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This event is proudly brought to you by Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC), Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA), Outdoors Great Southern and the City of Albany.

WA Trails and Recreation ForumPhoto: @gasgaslex_photos

Showcasing the Great Southern region, this event will be a valuable networking and professional development opportunity for the wider trails and recreation community. 

It will bring presenters from across the State to inform and educate you on a wide range of topics, including:

  • trail planning and building
  • trails as a recovery tool
  • international and local case studies
  • the economics of trails
  • Aboriginal tourism and more.

There will be opportunities to network with other key industry stakeholders throughout the forum, including at a sundowner hosted by the City of Albany.

Cultural acknowledgement

This event will be held in Kinjarling, on Noongar Boodja. We acknowledge the Aboriginal peoples of Western Australia as the traditional custodians of this land, and we pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.  

Keynote speaker

Former Olympic athlete and passionate outdoor recreation advocate Emma George will give the keynote address on her journey of recovery and resilience.


Registrations will close at 5pm 6 October 2021.

Please note that this event will book out quickly, so don’t delay your registration.

Register for the forum

Pre-registration information

Please review the following information prior to completing your registration. Queries regarding this event can be directed to

    Completing your registration

    Payments are made at the point of registration through the ticketing platform. If you wish to pay via invoice, please email with this request.

    You will receive a confirmation email and tax receipt once your registration is complete.

    If you have any queries regarding your registration, please email these through to

    Event schedule

    Please note this schedule is subject to change. A confirmed agenda will be distributed closer to the event date.

    Additionally, please be aware that workshops, activities, and site visits have capacity limits. We encourage you to register early to secure your place. 

    Day 1 — Wednesday 13 October

      Day one program
      12:00pmRegistration opens Albany Marina
      Ferry to Camp Quaranup departing Albany Marina 
      Ferry one departing at 12.30pm 
      Ferry two departing at 1.15pm 
      Albany Marina

      Attendees have the opportunity to participate in one of three options: 

      1. Strategic Trails Blueprint Industry Workshop: An opportunity for the Trails and Recreation community to provide input into the draft WA Strategic Trails Blueprint document prior to its finalisation. 
      2. Trail Building Training Workshop (Theory: Introduction to recreational trail development, construction, and maintenance): The Trail Building Training workshop will be delivered in two parts — a theory session on Wednesday (13 October) and a hands-on field trip on Friday (15 October). Participants may choose to attend one session or both sessions. The theory workshop will focus on the 8-stage sustainable planning framework developed for WA, and give an overview of best-practice design, construction and maintenance principles and theories.
      3. Quaranup Cultural Walking Tour by Kurrah Mia: A two-hour tour that takes in the paths walked by the Menang People, to see ancient waterholes, artefacts, engravings, bush foods and medicine plants.
      Camp Quaranup
      4:20pmReturn bus from Camp Quaranup to Albany Marina and Albany Town Hall 
      6:15pmWelcome Sundowner hosted by the City of Albany at the Albany Town Hall. Light refreshments will be provided to attendees while being introduced to the keynote speaker for the Forum and hearing from local maritime-themed singing group, The Albany Shantymen. Albany Town Hall
      Wednesday event close 
      Attendees make their own arrangements for dinner at the conclusion of the event. It is highly recommended that dinner reservations are booked ahead of time.  

      If you have accessibility requirements and need to make other travel arrangements to Camp Quaranup, please contact Suzanne Andrews at who can assist. 

      Day 2 — Thursday 14 October

      The forum will be held at Albany Entertainment Centre, with registrations opening from 8am.

      Attendees will have the opportunity to move between streams and rooms throughout the day.

      Day two program
      8:45amWelcome addresses

      Keynote speaker — Emma George 

      Former Olympic athlete and passionate outdoor recreation advocate Emma George will give the keynote address on her journey of recovery and resilience.

      9:40amGreat Southern Trails Story: Building Effective Regional Partnerships. Lenore Lyons (OGS), Emily Sleight (Shire of Kojonup), Laura Adams (Shire of Plantagenet). 
      10:15amMorning tea

      Stream 1: Recovery

      This stream will examine how trails can be used as a recovery mechanism from COVID-19 and other challenges facing communities and economies. Presentations will cover local, national, and international contexts.

