Innovative Geelong trial receives international award
The Healthy Parks, Healthy People ‘Geelong’s Active in Parks Program’ was awarded the Excellence in Parks (Social) Award at the 5th International Parks Management and Leadership Conference ‘Parks Beyond Boundaries’ in Adelaide on Wednesday 23 May, 2012.
The award recognises excellence and best practice in operational programs that encourages the use of parks by groups that do not usually visit or recreate in them. The awarding organisation, the Parks Forum, is the peak body for park management organisations with members across Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.
In accepting the award, the People and Parks Foundation thanked major sponsor the Medibank Community Fund, key partner Parks Victoria, as well as G21 Geelong Region Alliance, Barwon Medicare Local, Department of Planning and Community Development, Department of Health and the many organisations in the Geelong region who have been supporting partners.
The Parks Forum commented that whilst there was a very strong field, the ‘Active in Parks’ program was favoured because of the extensive stakeholder engagement, the strong buy-in with local organisations and the robust sustainability framework underpinning it.
The first stage of the pilot program was launched in September 2011, and involves health professionals including doctors, maternal and child health nurses, and youth workers referring their clients and patients to organised activities in parks to improve their health and wellbeing. The pilot is designed to be replicated in other areas of Victoria, with funding available and plans underway, to implement the program at Brimbank Park in Melbourne’s west.
The Geelong’s Active in Parks team is thrilled with the recognition and attribute the success of the program to their committed partners and all of the wonderful participants in program activities.
Other award recipients included the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service and the Tasmanian Aboriginal Land and Sea Council for their work on the Needwonnee Walk, the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority for work on Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park and Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust for Ponds Improvement Projects.
Contact: Sue Noonan Community Development Manager, Geelong’s Active in Parks (03) 5227 4011 office or 0417 112 963 mobile snoonan@G21.com.au