Panellists

Adrian Gray

Adrian Gray is currently the Manager of Urban Design at Brimbank City Council. He is also the current State President for the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects and was the inaugural Chair of Greening The West from 2013-2015. He has been a practitioner since 1995 working initially in the private sector internationally and in Melbourne. He moved into public practice in 2002 and since 2008 he has been leading a major transformation of the public realm in Brimbank.

Alice Woodruff

Alice is Director of Active City, a consulting practice that specialises in travel demand management and behaviour change interventions. Her work and interests sit squarely within how we make our cities and towns – especially our precincts, workplaces and schools – sustainable, happy and healthy communities. Her lens for city shaping is how people access and choose to travel through urban places. Active City’s projects intersect transport planning, place making, behavioural insights, as well as community development and organisational change. Alice’s clients include major corporates, state and local governments, universities, schools and local communities across Australia.

Bart Curnow

Bart joined ClarkeHopkinsClarke in 2014, heading up their Urban Design team, bringing an established and diversified skill portfolio. Having worked with a broad range of stakeholders and communities he has a refined ability to identify synergies, establish collaborative partnerships and activate participation in negotiating successful outcomes. As a project manager in the UK Bart applied his Commerce Management education to develop the strategic acumen and commercial awareness to plan the investment and allocation of city resources. Equipped with a background in Sustainable Development, he spent twelve months assisting an Eco village draft building and design regulations which shaped their environmental performance and planning policy. Declaring a passion for the built environment Bart completed a Master’s degree in both Urban Design and Town Planning. His experience working on mixed-use activity centres has suitably equipped Bart, providing a distinguished technical aptitude and synthesis in the planning of new people focused precincts. More recently collaborating on a research publication titled, Creating Vibrant Communities, Bart advocates a there is a practical process and series of tools in which to reconsider a fresh approach to delivering healthy, sustainable and liveable communities.

Bronwen Hamilton

Bronwen is a passionate urban designer and landscape architect with wide ranging experience on local and international design, landscape and planning projects over 20 years. Her experience working for Federal and State governments and in private practice provides a broad appreciation of policy and development from a range of perspectives. She has worked across the spectrum from policy development, structure planning and strategic infrastructure implementation to development approvals, precinct and detailed design guidance and critique.
Although Melbourne is home, Bronwen has lived and work in several cities in Australia, Vietnam and in the UK. She returned to Melbourne after a stint in the nation’s capital where she set up the NCA’s Design Review Panel and managed several public space and urban renewal projects. Reinforcing the importance of high quality design and places is a constant theme for Bronwen.

Cathy Oke

Dr Cathy Oke has over 20 years’ experience in the sustainability sector. Cathy is the Knowledge Broker for the Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub, part of the National Environmental Science Programme, based at University of Melbourne.  Cathy has been a Councillor at the City of Melbourne since 2008 and currently chairs the Environment Portfolio. At ICLEI, Cathy is chair of the Regional Committee of ICLEI Oceania, a member of the Global Executive Committee, and Biodiverse Cities portfolio holder. Cathy is a founding board member of TippingPoint Australia.

David Towl

David is the General Manager Health Promotion at Access Health and Community – a community health service in the inner east of Melbourne. David has more than 15 years’ experience in health promotion, health policy and community development. He is a qualified paramedic having formerly held senior clinical, training and risk management roles with St John Ambulance in both New Zealand and Australia.  David is a previous State President and National Treasurer of the Australian Health Promotion Association. He currently serves as Secretary of Chalk Circle, an independent not-for-profit, creating conversations around gender literacy to empower the next generation. David is passionate about profile of prevention and health promotion within the health sector, about gender and health and about the role that men play within the health promotion profession. David has and continues to apply liveability approaches and frameworks at the community and neighbourhood level and interested in how communities can be enabled to impact on the built environments that impact their health.

