Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Guest Post from Matt Jackson - CEO Parks Victoria

Following on from the previous Jackson's guest post here is Matt Jackson.Over to you Matt...


"To me, a key part of Healthy Parks Healthy People is making sure that everyone can connect with and enjoy nature to get the health benefits that come from that.

I can only imagine the joy that David Stratton and others of limited mobility experience when the natural world is opened up to them through the TrailRider and they can see places they previously couldn’t get to. It’s a wonderful thing indeed and I’m really proud to be part of an organisation that has worked consistently over many years to see TrailRiders become available in more and more places.

At Parks Victoria, important work is being done to build the knowledge of the health benefits of parks. Our parks currently play a critical role in promoting healthy lifestyles. Our data shows Victoria’s parks attract more than 50 million visits each year, and there are more than 45 million visits to our piers and jetties for fishing, boating and relaxation.

We think the benefits of parks and nature for our health and wellbeing have been greatly under-recognised and undervalued. There are many opportunities to utilise the power of nature for public health. We believe being active in nature can be a highly cost effective contributor in helping to tackle many of our growing public health issues such as obesity, depression and anxiety, diabetes and other non-communicable diseases.

Parks Victoria is increasingly working with many providers from the public health sector by connecting (or reconnecting) people with nature.  In turn more people become advocates for conserving our precious biodiversity and greenspace.

We have some great partnerships in place –  with researchers to review and build the evidence and fill knowledge gaps. We’re also working with our partners in other government departments to ensure that nature-based health and active living programs in parks are included in key government plans. We’re developing many different partnerships with the community and disability sectors for groups such as at risk teens, children, seniors and new migrants, and working with Traditional Owners to further enable cultural and spiritual connection and reconnection for health and wellbeing.

There are so many opportunities to utilise the power of nature for the health of the community. And this is being recognised more and more widely. It was great to see the link between a healthy environment and community health and wellbeing was formally recently recognised by the Victorian Government through a Memorandum on Health and Nature, jointly signed by the Minister for Health and the Minister for Energy, Environment and climate change.


David and Ros have provided a great role model for others with good ideas, passion and commitment to work with us and make great things happen. That openness and commitment to partnerships is a key aspect of our Healthy Parks Healthy People approach.

I encourage and welcome others to follow their example.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Fund My Idea in the Flinders Ranges

Click pic to see what it's all about
Quinten van der Werf's idea is to make the beauties of the Flinders Ranges, in South Australia, available to everyone

The South Australian government lets the people (trolls and robots excepted!) assess the relevance of these ideas through the YourSAy website (clever name!) and if I could assemble a robot to shout about this one I would.

Read what Quentin is suggesting or tweet about @intheflinders - yes, I'm getting with the plot!

Friday, May 12, 2017

A perfect circle!

The first two of the many subsequent faces that launched the
20 Australian TrailRiders
On 28th August 2009 Donna Morgan went out and spent $10 - and took me, against my better judgement, out on my first-ever TrailRider ride. Along with inaugural sherpas Ros (wife), Jeanne (neighbour), Sam (son), Geordie (neighbour's son), Rachel (son's partner) and Brandy (Donna's dog) they took me up Cypress Mountain in Vancouver as Wild Places (5 minute Youtube and almost 5000 views) will tell you more about.

Along with my first glowing experience of the sherpa volunteer program - Axel - and Jeanne, we went for an ice cream in Halls Gap and celebrated the first eight years of Australian TrailRider history.

There's much more to tell and many more to thank but try using the search box at the right to read posts about Ros Hart, John Kenwright, Rodney Brooke, Joanne Brooke...

The inventor of the TrailRider, Sam Sullivan (search again!) came very close yesterday to losing his seat on the Canadian, British Columbian, State Parliament but (and?) this will be the way he will be remembered 100 years from now.

Nurses Julie and Rhonda were auxiliary stars getting me up and out to be collected at 9am for Jeanne to drive, two hours on the wrong side of the road, to the Grampians National Park.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Posting from respite

Click to study 2009 pic. Donna in a box!
For readers that do not already know, respite is when the care recipient (me) gets looked after in a high needs nursing home and I vacate the Carer's (Ros') head. My beloved wife Ros is somewhat free for three weeks. Needless to say Mr MS, which is how Ros brilliantly externalises the demon, mostly stays with me.

Notice the somewhat and the mostly - they are important. The Carer's lot is never over until...

So posting becomes a little different. My best friend, apart from Ros, is visiting from Vancouver. Home of the TrailRider. Jeanne's wife Donna first introduced us to the TrailRider in 2009 so talking and dining and introducing is the go. Hence this unusual mixed bag post.

Dorigo

...is a park in New South Wales where a TrailRider is currently available. The Have Wheelchair Will Travel blog went on an outing there.

Click to study pic - look at BJ's face! Nature as it's meant to be


Signs

Parks Victoria is currently working on a refinement of these signs.When they announce, so will I.

70,000 page views

This slipped by without my usual, self-congratulatory, post. Believe me, you won't get off this easily when we hit 100,000!

Flinders Ranges

For non-Aussies these are a magnificent place to visit in the north of South Australia.

Quinten van der Werf is the founder of In The Flinders and is working hard at setting up a TrailRider so that we wheelies can share the beauty.

If you are on Facebook here is your chance to signal your delight in these endeavours:

Like In The Flinders
and Like Have Wheelchair Will Travel