Rodney Tolley WalkShop

Jillian Woolmer
City of Cockburn

In April 2019 the Your Move team, in partnership with the City of Cockburn and the Heart Foundation, hosted a Community Walkshop with Rodney Tolley - university researcher, international speaker and world renowned Walking Expert. The Cockburn Walkshop explored how we can create vibrant and liveable new urban centres. Rodney Tolley was joined by Dr Paula Hopper, a Healthway Research Fellow at the Australian Urban Design Research Centre. The event was well attended with participants from State and Local Government, RAC, consultants, councillors and local community members. Around 30 City of Cockburn staff members attended.

The City agreed to host the event and we were also able to organise an extra session just for key City staff, including the Senior Management and Executive Team, after the formal Walkshop and lunch. Some staff stayed for the morning session and the afternoon private meeting with Rodney. The whole day was very relevant to the City of Cockburn staff as we have been working on the the relocation of the Administration Centre from Spearwood, to be closer to the middle of the City of Cockburn in the transit oriented development of Cockburn Central. The sessions were located in the Cockburn ARC building that is directly opposite the proposed location for the new building. The area is still to be fully developed. Talking about walkability was important during the design of the building and further development of the area as we want to help encourage more people to leave their cars behind and walk, ride or use public transport.

Working together with the Your Move team and the Heart Foundation, the City of Cockburn Mayor, Engineering and Planning Directors we were able to demonstrate leadership in the area of walkability. Walking around the local area during the Walkshop, we were able to identify the best features that encouraged walking and also areas for improvement.

One of the comments that Rodney made was that areas needed a "Spark of Joy", something to make you smile and encourage people to linger and interact positively. Following his comment, two participants at the workshop started a project to create a "Spark of Joy" a yarn bombed bicycle was adds a touch of colour and was created by Cockburn Bicycle User Group members with Regis Port Coogee Aged Care knitting circle. The aim was also to make the bike racks more visible. It took 12 hours to install in October 2019, so many locals noticed the work in progress. The racks are next to the Mooba Cafe in a sea container at the park opposite the Cockburn Central Train Station. The Aged Care knitting circle were bused to the site to view the finished work. Many people have come to visit the colourful bike rack and park their bike at these bike racks while they have a coffee and the bike also appeared in the local paper "Spinning a yarn for bike riders".

Following the Walkshop, staff have continued to look at ways that a "Spark of Joy" can be injected into the area and make it even more walkable. Engineering and Planning staff collaborated and worked together on grant application to improve walkability in the local area. Due to the North Lake Road Bridge roadworks and current detours in the area, we were unsuccessful in receiving a grant for this work at the moment. We will reconsider it and submit it again in the future when the area is more developed.

View the presentations, and watch the video at

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James (Your Move)

I'm glad this one didn't get lost in the archives, Jillian! A wonderful collaborative effort, not only with DoT, but importantly with the local community - I especially like how you engaged with the seniors group. It would be great in a couple of years, after the development is all in place, to revisit Cockburn Central with Rodney to see how it all has come together. Your text and photos really capture the concept of the "spark of joy"! You have earned 50 points for this walkshop, plus 10 for getting the media's attention and another 20 for really bringing your story to life.

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We had a change of staff around mid 2019, so I was not able to upload the story as we were so busy. Cockburn has so many great stories to tell. I will upload them when I can. I was thinking of a story today talking about 'Cockburn the best place to be'.

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James (Your Move)

Well it is great that you got the story up in 2020! I look forward to reading about how Cockburn is the best place to be - just remember to always have in mind the link to our YM activities in general, but particularly a focus on the workplace. The latest list of YM activities is available here:

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