Keynote Speakers


David Sim
Partner & Creative Director, Gehl Architects, Denmark

Soft City: Small, do-able Steps Towards Great, Urban Transformations

For more than ten years David has been focusing on Masterplanning Frameworks and urban design, collaborating with other professionals in the planning and building process, applying Jan Gehl’s theories to large-scale projects. 

David’s recent work includes the CentralCity Recovery Plan for Christchurch,New Zealand after the devastatingearthquake of 2011 and the plan for AnCamas Mòr in the Scottish Highlands,the first new town to be given planning permission in a national park.

David is also renowned as an inspiring educator and lecturer, and has taught at architecture and design schools all over the world.

Presentation Abstract

Sponsored by: 


Ethan Kent
Co-Director, PlacemakingX
Senior Fellow, Project for Public Spaces, USA

From Liveable to Loveable: Building People Powered Places

Ethan Kent works to support public space organisations, projects, and leadership around the world to build a global placemaking movement. 

Ethan has traveled to more than 900 cities and 60 countries to advance the cause of leading urban development with inclusive public spaces and placemaking. 

In 2019 he co-founded PlacemakingX to network, amplify, and accelerate placemaking leadership and impact globally. 

Ethan has been integral to the development of placemaking as a transformative approach to economic development, environmentalism, transportation planning, governance, resilience, social equity, design, digital space, and innovation. 


Brian Haratsis
Executive Chairman
, MacroPlan & Futurist

The Unequal Impacts of Technology: How the Digital Economy and Innovation is Impacting on the Liveability of our Cities and Towns

Brian is a futurist, best selling author and thought leader regarded by corporate Australia as the leading economic and strategic advisor in the property sector locally and internationally.

He has over 30 years experience delivering business and property strategy, precise forecasting of niche trends, successful facilitation of strategic outcomes and delivery of major projects and policies.Brian commands an unparalleled, on -the-ground knowledge of property markets across Australia, having worked extensively and regularly in all capital cities and key regional markets.

Brian’s third book Destructive Cities analyses how the service sector, globalisation and technology can reshape Australia. The book builds on Australia 2050: A Big Australia (2010) and Beyond the Fringe (2012) and informs transformational rather than trend thinking.

Presentation Abstract


Natalie Malligan
Head of Uber Air, Uber Australia

Tomorrow’s Cities: Liveability, Connectivity and Safety

Natalie Malligan is the Head of Uber Air for Australia, where she is responsible for making Uber’s ambitious urban aviation plans a reality. Australia will be the first international market outside of the United States for Uber Air, with Melbourne being selected as the third official pilot city alongside Dallas and Los Angeles. The plan is for commercial operations to commence from 2023.

Previously, Natalie worked in Uber’s ridesharing business as Head of Cities for Australia and New Zealand. She has also worked as a Manager in Bain and Company’s Private Equity practice in San Francisco and Sydney where she established her business credentials. 

Natalie is passionate about Uber’s vision for the future of cities and creating seamless multi-modal transportation for Australians both on the ground and in the air, especially in cities like Melbourne where congestion is an issue.

Presentation Abstract


Michelle Abbey
Head of Retail,  Commercial Property Stockland Group

The Curated Retail Experience

Michelle joined Stockland as General Manager of Retail, Commercial Property in January 2019. Michelle is responsible for managing Stockland’s extensive Retail portfolio of 35 Shopping Centres, valued at over $6.9 billion.

Michelle brings over 25 years of industry experience to the role, in disciplines spanning from strategy, asset management, funds management, capital management, marketing, development, retail, hospitality and new business development as well as delivering large development and refurbishment programmes.   

Prior to joining Stockland, Michelle  was responsible for leading a team in the operation of a portfolio of investment mandates including AMP Capital Retail Trust (ACRT) and Private Clients within the AMP Capital Real Estate Separately Managed Accounts team.  Michelle has also held several senior executive operational roles at AMP Capital, Lendlease , City Tattersalls Club and Westfield Shopping Centre Group. 

Presentation Abstract


Huang Ming
Chairman & Entrepreneur, Himin Solar and Himin Clean Energy Holdings, China

Racing Climate Change: Implementing Renewable Energy at Scale - Building the World’s First Solar City and Beyond 

Huang Ming is a visionary, dedicated, and passionate entrepreneur and change-maker in the field of solar thermal energy. He set up the Solar Valley in Dezhou, China as a national and global example for solar as a realistic alternative to fossil and nuclear energy and rising CO2 emissions. 

