Walking SA interviewed for Guardian article on Australians lacking hiking skills

Walking SA’s Chair, Rod Quintrell, was interviewed for a Guardian article about Australians lacking hiking skills.

Can’t read a map or use a first aid kit: Australians lack hiking skills, survey shows.
The nation’s outdoorsy reputation may not be fully deserved, according to the AllTrails app study, with many too scared to go on walks.”

Article link: theguardian.com

“It is about confidence to deal with the environment,” Rod Quintrell, chair of Walking South Australia said. “And how do we build confidence? With a little bit of planning.”

“People should respect the outdoors but shouldn’t necessarily be scared.”

“They should also endeavour to know themselves and their fitness and their ability.”

“People will fail to plan, they will go in the wrong footwear, the wrong clothing, with no water, at the wrong time a year, unaware that the track to the waterfall for example is really steep down … They overestimate their ability and underestimate the trail.”

Assess the weather, as well as a trail’s terrain, distance and steepness to ensure its difficulty will not surpass your capabilities.

Read the Guardian article.

Submission to support and improve the City of Unley Wood-Weller Bikeway Streetscape

Walking SA welcomes the infrastructure improvements to the Wood-Weller Bikeway proposed by the City of Unley.

As the peak body for walking in SA, covering both walking for recreation and transportation, Walking SA fully supports the proposed initiative, and consider it in alignment with our stated mission to get more people walking more often. For reference, we have attached to this letter our recently released 2023-2025 strategic plan, which includes the new addition of a walkability pillar.

We have reviewed the concept design plans for the project and in general, consider the proposed design to be sound and well considered. Whilst we acknowledge that the project focus is mostly on improving conditions for people riding bikes, we support the creation of new shared crossings of Northgate Street.

More specifically, we would like to offer the following minor comments and suggestions on specific aspects of the design where we feel that walking outcomes could be improved:

Location 1: Wood Street to just east of Victoria Avenue

Acknowledging the desire lines for people walking from/to Victoria St would not be as well serviced by the proposed Northgate St midblock crossing, has the potential for an additional or alternative crossing at the intersection Victoria/Northgate been considered?

Location 2: King William Road intersection and Heywood Park Improvements

Prominent and legible wayfinding signage should be considered between Northgate Street and Whistler Avenue to inform route choice between the bikeway and King William Road. The concept design documentation does not make it clear if this is currently included in the project or not.

2022/23 Annual Report, Walking Awards and AGM

Walking SA held its Annual General Meeting on Thursday 9th November at The Jade, with an attendance of people from member clubs, organisations, supporters and the public. We greatly appreciate the attendance and engagement with those there on the night.

Thank you to Travis Saunders who presented on challenges and strategies to enable more neurodivergent people to experience the life-changing benefits of bushwalking. Travis is a qualified bushwalking guide, accredited running coach and founder of Inclusive Trails; offering expeditions, bushwalking programs, run coaching and mentoring for neurodivergent adults. He has recently been awarded a Churchill Fellowship scholarship to “To investigate models of support that enable autistic people to access and enjoy bushwalking.”

Thanks to EXURBIA The Adventure Supply Co three random Lucky Door Prizes were drawn and won to spend in-store at EXURBIA: 1 x voucher valued at $200 to Liz O’Shea, and 1 x voucher valued at $100 Melanie Sjoberg, and 1 x voucher valued at $100 to Jeremy Carter.

Award Winners

We presented the awards for the annual Walking SA Walking Awards. The awards recognises and promotes the achievements and work of groups, organisations, local and state government, and volunteers in South Australia. The Awards process is an opportunity for public and peer recognition of achievements in walking, and demonstrates to volunteers, community groups, the recreation industry, business, government, and the wider community the significant and positive impact that can be achieved through improvements to walkability. This year the awards were expanded to include a new category, to an organisation or individual that makes walking more inclusive and an adjustment to an existing one, to value the commitment to walking of a volunteer.

Awards were presented to three organisations, a community group and one individual, celebrating their contribution to walking in South Australia. Awards were presented by Gabrielle (Gabby) Fisher, Wellbeing SA, and Rod Quintrell, Walking SA Chair.

Board

We welcome Michelle Nash and Kristen Willson as new Board members, whilst thanking retiring Board members Jim McLean and Ian Radbone for their enthusiam and contribution to the Board over the past years. Both Jim and Ian will continue in their roles on the Walking for Recreation Committee and Walking for Transport Committees.

