Dean Joel

Dean Joel

Managing Director, a_space

Dean Joel is the Managing Director of a_space, a leader in the design and development of outdoor fitness and play spaces. Dean is a passionate advocate for community wellness. He has been instrumental in the evolution of the outdoor gym category in Australia having overseen more than 300 projects. Dean worked closely with Parks and Leisure Australia (Vic/Tas) in the development of Guidelines for planning, installing and activating outdoor fitness equipment and presents regularly on the topic of innovation in open space.


Engaging the Forgotten Demographic in Active Play

Children have playgrounds, adults have outdoor gyms, but outside of organised sport there is little on offer in open space to promote physical activity for teens and youth. A new category is emerging in the form of innovative open space obstacle courses. This category provides an exciting opportunity to engage this forgotten demographic in constructive physical activity through combining innovative outdoor equipment that is challenging and fun with a social element leveraging digital media. This could well be the biggest innovation in park equipment since the introduction of outdoor gyms.

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What our Delegates are Saying

"I'm going to seek new ideas and learn from experience of other projects to constantly improve the way we manage our parks and open space . I'm looking forward to learning more around Parks & Open Space, Healthy Active Play and Trees and Gardens"

Jacqui, Manager City Reserves, City of Albany (WA)

"I love to listen, learn, share and spend time with likeminded and inspirational colleagues who are transforming the world park by park, facility by facility, program by program. I am looking forward to seeing Kia Dowell and Katie Sarah. I love being inspired and challenged to make a difference and grow as a leader and contributor to our industry".

Carly, Team Leader Recreation Planning, City of Casey (VIC)

"It is important to keep abreast of latest industry trends, best practice case studies and the valuable networking opportunities. I am looking forward to hearing from Jack Kardys regarding the evolving role of parks - driving health, happiness and economic prosperity".

Matt, Manager Active Communities, City of Holdfast Bay

"I can't wait to meet new people and catch up with old friends at PLA2019. I haven't been to Perth for many years and I'm looking forward to seeing the beautiful parks"

Neil, Parks Planner, Parks Victoria

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