In 2005, Huang Ming was instrumental in getting the Renewable Energy Law passed in China, thus building a strong case for his country to take a leading role in preventing growing climate chaos.

The Solar Valley in Dezhou is one of the world’s largest solar city development projects. It includes three vacuum tube factories, three water heater factories, an office and hotel complex, a solar university, a sports and entertainment complex, parks and apartments. 

Presentation Abstract


Sponsored by: 


Emma Thomas
Partner, Infrastructure and Urban Renewal, PricewaterhouseCoopers 

Love Where You Live: How Key City Elements Come Together to Create the Places that Help us Thrive

Emma is an aeronautical engineer, who started her career in the Royal Australian Air Force and has worked across all forms of transport including planes, trains and automobiles.  She recently joined PwC as a Partner in Infrastructure and Urban Renewal, having successfully delivered the first stage of light rail in Canberra. She has extensive experience with leadership roles in Government in ACT, South Australia and Queensland and is passionate about inspiring how our cities and towns thrive by bringing together diverse people and systems and creating places where we love to live, work and play. 

Presentation Abstract


Nigel Jacob
Co-Founder, Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, City of Boston

Creating People-Centric Smart Cities: What is Local Government’s Role?

Nigel Jacob is the Co-founder of the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, a civic innovation incubator and R&D Lab within Boston’s City Hall. Nigel’s work is about making urban life better via innovative, people-oriented applications of technology and design. Prior to joining the City of Boston in 2006, Nigel worked in a series of technology start-ups in the Boston area.

He was also previously the Urban Technologist in Residence at Living Cities, a philanthropic collaboration of 22 of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions, is currently a board member at organizations such as Code For America and coUrbanize, and is an Executive-in-Residence at Boston University.

This ground-breaking work has earned Nigel a number of awards including being named a Public Official of the year in 2011 by Governing Magazine, a Whitehouse Champion of Change and the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation award for 2012. Nigel is also a 12th level Wizard-Pirate with a special focus on causing chaos in large municipal bureaucracies via befuddlement spells.

Guest Speakers


Ian Atkinson
Director of eResearch Centr
e, James Cook University

Transformative Cities: How Technology and People Can Change Our World Together for Better

Ian is the Director of the JCU eResearch Centre at James Cook University where is responsible for leading the Universities efforts in big data storage and management, HPC services, promotion of open data and eResearch practices.  

As the discipline of eResearch was developed in Australia, Ian was one of the first researchers in Australia to start pioneering the fusion of compute, data, collaboration and instrument systems to build end-to-end virtual research platforms.  Today he participates in national and state-based programs to provide researchers access to massive scale computing, data and network services.

Ian’s current interests now combine Internet-of-Things (IoT) networks to sense remote environmental and agricultural data, portals to support the real-time analysis and interpretation of IoT data as well as low-cost sensor development. 


Chris Bain
Associate Director – Planning, Ethos Urban

Moderator: Creating Liveable and Loveable Places

Chris is a qualified town planner with close to 20 years experience in strategic and statutory planning. He has particular expertise in urban renewal. He has lived in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane in worked in the private, state government and local government sectors.


In his current role with Ethos Urban, Chris operates at the intersection of strategic and statutory planning. Through this, he has become a trusted advisor to government on unlocking the potential of land to deliver more homes and jobs, in particular through the NSW Government’s State Significant Precinct and Planned Precinct programs.


Leslie Carter
Managing Director, MRCagney

Emerging Mobility Solutions for Cities and the Regions

Les Carter is MRCagney’s Managing Director, charged with the responsibility of leading the company as it strives to grow its reach and reputation as one of Australasia’s leading independent transport and planning advisory firms. 

Les has over 25 years’ experience as a transport management professional in both the public and private sectors including operational, specialist technical and advisory roles Technically, his key areas of specialisation include fleet procurement and maintenance, operational management, transport technology and institutional reform. 

More recently Les has also lead MRCagney’s movement into alternative fuels, electric buses and autonomous vehicles through leading and or contributing to research studies relating to improving the environmental efficiency of Australia’s bus fleets, electric vehicles, a zero carbon Australia, energy storage systems for road based vehicles and autonomous vehicles and their impact on cities and transport infrastructure. 


