About Elaine Carbines


Elaine Carbines (BA Monash, Dip Ed Monash, GAICD) is the CEO of G21 – The Geelong Region Alliance. G21 is the Regional Strategic Planning Committee covering the municipalities of Greater Geelong, Surf Coast, Colac Otway, Golden Plains and Queenscliffe.

elaine carbinesElaine’s career has been diverse. She worked as a humanities teacher in Victorian State Schools during the 80s and 90s before entering State Parliament.

From 1999 - 2006 Elaine was the Member for Geelong Province. During this time she held the positions of Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Environment. Elaine oversaw key government projects including:

  • The Cutting Red Tape in Planning Report
  • The Live Music Taskforce
  • The Great Ocean Road Regional Strategy
  • The Coastal Spaces Report

Following her parliamentary career, Elaine worked as the Manager of Strategic Relations at Parks Victoria from 2007-2010.
She currently holds the following positions:

  • Deputy Chair of the Geelong Performing Arts Centre Trust
  • Barwon South West Regional Development Committee
  • Alfred Deakin Research Institute Advisory Board
  • Karingal Foundation
  • National Celtic Festival Committee
  • Geelong Business Club Committee

Interview with Elaine

Can you explain the Active Parks and Active People project in Geelong?

Geelong’s Active in Parks project is an innovative trial in the G21 region of internationally renowned research that indicates that the mental and physical health of people improves through contact with nature.

It has involved projects across the region aimed at increasing physical activity amongst groups of people that have traditionally had little contact with parks. Examples include refugees, people with an intellectual disability, indigenous youth and young disadvantaged mothers. It has also involved the referral by local doctors of people at risk of developing diabetes to activity programs in our parks.

How did you become involved and what is your role?

I became involved in the project as the CEO of G21-Geelong Region Alliance as we are hosting the Geelong’s Active in Parks project officers at G21.

What do you think needs to happen to get more families out into parks?

In order to get more people into our parks, we need to better promote the vast range of parks available in the G21 region and also offer a wide range of pleasurable, inclusive activities in which people can easily engage.

What is your most vivid Childhood memory of being in nature?

My earliest memory of being in a park is from before I migrated to Australia as a child. I was born in Manchester, England and we had a lovely park near where we lived – Platt Fields. The park was especially important to me as we lived in a small terrace house which did not have a garden. Playing in Platt Fields was great – lots of big open spaces, a lake and a great children’s playground.

Why do you think it is important to connect with nature?

I think it is important to connect with nature for “restorative” reasons – whether it is a local park, beach, forest or walking trail, I feel better physically and more invigorated for having spent time there.

Where are your favourite parks in the Geelong Region?

My favourite parks in the G21 region are:

• Barwon River Parklands
• Balliang Sanctuary
• You Yangs
• Surf Coast beaches
• Great Otway National Park

How does being in a natural environment make you feel both mentally and physically?

Being in a natural environment reinvigorates me both physically and mentally.

Do you see the benefit in your children?

My children have spent many happy hours in parks as they have grown up – we have fond memories of the You Yangs and local parks such as Balliang Sanctuary and Barwon Valley Fun Park from their childhood.

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