NSW/ACT 2024 Conference RECAP

  • June 25, 2024

The Parks and Leisure Australia NSW/ACT Region Conference was recently held in Campbelltown, Sydney. The event, which spanned three days from 4 to 6 June 2024, was attended by over 200 delegates.

The opening day was a brilliant masterclass, “All About Trees”, hosted by the Australian Botanic Gardens at Mount Annan, and sponsored by Andreasens Green and Botanic Gardens of Sydney. This masterclass provided information from research data that translates through to best practice in arboriculture. It was a focused learning event which brought all aspects, activities and tools together that arborists rely on which created an effective and specialised learning opportunity for all.

The official welcome reception, also held at the Australian Botanic Gardens Mount Annan on 4 June set the tone for the rest of the conference; a calm, relaxed evening with live music and a chance to interconnect with fellow delegates. PLA NSW/ACT President Simon James, Executive Officer Michelle Nolland, and Treasurer John Siemon all welcomed delegates.

Keynote speakers across the next two days included Costa Georgiadis and Jerry Coleby-Williams! With Welcome to Country and mayor welcomes from both Campbelltown and Camden, delegates well and truly felt welcomed. The rest of the days were full, containing the trade booth exhibition, which had over 25 suppliers, and three separate professional development speaking streams: Parks + Gardens, Sports + Leisure + Aquatics, and Social + Play + Wellbeing. Delegates had the chance to hear from a wide variety of speakers and topics, choosing the one that best applied to them, their industry, and their interests!

The conference was concluded on Thursday by technical tours in each of the stream spaces:

  • Parks + Gardens: Green Spaces and Creative Places – Exploring Art and Outdoor Recreation in Campbelltown where delegates visited Koshigaya Park, Campbelltown Arts Centre + Japanese Garden + Sculpture Garden, and finished at the newly opened Billabong Parklands.
  • Sports + Leisure + Aquatics: Camden Council Sport & Recreation Facilities where delegates visited the BMX and Pump Track at Kirkham Park and the Narellan Sports Hub.
  • Social + Play + Wellbeing: Wollondilly Shire Council’s Social, Play, and Wellbeing where delegates visited the Old Menagle School and the Picton Botanic Gardens Playspace and Amenities Project.

What an exciting and packed three-day PLA NSW/ACT Region Conference. We can’t wait to see you at the 2025 Region Conference!