Allison Heller
Director, Social Strategy and Engagement, Ethos Urban

Panel: Creating Liveable and Loveable Places

Allison has more than 20 years’ experience in urban and social planning / policy across the private and public sectors. With expertise in social impact analysis, social infrastructure planning, placemaking and broad-based social sustainability strategies, she brings a deep understanding of the complexities of urban development and the growing need for firms to demonstrate social value to both shareholders and communities.

As the City of Sydney’s manager of social strategy for the past five years, Allison recently delivered the City’s inaugural social sustainability policy and action plan – a roadmap for improving liveability and community resilience over the next decade


Frank Marra
Chief Executive Officer, DevelopmentWA

East Village at Knutsford: Supercharging Sustainable Residential Development

As CEO at Development WA, Frank Marra is central to strategic planning, the evaluation of projects and risk analysis to business development, corporate planning and project delivery. Appointed as CEO in 2014, Frank leads a team of around 180 development professionals. A current member of the Central Perth Planning Committee, Frank is also a Trustee of CEDA in WA, a Fellow of CPA Australia and a graduate of AICD.


Cr Les Walker
Deputy Mayor, Townsville City Council

Building a Resilient City: Lessons from the Townsville Floods

Les was born and raised in Townsville and has 14 years’ experience as a city Councillor. Before joining council, Les was as an apprentice plumber and worked at Townsville Correctional Centre and Cleveland Youth Detention Centre.

Les and his wife have also owned and operated several small businesses in Townsville and are the proud parents of two adult children.

Les loves the Townsville lifestyle and enjoys the great outdoors, fishing, boating and camping with family and friends. Les believes that Townsville’s great lifestyle must be protected for future generations.

Les has a genuine interest in renewables and helped secure Townsville’s bid as a “Solar Cities” recipient in 2007 - this program was completed in 2013.

Les has completed a Diploma in Management and is currently the Community Ambassador for RUOK!

Session Speakers


Stella Agagiotis
Coordinator Strategic Planning, Randwick City Council

Randwick City Night Time Economy Strategy: An Integrated Approach to Planning for Diverse and Dynamic Night Life

Stella Agagiotis is a Coordinator in the Strategic Planning team of Randwick City Council in Sydney’s East and has background in local and state government. Stella led the team who managed the preparation of the Night Time Economy Strategy, undertook community engagement, surveys and auditing and liaised with Randwick’s Night Time Advisory Committee.


Georgia Allan
Housing Consultant, .id

Housing Affordability in Australia: Facts and Figures

Georgia completed a Masters in Population Studies and Demography at Flinders University.

Georgia is a consultant in .id's housing team. She was heavily involved in the creation and continued development of, the online tool developed to give councils an accessible evidence base for planning and advocacy.

Georgia has prepared housing demand and supply analysis for a range of councils, including those in inner-city, middle ring, growth and peri-urban areas


Peter Annand
Director, Annand Associates Urban Design

Village Rebirth

Peter Annand is an Urban Designer, Planner and Architect with exceptional experience. Peter’s longcareer as a successful planning and urban design consultant brings considerable wisdom combinedwith a genuine and ongoing sense of innovation. Peter has worked on a multitude of different projectsat different scales and in different contexts with an amazing array of exceptional professionals. Fromthis comes a genuine respect for multi-disciplinary teamwork and a working knowledge across manydisciplines (engineering, traffic, landscape, retail analysis, economic analysis, project managementand many others).


David Barnard
National Urban Design Principal, WestonWilliamson+Partners

Vision Revision

David has designed and managed complex projects with often competing stakeholders for over 25 years. As a thought leader in urban design, David have often led the challenge to find the hidden answer to complex problems. His skills leading workshops and connecting ideas have helped many clients and projects move beyond design debates to deliver innovative built results.


Kevin Bird
Head of Commercial, Smarter City Solutions

Virtual Permits and Integrated Parking: Using Data from Integrated Parking Solutions to Make Better Strategic Parking Decisions

Kevin has worked in the commercial space for the last 25 years, for the last 20 as a company owner, founder or director in fields as diverse as radio, television, pharmaceuticals, courier, vehicle manufacturing and fintech. When he's not at work, Kevin is an avid motorcyclist enjoying riding adventures all over the world for the last 15 years.


Alix Bray
Coordinator Strategic Planning, City of Bayswater

Building Bayswater: Preliminary Community Engagement for the City's Local Planning Strategy

Alix Bray is the Coordinator for the Strategic Planning division at the City of Bayswater.  She is passionate about engaging with the community in new and innovative ways to ensure that the needs of today’s community and future communities are being met.  Alix was the project lead on the award winning ‘Building Bayswater’ project. 


