We congratulate the Heart Foundation initiative as part of the $10m Federal Budget

10m dollars allocated in Federal Budget to get more Australians active by investing in a walking revolution$10m has been allocated in this week’s Federal Budget to get more Australians active by investing in a walking revolution.

We congratulate the Heart Foundation in leading this initiative of the Prime Minister’s Walk for Life Challenge, which will support up to 300,000 Australians to adopt the easy way to better health – regular walking – by 2019.

“Disturbingly, about half of Australian adults are not physically active enough to gain the health benefits of exercise. This includes just under half of young people aged 25 to 34 years old. This puts them at higher risk of heart disease, stroke, some cancers and dementia in later life.”

“But even moderate exercise is like a wonder drug. Being active for as little as 30 minutes a day, five days a week, can reduce risk of death from heart attack by a third, as well as help you sleep better, feel better, improve your strength and balance, and maintain your bone density. It also manages your weight, blood pressure and blood cholesterol. So we are delighted by the news of the Prime Minister’s $10 million walking challenge.”

Heart Foundation Walking is Australia’s only national network of free walking groups. It has helped more than 80,000 Australians walk their way to better health since the program began in 1995, and currently has nearly 30,000 active participants. “We need to inspire Australians to be more active, and walking groups are a cheap, fun and easy way for them to get moving,” says Heart Foundation National CEO, Adjunct Professor John Kelly.

Read more via heartfoundation.org.au/news.

Walktober 2017 Initiative Funded

WalktoberSA 2016, header image

Walking SA has been successful in receiving funding from the Office of Recreation and Sport for its Walktober 2017 initiative. This builds on the promotion and events we conducted throughout October 2016, including the key Trails Less Travelled event. We’ve got some great ideas to expand upon 2016’s initiatives to further meet our vision: to see more people walking more often.

We’re seeking to expand this year’s Walktober promotions by exploring potential opportunities with like-minded partners. We’d love to chat to organisations, walking groups and businesses to explore opportunities to collaborate in the fields of walking for health, leisure and transport, inclusive walking, and engaging with a diverse range of people from the community.

This is a significant opportunity for Walking SA’s members to promote walking in their club or organisation as well as reach out to the community at large to promote the vision of more people walking more often. Some ideas we’d like to explore:-

  • Collaborate to promote walking events in October
  • Events such as “Come and Try Days” and Guided Walks that could encourage walking and potential membership
  • Walking events and initiatives that promote inclusive walking, or engage with a diverse range of people from the community
  • Other opportunities for promoting walking

Please contact Walking SA to discuss opportunities as to how we might collaborate to promote walking in Walktober 2017.

Advocating for Walking, March 2017 Update

Walking SA continues to represent our member clubs, organisations and individual members as well as the general walking community in matters regarding walkability of all aspects of the walking environment.

Specifically, over the last six months we have raised our voice and will continue to do so on the issue of shared paths and trails to ensure the safety of walkers using those paths and trails. We are on ongoing discussion with the Department of Environment Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) regarding trails in the national parks that they manage as well as local councils and other bodies with jurisdiction over other paths and trails.

DEWNR is about to launch a program in recognition of that advocacy and supported by other user groups with the I Share My Trail campaign, to make all users sensitive to the needs of other users when on trails. We will provide more information as it comes to hand.

We also plan to hold a forum in May where we can get walkers and the relevant organisations together to further discuss these issues.

Walking SA, through the commitment of a number of keen volunteers, continues to monitor, liaise and in some cases object to gazetted changes to land use that will have an adverse impact upon walkers. Our voice is heard and in most cases successfully so.

In addition, we are advised of other plans that we are sought to make comment on. The latest of these are detailed below. If you wish to make comment direct please do so if you wish to advise walking SA of issues and concerns please do so and we will consolidate that into our input for each consultation.

Burnside Council

The Council seeks comment to develop a strategy for Recreation Trails Strategy within the City of Burnside.

City of Onkaparinga

The Council is seeking comment on their new Trails and Cycling Strategic Management Plan (TCSMP) which will guide the delivery of trails and cycling projects into the future. View the map of their existing and proposed trails, including the proposed Willunga Basin Trail.

