Parks and Leisure Australia

Parks and Leisure Australia is the peak industry association for professionals working in the Parks and Leisure sector in Australia. Our members are professionals who work across policy, planning and the provision of assets, services, facilities, programs and research.


The organisation has a history stemming back to 1925 when it was known as the Victorian Tree Planters Association and later in 1962 when it became a national body, as the Royal Australian Institute of Parks and Recreation. 1998 saw a merger with the Australian Leisure Institute and the birth of PLA. PLA is going through an exciting period of change under the guidance of CEO Mark Band. The organisation's priorities are outlined in The Fifty Point Plan developed in order to move the organisation forward into the next stages of its growth. The Fifty Point Plan sets out a pathway for the organisation to ensure it remains relevant to members, moves with the times and establishes a solid foundation on which to build a strong voice for the sector.


Our professionals are ‘the people behind the places’ which promote and enhance opportunities for the good use of their leisure time for a number of social, environmental and economic benefits to the community.


Professionals employed in our sector work across policy, planning and provision of assets, services, facilities, programs and research which enhance opportunities for the good use of leisure time and include: Community and Urban Planning; Parks, Environment, Biodiversity and Conservation; Sport and Physical Activity; Tourism, Arts & Interpretation; and Research and Academia.


Members receive the Australasian Parks and Leisure Journal four times per year. The publication features the latest news, thought-provoking articles and industry insights from Australia and overseas. The official quarterly journal of Parks and Leisure Australia and the New Zealand Recreation Association, it keeps members, partners and associates ahead of the ever-changing industry. Research Connections is a joint initiative between PLA, NZRA and ANZALS and contains the latest updates on research projects from within the sector.


The PLA National Conference and Regional Conferences are held annually. The 2016 National Conference takes place in Adelaide between October 23-26 and will feature an impressive list of international and local presenters and will provide industry professionals an opportunity to share ideas and be involved in developing the parks and leisure sector. Regional conferences will be held between March and June. For more information head to


PLA regularly holds valuable and informative industry events including seminars, workshops and forums. To keep up-to-date and find out what is happening in your region, check out


PLA Advisory is a working committee that has been established to provide the PLA National Board with strategic advice and to organise and/or assist with various strategic activities to further the profession and the industry. PLA Advisory, in conjunction with skills and expertise found in the PLA membership, prepares position papers on critical issues, strategic thinking on industry issues, initiates key research, facilitates international consultancy opportunities where they arise, and explores professional training and development options.


Each year we acknowledge excellence in our industry through the prestigious Awards of Excellence. The program is dedicated to fostering business and public understanding of the importance of excellence in the parks and leisure sector to the social, environmental, economic and physical wellbeing of all Australians. Submissions close in March and regional winners are announced at various events around the country between April and June. National winners will be announced at the Awards of Excellence Gala Dinner on October 26.


The Parks and Leisure Australia website includes information about industry events and seminars, regional updates, jobs within the sector, tenders, research and position papers, access to the Journal, previous Awards of Excellence winners and other valuable resources.


Manager Marketing and Communications | Nicoll Parton
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National Office and Membership Manager | Lina Court
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Parks and Leisure Australia
207 The Parade
Norwood SA 5067
P | 08 8332 0130
F | 08 8431 8180
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