James Lamour-Reid

James is Ethos Urban’s Regional Director in Victoria. He has over 25 years experience as a strategic and statutory planner working on a diversity of projects in both urban and regional contexts. Throughout his career he has demonstrated a commitment to achieving planning and urban design outcomes that enhance sense of place, liveability, resilience and equity. He views planning as playing a crucial role in predicting, shaping and communicating about change. Adopting an inquisitive, consultative and creative approach to all of his projects, he seeks to develop visions that inspire, processes that involve the right people, and strategies that are effective and achievable.
At Ethos Urban, James is responsible for a wide variety of strategic and statutory planning projects, many of which include a community engagement focus. In doing so he draws on a breadth of experience gained both as a consultant and as a senior manager in local government. He leads multi-disciplinary teams on a diverse range of projects including structure plans, development plans, urban design frameworks, planning scheme reviews, planning applications, policy preparation, regional planning, community and economic development, and community engagement.
James has a strong reputation for professional leadership and advocacy. He plays a prominent role in the profession as the Planning Institute
of Australia’s immediate past President in Victoria; and is a regular speaker and commentator on planning issues. Throughout his career he has been involved in a variety of community and civic organisations, including serving as a board member of the Victorian Local Governance Association.
James’ main areas of expertise include strategic planning and policy development, development applications, advocacy and expert witness statements at planning tribunals and panels, management of complex strategic planning projects, economic and community development, community engagement and facilitation.

James Mant

James is a urban and regional planner with a passion for planning with over 15 years experience. He has worked on a diverse range of projects in Australia and also the UK and Ireland. He led input, policy development and directed high profile government policy and projects, most recently in Plan Melbourne 2017-2050, which was released in March 2017, it sets the strategic planning direction for Melbourne for the next 30 plus years. He is now leading work on the delivery of 20-minute neighbourhoods across metropolitan Melbourne, which is a key concept in Plan Melbourne.

Jude Munro

Jude Munro is acknowledged as a government and business leader who is committed to innovation, good governance and delivery in large complex organisations. With extensive experience as Chief Executive of Councils across Australia including 10 years as CEO of Brisbane City Council, Jude is passionate about cities: their planning and functioning. Jude received the Order of Australia for distinguished service to local government and the city of Brisbane. She has served on twenty boards as a director or chair covering the following arenas – marketing, tourism, environment, arts festivals, airport, aviation, water and sewerage, property development, property investment, buses, LGBTI and major reviews into local government.

Kate Auty

Professor Kate Auty was appointed the ACT Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment in 2016. Professor Auty has also recently been appointed a Professorial Fellow with the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute in the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Melbourne, after concluding a term as a Vice Chancellor’s Fellow, also at the University of Melbourne.

Kate was previously the Victorian Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability (2009-2014), the Chair of the Ministerial Reference Council on Climate Change Adaptation (Victoria 2008-2010), and a member of the Victorian Premier’s Climate Change Advisory Council (2009-2010).

Professor Auty has previously held positions as a City of Melbourne Ambassador in the development of the Future Melbourne Plan 2026 with a portfolio responsibility in climate change (2016), and as a magistrate in Victoria and magistrate and mining warden in Western Australia. She was instrumental in the establishment of Victorian Koori Courts (2000-2004).

Current boards and advisory roles include – Chair of the Banksia Foundation, director on the board of the ReScope Project, the McPherson Smith Rural Foundation and Australian Women in Agriculture; member of the Advisory Board to AURIN; and member with the MDBA Advisory Committee on Social Economic and Environmental Sciences.  When Professor Auty accepted the role of Commissioner in the ACT she relinquished advisory roles with La Trobe University in Research Focus Areas involving sustainability, transformation of cities and in respect of water and agriculture. She also relinquished the role as chair of the advisory board to NeCTAR, and more recently she stepped down as chair of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute (University of Melbourne).

