About the Seniors Exercise Park Champions program

The Seniors Exercise Park Champions program is a volunteering program for adults aged 60 and over to volunteer to lead physical activity programs at the Seniors Exercise Park. This exercise park is expected to open in late 2022 as part of the new Victoria Park Regional Playground in Kew.

This program will give you the opportunity to meet peers in your community, and help others to understand how to safely use and enjoy the equipment at the park.

The Seniors Exercise Park will feature a range of outdoor exercise equipment designed to help improve balance, strength, functional movement, range of joint motion, and mobility.

We are delivering the Seniors Exercise Park program in partnership with the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) and State Trustees Australia Foundation. 

The Victoria Park Regional Playground is supported by the Victorian Government through the Suburban Parks Program.

About the volunteer role

Seniors Exercise Park Champions are motivated volunteers who:

  • have a passion for the health and wellbeing of older people in the community
  • have an interest in healthy ageing
  • enjoy helping others to reach their own health goals.

Important note: Your sense of fun and enthusiasm to help others enjoy some movement in the outdoors is far more important than how fit you consider yourself!

Seniors Exercise Park Champions will be trained to lead and encourage older community members to participate in physical activity programs at the Seniors Exercise Park in Kew.

Specifically, they will be trained to do the following:

  • instruct and guide others on how to use the exercise equipment safely
  • provide general guidance about how to perform the exercise
  • provide general guidance on how to make the exercise more challenging or easier
  • support and encourage others to be physically active.

You can visit the NARI website for examples and demonstrations of exercises for seniors at the senior exercise park.

The Seniors Exercise Park is suitable for older adults of all abilities.

Volunteer training program

Seniors Exercise Park Champions will be asked to participate in a free, 5-week ‘train the trainer’ program led by a qualified exercise instructor from NARI. The training program will be held at the Seniors Exercise Park.

Training sessions are currently planned to run twice a week for 5 weeks, and are expected to commence in mid to late October. The sessions are tentatively planned to run Tuesday and Friday mornings for 1 to 1.5 hours (note: the final session will be slightly longer to cover a theoretical component). Volunteers will be required to attend a minimum of 8 out of the 10 sessions, including the final session.

Council induction session

The training program will also include a mandatory Council induction session. This session will cover important information including health and safety procedures. The induction will be presented by Tom Thompsett, Active Ageing Project Officer, at the Kew Seniors Centre. All volunteers must attend the Council induction.

Council contact

The management of volunteers will be overseen by Tom Thompsett, Active Ageing Project Officer, or one of their team members.

Ongoing volunteering program and time commitment

Once the Champions have completed the training program, they will be ready to work in partnership with another Champion to lead ‘Come and Try’ sessions for community members at the Seniors Exercise Park.

It is anticipated that Champions will lead a minimum of 2 to 3 ‘Come and Try’ sessions per month, with each session lasting between 1 and 2 hours (duration to be confirmed). It is expected the weekly sessions will be split amongst the group of Champions to provide flexibility for volunteers.

Requirements of the role

Seniors Exercise Park Champion applicants must:

  • be 60 years old or older
  • have undertaken a satisfactory Police Check
  • be able to demonstrate the safe use of equipment and to impart learnings from the training to guide others appropriately
  • complete the Child Safe Standards online training module (once appointed)
  • have a mobile phone
  • be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and be able to provide evidence of vaccination status or medical exemption
  • have ongoing availability to lead come and try sessions (minimum commitment of 6 months)
  • be available to attend at least 8 of 10 sessions of the training program (including the final session), and the mandatory Council induction session.

Volunteers are asked to:

  • adhere to our core values (Code of Conduct) - see the City of Boroondara Values section on this page
  • inform us of any changes to your availability as well as contact details including a current email address
  • undertake the necessary background checks (Police Check and Working with Children Check if applicable), and the Child Safe Standards online training
  • follow established safe working practices, procedures and instructions, as per your training
  • keep all privileged information in relation to Council, staff, and customers confidential
  • take reasonable care for their own occupational health and safety
  • report all hazards, incidents, injuries, and risks as soon as practicable to a City of Boroondara staff member
  • commit to attending a minimum 8 out of 10 training sessions (including the final session), and the mandatory Council induction session.

We ask that you take into consideration the physical and cognitive demands of this volunteer role before you submit an application. These include:

  • constant standing and walking
  • constant looking forward and turning (neck)
  • frequent bending, twisting, and balancing
  • frequent walking on uneven terrain
  • frequent looking up and down (neck)
  • frequent stepping up and down and squatting (sit to stand)
  • occasional pulling and pushing with upper limbs
  • occasional pushing with the hip/leg/ankle/foot
  • occasional reaching at or above the shoulder
  • occasional gripping and fine finger movements
  • occasional stepping up and down
  • constant communication and interaction with others
  • constant interpretation of signage to demonstrate/provide guidance on exercises
  • constant outside work and exposure to the elements.

Desired skills

We are looking for Seniors Exercise Park Champions who:

  • are friendly, welcoming and approachable
  • are able to work with and lead others
  • have good verbal communication skills
  • are passionate about meeting and helping others 
  • are in alignment with the City of Boroondara core values - see the City of Boroondara Values section on this page.

How we will support you

We will:

  • provide you with a safe and healthy work environment
  • provide you with a briefing on your volunteer role prior to your first day of volunteering, including training as detailed previously
  • provide access to resources and support through Tom Thompsett, the Active Ageing team, or through other Council officers
  • provide you with Public Liability and Voluntary Workers insurance cover.

Volunteer applications

Please note: volunteer applications closed at 11:59pm on Sunday 11 September 2022

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an interview at the City of Boroondara Council Offices (8 Inglesby Road, Camberwell) during the week commencing Monday 19 September 2022. The interview will assist us in evaluating applicants’ suitability for the role, and give us a chance to discuss the responsibilities and expectations of the role.

In the download section below, you can review our Volunteer position description with more information about the volunteer role.

City of Boroondara values

We require staff to demonstrate 6 core values in the workplace. To volunteer for the Seniors Exercise Park Champions program, you need to agree to adhere to these core values while volunteering. Demonstrating these values is integral to ensuring you have a positive and meaningful experience with the City of Boroondara, and that the people you interact with as a volunteer are treated respectfully.

Please note: some of the City of Boroondara values are more applicable to staff members and may not be as applicable to volunteers.

Treat people with respect

  • I listen, to really understand others’ points of view
  • I show I care about others’ wellbeing, through my words and actions
  • I treat people fairly and with compassion
  • I recognise and value others’ contribution

Work together as one

  • I share information and invite others’ input
  • I plan and think from start to finish, in consultation with my stakeholders
  • I build strong solutions through genuine conversation
  • I respect, and commit to, shared strategies, priorities and decisions

Think customer experience

  • I consult, to really understand our customer and community needs

  • I think, decide and act with our customers’ experience in mind
  • I take pride in serving our customers and community
  • I apply a customer experience mindset to my work with internal customers

Act with integrity

  • I am honest and open in my interactions

  • I do the right thing, by upholding the standards of our Code of Conduct
  • I speak up, and provide constructive feedback when things are not right
  • I strive to live our values every day

Explore better ways

  • I think ahead, to anticipate and adapt to changing needs

  • I seek with curiosity, to find the better, simpler or smarter way
  • I am open to new approaches and brave enough to take a measured risk
  • I quickly learn and adapt based on my experiences

Own it, follow through

  • I take responsibility for my behaviour, actions and outputs

  • I am confident to make effective decisions in my role
  • I do what I say I will do
  • I show initiative to make things happen

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