      Topics and presenters include:

      • Case Study Ireland: How is the pandemic impacting recreation in Ireland and what does this mean for trail development? — Darragh O'Sullivan (Sport Ireland Outdoors)
      • Trails as a Major Tool of Recovery: A snapshot of national trails projects that are receiving unprecedented funding — Dave Willcox (Common Ground Trails)
      • The Economics of Trails and the Rationale for Recovery — Michael Keeler (Keston Economics).
      • WA Trails Marketing Strategy: Trails and Tourism Recovery — Lenore Lyons (OGS) and Catrin Allsop (Australia’s South West).

      Stream 2: Resilience

      Presentations will discuss how trails and the outdoors can be used to instil resilience in people of all ages and, conversely, how we can build and maintain resilient trails and destinations. 

      Topics and presenters include:

      • Governance and sustainability of trails: how can we develop governance and sustainable models that keep trails and trail destinations in great shape? — Rod Annear (DBCA)
      • Collie: Building a Trail Town. How trails are helping Collie transition from coal and power generation to a more diverse economy — Rod Annear (DBCA)
      • Adventurous minds: a youth adventure therapy program. Kym Gibson (Adventure Connections)
      • Playing in Nature building resilience — Griffin Longley (NaturePlay WA).

      Stream 3: Recreation

      Trails have a rich history and play a key role in facilitating outdoor recreation. This stream will look at how Western Australians are utilising trails to recreate and why this is so important.

      Topics and presenters include:

      • Wind and Wave: developing recreation opportunities in the Mid West — Simon Barras (Mid West)
      • Participation on Trails During Lockdowns: how has COVID-19 impacted participation in outdoor recreation as measured through the Trails WA website? — Agata Sleeman (Trails WA)
      • Recreation in WA: what does the research tell us and why is participation so important? — Glenn Morley (DLGSC)
      • Hiking Strategy: a modern take on an ancient activity — Steve Bennett (DLGSC).

      Stream 1: Planning for trails

      Using the Pwakkenbak/Mount Barker MTB Trail network as a local case study, this stream will examine key components of best practice trails planning.

      Topics and presenters include:

      • Developing a regionally significant mountain bike trail — Kaysanne Knuckey (Outdoors Great Southern)
      • Trails as a local government economic and community driver: building an effective partnership — Laura Adams (Shire of Plantagenet)
      • Developing the concept plan — John Dingey (Magic Dirt Enterprises)
      • Dieback management and environmental surveys — Jeremy Spencer (Great Southern Bio-logic)
      • Engaging with Traditional Owners — Rebecca Khan and Joyce Ugle (Mount Barker Aboriginal Progress Association).

      Stream 2: Aboriginal connection and leadership

      This stream will explore aboriginal connection to country, tourism, leadership and partnerships within the sector.

      Topics and presenters include:

      • JINA: WA Aboriginal Tourism Action Plan: WA is set to become the nation's premier destination for authentic Aboriginal tourism. What are the opportunities for Aboriginal people and their culture? — Jackie Crooks (Tourism WA)
      • Strong and Proud: an on-country cultural connection program utilising trail infrastructure — Karen Herilhy (South Coast NRM)
      • Aboriginal Rangers Program: overview of the program and what it means for Aboriginal people across WA — Judith White (DBCA)
      • Aboriginal Hiking Leaders Program: a new training program supported by Elders, TAFE and local government. Our story so far — Kirstie Davis (Shire of Harvey)
      • Developing Hiking Guides/Leaders:  building a strong, consistent approach to developing leaders — Steve Sertis (Bibbulmun Track Foundation).

      Stream 3: Trail insights

      Take a closer look at accessibility and stewardship of trails, pandemic recovery, plus considerations regarding safety for participants and the natural environment.

      Topics and presenters include:

      • Trail Tourism in a Pandemic: The impact, recovery and the future — Simon Mendelawitz (Inspiration Outdoors)
      • Incidents on Trails: A major new research project investigating incident data for hiking and MTB trail use — Paul Braybrook (Curtin University)
      • The Importance of Trails for Mental Health and Wellbeing. How trails have played an integral part of the Mental Health and wellbeing for Western Australians in the pandemic and what we have learned — Chelle Fisher (The Eco Therapist)
      • Volunteer Engagement and Ownership of the Trail Maintenance Space — Oliver Laing (Munda Biddi Trail Foundation)
      • Off Road Vehicles Update: A progress report on the Off Road Vehicle plans and strategies — Kerstin Stender (DBCA).
      3:10pmAfternoon break
      3:40pmClosing presentations
      4:30pmEvent close 

      There will be an informal dinner option at Due South at the conclusion of the forum. This is at the attendees own cost, and intention to attend this dinner can be indicated when you complete your registration. Alternatively, there are a range of other dining options available across the City of Albany

      Day 3 – Friday 15 October

      There will be a choice of seven activities to take part in on Friday.