2022/23 Annual Report

The 2022/23 Annual Report was distributed at the AGM and Sharon Kelsey, Executive Director of Walking SA and Rod Quintrell, Chair, spoke to the report identifying a range of highlights from the past year.

We also presented “Our Walking Journey 2023 – 2025” – Walking SA’s strategic plan for the next 3 years.

Our Walking Journey 2023 to 2025 – Walking SA’s new strategic plan released

Our Walking Journey is a refresh of our Strategic Plan but you might view it as a significant step. It is. Walking SA is firmly focussed on our contribution to making SA a world-class walkable State. This Plan sets out our ambitious first steps. We also reinforce our mission for ‘More People walking more often’ and articulate our values of being interactive, immersed in nature, inclusive and inspiring. Read our Plan and join Walking SA on its journey to make a real difference for the benefit of every South Australian.

2023 Walking Award Winners – Recognising contributions to walking in South Australia

We presented the awards for the annual Walking SA Walking Awards. The awards recognises and promotes the achievements and work of groups, organisations, local and state government, and volunteers in South Australia. The Awards process is an opportunity for public and peer recognition of achievements in walking, and demonstrates to volunteers, community groups, the recreation industry, business, government, and the wider community the significant and positive impact that can be achieved through improvements to walkability. This year the awards were expanded to include a new category, to an organisation or individual that makes walking more inclusive and an adjustment to an existing one, to value the commitment to walking of a volunteer.

Awards were presented to three organisations, a community group and one individual, celebrating their contribution to walking in South Australia. Awards were presented by Gabrielle (Gabby) Fisher, Wellbeing SA, and Rod Quintrell, Walking SA Chair.

2023 Annual Walking Award Winners

2023 Award Winner: Williamstown Action Group and Barossa Outdoors, Williamstown Action Group and Barossa Outdoors

Williamstown Action Group and Barossa Outdoors, Williamstown Action Group and Barossa Outdoors

2023 Walking for Recreation: Supporting South Australians accessing green open space for walking

Awarded for Santa Dash, an idea conceived by Matt Hale (Co-Director of Barossa Outdoors) who worked with the local volunteer progress association Williamstown Action Group (part of the Southern Barossa Alliance) to establish the event. This now annual event showcases the opportunities when …

2023 Award Winner: Skyline Walkers, Skyline Walkers

Skyline Walkers, Skyline Walkers

2023 Walking for Health: Supporting South Australians’ health and wellbeing through walking

Awarded to recognise your support of the mental and emotional health, and physical wellbeing of walkers. Your appreciation of the obvious benefits of walking through the example of lifting the spirit by walking though the fields of wildflowers on show in the Adelaide Hills in spring, taking …

2023 Award Winner: City of Charles Sturt, City of Charles Sturt

City of Charles Sturt, City of Charles Sturt

2023 Walking for Transport: Supporting South Australians making short trips by walking

Awarded for your transformation of Jetty Street, Grange in the City of Charles Sturt (CCS) into a walkable community asset. The place is home to a diverse mix of residents, businesses and schools, and attracts a range of visitors throughout the year due its close proximity to the Grange …

2023 Award Winner: Saree Sahelis

Saree Sahelis

2023 Outstanding Group or Individual Contribution to advance walking inclusivity: Outstanding group or individual contribution to make walking an all-inclusive activity

Awarded in recognition of your role in challenging the stereotype that traditional clothing restricts physical activity and to advocate for inclusivity in embracing fitness as a community. Saree means ‘All’ and Sahelis means ‘Friends’. Your group of Australian women of Indian origin …

2023 Award Winner: Bruce Newstead

Bruce Newstead

2023 Outstanding Individual Contribution of volunteer to walking: Outstanding individual contribution to walking in South Australia

Awarded to recognise you at 84 years young, as a wonderful volunteer whose passion and support for Heart Foundation Walking is infectious. Your support to help others in the Salisbury area increase their own level of physical activity, and their confidence and competence through walking is …

Is walking risky? Tell RAA about your walking habits in the Risky Walks survey

Have your say on the walks around your way in the RAA and Walking SA Risky Walks Survey.

Often when people think of exercise, they think of puffing away on a treadmill or lifting weights until their muscles give out.

