Conference Program

2021 Program

Morning session start time, 9.00 AM EDST

6.00 am WA

8.00 am QLD

8.30 am SA, NT

9.00 am VIC, NSW, TAS, ACT


Afternoon session start time, 3.00 PM EDST 

12 noon WA

2.00 pm QLD

2.30 pm SA, NT

3.00 pm VIC, NSW, TAS, ACT


Program Day 1 - Tuesday 23 November 2021 (all times are EDST)

9.00am

Creating and Ensuring a Relevant Parks and Recreation Agency

Chris Nunes, CPRE, Director of Parks and Recreation, The Woodlands Township, Texas will address how to evaluate where you are, the identification of critical advocates and implement a plan for relevance.

The challenges of today are multi-faceted and can range from social ills to business models. Do we attempt to solve them all or identify what problems our agency’s effectively address? What is most important is to understand how to be relevant, thus making sports and recreation agencies a critical success factor to the success of a community. Along the way identification and development of critical advocates to ensure your success is needed. This session will address how to evaluate where you are, the identification of critical advocates and implement a plan for relevance.

Read Chris' Bio

9.45am

Networking/visit expo

10.00am

The Certainty of Uncertainty: Learning to Cope with the Ongoing Uncertainty of Pandemic Life

Vanessa Miles, Senior Consultant, Psychologist, Transitioning Well will explore strategies to build resilience, reduce stress and successfully manage the chaos of COVID-19.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created uncertainty in nearly every aspect of our daily lives. The kinds of uncertainties we face in 2021 are different than those we faced in 2020 but can be just as stressful and disruptive to our daily lives. Last year it was lockdowns, work closures and home schooling that were the big disruptors. This year we are facing the uncertainties of border closures, hot spots, the vaccine roll-out, hybrid working models, and the ever-present threat of more snap lockdowns. While uncertainty is something that we will all experience at some time in our lives, it has been exacerbated by the social, economic, work and travel disruptions created by the pandemic. This workshop explores strategies to build resilience, reduce stress and successfully manage the chaos of COVID-19.

In this webinar we will cover the following topics:

What is uncertainty?
Why do humans prefer stability and security so much?
What is the effect of uncertainty on our health? Why do we feel so stressed, anxious, worried, and have an inability to make decisions?
Creating a toolbox to successfully cope with uncertainty and to make the transition to 'COVID-normal' go as smoothly as possible
Practical evidence-based strategies to manage uncertainty that you can try at home and share with your family

Read Vanessa's Bio

10.45am

Conference morning close

3.00pm

My New Normal

Andrew Leslie, CEO, Recreation Aotearoa will share his journey of becoming a tetraplegic to climbing 445m to the summit of Mt Kaukau in New Zealand.

Read Andrew's Bio

3.45pm

Networking/visit expo

4.00pm

Making Australia Stronger Through Sport

Robert Dalton, Acting CEO, Australian Sports Commission / Sport Australia will also discuss how inclusive and innovative sporting environments can build stronger communities. 

While there are many known benefits for participating in sport, Sport Australia Acting CEO Rob Dalton will discuss how the benefits not only arise from playing sport, but being involved at all levels; player, coach, volunteer. Mr Dalton will also discuss how inclusive and innovative sporting environments can build stronger communities.

Read Robert's Bio


4.45pm

Conference afternoon close


Program Day 2 - Wednesday 24 November 2021 (all times are EDST)

9.00am

Curiosity Distilled the Strategy

Katherine Howard, Senior Consultant, Xyst will discuss how policy and strategy can be a powerful tool to drive dramatic change, when it's borne of curiosity.

Katherine recently orchestrated VanPlay, the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation's new Parks and Recreation Services Master Plan, and it wouldn't be the plan it is without her commitment to fresh faced questioning and gentle curiosity. Delivering strategy which drives an organisation towards big and important ideas like equity, connectivity, inclusion and access come down to how much you know about the system at play around you. Katherine will discuss how policy and strategy can be a powerful tool to drive dramatic change, when it's borne of curiosity.

Read Katherine's Bio

9.45am

Networking/visit expo

10.00am

Introduction to Sydney Olympic Park - Past, Present and Future - An Exemplar of Sustainable Development and Environmental Protection

Sally Hamilton, Director, Environment and Planning, Sydney Olympic Park Authority will take you on a brief journey from past, present and into the future of Sydney Olympic Park

Sydney Olympic Park has had a chequered history. From a place of indigenous cultural and natural significance, to agriculture, defence, chemical manufacturing, and wastelands. Winning the Olympic Games was the catalyst to the largest remediation project of its kind in Australia. But it also meant the biggest investment in a sustainable built environment. The development for the Sydney 2000 Olympics challenged designers and architects to protect the environment, establish green buildings and create parklands that would become significant environmental sites. These first "Green Games" were the catalyst to the sustainable built environment movement in Australia. But it hasn't stopped there. Sustainable development and ecological protection remain the guiding principles for the Sydney Olympic Park Authority. This keynote will take you on a brief journey, from past, present and into the future of Sydney Olympic Park.

Read Sally's Bio

10.45am

Conference morning close

3.00pm

Bringing South Australia’s Open Spaces Alive

Honourable David Speirs, MP, Minister for Environment and Water, South Australia

Read David's Bio

3.45pm

Networking/visit expo

4.00pm

Parklands of Sydney Olympic Park: The past 25 years from Waste to GREAT PLACE

Peter Duncan AM, Director, Duncan Advisory Services Pty Ltd and Tony McCormick Director, McCormick Associates Design Pty Ltd

Peter and Tony will reflect on the parklands today from its degraded waste land transformation through a concept and vison for a sustainable ecosystem to its success as a place and a program treasured by the community for recreation, inspiration and educational experiences.

Peter and Tony both worked on the concept, planning, development and establishment of the Parklands at Sydney Olympic Park. Peter as the client project director and Tony as the lead of the multidisciplinary team responsible for the design of Millennium Parklands.

Together they reflect on the parklands today from its degraded waste land transformation through a concept and vison for a sustainable ecosystem to its success as a place and a program treasured by the community for recreation, inspiration and educational experiences

Read Peter's Bio | Read Tony's Bio
4.45pm Conference afternoon close

Friday 26 November 2021

3.00pm-5.00pm (EDST)

2021 Awards of Excellence Virtual Gala event

View the 2021 Finalists

Confirmed keynotes include



Andrew Leslie

CEO, Recreation Aotearoa



Katherine Howard

Senior Consultant, Xyst



Sally Hamilton

Director, Environment and Planning, Sydney Olympic Park Authority



Vanessa Miles

Senior Consultant, Psychologist, Transitioning Well



Robert Dalton

Acting CEO, Sport Australia

Tony McCormick

Director, McCormick Associates Design Pty Ltd


Peter Duncan AM

Director, Duncan Advisory Services Pty Ltd



Honourable David Speirs, MP

Minister for Environment and Water, South Australia

Chris Nunes, CPRE

Director of Parks and Recreation, The Woodlands Township, Texas

Registration & Booking

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