Kate is an active member of a number of community groups which concern themselves with environmental sustainability including the Euroa Environment Group, the Strathbogie and Seymour Community Energy Alliance (Pumped Hydro Energy Storage), Gooram Landcare (Victoria) and the Strathbogie Ranges Conservation Management Network.

Kristie Howes

Kristie Howes is a senior urban designer/ transport analyst with strong interest in the health and the built environment. Her Masters research focused on place and pedestrian priority.  Kristie has worked in the public sector over the last decade in design and policy reform roles. Her career highlights include leading the delivery of the Principal Pedestrian Network Demonstration Project in partnership with local government. The project was recognised with the 2014 VicHealth Encouraging Physical Activity award. Kristie recently enjoyed serving as the recent graduate representative on the Urban Design Advisory Board at Melbourne University.

Marcus Spiller

Dr Marcus Spiller is a Principal, Partner and Director of SGS Economics & Planning Pty Ltd.  His consulting experience spans land economics, regional development, housing policy, infrastructure funding and policy co-ordination systems.  He has taken up secondments as lecturer in urban economics at Melbourne University, adviser to the Minister for Planning and Housing in Victoria and senior executive in the Queensland Department of Housing, Local Government and Planning.  He is an Adjunct Professor at RMIT University and at the University of NSW, an Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne, a former member of the National Housing Supply Council and a former National President of the Planning Institute of Australia.

Meredith Sussex

Meredith Sussex AM is an expert on city planning with extensive experience at a local, State and national level and a commitment to community engagement in the development and implementation of public policy.

Meredith was appointed Chair of the Fishermans Bend Ministerial Advisory Committee in July 2015. This Committee provides advice to the Victorian Minister for Planning on the ‘recast’ of strategic and statutory planning for the 480-hectare urban renewal area on the doorstep of the Central Business District of Melbourne. She also lectures in a Master’s program on urban governance at the University of NSW and is a board member of the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute and Housing Choices Australia.

In her career with the Victorian Government, Meredith was Coordinator General of Infrastructure and before that, was Deputy Secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet and Deputy Secretary/Director of TAFE in the Department of Education.

In 2010/11, Meredith was a member of the national Cities Expert Panel which reviewed city planning in all Australian capital cities for the Council of Australian Governments. During the same period, she was an Administrator at the City of Brimbank and played a significant role in the strategic and statutory planning in that area. She has also been a non executive director of a number of Boards, including the Board of the Port of Melbourne.

In 2007, Meredith was made a member of the Order of Australia in recognition for her role in organising the highly successful 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

Mia Davison

Mia Davison is a human geographer and strategic planner with an Executive Master of Public Administration from The University of Melbourne and a Master of Social Science (Environment and Planning) from RMIT University. She has also studied at Monash University and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Switzerland.

Mia has significant experience working for local, state and national governments and private consultancies, and volunteering with non-government groups, within Australia and the United Kingdom. This gives her a broad perspective and practical experience in finding integrated solutions to complex liveability and sustainable development problems that bring together government, private sector, civil society and other non-government groups.

Mia currently works at the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, for the State of Victoria, Australia and is responsible for leading and managing a team to deliver complex land use planning and development projects.  She has led a diversity of projects relating to managing settlement growth and the peri-urban values surrounding cities and towns. This has included preparing cross-sectoral policies, guidelines and integrated land use and transport plans for metropolitan, regional, sub-regional and local areas, and establishing performance monitoring and review programs.

Mia is Vice President of the Australian Chapter of EAROPH (Eastern Regional Organisation for Planning and Human Settlements), a nongovernmental multi-sectoral organisation encompassing the private, public and academic sectors that promotes and encourages excellence in planning, development and management to improve the quality of life and sustainability of human settlements across the Asia-Pacific Region.

She is also an Urban Scholar with the UN Global Compact – Cities Programme. The Cities Programme was founded by the United Nations Global Compact in 2003 on a platform of collaboration between all levels of government, business and civil society, to address critical global challenges at the local level.

