security and noise and air pollution.

Healthy Spaces and Places website re-established on PaRC

The Healthy Spaces and Places website is re-established here. The material was previously hosted on a dedicated website, but this has since closed down. (It was however snapshotted by the National Library in 2011).

Note 1: References in the website to Adobe Flash Player are obsolete as this program has been withdrawn by Adobe. Please replace with your own image viewer.

Note 2: The Healthy Places website is a stand-alone module and not merged into the Narratives webcode. Consequently the standard search function on the website does not search these pages.

National Heart Foundation (Tasmania) proposal for a State Planning Policy on Healthy Spaces 2019

The report Support for a State Policy for Healthy Spaces and Places outlines a justification for an SPP in the Tasmanian statutory framework.



This resource was developed by a collaborative team comprising the Australian Local Government Association, the National Heart Foundation of Australia and the Planning Institute of Australia and funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. For more information about the people involved in the project please see Acknowledgements.

For an explanatory article written at the time, see Anne Moroney (2009). “Healthy spaces and places: A national guide to designing places for active living”. Australian Planner, 46:2, 11-15, DOI: 10.1080/07293682.2009.9995303

Material provided on this website can be used freely but please acknowledge Healthy Spaces and Places as the source.

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

Westgate Park, Melbourne

The following account of this modern park is adapted from a Victorian Government website:

Oscar Meyer, chair of the West Gate Bridge Authority, is credited with the inspiration for the establishment of Westgate Park. He wanted to create “a beautiful park straddling the Yarra River to complement his sculptural bridge”. He developed this vision soon after the completion of the bridge in the late 1970s. The federal Government funded the development of Westgate Park to mark Victoria’s sesquicentenary in 1984-85.

The area under the bridge had seen a variety of uses, including sand extraction, an aerodrome and car-racing. Much earlier, the area was part of the lower Yarra wetlands, with extensive saltmarsh, swamps, vegetation and bird life. During the construction of the bridge, the area was the base for building works and was the site of a large works depot. In 1979, the Age described the land seen from the newly opened bridge as “scrofulous scenery indeed … dead water, swamp, sick factories, dead wood, haze, gasping barges, wretched refineries, wheezing chimneys, dead grass, institutional putrefaction”.

Following the completion of the bridge, the future Westgate Park site was cleaned up and a former sand mine was converted to a salt water lake.

Consultants Loder & Bayly and landscape architect Bruce Mackenzie, won a competition with an ambitious design relying on a constructed landscape of hills and access tracks which framed and created views of the West Gate Bridge as the central sculptural feature, and with fresh and saltwater lakes as focal points. Planned features included an island visitors’ centre, as well as “the planting of Australian flora, improvement of bird habitat and the incorporation of a narrow-gauge railway, a sound shell and sculptures”.

The then Victorian Department of Conservation, Forests and Lands carried out the initial work in forming the park, creating mounds between two lakes using building waste, with help from participants in a government works program for the unemployed. A modest realisation of the original design, with several features deferred or removed, was opened and dedicated to the people of Victoria on 7 November 1985.

The following year, Westgate Park became the responsibility of the MMBW Parks Division, but was largely neglected over the following decade. During this period, sculptural work (Earth Series, 1990) by Lyn Moore was added to the park. In 1996 Melbourne Parks and Waterways announced an extension of the park to meet the river. The intention was to transform it from a ‘derelict wasteland’. A new design plan was developed but was not fully realised.

The Friends of Westgate Park was formed in 1999 and this volunteer group became pivotal to the management, development, and expansion of the site. The Friends undertook the installation of infrastructure and extensive planting, with the objective of gradually converting the vegetation to what was typical of pre-settlement Melbourne.

Through the efforts of the Friends, extra land was acquired from 2003-2016. Parks Victoria is now responsible for Westgate Park. The Friends group continues to improve the park and acts as an advocate for its development. A large number of bird species now inhabit the park, including cormorants, black swans and pelicans. The area is again becoming a wetland haven.

Dr Geoff Edwards, Secretary of PaRC, writes:

Early in my time as an officer of the Department of Crown Lands and Survey, about 1975, a senior land administration officer took me on an inspection of part of the wasteland now known as Westgate Park. Noticing foul-smelling smoke rising out of the ground, I stepped closer to investigate, but beat a hasty retreat as the soles of my shoes became very, very hot. I was informed that the site was used as a sand quarry for building materials for early Melbourne. Later it was backfilled with garbage. At some time the rotting mass caught fire. The fire brigade regularly turned out to grass fires.

Although the Department had recently established a new Division of Crown Land Management to upgrade the standard of management of Crown lands and reserves, the remediation and development of Westgate was too ambitious for the nascent group with its shoestring budget to take on. The task required a body with the capacity of Melbourne Parks and Waterways.


Review Status: Pending

Vale David Vial, IOSS

The parks and recreation profession lost one of its leading lights with the passing on 21 March 2020 of David Vial, Principal of IOSS, Integrated Open Space Services after an extended illness. David was a member of the steering committee that oversaw the strategic planning for the PaRC project. David  supported the PaRC initiative throughout and generously gave password access to his database of significant documents.

In 2008 IOSS commenced a collaborative program with Parks and Leisure Australia termed Parks Base. Parks Base is a web-based portal that collects, organises and reports on information about public open space planning and management. Parks Base is for local, regional, national and international use. There are two subsets:

Knowledge Base, an online database for professionals in the fields of public open space, urban greenery, urban ecology, conservation and protected areas, land management, arboriculture, horticulture, soils, turf, recreation and sport; and associated areas of sustainability and social research. Registration is required.

Comparison Program, a commercial program that enables monitoring of aspects of public open space planning and management by participating government authorities. Registration is required.

The IOSS website includes an index of a substantial body of publications and “Public Realm Research Projects” produced by David and his team. PaRC will endeavour to perpetuate his contribution to the profession by offering access to a selected body of his work.

Continue Reading

Review Status: Completed

Regional Open Space System team 1994-95



This is the group within the Department of Lands charged with establishing and administering the Regional Open Space System. This photo was taken by a departmental photographer in 1995 prior to the appointment in the middle of the year of Steve MacDonald as Manager.


From left to right:

Geoff Edwards, Director, Land Planning

Bob Skitch

Jan Seto (deceased)

Mark Laurie

Tony Prineas

John Madden.


Review Status: Pending