Ngaut Ngaut Conservation Park

Located on the River Murray, 12km south of Swan Reach, the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources is seeking feedback on the draft management plan for the park.

Heart Foundation’s Heart Week Celebration Walk

Heart Foundations Heart Week Celebration WalkDid you know that the simple act of walking for 30 minutes a day or more can reduce your risk of heart by as much as half.

Heart Foundation is hosting a community walk to kick of Heart Week 2017 and to celebrate the 12th anniversary of Heart Foundation Walking groups in South Australia.

  • Do you enjoy walking with family, friends or a community group?
  • Planning to set up a walking group with your work mates and want to try it out?
  • Are you a member or interested in joining a Heart Foundation Walking program – Australia’s largest FREE walking network?
  • Keen to find out more about your heart health?

Why not come along to the Heart Week Community Walk!

  • When: Saturday 29th April, Starts 9.00am, Registration from 8.30am
  • Children and dogs welcome!
  • Where: Botanic Park, Adelaide, opposite the Botanic Garden gates
  • Light refreshments and healthy morning tea provided at end of the walk
  • Register your interest to attend

Working with Recreation SA

Within the Recreation SA structure Walking SA is a member of a number of groups (Outdoor Committee, Trails Advisory Group and the Trails Forum) as advocates for the walking community in South Australia.

Recreation SA recently appointed a Trails officer, Anthony Bates, with funding from the Office for Recreation Sport to assist in the ongoing development of trails in accordance with the SA Trails Master Plan. Walking SA is working closely with Anthony already.

Recreation SA is hosting a one-day conference on Monday 3rd April 2017 which is SA’s leading professional development opportunity for managers, staff and business owners in the recreation, aquatics, parks and leisure sector.

Friends of Parks groups: volunteers working for conservation

Friends of Parks logoThere are Friends of Parks groups throughout South Australia. Most national parks have a group of friends passionate about their conservation and protection. Special Interest Groups also abound. They range in area of interest from butterflies to hiking adventures; from the heritage and history of the Adelaide Gaol to walking the Heysen Trail. With so much to choose from you’re bound to find something to occupy those spare hours!

For more information please refer to environment.sa.gov.au/get-involved and friendsofparkssa.org.au.

Australian Walking & Cycling Conference 2017

Australian Walking & Cycling Conference logoThe 2017 Australian Walking & Cycling Conference will be on July 17th and 18th in Adelaide.

“The simple acts of walking and cycling have the potential to transform the places we live, our economies and how we engage with the environment. The Australian Walking and Cycling Conference… explores the potential for walking and cycling to not only provide for transport and recreation but solutions to livability, health, community building, economic development and sustainability.”

Read more on the conference website.

Conquer Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail to Conquer Arthritis

Conquer Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail to Conquer Arthritis

The remote and spectacular new Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail will be traversed by a small band of people in October 2017 wanting to draw attention to arthritis and raise money for research into treatments in 2017.

This is the first time that Arthritis SA has picked a “home” destination for its trek, held every two years. Previous treks have honed in on international destinations like China, India and New Zealand.

Find out more on the Arthritis SA website.

Advocacy for Walking update

Over the last two months Walking SA has been engaged with the following in regard to representing the walking community: –

  • Adelaide City Council – Bike Summit
  • Dept. of Planning Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) – 30 Year Plan for Greater Adelaide
  • Burnside Council – Recreation Trails Strategy
  • Unley Council – Unley Integrated Transport Strategy
  • Office for Recreation and Sport – Trails usage – walkers and mountain bike riders
  • DPTI – Motorbike lane filtering
  • Local Government – a range of local government engagement is underway
  • Wirraparinga Trails project – see separate item below
  • Dept. of Environment Water and Natural Resources (DENWR) – “I share my Trail” campaign development

As well as they we have met with Minister Mullighan to raise awareness of Walking SA, the needs of the walking community and our desire to be part of the planning process for all projects impacting upon walking. The Minster was totally supportive of that and we have since been consulted on a number of issues.

If you have issues or concerns, please advise us at Walking SA so we can add that into our information bank for advocacy purposes to the relevant authorities.

“Alert SA” website and smartphone app

Alert SA appWith warmer weather on the way, hikers and residents will find the Alert SA smartphone app and website a good resource to access timely, relevant and personalised event and warning information.