Jeff Briscoe
Alderman, Hobart City Council

Connected Hobart: Towards Australia's Most Economically, Socially and Environmentally Connected Community

Alderman Jeff Briscoe has Honours degrees in Science, Law and a masters degree in Humanities. Alderman Briscoe, an independent, has been on the City of Hobart since 1994. He has been chair of various Council committees including City Planning, Parks (current) as well as the former Chair of the independent statutory authority Wellington Park Management Trust. His professional life included being a long time college teacher of computing, chemistry and mathematics. He has been a board director of various public companies.His particular civil goals include making cities more people friendly and environmentally sustainable whilst protecting Hobart’s scale and heritage.


Sally Butler
Senior Social Planner - Future Cities, Townsville City Council

Townsville Liveability Study

Sally Butler is the Senior Social Planner for Townsville City Council.  Utilising community participatory practices, she drives research to deliver clarity and understanding on what the people of Townsville value about their community.  Sally’s motivation is to create a meaningful and connected community, building an economic, environmental and socially sustainable future. She is passionate about the positive impact people and organisations can have on shaping the places they reside.


Donna Davis
Councillor, City of Parramatta

City of Parramatta's Transformation

Councillor Donna Davis was elected to City of Parramatta Council in September 2017.Prior to joining Council, Donna had a long history of participating in a range of local community organisations and for worthy causes, including 1st North Rocks Scout Group, Ermington Uniting Church Preschool and “Together for Hope” – a walk for suicide awareness and prevention. 

Donna has a degree in Arts with Honours and has worked for a number of Federal and State Members of Parliament over the past 10 years. She held positions in the former Department of Employment, Education and Training and was previously involved in establishing funding for regional indigenous communities in Tasmania.

Donna believes Parramatta’s rich indigenous and colonial history positions the City as an arts and culture destination. Donna is committed to ensuring Parramatta flourishes as a tourist destination while continuing to provide strong employment opportunities across all sectors.  


Dave Fearon
Town Centre Manager, Mangere Town Centre

Conventional Versus Holistic Approaches

Manager of the Mangere Town Centre for the past 11 years. From a retail background and moved into committee roles and then Management. 


Michelle Feenan
Director, Engagement Plus

Small Giants: Small Communities Leading Transformational Change Using Deliberative Panels

Michelle has had over 20 years experience in community consultation, stakeholder engagement, facilitation, planning, team management and community development. This experience has included a diverse range of complex consultation projects regarding social policy, open space and recreational planning, community planning and social infrastructure development in settings from remote and rural communities to large provincial centres and highly urban settings.


Ian Fitzgibbon
Group Leader Sustainable Places, Coffs Harbour City Council

Are We Ready for Automated Vehicles? Learnings from the Coffs Harbour Automated Vehicle Trial

Ian is the Group Leader of Sustainable Places at the Coffs Harbour City Council. He has over 10 years experience in Local Government in planning and infrastructure, delivering a variety of award winning projects. Ian is currently involved in Australia's first regional automated vehicle trial in partnership with private enterprise and the NSW State Government.


Duncan Gilchrist
Economic Development Manager, Inner West Council

Birds v. Bats: Developing and Sustaining a Night Time Economy

For the past ten years, Duncan has worked as the Economic Development Manager for Ashfield and Marrickville Councils which have now been amalgamated with Leichhardt to form the Inner West Council.

Duncan formed the Economic Development Network Inc, as well as serving on the national board of Economic Development Australia and acted as the Chair of the NSW Chapter for a number of years. He is also a committee member of the ICTC Society. 


Simon Grant
Founder, Verb Syndicate

Street Museum
Wonderwalls Festival

Simon Grant is the Founder of Verb Syndicate, a creative agency that produces & delivers a wide range of projects across commercial, residential and public spaces.

Recently, he has ventured in the digital space and created the Street Museum app. This app embraces new technology and the potential growth of content within the app is progressive within that space.


Nikki Greenwood
Group Leader City Prosperity, Coffs Harbour City Council

Coffs Coast…Where Champions Play

Having grown up in the village of Woolgoolga on the Coffs Coast, Nikki boarded a plane to Japan as a rotary exchange student at the end of high school.  She spent the next decade establishing her career in tourism, travel and events, with highlights including the Nagano Winter Olympics and Sydney 2000 Olympic games, and a number of years with Tourism Australia as Manager of Trade Events.