In addition, Mia is also a member of the Programme Committee of the Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA), an independent non-partisan, non-profit organisation that promotes the discussion and study of international affairs and issues.

Michelle Howard

Michelle has a background in cultural and community development and urban planning. As Managing Director of Collaborations, she has worked with across all levels of government, and in private sector and not-for-profit organisations to manage processes of conflict and change. Michelle is renowned for her inclusive and practical approach to community and stakeholder engagement. She has over 30 years experience of working in groups with diverse interests, issues and communication needs. This breadth of experience includes working with community constituencies, technical experts, peak organisations, elected representatives and policy makers to support informed decision making and effective change management.    Michelle’s professional standing has been acknowledged through numerous awards and in her appointment to the Ministerial Advisory Committee for the Fisherman’s Bend Urban Renewal Area contributing expertise in community engagement and strategic planning.

Neville Owen

Neville is Head of the Behavioural Epidemiology Laboratory at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute and Distinguished Professor in Health Sciences at Swinburne University of Technology. His research deals with preventing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer, through understanding and influencing physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour (too little exercise and too much sitting). His program includes studies on behavioural measurement, epidemiological and experimental analyses of the health consequences of inactivity, and identifying new opportunities for disease prevention through environmental and policy initiatives. He has published some 500 peer-reviewed papers and co-edited a new book: Sedentary Behavior and Health (Human Kinetics, 2017). His research findings contribute to improving population health and healthy ageing through informing innovations in transport, urban planning, workplace policy, and health care.

Paul Byrne

Paul Byrne is the Lead Director of the VPA’s Greenfields team, as well as the Director of Economic Planning and Development.

Paul is involved in the overall planning for Melbourne’s new growth areas, and monitoring the development of new suburbs. Paul is managing the preparation of the East Werribee Employment Precinct. Paul was heavily involved in the development of the Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution fund, as well as the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) Logical Inclusions Review Process. Paul has an extensive background in urban planning, applied research, business management and urban economic development.

Sarah Thackway

Sarah Thackway is Executive Director of the Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence, NSW Ministry of Health and Conjoint Associate Professor at the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of NSW. Sarah has 30 years’ experience in population and public health working across the policy, front-line and research sectors.

Associate Professor Thackway’s interests include cross-agency data linkage, information systems development to measure the effective roll-out of interventions, improving data literacy, optimising the NSW investment in public health research, and supporting innovative ways to improve the use of research in the policy process. She is a member of The Australian Partnership Prevention Centre’s Leadership Executive.

Sonia Wutzke

Associate Professor Sonia Wutzke is Head of the Analysis and Evaluation Division of the Sax Institute. In this role, she leads a team of data analysts, evaluators and epidemiologist to drive the use of evidence to better understand the design, value, impact and outcome of health policies and programs. Associate Professor Wutzke is also Co-Director of the Australian Prevention Partnership Centre, a national initiative established to develop and evaluate systems approaches to the prevention of lifestyle related chronic disease in Australia. She has more than 20 years’ experience in senior and executive management roles in academia, the not-for-profit sector and state government. Associate Professor Wutzke is passionate about operationalising knowledge from research and practice to improve health policy and practice decisions, particularly by harnessing the power of co-produced, partnership research.

Mary Agostino

Mary commenced with Mitchell Shire Council, as Director Advocacy and Community Services in July 2017, having previously been the Manager Community Support at the City of Wyndham.

Mary is a highly experienced local government senior executive with an extensive record of achievement.

She has previously worked as the Director of Partnership and Engagement and the Executive Manager of Advocacy at the City of Whittlesea.

Mary has had a prime focus on planning for growth areas and delivering quality services and infrastructure to community to support their needs, aspirations and health and wellbeing.

Mary has achieved success through developing strong and enduring relationships, both within the organisations she has worked in and with key stakeholders including politicians, business, the not for profit sector and community.

She has developed strong business cases, supporting all strategic activity to ensure long term financial and social viability that meets municipal and regional needs.

