John BrandenburgLong-serving member of World Urban Parks and its predecessor the International Federation of Parks and Recreation Administration (Ifpra) John Brandenburg passed away on 27 December 2016 in Sydney, Australia. Our thoughts are with his family, and many of his colleagues have reached out in remembrance.

John was held in very high regard as a World Urban Parks member and Ifpra Commissioner for Australia. He received the Ifpra Gold Medal at the 2013 Ifpra World Congress in Alberta, Canada for significant and dedicated service to furthering the values and ideas of the Ifpra vision. He was a major force in the development and sustainability of the IFPRA Asia-Pacific Region and its members, serving as the region's first Secretary for 16 years from 1992-2008 and editing the Asia-Pacific newsletter.

A more complete profile of John's career was produced following the presentation of the award.

John was well remembered by colleagues. Gilbert Briscoe, who had known John 30 years, attended the funeral and wake and noted it was well attended.

Makoto Aruji, President of World Urban Parks Japan wrote, on behalf of the association, to John's wife and family to say:

"We are so sad to hear the death of Mr. John Brandenburg. Please accept our sincere condolences. He contributed greatly to the International Federation of Park and Recreation Administration (IFPRA). The marvellous works he made will be valued for a long time to come. Especially, we are thankful to his efforts for the first Congress of the Ifpra Asia Pacific Region in Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture in Japan, 1993, as the secretary of the Ifpra Asia Pacific Region. Really he loved parks and green spaces. May he rest in peace."

Rob Small, World Urban Parks director and a former Ifpra President wrote:

"In recognising the sad news of John Brandenburg's passing I am pleased to read the plaudits given to him. My early memories of John at both the Australian Parks industry conferences and around IFPRA congresses too was his mentoring of young promising parks professionals and even at the level of apprentices.

"He was always a stand out member of these conferences particularly known on the international circuit for his clip-on koala souvenirs which he seemed to posses in limitless quantities. These simple gestures were significant in breaking down barriers and connecting people. A friendly and generous member of our parks fraternity world-wide. His contribution to IFPRA Asia Pacific was significant and on its own deserves our thanks. John will be missed by many of us and I counted him as a friend and peer.

Rest In Peace, John Brandenburg.”


Alberta medal recipients
Ifpra Gold Medal recipients at the 2013 Ifpra World Congress in Alberta, Canada, including John Brandenburg (second from left).