She jumped at the chance to return home in 2007 to take up a role at Coffs Harbour City Council as Sports Unit Manager, later moving to the role of Group Leader City Prosperity, leading a team across both industry and destination development, and stadium and major events, with a focus on building strong partnerships.  Holding a Diploma of Venue Management, Bachelor of Business in Tourism, and Masters of International Sport Management, Nikki believes she has the best job in Council. 

Nikki is passionate about regional cities and the myriad opportunities they provide, and loves raising her young family on the Coffs Coast.


Leanne Hartill
Manager Neighbourhood Development, City of Melville

Project Robin Hood

Manager of Neighborhood Development and Customer Relations at City of Melville,  Western Australia with responsibility for stakeholder engagement, community development and funding, volunteering, customer service and management of Community Centres.  She is the representative to the United Nations for the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) – a global not for profit organisation that aims to advance the practice of community and stakeholder engagement through education, advocacy and building partnerships.


Councillor, Cassowary Coast Regional Council

Tropical Art Deco, Town Revitalisation and Regional Planning: Reinvigorating Innisfail and Tully

Ben Heath has had an extensive career in the mining industry, including management and director based roles. He has over five years’ experience in the Human Resources, Occupational Health and Safety sector of the mining industry, before moving onto founding and directing a mining company in 2007, where his role predominantly comprised of project management and business development.       

Councillor Heath's most recent business venture at Innisfail Seafood he has his sights set on economic activation through retail, tourism and hospitality.     

 Since being elected as a Cassowary Coast Regional Councillor in 2016, Councillor Heath has been given the portfolio of Economic Activation and Tourism. He is passionate about tourism and visualises significant opportunities for the Cassowary Coast to become the next best holiday destination.


Toni Helleur
Crime Prevention Officer, Mangere Town Centre

Conventional Versus Holistic Approaches

Toni Helleur is the Crime Prevention Officer for Mangere Town Centre and Mangere East Village. Toni joined the team with a background in holistic natural health working with workplaces and their health and wellbeing incentive services. She also created a community led volunteer group called Mangere Connect which over sees Mangere Neighbourhood Support and Community Patrols NZ where we hold community empowerment events. Toni has been working with homeless, beggars and youth at risk groups who occupy the Town Centre coming up to two years.


Andrew Hoyne
Founder And Principal, Hoyne

Place & Prosperity: Real World Success Stories

Andrew is Principal of place and property marketing agency Hoyne. For the last 15 years Andrew has been involved in driving brand and marketing campaigns across Australia, advising major national and international asset owners, developers and councils. Andrew’s passion for the power of place has led him to produce The Place Economy, a series of resource books on the social and economic benefits of effective placemaking from around the world. 


Wayne Kimberley
Deputy Mayor, Cassowary Coast Regional Council

Tropical Art Deco, Town Revitalisation and Regional Planning: Reinvigorating Innisfail and Tully

Wayne is a second term Councillor, firstly with the former Johnstone Shire Council and currently with the Cassowary Coast Regional Council. During both terms he has served as the Chair of the Planning Committee and Deputy Mayor.

Wayne has a passion and commitment for the regional development of the Cassowary Coast Region and believes that by capitalising on existing assets, opportunities can be created. This strategic view has been supported through a range of incentives introduced by council such as the Facade Improvement Scheme, Reduction of Infrastructure Charges Policy, and Reduction in Development Application Fees Scheme. Councillor Kimberley’s commitment to prosperity for the region is evident through his substantial involvement in the Mission Beach Master Plan, the Cassowary Coast Art Deco Strategy, furthering agribusiness opportunities for rural landholders, and as a board member of the region’s Local Tourism Organisation, Tropical Coast Tourism.


Nora Lamont
Councillor, Maroondah City Council

Greening the Greyfields: Using Smart Tools to Transform our Neighbourhoods Together

Councillor Nora Lamont was first elected to Maroondah City Council in 2008, representing the Mullum Ward, home to the Ringwood Metropolitan Activity Centre.

Nora has 25 year’s experience in government and holds tertiary qualifications in Political Science, Public Administration, Migration Law & Practice, and Planning.

Nora is passionate about the future of Ringwood, and the community benefits, as it fulfills the Victorian Government’s vision as a Metropolitan Activity Centre.


