Recreation Planning

Who should do this Course?

This course is recommended for people who are responsible for strategic sport, recreation and leisure planning within their municipality.

• Your municipal wide sport, recreation and leisure strategies may need updating or you may not have the ones you need.
• You may be responsible for reviewing or developing policies.
• Participation and utilisation data may not be useful and you need data for better decision making.
• Your master plans may be old or the use of the land has changed.
• You may be responsible for preparing budget bids and seeking of external funding.

Course Outline

Week 1 – What is Recreation Planning in a Local Government setting and why is Local Government responsible?

• Local Government and its responsibilities
• Land Management responsibilities
• Local Government structure
• Council priorities and how they are reflected in strategy and policy
• Who makes decision and how they are made?
• Sport, Recreation and Leisure portfolio
• Health promotion
• What is recreation planning? and
• Power of partnerships

Week 2 – What is Recreation Planning and who do we partner with?

• What is recreation planning?
• Internal and external partners
• Sport, Recreation and Leisure roles and responsibilities
• Council planning structures
• Open space planning and
• Understanding your community

Week 3 – How do we do it? (Part 1)

• Building your approach
            • Review of existing plans and strategies
            • Key suite of recreation plans
            • What’s needed
            • Prioritise needs
            • Budget bids
• Planning delivery – the planner or facilitator?
• Outsourcing planning
• Planning to plan
            • Business case
            • Project plan
            • Cost estimate
            • Risk assessment
            • Governance structure
            • Engagement plan
            • Procurement (consultants brief)

Week 4 – How do we do it? (Part 2)

• The Plan
• Setting the scene
            • Research
            • Trends
            • Data
• Understanding stakeholders
            • Internal staff engagement
            • Community engagement
            • Councillor engagement
• Setting directions
            • Recommendations
            • Review date
• Endorsement
            • Councillors
• Implementation
            • Converting your plan into action
            • Next steps
• Monitoring and evaluation
            • Demonstrating outcomes
• How to get recreation planning on the agenda


Kerry Wilson – Has led large scale, longer term, multi-dimensional policy and planning across portfolios such as sport and recreation, gender equity and prevention of violence against women, environmental sustainability, engagement, health and wellbeing and active transport.

Daniel Ferguson – More than a decade working in private consulting, two Victorian Councils, Victorian State Government and the YMCA – from minor capital works projects to writing $225million contracts with the AFL, he’s seen the highs and lows of recreation planning!

Guest Instructor

Neal Ames – Neal has more than 20 years experience in the recreation and parks industry, working as a government advisor, recreation, open space, play and parks planner, as well as being a sport and recreation project manager.


Mandy Nolton – Managing Director of Rec People, Mandy has the ability to provide a platform for engaging and developing the local government sector to plan and deliver active and passive recreational facilities, assets and opportunities to meet the needs of unique local communities.

Time Commitment

1.5 hour Zoom meeting per week x 4 consecutive weeks
1.0 hour of homework per week in between face to face meetings


$495 (plus GST) per person
$395 (plus GST) Parks and Leisure Australia (Vic/Tas only) member (to join click here)
$395 (plus GST) for a second, third or fourth attendee from the same organisation

Date and Time

Friday 13th November 10.30am to 12.00noon
Friday 20th November 10.30am to 12.00noon
Friday 27th November 10.30am to 12.00noon
Friday 4th December 10.30am to 12.00noon

Delivered in partnership with

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