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Parks Victoria

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Parks Victoria

Parks Victoria manages a diverse array of environments extending over 4 million hectares (15,500 sq miles) in the State of Victoria, Australia. These areas include national and state parks, conservation reserves and major metropolitan parks.

Parks Victoria created the Healthy Parks Healthy People brand in 2000 and has spent the past decade working to adopt the approach into all aspects of its business. To spread the Healthy Parks Healthy People philosophy Parks Victoria has run campaigns and formed partnerships to develop programs that foster the connection between a healthy environment and a healthy society.

Key activities

Awareness-raising campaigns
When Parks Victoria adopted the Healthy Parks Healthy People philosophy it embarked upon a broad-based awareness-raising campaign. This included:

  • an eight-week radio and print promotion program, with activities supported by editorials in the national press;
  • television advertisements were aired for two weeks in April 2006 on metropolitan channels and on regional television;
  • all existing Parks Victoria brochures and promotional programs were themed ‘Healthy Parks, Healthy People’, including stands at major annual exhibitions and events.

Partnerships and programs
To advance the Healthy Parks Healthy People agenda Parks Victoria has formed partnerships and developed programs with a number of health bodies and stakeholder groups. These include:

A partnership with a popular national television program ‘Postcards’, which featured a park ranger as one of the presenters. Each segment was tagged with the Healthy Parks, Healthy People message.

Support was sought and obtained from peak health bodies like the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Asthma Victoria, the National Heart Foundation, and Arthritis Victoria.

Parks Victoria works with key partners and stakeholders in the planning and construction of the ‘bike trails for a liveable city’ initiative, which promotes the usage and development of bike paths throughout the city of Melbourne.

Through partnering with the People & Parks Foundation, and in conjunction with the Variety Club, over 100 disadvantaged young people were supported to be involved in camps which gave them an experience of nature.

A number of community programs have been developed to enable people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to access parks. Initiatives include translating park guides into 33 languages; offering interpreter services to callers to the Parks Victoria Information Centre; and conducting park tours led by bilingual tour guides to help new migrants to understand and appreciate their local open spaces.

A significant contributor to the success of Healthy Parks Healthy People to date has been its endorsement by staff. Across Parks Victoria there is a growing appreciation of the relationship between a healthy parks system and a healthy society and programs that demonstrate the broader role parks can play are growing from the ‘grass-roots’.

Leading the way: 2010 International Healthy Parks Healthy People Congress

To catalyse action and broaden the role of parks, Parks Victoria hosted the inaugural International Healthy Parks Healthy People Congress in Melbourne during April 2010. The Congress attracted over 1,200 delegates from 37 countries.

 


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