NSW/ACT Regional Council

Annette Stafford - Councillor

Annette has approximately 30 years' experience as a Recreation Planner in Local Government at Blacktown and Fairfield City Councils. She has experience in community consultation, planning for playground, sporting fields and shared path developments, funding programs and advocacy for healthy communities.

She recently retired from Blacktown City Council and has remained on the NSW/ACT Regional Committee to stay in touch with an industry she is passionate about. Annette's qualifications include a BA in Social Science and Certificates in Travel and Tourism.

Phone 0407273322

Carla Armanet - Councillor

Botanic Gardens & Centennial Parklands

Carla Armanet is an experienced executive that has managed high-functioning teams for prestigious venues and international tourist attractions. She is driven by optimising engagement and takes pride in providing positive customer experiences. Carla is widely known for her major event, commercial and operational proficiency. As Director of Sport and Recreation at the Botanic Gardens and Centennial Parklands, she is motivated to encourage ongoing participation and opportunities that achieve positive outcomes and overall wellbeing for the community. In addition to her role with the Parklands, Carla has been recognised for successful place making and leadership roles during the launch and activation of NSWs' largest urban renewal projects, Sydney Olympic Park and most recently Barangaroo. With tertiary qualifications in Sport, Recreation and Leisure, the PLA provides Carla with an opportunity to combine her knowledge and experiences to benefit the industry, with a strong focus on place, commerciality and community experiences.

Phone 02 9339 6615

Fiona MacColl - Councillor

Office of Sport

Fiona is a long-time member of PLA with several decades working in the industry, having been employed by private industry, Federal, State and Local Government. Fiona is currently the Principal Advisor, Facilities, Strategy and Planning at the NSW Office of Sport. Her passion is developing evidence based planning for public open spaces and sports facilities for current and future generations from grass roots through to elite sports. Fiona's qualifications include: Bachelor in Landscape Architecture, Advanced Certificate Horticulture, Masters in Management, and a Masters in Planning.

Phone 0400 121396

Ian McAlister - Councillor

Dubbo Regional Council

Ian has worked in the local government sphere for the past 30 years and currently holds the position of Manager Recreation and Open Space at Dubbo Regional Council. This position crosses a number of disciplines including asset management of parks, sporting facilities and natural resource management, strategic planning to meet the changing needs of the community, management of aquatic leisure centres, street tree management and project management.

As a strong advocate for the need of a connected park network to promote human health and well-being Ian has consistently pushed the discussion on the need for long term planning for the integration of Green and Grey Infrastructure to achieve intergeneration benefits to the Dubbo community.

Phone 02 6801 4000

Mark Taylor - Councillor

Cumberland Council

Mark is a recreation manager, landscape architect and recreation planner with over 25 years working in community and park management at a senior level in local and State Government. Mark has been a long term advocate for regional planning and partnerships between the community, Councils and the State Government to deliver better recreation services and facilities.

I first attended the National Parks & Leisure Australia, Conference in Sydney 2001, knowing little of the organisation; I found it complemented my views of what the leisure industry should represent. It sparked my interest in recreation planning and a holistic approach to park management.

Being involved with Parks & Leisure Australia, Mark has seen the professionalism of the sector grow and mature. Mark was the NSW State President of Parks & Leisure Australia NSW Region from 2005 to 2008 and during this time established the model for the NSW State Conference Program. The industry and PLA has grown immensely in this time.

Currently Mark is the Public Open Space Planner for Cumberland Council and is enjoying developing the open space strategic studies for this diverse community in a large merged Council.

Phone 02 8757 9866

Simon James - Councillor

City of Ryde

Simon James has over 20 years' experience as a Sport Administrator, working in State and Local Government organisations and including a stint in the University Sector. Working for the Sydney Olympic Organising Committee and at the Australian Masters Games, Simon has experience in managing the use of recreation facilities for all levels of sport. Simon has also been a committee member in a number of community sporting organisations and has developed a strong understanding of the competing demands and pressures across the industry in relation to the use of sports facilities. His experience in developing and managing community facilities, and a knowledge of the objectives of policy makers gives him a unique understanding of the challenges and opportunities there are for organisations to align their agenda's and achieve better outcomes.

Phone 02 99528092

Les Munn - President

Les Munn is a long-time member of Parks and Leisure Australia (PLA), current NSW/ACT President and National Vice President.

Les worked in the horticulture/recreation industry for over 35 years and was employed in Local Government serving terms with five separate councils across Sydney as a Parks and Recreation Manager. He has qualifications in Design, Horticulture, Arboriculture, Management and Project Management.

He is a strong supporter of commercial use of public open space as a means of providing the necessary funding assistance for ongoing maintenance and improvement works, as well as improving the recreational experiences for the community.

Phone 0419013950

Executive Officer

Bethanie Tobin


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