Parks Victoria is a statutory authority in the state of Victoria, Australia, responsible for managing an expanding and diverse estate covering over four million hectares, or 17 per cent, of Victoria. Its primary responsibility is to ensure parks are healthy and resilient for current and future generations.

Parks Victoria manages parks in the context of their surrounding landscape and in partnership with Traditional Owners. Its staff work in partnership with other government and non-government organisations and community groups such as the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, catchment management authorities, private land owners, friends groups, volunteers, licensed tour operators, lessees, research institutes and the broader community.

Parks Victoria was created by the Parks Victoria Act 1998 and reporting to the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change; Minister for Suburban Development, The Hon Liliana (Lily) D'Ambrosio MLA, and Minister for Ports; Minister for Roads and Road Safety, The Hon Luke Donellan MLA. It is also the Local Port Manager for Port Phillip Bay, Western Port and Port Campbell and the Waterway Manager for the Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers.

As an organisation, it protects and over four million hectares of parks including:

  • 45 national parks
  • 26 state parks
  • 13 marine national parks
  • 11 marine sanctuaries
  • 3 wilderness parks
  • 30 metropolitan parks
  • 60 other parks including regional and reservoir parks
  • more than 2,700 natural features and conservation reserves
  • more than 11,000 formally registered Aboriginal cultural heritage places
  • more than 2,500 non-Indigenous historic places

To learn more about Parks Victoria, visit their website http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/.

Parks Victoria shares the World Urban Parks’ goal of building healthy, liveable and sustainable communities. Below is some information about the sessions Parks Victoria will deliver at the International Parks and Leisure Congress 2018 in Melbourne, as well as hosting international keynote speaker Dr Julia Miranda Londoño, Director General of Parques Nacionales Naturales in Colombia.

Health and Nature Masterclass

In the context of a changing climate and an urbanising planet, global health and environment experts will look to the future with a positive lens to explore practical nature-based solutions for human health and wellbeing. Hosted by Parks Victoria, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), this Masterclass will examine how leading change makers can champion new policies, programs and funding across health, environment and urban sectors.

Nature is good medicine

 

Parks and nature are an important part of improving and maintaining health, both for individuals and communities. With Healthy Parks Healthy People at the core of everything Parks Victoria does and several Victorian Government commitments to promoting the co-benefits of health and nature, Victoria has demonstrated leadership at state, national and international levels.

Healthy nature sustains life, livelihoods and liveability. Conserving parks for present and future generations provides inspirational and therapeutic settings that foster lifelong connections with nature and each other. Parks that are valued and maintained are also fundamental to economic growth and vibrant and healthy communities. Healthy Parks Healthy People aims to unlock the power of nature and parks for their preventative and restorative health and wellbeing benefits, while conserving biodiversity. To find out more read the Guide to Healthy Parks Healthy People, which provides information on what Healthy Parks Healthy People is, why it is important, the role of parks for community health and wellbeing, building knowledge, and commitments and priorities in Victoria. The Nature is good medicine session will be hosted by Parks Victoria, DELWP and DHHS.

CANOPY Eco Sleeper Pods

Parks Victoria is trialing innovative ways for encouraging more people to connect with nature and experience Victoria’s parks through the custom-designed moveable CANOPY Eco Sleeper Pods – transforming how people experience parks. This pilot program is an exciting initiative from Parks Victoria, designed to help protect the natural environment for the future while connecting more visitors with the natural beauty of Victoria’s parks. The Eco Sleeper Pods are designed to offer visitors a way to extend their stay and to truly immerse themselves in the wonders of our iconic parks around the state, and to be accessible for all abilities where possible. The Transforming how people experience parks - EcoPods session will be hosted by Parks Victoria.

Benefits Beyond the Boundaries

Together with AMES Australia, Parks Victoria runs a program engaging local new and emerging communities in Werribee Park, an urban park in Melbourne’s west. The Beyond the Boundaries program provides pathways to employment for young adults in the community to gain “job ready” and language skills, while connecting with their local park.  It also brings volunteers to assist with everything from planting and weeding to propagation and plant production – all for the park.  Accordingly, the program provides benefits to both park and people. Modelled on similar programs in New York, Toronto and Kew Gardens, UK, this program addresses isolation issues among members of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities. The Benefits Beyond the Boundaries session will be hosted by Parks Victoria, featuring a speaker from our partners at AMES.

 

To attend these sessions at the IPLC2018 in Melbourne, you must be a registered attendee. Find out more about the congress and register online https://www.iplc2018.com/.