We forget walking is a great choice, and an option many of us take for granted every day. Studies have shown that walking can reduce the risk of illness, such as heart disease and diabetes, and it’s low impact so a great activity for those with painful joints. On top of that, it’s fantastic opportunity to reap the benefits of “green” exercise – fresh air, blue sky and being in nature. Not only that – it’s good for the environment. Now with milder weather and sunnier days, October is the perfect month to Step into Spring.

At RAA, they’ve been thinking about South Australians walking habits. Could they be walking more? Do they have safety concerns? Are the footpaths not up to standard?

RAA’s Senior Traffic Engineer Matthew Vertudaches wants to know what’s stopping you from walking?

Let us know your thoughts in the RAA Risky Walks survey, created in conjunction with Walking SA. The survey closes 5pm Tuesday 7 November and by having your say, you go in the draw to win one of three $50 gift cards.

Make Walking Great Again, Wed 18 Oct 2023

Join Walking SA to share walkability success stories and explore opportunities to make your local area more walkable.

Hear how you can overcome the challenges to make your own local area a success.

Wed 18 Oct 2023
9am to 1pm
Networking and light refreshments included

The Jade
142-160 Flinders St
Adelaide

Cost
FREE

  • Keynote Speaker:
       Brian Deegan, Director of Inspections (Active Travel England)
    London, UK
  • Local speakers will share local walking examples of how we can influence change including:
    •    Charles Mountain, RAA Senior Safety & Infrastructure
    •    Sara Morrison, Traffic Engineer, City of Charles Sturt
  • Panel discussion
  • Workshop:
       Making change happen

Walking Awards – Nominations open

Step into Spring also means the annual Walking SA Walking Awards sponsored by Wellbeing SA are now open.

In 2023, the five award categories are:

  1. Walking for Health: Supporting South Australians’ health and wellbeing through walking ($1500)
  2. Walking for Recreation: Supporting South Australians accessing green open space for walking ($1,500)
  3. Walking for Transport: Supporting South Australians making short trips by walking ($1,500)
  4. Outstanding Group or Individual Contribution to advance walking inclusivity: Outstanding group or individual contribution to make walking an all-inclusive activity (new category) ($750)
  5. Outstanding Individual Contribution of volunteer to walking:  Outstanding individual contribution to walking in South Australia ($750)

Nominate a worthy recipient and let’s recognise their endeavour that enables us all to enjoy the beauty and benefits of walking.

Key Dates for Awards Entries

Nominations open: 11 September 2023
Nominations close: 16 October 2023 – extended – 30 October 2023
Awards Ceremony: 9 November 2023 (Walking SA AGM)

Improving walkability – Walking SA’s submission to improve a key intersection along Glen Osmond Road, Parkside

Walking SA supports improvements that minimise potential conflict between road users and increases safety measures for the most vulnerable, pedestrian users. See our feedback and views on turns and slip lanes, ‘keep clear’ markings, pedestrian fencing and school speed zones and the role they play at the intersection of GOR, Kenilworth Road and Young Street.

Walking SA accepts the invitation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart and supports the Yes vote

The Walking SA Board publicly declare our support for the constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and for a Voice that will provide a mechanism for First Nations peoples to actively participate and advise on policies and laws which affect them.

History tells us that previous First Nations representative bodies have been continually dismantled by the commonwealth government at will. By writing YES in the referendum, Australians can establish a permanent representative body that advocates for the needs and aspirations of First Nations people.

As the peak body representing all types of walking in South Australia we know that First Nations communities are at the front line of climate impacts in this country. We share a deep love of our country and actively pursue sharing this reverence with all Australians. By ensuring that First Nations communities are represented in shaping national policies, we can not only take substantive steps to close the gap, but also take steps towards achieving better health, environment and climate outcomes for all.

We know the names of all the parks and of those generous European benefactors who bequeathed land back to the government on their passing, but we struggle to tell the stories of those who lived on these places pre European settlement. There is work to be done.

Walking SA supports all elements of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, recognizing the focus is on the First Nations Voice to Parliament, while not diminishing the need to begin work on negotiating Treaty and embracing Truth-telling.

