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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

The Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition

The Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN) is focused on reducing the rates of chronic disease through research excellence in nutrition and physical activity. It is hosted by Deakin University, Victoria.

“IPAN is a multi-disciplinary research institute focused on understanding – and influencing – physical activity and nutrition to improve health across the lifespan.​

“Our research spans from the lab to real world settings. We conduct metabolism, physiology, clinical and behavioural studies, and community and population-based research.​”

Visit the IPAN website

IPAN research covers four research domains, one joint department and a research centre.

Research domains

Biology of health and disease
The overarching aim of research in this domain is to characterise and understand the biological mechanisms by which exercise and nutrition impact health. Research in this domain includes healthy and clinical populations across the lifespan – from growth in the womb to ageing.

Healthy active living​
This domain focuses on real-world solutions to increase population levels of physical activity and consists of three research groups; Physical activity and sedentary behaviour from infancy to young adulthood; Built and natural environments for healthy living​; and Worker health and stress.​

Preventing and managing chronic conditions
The focus of this research is the development, implementation, evaluation and translation of lifestyle-based solutions for the prevention and management of chronic diseases . This includes cardio-metabolic and musculo-skeletal-related conditions, brain, cognitive and mood-related disorders, and cancer. ​

Food, nutrition and health
Unhealthy diets are the leading contributor to the global burden of disease and research in this domain includes developing and evaluating interventions and translating research into policy and practice.

Baker-Deakin Department of Lifestyle and Diabetes

A collaborative partnership between the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute and PAN, the Baker-Deakin Department of Lifestyle and Diabetes has been established to advance research into one of the greatest health challenges of our time – the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes.

The Department focuses on developing evidence-based lifestyle approaches to address the growing prevalence of type 2 diabetes, drawing on shared interests in physical activity, sedentary behaviour, nutrition and chronic disease management research.

The Centre for Sport Research

The Centre (CSR) is focused on influencing practice in sport to enhance the health and performance of people and organisations participating in sports. CSR researchers are experts in sport, exercise and health.


Review Status: Pending

Vic/Tas launch of PaRC – 9 June 2023

A public launch of Parks and Recreation Collection was a feature of the Vic/Tas regional conference of Parks and Leisure Australia, held at Healesville on 8, 9 June 2023. Thanks to Regional President Dan Ferguson for facilitating.

Address by PaRC Secretary Geoff Edwards offers a situation report on PaRC:

Preamble, Flyer and Scope of Accessions

Form for expressing interest – a call for volunteers of time and documents.


PaRC is a tool for anyone in Australasia involved in parks, open space or leisure – we look forward to comparable showcasing in the other States.


Review Status: Pending

Anne Binkley – Bridging international boundaries

Dr. Anne Binkley has more than 50 years of experience in the field of parks and recreation including experience in academic, therapeutic, military, public, commercial and voluntary settings in Australia, the United States and Korea. She started her career as a Service Club Director for Army Special Services in Korea and ended as the Coordinator of Graduate Programs in Ageing, Disability and Recreation Management and Co-Manager of International Programs for the School of Human Movement, Recreation and Performance at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia.

Dr. Anne L. Binkley

Doctorate in Recreation, Indiana University, 1980

Master of Science, Leisure Services and Studies, Florida State University, 1976

Recipient of the William J. Tait Award for Outstanding Graduate Student

Bachelor of Arts, Government, Indiana University, 1966 – Graduation with Distinction


Anne has written numerous articles and been a frequent presenter at local, state, national and international conferences. Her research interests have included cross-cultural studies of ageing and leisure in which she has done fieldwork in the Caribbean, Egypt and China. In later years, her major focus has been on Ageing Well which led to her position as Principal Officer for the Australian arm of the 16-country International Research Project on Ageing Well. She has also served as an Associate Editor of Leisure Sciences and the Therapeutic Recreation Journal and Co-Editor for the refereed section of the International Federation of Park and Recreation’s IFPRA World. As a member of the Editorial Committee for Australian Parks & Leisure, she was involved in the process of finalising a refereed section. In addition, she has served as the Research Update Editor for the American publication Parks & Recreation and Research Review Editor for both Australian Parks & Leisure and Australian Parks & Recreation – a feature she established in both Australian publications.