Dean Landy
Partner, ClarkeHopkinsClarke

Creating Cities of Villages: A Return to People-Focused, Walkable Settlements

Dean is a Partner at ClarkeHopkinsClarke Architects. He heads the urban design and mixed-use team and champions some of Australia’s most progressing thinking in urban planning and design.

Over 20 years, Dean has delivered a new breed of town centres, masterplanned communities and mixed-use developments designed for positive social impact.

His 2016 book, Creating Vibrant Communities, outlines a successful methodology for creating strong communities through the development process.


Liz Ledger
CEO, Town of Claremont

When Public Transport Threatens to Divide a Town Centre

Currently the CEO of the Town of Claremont, Liz’s passion for building wellbeing through community and economic development roles has spanned 25 years+.  She has contributed to evolving the identity of the communities she has represented through meaningful activations and communication strategies. Liz holds a BA in Arts Management, and is completing a MBA.


Kevin Mack
Mayor, Albury City Council

Two Cities One Community: An Innovation in Collaboration

Cr Kevin Mack has been a Councillor for the last seven years and Mayor for five years. A resident of Albury Wodonga, Cr Mack has worked in Victoria in policing for 40 years, specialising in youth services and community engagement. He is a passionate supporter of cross border collaboration, living and working on both sides of the border for the past 33 years.

Cr Mack is the Chair of the Riverina and Murray Region of councils consisting of 11 councils. He is also Chair of the Inland Forum of NSW Councils and the ”Evocities” Marketing platform. This platform is based on promotion and marketing in major cities to attract families, business and industry to relocate to the regions of New South Wales. Cr Mack is an advocate for decentralisation and has presented to a number of state and federal inquiries on matters pertaining to growth in the regions of our country.


Mark McClelland
Creative Director, Cultural Capital

Cultural Placemaking: Bringing Meaning to Place

Mark McClelland is co-founder and creative director of Cultural Capital. An awarded creative director and sculptor, Mark curates in the public realm as a cultural placemaker. Current and recent projects include the cultural masterplan for the Oxley Creek Rehabilitation project in Brisbane; art strategy, curation and delivery for Sydney’s New M5; and the public art masterplan for Sydney Metro City and Southwest. 


Gary McCullough
Senior Project Leader - Canning City Centre, City Of Canning Wa

Canning City Centre, WA: Delivering Urban Renewal in an ever Sprawling City

Senior Project Leader for the Canning City Centre responsible for delivery of a $76M urban regeneration program for the City Centre.  Key focus is to lead the in-house and consultant project team to ensure we promote best practice urban design working with all levels of government and the private sector around investment attraction to deliver on the future vision for the City Centre. Key skills in urban and strategic planning.


Bruce Mills
Group Manager - Place Services, City of Parramatta Council

Placemakers of the World, Unite! A Placemaking Paradigm for Liveable Cities & Neighbourhoods

Bruce Mills is the Group Manager of the Place Services team at City of Parramatta Council; a team of 14 officers delivering place-making outcomes across the city and neighbourhoods Local Government Area. Prior to his current role, Bruce worked in city marketing and also in product management, marketing and management roles. Bruce has also seen both sides of local government, serving as an elected councillor at Hornsby Shire Council.


Ainsley Milton
Account Manager, Placescore Pty Ltd

Townsville Liveability Study

Ainsley has over 10 years experience working in placemaking and engagement, Ainsley has extensive experience in both the not-for-profit and private sectors. She is passionate about community engagement and has extensive experience working with a variety of stakeholders including the community groups, Council officers, developers and other consultants on engagement, place and activation strategies.


Tracy Mulholland
GM, New Lynn Business Association

How to get Elected Member buy-in on your Project: An Insider's Story 

Tracy has a passion for excellence in governance, is a small contract business owner, business association specialist and an elected member - Chair of the Whau Local Board.  Tracy was elected in 2016 and was the only person in Auckland to be elected first term and to then be appointed chairperson.  

She fosters cohesiveness, working for the community and doesn’t play big party politics.  She advocates for communities and residents to have a positive “live, work, play” environment.  

Tracy’s background is shopping centre and town centre regeneration with a focus on economic development and business improvement districts.  Tracy has worked in the NFP, corporate and local Government environments.