We encourage those who have not read the Uluru statement to do so. it is a hopeful and generous document and I quote:
In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we seek to be heard. We leave base camp and start our trek across this vast country. We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.

ulurustatement.org/the-statement

We acknowledge the diversity of views on this issue and encourage all our members and the broader community to engage in these important processes in the hope that we all will be able to make an informed decision when voting in the upcoming Referendum on 14 of October 2023.

 

For more information contact:
Sharon Kelsey, Executive Director
Walking SA
www.walkingsa.org.au
office@walkingsa.org.au

Position statement as at September 2023.

Walking SA AGM and Walking Awards presentation 2023

Date: Thursday 9 November 2023
Time: AGM 6.30pm, followed by Walking Awards award ceremony
Venue: The Jade, 142-160 Flinders Street, Adelaide SA 5000 (View Map)

This year the event will have a theme of ‘inclusive walkability’.

Following general business, Mr Travis Saunders will speak from a lived experience in making walking inclusive.

The event will culminate in the presentation of the annual Walking Awards, including two new categories of awards that recognise contributions to make walking an all-inclusive activity, and to recognise an outstanding walk volunteer.

Public welcome.

Thanks to EXURBIA The Adventure Supply Co we have 3 vouchers as Lucky Door Prizes, 1 x valued at $200 and 2 x valued at $100, to spend in-store at EXURBIA.

For catering purposes please RSVP to office@walkingsa.org.au.

There is free on-street carparking after 6pm and nearby multi-story parking areas. The Jade is 6-10 mins walk from the closest tram stop.

Nominations for the Board

Nominations for membership of the 2023/24 Walking SA Board are invited from anyone interested in walking and contributing to make South Australia a more walkable state with truly memorable walk experiences.

Help us to share the love of walking and get more people walking more often.

We are particularly interested in applications from members from our walking clubs.

Please refer to the Nomination Form ( Microsoft Word, or PDF.)

Please send your completed nomination form to:
Sharon Kelsey, Executive Director
Walking SA
Level 1, 155-159 Hutt Street, Adelaide SA 5000
or email office@walkingsa.org.au
by Thursday 2nd November 2023.

Sun 10 Sept: Walk with us on World Suicide Prevention Day

Join us on World Suicide Prevention Day for a walk at sunrise to remember those lost to suicide, raise awareness and show your support for suicide prevention.

We are honoured to have Professor Nicholas Procter joining us to open the event.

Enjoy a coffee and catch-up with friends in fresh air as we come together as a community and remember those we’ve lost.

When
Sunday 10 September 7:30 am – 9:00 am

Where
Pennington Gardens, North Adelaide near Adelaide Oval

Walking route
River Torrens, a loop around the river

The reasons for commemorating this day are beyond those that come obvious to us – that Sonder provides mental health and suicide prevention support to our community every day.

Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians between the ages of 15 and 44.

Beyond the tragic loss of the person, the impact of suicide deaths are felt by up to 135 people, including family members, work colleagues, friends, first responders at the time of death.

This year, we are participating in World Suicide Prevention Day to catch up and connect with each other.

We understand the importance of strengthening community, staying connected and showing each other that we are always here if in need of support.

Here’s what to expect

Watch the video above to find out more about how Sonder has commemorated World Suicide Prevention Day in the past.

This year we will be joined by more of the community as we have partnered with Walking SA and UniSA to extend the commemoration beyond Sonder staff.

The event will be opened by Professor Nicholas Procter, who will be sharing his research and recommendations on suicide prevention.

There will be a coffee van for your caffeine kick before, during or after the walk.

Walking SA will be hosting a stall at the starting point of the walk.

Improve your Hiking Skills with Walking SA – Black Hill on a section of the Adelaide 100

Sunday 15 October 2023
Black Hill Conservation Park

Choose from two sessions:
8:30am to 11:30am, or
1pm to 4pm

Join an experienced leader from Walking SA for a guided bushwalk & skills session in Black Hill Conservation Park on Kaurna country.

This 3-hour session will include a 2 hour hike in the park (including a section of the Adelaide100 trail) plus some time to relax in the bush and have a chat about:

  • How to plan and be well prepared for a hike
  • How to stay comfortable while walking
  • Equipment should you take with you
  • Navigation and map resources
  • What to do in an emergency
  • Rules and guidelines about walking in parks
  • The principles of Leave No Trace
  • Walking SA
  • Bushwalking Leadership South Australia

This event is proudly supported by National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia as part of the October’s – Park of the Month.