Ben Bainbridge, Neal Ames, Cathy Kiss & Anand Pillay

Ben Bainbridge

Vice President PLA Victoria/Tasmania

Ben has over 18 years' experience as a Senior Manager spanning State and Local government and private consultancy. He has delivered strategy, projects and services in sport, community, planning, tourism, development and government sectors and has enjoyed changing sports facilities at local and elite level, parks, public spaces and townships into diverse and active communities and places.

Ben has broadened sport and active living services to encourage participation for all and tackle social equity and inclusion issues with managing Pride Cup and the Matilda's Camp and Friendly career highlights. He is an experienced strategic planner and project manager who brings a partnership approach and is a skilled facilitator and advocate. Ben maintains a network across sport, government and industry including holding executive roles with Parks and Leisure Australia at state level and with the national advisory group.

Neal Ames

Parks Planner, Parks Victoria

Neal joined Parks Victoria as a Parks Planner in 2017. He has worked in the recreation & parks industry since 2001, having worked with Sport and Recreation Queensland, the ACT Directorate of Sport and Campbelltown City Council in Sydney. He has held roles in recreation, sport management, open space and parks planning. His own professional interests lie in Outdoor Recreation and Active Recreation. He has been a member of the Queensland Outdoor Recreation Federation and Railtrails Australia. Neal has been a member of the PLA National Advisory Executive since 2012.

Cathy Kiss

Recreation Facility Development, City of Melbourne

Cathy has worked in the Parks and Leisure industry, primarily in local government, for over 30 years. With qualifications in recreation planning and management, she has extensive experience in the planning, development and management of open space, sporting and recreation environments, and a particular passion for children's play.

Cathy is currently the Recreation Facility Development and Contract Coordinator (acting) at the City of Melbourne. She is a founding member of PLA Advisory and Councillor on the Parks and Leisure Australia Vic Tas Regional Council.

Cathy was awarded the Frank Stewart Distinguished Service Award in 2014.

Anand Pillay

Anand has worked in the sport and recreation industry for the past 20 years, with 10 years managing the Queensland Government's North Queensland Region, before moving to his current role leading the development of sport and recreation products and services for the State. He has previously held sport and recreation planning roles for Brisbane and Townsville City Councils and completed a stint with the Department of Premier and Cabinet's Economic Policy team. He is a member of the inaugural Discover Sport board at James Cook University and a member of the PLA Advisory Executive. Anand is currently completing a PhD at James Cook University, investigating the Value of Sport and Recreation Facilities and also has a strong interest in how sport and recreation can provide a platform for equity.

Andrew Smith

Chair, PLA Advisory


Let's get the gender on the agenda

This is your chance to shape PLA's draft Gender Equity Charter and leave a lasting legacy.

Currently only 37% of Parks and Leisure Australia members are female. Our draft charter, which has been developed through input from PLA members across our industry, targets equal representation.

We invite you as a leader in our industry to join PLA Advisory in a workshop that will determine how we achieve our PLA Gender Equity Charter. We will:

  • let you know about our ambitious 50-50 gender equity charter
  • workshop how we can achieve the targets we have set
  • establish ways to monitor our ongoing progress.

Register Now and Save

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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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