Isabella Newman
Senior Planning Officer, Cassowary Coast Regional Council

Tropical Art Deco, Town Revitalisation and Regional Planning: Reinvigorating Innisfail and Tully

Isabella is a Senior Planning Officer at Cassowary Coast Regional Council. Isabella is an Honours graduate in regional and urban planning from James Cook University specialising in cultural heritage planning. She has successfully integrated her knowledge of art deco cultural heritage with place-making and master planning for Innisfail. She has managed a range of master planning projects as well as assessing a range of complex tourism related developments.  


Jenny Pemberton-Webb
Place Manager - Revitalising Central Dandenong, City of Greater Dandenong

Neglected Quarter to a Colourful Jewel: A Place Led Transformation

Jenny has over 20 years local government experience and is implementing a sustainable place making program in a principle activity centre undergoing revitalization.  Jenny involves community in the planning and production of their spaces with embedded place making principles and measures. Initiatives that harness local narratives, build on cultural identities and celebrate people and place, form a strong thematic - all delivered with an eye for strategy and practical outcomes.


Patricia Prociv
Councillor, City of Parramatta Council

Activating the City After Dark: Parramatta Lanes Festival

Councillor Dr Patricia Prociv was elected to City of Parramatta Council in September 2017. She is Councillor for the Rosehill Ward in the City of Parramatta.

Patricia a Visual Artist with a Doctorate in Creative Arts and a Local Government.


Beck Roy
Transport Planner, MRCagney

“If you make it hard to park, you’ll ruin my business”: Why do Traders Overestimate the Importance of Customer Car Parking?

Beck is a Transport Planner living in Melbourne. She specialises in sustainable and active transport and is passionate about creating inclusive, active and playful communities. 


Paula Schultz
Chair, Papakura Business Association

Changing Perceptions

Paula Schultz is a developer and business owner based in Papakura, Auckland. After a rewarding career piloting long haul airliners she decided to concentrate on her property and urban design passion. After the restoration and re-development of a commercial heritage building in Papakura she moved onto larger developments and helping to revitalise the area through her work with the business association.


Tracy Shackleton
Papakura Town Centre Manager, Papakura Business Association

Changing Perceptions

Tracy has been in the role of Town Centre manager for the last five years and brings to this role her background in marketing, events and promotions. She is committed to working hard to ensure the vision and plans for Papakura Town Centre are achieved.


Andrew Smith
Director Infrastructure, Town of Claremont

When Public Transport Threatens to Divide a Town Centre

Andrew was formally a Local Government Director, Deputy CEO and CEO, and was responsible for the successful design, negotiation and implementation of the $340million Kwinana Town Centre project. In 2011, Andrew became a Director of Hester Property Solutions a company that specialised in retail centre redevelopments and regenerations, commercial negotiations, strategic town planning, master planning and creative land exchange transactions.

In 2019 Andrew took on the role of Director of Infrastructure, contributing to the Town’s recent negotiations with the Public Transport Authority and the State Government in respect to the proposed Claremont Station Project.


Isaac Smith
Mayor, Lismore City Council

Building the Narrative

Mayor Isaac Smith was born and raised in Lismore, attending Lismore High School and then Southern Cross University. Isaac began his career as a lecturer of arts and journalism at SCU and for the last 8 years has had the great pleasure of working as a manager in the NFP sector. Mayor Isaac has been Councillor with Lismore City Council for eight years and was elected Mayor in September 2016. 


Nick Stawarz
Principal Specialist Place Management, City of Wanneroo

Place Planning in Multicultural Communities

Nick has worked in the Local Government sector for almost 20 years across a range of disciplines including health promotion, recreation services, event management, community facility planning, strategic land use planning and place management.

His current role at the City of Wanneroo is focused on developing and implementing a place-approach for the organisation and working with the community to strengthen their sense of place and connection to their local area.


Matt Steine
Head of Digital City Strategy, Townsville City Council

Townsville’s Smart Precinct: Not a New Idea, yet an Innovative Practice in Action

Matt is currently leading Townsville’s Smart Cities Digital Strategy towards a transformed future for Citizens, City and Industry in Townsville. Prior to this, Matt lead the portfolios for innovative financing, entrepreneurship and technology within Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade's Innovationxchange. He has also developed a social enterprise, (enable community), which partnered with Vodafone and opportunity international to supply refurbished phones to micro-entrepreneurs in the Philippines to use to sell e-top ups. He has also worked in the mobile industry association (GSMA), developing a business case framework for mobile operators to refocus on women in emerging markets. This work at the GSMA led to the mobile identity programme, then to Facebook with 


Joy Suliman
The Learning Space Coordinator, City of Canada Bay

The Connection: From Vacant Space to the Heart of our Place

Joy brings together her diverse experience in learning technology, workshop facilitation, research, professional development training, regional outreach, and community engagement in her role with City of Canada Bay Libraries. She leads a multi-disciplinary team that works alongside the community at The Learning Space, The Connection, Rhodes, providing access to online resources and a wide range of programs focusing on digital and emerging technology such as 3D printing, augmented reality, robots, and electronic making. Together, they are re-imagining a very different kind of public library service with community engagement and programs at its core.


