Dialog Box

Same Walk, New Story – Parkinson’s WA 13th Annual Walk in the Park

Same Walk, New Story

The spirit of the Parkinson’s community has been ignited throughout the Western Suburbs recently, and it’s not surprising to see why when you visit the Town of Cambridge Library and notice the bright purple and colourful corner that represents the upcoming ‘A Walk in the Park’ event on Sunday 10 September from 9am at Perry Lakes Reserve, Floreat with accessible 2km or 5km options. 

Two women raise their arms as they walk together.Pictured: Town of Cambridge Mayor Keri Shannon stands with Parkinson's WA CEO Yasmin Naglazas and Dr Katrina Stratton, Labor Member for Nedlands at the AWITP Cambridge Library Display

Parkinson’s WA will be hosting the 13th year, and this one will look a bit different, with the same walk, but a slightly different story. The community are invited to join the fun by walking alongside those living with Parkinson’s, enjoying a picnic and sausage sizzle, playing garden games, engaging in activities for the kids and adults alike, dancing warm-ups and exploring some stalls and live entertainment courtesy of the energetic Wasamba Carnival Drummers. 

Gates open at 9am with the Walk starting at 10am until approximately 1pm. Join Parkinson’s WA on September 10, register, and walk alongside people living with Parkinson’s and their families.

For some, A Walk in the Park is an achievement equivalent to a marathon, but for others it is a slow and reflective journey shared with loved ones or in memory of someone special. This event raises essential funds for those living with Parkinson’s in the WA community by contributing to the unique community-based Parkinson’s Nurse Specialist service, with a range of other assistance initiatives such as Seminars, Support Groups and Carers Groups.

The emphasis on walking reinforces the best non-medicinal prescriptive recommendation to manage Parkinson’s symptoms, highlighting low-impact exercise and getting the body moving. 

Town of Cambridge Mayor, Keri Shannon will be attending the Walk along with Labor Member for Nedlands, Dr Katrina Stratton, who will be collectively showing up for the Parkinson’s community in WA by walking alongside them at Perry Lakes Reserve. 

Pictured: WASAMBA Carnival Drummers get the crowd moving

Town of Cambridge Mayor Keri Shannon said she was delighted to spend the morning with some of the community members in her local area of Perry Lakes.

“Each year, the Parkinson’s WA ‘A Walk in the Park’ fundraiser is a symbolic way that the Town of Cambridge local community, and the greater Perth community, can show their support for people living with Parkinson’s, their partners and carers,” she said.

“While providing support to people living with the condition is a big focus for the organisation, the great work that Parkinson’s WA does is also very much about providing support for carers and partners. This includes everything from seminars to support groups held across Perth including one in the Western suburbs.”

“The event is important to me because it represents the best in people - it’s about everyone banding together for a common cause while enjoying some exercise at the stunning Perry Lakes Reserve.”

Dr Katrina Stratton who will be joining the Walk for the second time with her dog Millie, said it was important to exercise with her family, especially knowing that this is one of the key ingredients for people to live well with Parkinson’s. 

“Many Neurological conditions are ‘hidden’ and by making more noise and creating more colour we open up the conversation, and when we open up the conversation, we create understanding and compassion,” she said.

 Pictured: Dr Katrina Stratton holds her dog, Millie at Perry Lakes Reserve

Parkinson’s WA CEO Adj Prof Yasmin Naglazas will be attending her first Walk, after accepting the CEO position in early 2023, and she said it was a wonderful opportunity to share a moment of solidarity for Parkinson’s WA and those living with the Neurological condition. 

“Exercise is a part of healthy living for everyone, and for those living with Parkinson’s, it is a vital component of their lifestyle, from maintaining mobility, helping with balance and falls to engaging in the activities of daily living,” she said.  

“Selected research shows that individuals who start exercising earlier experience a slower decline in symptoms of Parkinson’s than those who commence later, or not at all.”

Parkinson’s Nurse Specialist Fiona said she was looking forward to the Walk, having missed the last one, and she was keen to connect face-to-face with the broader community by walking with them and promoting good health, socialisation and wellbeing.

“Walking with a partner is more fun and a great way to combine exercise and socialisation. You may find having a walking buddy helps both people maintain enthusiasm and improves the chances of meeting your personal goals,” she said. 

Pictured: A group stop to pose and have a snack during the 2022 Walk

“Walking can also be more enjoyable if there is a purpose or reward at the end of it. Walking to and from the coffee shop can be a good incentive. Spring is also a great time to get out and about spotting wildflowers and enjoying the great Flora and Fauna of our beautiful state, which the Walk will showcase around the picturesque Perry Lakes Reserve.”

Fiona explained that a physical activity such as walking can be complimentary to medicinal Parkinson’s therapy.

“We know that any exercise is better than none and that by starting small, anybody can make gains in their fitness, strength, and function. As your fitness improves, you may find that so does your walking speed.”  

Pictured: A family smile and pose together at the 2022 AWITP Event

Parkinson’s Nurse Specialist Janet McLeod said she was eager to join the event in its 13th year.

“What I love about 'A Walk in the Park' is the sense of community – it is an ideal opportunity for families and intergenerational fun – because fun is still possible even though families are affected by Parkinson’s,” she said.

“Many families still return year after year to walk in memory of grandparents and friends who have passed away.”

The City of Perth will be lighting up the landmarks for Parkinson’s WA on Sunday 10 September, acknowledging A Walk in the Park, so visit your local landmark to see the Parkinson’s purple representing our Walk and our journey.

There are many ways you can be involved! Join Parkinson’s WA on September 10, visit the Library to check out the display, make a donation, enter the very first 'A Walk in the Park' colouring-in competition, register for the Walk and show your Parkinson's support for those living with Parkinson’s and their families and friends. Find out more: www.parkinsonswa.org.au  

Words and Photos by Jacqui O'Leary

Download the Event Agenda Booklet here! 

More Details About Parkinson's:

  • As an organisation Parkinson’s WA encourages the use of terminology ‘Parkinson’s’ or ‘Parkinson’s condition’ and not the use of ‘Parkinson’s disease.’ 
  • Parkinson’s currently affects 100,000 Australians with 38 people being diagnosed every day. Globally, neurological disorders are the leading cause of disability and of these, Parkinson’s is the fastest-growing degenerative neurological condition with predictions citing that without a medical breakthrough, the number of Australians with Parkinson’s will double every fifteen years.

  • Most of us think of Parkinson’s as a condition that causes tremors and movement problems but it is much more than that and in 30% of cases there is no tremor at all.  Parkinson's impacts every system in the body; common issues include; tremor, falls, muscle rigidity, slowness of movement, gastro intestinal problems, sleep disturbances, depression and anxiety, sensory changes, speech and swallowing problems, cognitive changes and pain. 
  • Latest research indicates that more than 150,000 people live with Parkinson's and more than 12,300 cases are diagnosed each year in Australia. 
  • The prevalence of Parkinson’s is higher than many cancers including breast cancer, colorectal, stomach, liver and pancreatic cancer, lymphoma and leukaemia, kidney and bladder, uterine, cervical, ovarian and lung cancer.
  • For more information about Parkinson’s WA call 6457 7373 or email info@parkinsonswa.org.au
  • Founded in 1984, Parkinson’s WA is the peak body and not-for-profit organisation that represents more than 20,000 Western Australian’s affected by Parkinson’s, their families and carers, clinicians and researchers.
  • The organisation offers a Parkinson’s Nurse Specialist Service and a variety of Support Networks for people with Parkinson’s and their family carers, as well as educational resources and training for allied health professionals.

17 August 2023
Category: Articles