The website and smartphone app is provided by the Government of SA, and collects and display data from agencies including: Country Fire Service (CFS); Metropolitan Fire Service; State Emergency Service; SA Police; SA Health; Department for Education and Child Development (DECD); Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA); Department of Transport Planning and Infrastructure (DPTI); Department of Environment Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR); Bureau of Meteorology (The Bureau); Environment Protection Authority; SA Power Networks; SA Water; Department for Community and Social Inclusion – State Recovery.

The information obtained from these sources provides event summaries and warnings to keep you up to date and help you make informed decisions about your safety. Alert SA aims to provide you with the most comprehensive view of event and warning information in South Australia. Further data sources may be added as they become available over time.

How to access Alert SA:

Walktober 2016 Initiative Funded

WalktoberSA 2016, header image

Walking SA has been successful in receiving funding from the office of Recreation and Sport for its Walktober 2016 initiative. This is a significant opportunity for Walking SA’s members to promote walking in their club or organisation as well as reach out to the walking community at large to promote our vision of more people walking more often. Over the next few months we will be establishing a program for Walktober 2016 and we are actively seeking involvement from all our members to be part of it. We would like members to:-

  • Advise us of events in October that we can promote as part of Walktober 2016
  • Create events, such as “Come and Try Days” that could encourage walking and potential membership
  • Create other opportunities for promoting walking
  • Links with other organisations to promote walking events and activities

Please contact Walking SA with your contributions.

Advocacy for walking footpaths and trails

Walking SA volunteers regularly review what is happening with regard to a variety of plans, particularly by local and state government that could have impacts upon walking. Over recent times these have included the riding on footpaths element of the new bike laws, various local government management plans for trails, the Hackney Road/O-Bahn development, the Darlington interchange and the RAH/SAHMRI North Terrace scenario. Walking SA regularly advocates, both formally and informally, on these types of matters to look after the interest of walkers.

If you have issues of concern or comments that you would like considered in our submissions, please contact the Walking SA office. Of late we have had concerns expressed to us with regard to shared trails in the Adelaide Hills where walkers are disadvantaged. Please let us know of issues in principal or even specific instances of concern.

Inaugural Walking SA Awards

Media release cover image, images only

  • Who created that walking trail?
  • Who inspired me to go walking?
  • How did that organisation come about?
  • Who promoted the joys of bushwalking?

Many volunteers and others have contributed to South Australia’s great walking trails, walking clubs, and walking promotion and opportunities for health, wellbeing, recreation and tourism. At Walking SA we believe that it’s about time they were recognised.

Walking SA is initiating annual awards to recognise sustained and outstanding contribution to walking at all levels throughout SA. If you know of someone who should be considered for an award in 2016 please do consider nominating them.

Walking SA is the not for profit peak body that leads, promotes and supports all forms of walking in South Australia, including walking for recreation, transport, health, wellbeing, organised events, adventure, bushwalking, environmental appreciation and fun experiences.

Our vision is to have more people walking more often. We provide leadership through; promoting and supporting walking opportunities for all South Australians; promoting opportunities to improve the health and lifestyle of South Australians through walking; as well as expertise, guidance and advocacy for safe and supportive walking infrastructure.

We are launching awards in five categories:-

  • Longstanding Contribution /Distinguished Service Award – Individual
  • Special Recognition Award – Individual
  • Special Recognition Award – Group/Organisation
  • Local Government Award – Individual
  • Local Government Award – Organisation

Criteria for the awards will encompass

  • Enhanced the development of walking in South Australia and/or
  • Significantly furthered the objectives of Walking SA and/or
  • Developed/supported the implementation of a significant walking project/activity and/or
  • Added value to the wider community of South Australia

The awards are a leadership initiative of Walking SA towards public recognition of individuals and organisations who have made a significant contribution to walking at all levels in South Australia.

Nominations may be made by any South Australian nominators. Referees and nominees are not required to be members of Walking SA or of a walking club. We’ll also be pleased to consider self-nominations.

Nominations close on 26th August 2016. Awards will be presented at the Awards Presentation Night on Thursday 13th October 2016.

For further information contact: –

Wendy Keech – Walking SA Chair: 0403 997 907

Greg Boundy – Walking SA Executive Officer: 0457 006 620