Matthew Jackson, CEO of Parks Victoria, was our guest speaker on the 18th of June. Matthew Jackson joined Parks Victoria as Chief Executive Officer in February 2017.

Matthew has been involved in nature-based tourism and education for most of his career. Prior to working at Parks Victoria, Matthew was the Chief Executive Officer at Phillip Island Nature Parks for six years and before that held other senior roles within the organisation.

He spoke to us on the amazing work that Parks Victoria does. The statistics alone are mind-boggling. Parks Victoria protects and enhances over four million hectares of parks. It is also the Local Port Manager for Port Phillip Bay, Western Port and Port Campbell and the Waterway Manager for the Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers.

  • These areas include:
  • 45 national parks
  • 26 state parks
  • 13 marine national parks
  • 11 marine sanctuaries
  • 3 wilderness parks
  • 30 metropolitan parks
  • 60 other parks (including regional and reservoir parks)
  • more than 2,700 natural features and conservation reserves
  • more than 11,000 formally registered Aboriginal cultural heritage places
  • more than 2,500 non-Indigenous historic places

Parks Victoria manages more than 28,000 assets. They include:

  • 46 visitor centre buildings
  • 727 shelters
  • 833 toilets
  • 506 viewing lookouts
  • 59 playgrounds
  • 14,000 kilometres of roads
  • 1,293 pedestrian and vehicular bridges
  • 3,700km of walking tracks
  • 122 sporting facilities (e.g. golf courses, ovals and wickets)
  • 211 piers and jetties
  • 110 water access points (e.g. boat ramps, rowing launches and slipways), and
  • 812 navigation aids

Their parks and waterways attract 98.5 million visits each year. Of these visits, 53.8 million are to parks and 44.6 million are to piers and jetties around the bays.

By the end of the evening we all felt both amazed and exhausted.