Dr. Binkley’s presentation highlights include speaking at the World Congresses of the International Federation of Park and Recreation Administration (IFPRA), the International Therapeutic Recreation Symposium, the International Alzheimer’s Conference and the Australian Gerontological Association. In addition she was selected to give the inaugural “Dr. Janet R. MacLean Seminar on Ageing and Leisure” and the keynote addresses at the Horticulture Therapy State Conference and the Improving Physical and Sport Education for Students with Disabilities State Conference. She also served as a convenor at the First International Urban Parks and Waterways Best Practice Conference and as Program Chair of the Joint Inaugural Parks and Leisure Australia Conference/18th IFPRA World Conference.


A strong commitment to the growth and enhancement of the recreation and parks profession has always been a hallmark of Anne’s career as demonstrated by her extensive involvement in professional associations at the local, state, national and international levels. Highlights of this involvement include serving as a World Commissioner for the IFPRA, National Councillor and President of the Victorian Region of the Royal Australian Institute of Parks and Recreation, Member of the Board of Directors of the Society of Park and Recreation Educators and President of the Arizona Parks and Recreation Association.


In addition to her professional work, she has been very involved in women’s issues and associations.  She has served as the President of the Victoria Region of Soroptimist International and as President of the Melbourne Club of Soroptimist International.  She also served as Chair of the UNAA Victoria Committee for the Status of Women.


In recognition of her professional achievements and contributions, Parks and Leisure Australia bestowed on her its highest honour, the Frank Stewart Award, along with the title of Fellow, and Indiana University has selected her as the recipient of both the Garrett G. Epply and Dean W.W. Patty Distinguished Alumni Awards.


Anne Binkley was appointed a Trustee of the AIPR Trust Fund – Education in 1999 and retired on 31 December 2022, having supported the birth and evolution of PaRC from its inception. PaRC salutes her!



Dr Binkley has supplied a list of publications and conference presentations. It runs to 12 pages!




Review Status: Pending

Kenneth Trafford – Lifelong service to horticulture, parks and recreation

    Ken Trafford studiously at work

Kenneth Trafford held a keen interest in horticulture from his very early teens. He studied horticulture at Burnley Horticulture College Melbourne. He secured employment in Essendon City Council’s parks department. In December 1955 he was appointed as Superintendent Parks and Gardens,Toowoomba City Council, Queensland. He resigned in December 1965 to return to Melbourne. He was appointed Superintendent Parks and Gardens, City of Sunshine, later to become Director of Parks, Gardens and Recreation.

He was appointed as a member representing trade apprentices on the Victorian Employers Committee and served as President for a number of years until his retirement from all positions in 1990.

Ken spent a number of years teaching with the Adult Education System.

Institute service

Ken Trafford became a member of the Royal Australian Institute of Parks and Recreation in the early sixties. He took an active role in the Victorian division for many years, serving as its President for two years. He was elected as a Federal Councillor and its President in 1982/83.

Ken was granted the following awards within the Institute:

Associate membership 30-9-1972

Fellow of the Institute 15-4-1984

Honorary Life Member 17-10-1989

Certificate of Recognition 30-1-1988 for “the contribution to the Australian Parks and Recreation Industry through services as President of the Institute from 1982 to 1983.”

Parks and Leisure Australia Honorary Life Fellow 1-7-1988.

PaRC service

On 17 September 1987 Ken was appointed as a Trustee of the Australian Institute of Parks and Recreation Trust Fund – Education, a position held until 31 December 2022. This 35 years of service alone would earn Ken a place in any parks and recreation Hall of Fame! Ken was one of the four Trustees who endorsed the concept behind PaRC and supported it unstintingly it during the more than five years it took to evolve.

Kenneth Trafford has given a lifetime of service to the parks, horticulture and leisure sector. On top of all that he has a generous heart. PaRC salutes him!


Review Status: Pending

Budding playwrights note: Script review service

For budding and experienced writers, the Victorian Drama League (VDL – 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.



(03) 9663 4222 –
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