Distinguished Alumni Awards

Tony Mobley International Distinguished Alumni Award
Digby Whyte - 2016
Portrait of Digby Whyte

Digby Whyte, M.S.'88, Re.Dir.'90, Re.D.'92 has been a leader in parks, recreation, and public lands management since he graduated from IU and returned to New Zealand and Australia. Most recently, he served as the Director of Park Operations for the Australian Northern Territory Government Department of Natural Resources, Environment, the Arts and Sport. In this role, he had responsibility for the Northern Territory's 11.5 million acres of national parks and reserves with a significant impact on parks, recreation, wildlife, lands, and tourism.

He served four terms on the boards of New Zealand's and Australia's peak park and recreation organizations, and, starting in 2013, Dr. Whyte helped to reform an international organization into the World Urban Parks; now active in over 70 countries with large membership in Europe and Asia. He serves as CEO of this group and has been instrumental in pivoting the group toward public health and conversation for urban populations.

Dr. Whyte has been integral in the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington implementing an international certification program for park professionals that includes competency requirements in public health. His work is facilitated by the Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands in the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies. In fall 2015, the World Park Academy rolled out international webinar training and national certification partnerships jointly led by Dr. Whyte and the Eppley Institute.

Without Dr. Whyte's long standing contributions to the profession and world, the development of park professionals would be minimal internationally.