John Wood

John Wood

Life Membership is the highest honour that QORF can bestow and Life Members will be held in the highest esteem.

John Wood

John Wood


2003, Queensland Outdoor Recreation Award for Outstanding Achievement
2012, Parks & Leisure Australia’s Frank Stewart Award and life membership of PLA.

Awarded QORF Life Membership: 14 March, 2019

For over 50 years John Wood has focussed his professional life on serving the parks and leisure industry in a variety of roles as a government officer, university lecturer, consultant and community volunteer. He has done so with immense professionalism and earned national and international respect for his expertise in natural area management, parks, recreation, tourism, open space planning in urban and rural areas, world heritage areas, national parks and wilderness areas.

As a consultant, John authored or co-authored over 250 reports which provided professional advice on a wide range of topics spanning the parks and recreation field. In his later years, he was frequently called upon by government and private sector clients to act as an expert witness in planning appeal matters under the jurisdiction of the Queensland Planning and Environment Court.

John always had a passion for outdoor recreation and the management of indigenous protected areas. In the early part of his career, as a Forest Officer with ACT Forests, John planned the first dedicated trail bike area in Australia in Stromlo Forest in the mid-70’s. From 1975 to 1982, as a Lecturer/ Senior Lecturer at Canberra College of Advanced Education (now University of Canberra), he helped develop the careers of post graduate students in the Graduate Diploma in Outdoor Recreation and undergraduate students in the Park/ Natural Resource Management degree program.

From 1983 to 1988 John was a senior planner in the Northern Territory’s Conservation Commission where he was a prime initiator of the Northern Territory’s Recreation and Conservation Values Register and the lead planner responsible for the initial assessment and development planning of Litchfield and Gregory National Parks.

He entered the world of consulting in 1989 as a Director of Loder and Bayly Consulting (Brisbane) and subsequently, in 1994, became Principal Recreation and Environmental Planner with EDAW (Aust) Pty Ltd where he authored scores of reports dealing with recreation, tourism and land management matters throughout Australia.

John was a founding board member of Tread Lightly Australia in the 90’s and its chairperson from 2000 to 2006. With Jan Scudamore, he helped organize and convene several national conferences on the use of off-road vehicles and the management of natural areas for all outdoor recreational activities including trails.

In 2000 he formed John Wood Consultancy Services which he operated until his retirement in 2017. In that role he provided expert advice to many different Federal, State and Local Government agencies. Such was John’s standing in the industry that he was regularly sought after as a project partner by leading firms in landscape architecture, urban planning, civil engineering, environmental planning, tourism and law. These projects saw his expertise spread across Australia and to other parts of the world including China and Saudi Arabia.

Throughout his career John has remained an active member of Parks and Leisure Australia (PLA). He currently serves on PLA’s Queensland Regional Council, is the chairperson of the PLA Advisory Research Working Group and, since 2011, the editor of Research Connections, a quarterly newsletter / article focusing of the latest national and international research articles on leisure, parks and recreation.

In 2003, John received QORF’s Award for Outstanding Achievement, and in 2012, in recognition of his lifelong contribution to the Parks and Leisure industry, he was awarded PLA’s prestigious Frank Stewart Award and life membership of PLA.


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