      These activities will be run concurrently. There is an additional charge for the three outdoor recreation activities, which will be applied during the registration process.

      Day 3 program

      Buses depart Albany Entertainment Centre

      Attendees can choose from 1 of the following site visits or activity options:

      1. Site visit — City of Albany
        Join a morning guided bus tour of the City of Albany's outdoor activity highlights, including:
        • the new terminus for both Munda Biddi Trail and the Bibbulmun Track, recently completed by DBCA
        • the southern hemisphere's largest pump track at Albany Youth Challenge Park
        • re-thinking trail development in response to community feedback — Albany Heritage Park. 
      2. Site visit — Shire of Denmark 
        Join a guided bus tour of trail projects in the Shire of Denmark including: 
        • building trails in challenging coastal environments: Munda Biddi realignment in William Bay National Park
        • recreation upgrades in a high use area with strong community values — Lights Beach precinct.
      3. Site visit — Shire of Plantagenet
        Join a morning guided bus tour of the Shire of Plantagenet's outdoor activity highlights, including:
        • armouring, drainage and masonry work in a forest setting — Castle Rock Trail, Porongurup National Park 
        • developing trails in partnership with community — Proposed mountain bike network and boardwalk at Mount Barker/Pwakkenbak.
      1. Trail Building Training Workshop (Practical session: Hands on Application of Trail Design, Construction and Maintenance)
        This is the second of the Trail Building Training workshops. Participate in a hands-on-session where you will apply the learning from the theory session on Wednesday to a short section of trail at Mt Clarence. Please bring: Backpack, water, snacks, hat, sunscreen, suitable closed-in footwear — preferably workboots.

      Activity options:

      Attendees can choose from the following activities for an additional fee.

      1. Guided hike at Uredale Point/Point Possession — $35
        Participate in a half-day guided hike on the Uredale Point/Point Possession trail (5km loop) with Dr Dave — FACET Golden Guide and WA Tourism Hall of Fame inductee. This grade 3 hiking trail provides stunning views of the Albany Port, Princess Royal Harbour, King George Sound and Vancouver Peninsula. The walk will culminate at Whaler's Cove beach where there is the opportunity for a dip in the ocean. Please bring: backpack, water, snacks, hat, sunscreen, suitable closed-in footwear, swimmers, towel, camera.
      2. Guided mountain bike ride (BYO bike) — $35
        Enjoy a two-hour guided mountain bike ride with the Albany MTB Club. Riders will assemble at the Albany Marina and be transported up to The Mounts before descending to Middleton Beach. Return to marina via Ellen Cove Boardwalk. There will be an opportunity to purchase a coffee at Middleton Beach. BYO mountain bike, helmet and water bottle.
      3. Sailing aboard Sail-A-Way Albany Whale Tours — $88
        A cruise through King George Sound with a chance of seeing seals, sealions, dolphins and a variety of birdlife. Included is a bottomless cup of tea, coffee, Milo for all passengers with warm finger food supplied, such as spring rolls, chicken sticks with dipping sauces and either donuts, scones, or muffins. Please bring a spray jacket, hat and sunscreen. We recommend wearing comfortable clothes and flat-soled shoes.
        12:30pmBuses return/event close

        Travel, accommodation and amenities

        Albany is located just over 415km south of Perth. It takes approximately 4.5 hours to drive from Perth to Albany. Flights are also available directly to Albany through Rex.

        The organisers highly recommend that you book all accommodation, hire vehicles, flights, and meals ahead of time. The following links will assist you in booking these services:

        You can contact Albany Visitor Centre on 61 8 6820 3700 or email for further information and assistance. 


        If you are seeking further information regarding event, travel and venue accessibility or require specific accessibility accommodations, please contact Suzanne Andrews directly for support at

        COVID safety

        This event will comply with all relevant State Government health advice and COVID safe event guidelines.

        Please do not attend this event if you are feeling unwell, have travelled overseas or interstate in the 14 days prior to the event, have tested positive for COVID-19 or are awaiting test results.


        Suzanne Andrews
        Telephone 61 8 9492 9625


        WA Trails and Recreation Forum

        Registrations are closed



        $120 inc GST (additional fee applies for some optional activities)


        Albany Entertainment Centre
        2 Toll Place
        Albany WA 6330
        Page reviewed 26 August 2021