Employment opportunity: Walking SA – Executive Officer (permanent, part-time, 21 hours/week)

Exciting opportunity to work for peak body in SA

Walking SA – Executive Officer (permanent, part-time, 21 hours/week)

About us

Walking SA is the peak body that leads, promotes and supports all forms of walking in South Australia, including walking for recreation, transport, and health and wellbeing. We achieve this through promoting walking opportunities, events, adventure, environmental appreciation and fun experiences. Our vision is to see more people walking more often.

About the role

Walking SA is looking for an Executive Officer to work with the Chair, the Board, key stakeholders, our volunteers and members to provide strategic advice, manage communications and implement strategies to support the activities of Walking SA within our Strategic Plan.

The Executive Officer will represent Walking SA to the broader walking community, including the general public, all levels of government and key stakeholders.

To apply for this senior salaried position, you must have highly developed oral and written communication skills. A proven record of writing successful grants may be beneficial. You must be able to generate workable, practical solutions, understand basic bookkeeping (knowledge of using Xero is an advantage), fundraising and marketing, be committed to a collaborative working approach; be able to operate autonomously, and have good, negotiation and liaison skills. A high level of organisational skills is essential.

Most importantly you should have an understanding of, and commitment to, the benefits and promotion of walking. A demonstrated knowledge or background in walking and the factors influencing opportunities for walking in South Australia, both recreational and for transport, would be advantageous.

This position has the potential to become full-time if additional funding is sought.

Employee benefits

We value our employees and volunteers and believe your passion and commitment will make a difference to achieving our vision. We offer:

  • Work-life balance – flexible work arrangements (some out of hours may be required).
  • Developing your career – we provide professional development opportunities.

To apply for the job please provide a cover letter addressing the criteria (max 3 pages), and your recent CV. Please address to Ms Tuesday Udell, Chair of Walking SA, office@walkingsa.org.au

Salary: $35,000 per year + superannuation ($61,250 FTE)
Office location: Adelaide
Contact Greg Boundy, 0457 006 620 for the position description and more information
Applications close on 15th September at 11.59pm

General information about Walking SA and our activities can be found at walkingsa.org.au

Adventure Based Wellbeing – what is the Traveller Effect?


By Rod Quintrell

This article originally appeared in The View Magazine, official industry magazine of the South Australian Tourism Industry Council (TiCSA), formerly South Australian Tourism Industry Council (SATIC).

After presenting a workshop during the SA Tourism Conference I began to reflect on what benefits adventure based experiences can bring. This article is an attempt to explore the positive effects on psychological wellbeing of adventure based experiences.

Adventure based experiences are novel activities with hands on engagement, ideally in a group setting. Essentially the focus of these experiences is “learning by doing” – a fundamental tenant of Adventure Based Learning, which, in essence is a form of experiential education. Traditionally this also includes elements of physical engagement in a nature based setting, but does not necessarily need these components.

Two things can happen when we engage in new or novel experiences. Firstly – the working memory part of your pre frontal cortex needs to be engaged to learn and secondly, by default, your existing patterns of behaviour are temporarily changed to deal with these new experiences.

This leads to an internal phenomenon most people can relate with – what I call the traveller effect. When you return home from an epic adventure and there is that short lived period of ‘upbeatness’ and openness to change.

Some answers may lie within the science of Positive Psychology, a blend of humanistic and cognitive behavioural theories. It’s founder, Martin Seligman, suggests we need five ingredients for psychological wellbeing… Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Accomplishment.

Adventure tourism, or that epic Heysen Trail trek you just returned from, contains many of these ingredients in varied ways.

Does the immediacy of Adventure Tourism make it the ultimate form of mindfulness?  Experience engagement or flow is all about here and now – you cannot experience flow without being in the moment. Meaning can be about understanding the value of things being in the journey, not the destination.  Accomplishment in this context can be satisfaction or perhaps trail completion.

When I first entered into the outdoor recreation / adventure tourism space I had clear vision of the potential physical and mental health benefits of extended time in nature with a small group of people, trained and equipped to deal with the chosen activity. I personally experienced, and have been privileged to witness, significant lasting personal change through adventure travel and it’s resultant effects on self.

This leads me into understanding that the science backed benefits can be split into three areas:

  1. Time in Nature – Studies have continually shown the varied health benefits. A 2016 article in Nature suggests the next big global heath issue is urbanisation, and experiences in nature produced physical, mental and social health improvements.
  2. The benefits of diet and exercise on our wellbeing are varied and well documented. From understanding that exercise is seen as a treatment option for depression to exploring the role food has on mood, the evidence is in – healthy body – healthy mind.
  3. The benefits of novelty engagement – “learning by doing” – a fundamental element of Adventure Based Learning, a form of Experiential Education. The evidence suggests the learning is far likelier to be retained if engaged. The benefits of mindful engagement are well accepted in heath literature.

Beyond Blue estimates three million Australians are currently living with Anxiety or Depression. In 2016, the cost to Australian taxpayers was, according to the Mental Health Commission, $60 BILLION Dollars, $4000 per taxpayer!

To me, adventure is a state of mind and is subjective to the individual, but adventure based learning and its societal wellbeing benefits are more objective. Perhaps if we all adopted an adventure holiday mindset in our day to day existing, and of course on our short breaks in South Australia, we all might experience the benefits.

Now…  where is my kayak….?



Fact Sheet: Pedestrian safety and traffic crashes in metropolitan Adelaide

A review of road traffic crashes involving a pedestrian between 2013-2017

Fact Sheet - Pedestrian safety and traffic crashes in metropolitan Adelaide, A review of road traffic crashes involving a pedestrian between 2013-2017Here at Walking SA we’ve produced a one-page factsheet on crashes involving pedestrians in metropolitan Adelaide (Transport professionals prefer the term “crashes” to “accidents”, arguing that to call something an “accident” suggests that there’s nothing we could have done to avoid it.)

The factsheet uses data from the last five years to show where crashes involving pedestrians have occurred, both on a map and categorised by local council and the speed limit of the road.

The map also shows where the speed limit is 40km/h or less, and where slower speed limits are planned.

Two things stand out:

  • The City of Adelaide council is surrounded by neighbours that have at least some 40km/h zones (only the City of Burnside and City of West Torrens don’t.) All of the City of Unley’s residential streets are zone 40km/h. The City of Adelaide council by contrast sticks to 50 and 60km/h speed limits, with very limited exceptions: Victoria Square plaza, the western end of Hindley Street and the designated Shared Use Zones.
  • The City of Adelaide council has by far the highest number of pedestrian crashes of any council. In fact almost one in five pedestrians crashes for the whole State occur in the City of Adelaide council area.

The factsheet also includes a well-known graph from the State government’s Road Safety strategy that points out that your chances of surviving being hit by a car double if the speed of the vehicle is reduced from 50km/h to 40km/h.

If after looking at the fact sheet you would like further information, we have produced an interactive map for you to explore the data.

Walking SA thanks geo-spatial analyst Greg Vaughan for help in producing this factsheet.  We hope that it can be used to encourage safer speeds for pedestrians.

Walking SA Submission to 20 Year State Infrastructure Discussion Paper

Walking SA responded to a government discussion paper which outlines a plan for our state’s population growth over the next 20 years.

The paper by a newly formed independent body Infrastructure SA looked at a range of economic and social infrastructure options.

Walking SA strongly calls for walking to be considered as a fundamental form of transport and (foot) traffic, and that walking infrastructure is planned and funded accordingly.

Walkability will be key to the liveability of our state into the future.