Written by: Dr Digby Whyte

It is my pleasure to introduce Neil McCarthy as the incoming CEO World Urban Parks. I first met Neil around 1995 when he visited the Auckland Regional Parks Service from Melbourne Parks and Waterways on a mission to develop best practice and strategic partnerships between parks agencies.

These are two of the defining skills Neil brings World Urban Parks as he went on to lead, with others, a number of big ideas - from the strategic direction of Parks Victoria, the ‘healthy parks healthy people’ program, the creation of Parks Forum (as founding Chair) as a peak Australasian organisation representing parks agencies, the creation of the International Urban Parks and Green Space Alliance, and the review of the International Federation of Parks and Recreation Administration (as President Elect), and implementation of World Urban Parks (as Vice Chair).

I don’t doubt that Neil has yet finished with his mission to create a strong and vibrant profession globally, and all that brings society, the environment and world economies – and he is already working on taking World Urban Parks to the next level.

For those of you who would like to know a little bit of Neil’s career and skills, he held a number of operational, strategic and corporate executive roles in Parks Victoria before becoming the CEO of the North East Catchment Management Authority in Victoria Australia.  He was originally educated in Forest Science with the University of Melbourne, holds an MBA in government policy and reform from Monash University, and did further Executive study at MIT in the USA.

Neil has been recognised for many of his contributions and was World Urban Parks’ 2016 Distinguished Individual Award recipient.  As World Urban Parks seeks to grow members, value and influence I have no doubt that Neil together with the board, chairs and members will take the organisation from strength to strength.