Debbie Terelinck
Director Community and Place, City of Wanneroo

Place Planning in Multicultural Communities

Debbie Terelinck is the Director, Community and Place at the City of Wanneroo and has more than 20 years’ experience in senior leadership roles in Local Government and the not-for-profit sectors.  Debbie has significant experience across many disciplines including community development, infrastructure and human resources.

Possessing post-graduate qualifications in Business, Debbie took on the Director’s role to drive the City’s approach to place development and place management.


Munir Vahanvati
City Architect, Darebin City Council

Moving the Elephant: Strategies for Implementing Innovative Projects in Local Government

Munir is a qualified architect and urban designer with more than 15 years of experience in local government and private sector. His architectural background and a strong approach to design innovation has allowed him to work on a wide range of projects starting from product design, building design to large scale master planning, urban regeneration and streetscape improvement projects. During his 9 years at Moreland City Council he was responsible for setting up the Urban Design team and developing innovative programs and strategies including the multi award winning Moreland Apartment Design Code, Moreland Parklet Program and the Virtual Moreland Project.Currently Munir is working as a City Architect at Darebin City Council responsible for shaping and implementing Darebin's Design Excellence project.


Saskia Vromans
Place Manager Rhodes, City of Canada Bay

The Connection: From Vacant Space to the Heart of our Place

Saskia Vromans is the Place Manager Rhodes for the City of Canada Bay in Sydney, Australia. Saskia brings a broad range of experiences in creative place making and community development with a key focus on community building, cultural development and place keeping. Drawing on her background in health, local government, and non-profit arts organisations, Saskia is tackling the challenges and opportunities for communities living in high density urban environments.


Shaelee Welchman
Coordinator Gold Coast CBD, City of Gold Coast 

PA CBD in a City of Villages

Shaelee leads the Gold Coast CBD Office which is responsible for the Southport Priority Development Area to revitalise Southport as the Gold Coast CBD. With over twenty years’ experience working in partnership with government and community to conceive and deliver transformative city building projects such as Chinatown, Gold Coast Light Rail, and Surfers Paradise Vision, Shaelee is passionate about creating great places for people.


Amanda Wellgreen
Town Manager, Onehunga Business Association

Onehunga Bites: Delivering Results when the Forces of Good are Combined

With a background in communications, public relations and project management in both public and private sector, Amanda is a new Town Manager in the Auckland community of Onehunga. She is skilled in people engagement and enjoys managing change projects with a people focus. She's worked with include Wellington City Council, Department of Conservation, NZ Transport Agency and IBM. She's is also a member of the Public Relations Institute of NZ.


Brooke Williams
Principal, Codesign Studio

Short-term Action - Long-term Change: Placemaking to Mitigate the Impacts of Construction and Boost the Local Economy

A leading placemaking innovator and design professional, Brooke brings a valuable cross-disciplinary combination of urban design, event management, and facilitation skill sets. Brooke leads the Queensland Codesign Studio team who have recently delivered the multi-award winning Palmwoods Placemaking Program on the Sunshine Coast. Brooke is passionate about creating vibrant cities and is interested in the power of collaborative-city making to foster innovation and strengthen local economies.


Vanessa Williams
General Manager, Hamilton Central Business Association

CBD Activation: Bringing Vibrancy to Public Spaces Through Activation, Events and People

Vanessa Williams, General Manager of the Hamilton Central Business Association, provides advocacy, support and promotional opportunities for the business and property owners located within the Hamilton Central Business Improvement District (BID).


Marti Zucco
Alderman, City Of Hobart

Connected Hobart: Towards Australia's Most Economically, Socially and Environmentally Connected Community

Marti is the longest-serving sitting alderman on the Hobart City Council and a successful business owner with strong links to Tasmania’s business sector.

Among many other achievements, Marti was instrumental in securing AFL matches for Hobart and played a prominent role in developing the Taste of Tasmania food festival.

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