She is always exploring continuous improvement and best practice opportunities in all the roles she is responsible for and is committed to ensuring best value for the community.

Her passion is to drive innovation and to support sustainable communities.

David Turnbull

David Turnbull became Mitchell Shire Council’s new CEO on 23 May 2016 after 9 years as CEO at City of Whittlesea and 12 years as Director Planning and Development. David is an accomplished, dedicated local government CEO with a 38-year career in local government. His entire career has been with Interface municipalities undergoing significant change and growth, combined with the challenge of maintaining township, rural and green wedge qualities.

David is committed to providing quality services to the community through strong engagement, innovation and astute financial management and to leading a strong and motivated staff. With a strong reputation within and beyond the sector he has particular strengths in forging strong relationships and alliances for the benefit of Council and the community.

He has played a key leadership role in the formation and success of key regional organisations including the Interface Group of Councils, the Northern Region Councils and the National Growth Areas Alliance. He is currently a Board Member of the Northern Melbourne Regional Development Association, having being appointed to that role by Federal and State Governments.

In 2016, David left the neighbouring City of Whittlesea after 21 years of service including twelve years as Director of Planning and Development and nine as the CEO. Under his leadership the City underwent significant and positive transformation. David led major advocacy campaigns and applied his strategic planning skills to achieve best practice planned communities and job and investment attraction. With 70% of the municipality rural, particular attention was given to enhancing township character and viability as well as maintaining biodiversity and water catchment areas.

These achievements were recognised by many National awards. Prior to the City of Whittlesea David was for twelve years at the Shire of Bulla [now City of Hume] in senior planning roles before leaving in 1995 as the Director Planning and Development.

David was the recipient of the Paul Jerome Award for “Outstanding Public Service“ in 2006 and in 2009 was recognised for his leadership in the City of Whittlesea response to the Black Saturday Bushfires.

David has undergraduate qualifications in Town Planning, Humanities and a Masters in Business Administration.

Ben Rossitor

Ben Rossiter is the founding Executive Officer of Victoria Walks and has led a small but enterprising team of staff to see the organisation become the primary walking organisation leading the move towards the creation of walkable communities in Australia.

Ben is the Vice President of the International Federation of Pedestrians and his expertise is widely sought in Australia and beyond. He is an engaging speaker who recently gave keynote presentations at 2WALKandCYCLE Conference, Auckland 2016 and a plenary presentation at Walk21 Hong Kong, 2016. The theme of his doctoral dissertation was walking in cities. He has been on numerous government advisory committees relating to walking, transport and planning.

Kellie-Ann Jolly

Kellie-Ann began her professional career as a dental therapist in the School Dental Service providing free dental care for primary school children most in need.

A Masters in Health Sciences (Health Promotion) and a passion to prevent disease rather than just treat it led to a career move to health promotion where she remained for over 20 years.

She has held senior management roles in policy and program development with State Government and VicHealth and has been a senior lecturer in health promotion/public health at Latrobe University.

In 2008 took up the role of Director Cardiovascular Health at the Heart Foundation (Victoria) where she has managed the Foundation’s health programs. In August 2016, she was appointed Chief Executive Officer.

Served on many Boards and Ministerial appointed Committees including Chair of Community Advisory Committee (Royal Dental Hospital Melbourne) and is the current Chair of the not-for-profit organisation Victoria Walks.

In her spare time Kellie loves to keep fit, catch up with family, especially her gorgeous grandchildren (Tom 6 and Raf 16 mths), go to the movies or theatre and travel. She lives with Mike her husband and chocolate spoodle Bella.

Oliver Richards

Oliver Richards is the Assistant Secretary of the Cities Economics Branch in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Since joining the Commonwealth Public Service in 2001, Oliver has worked as an economist in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Department of Treasury, the Department of Climate Change, and the Productivity Commission. Oliver has worked in macro- and micro-economics and on a range of key reviews and taskforces related to the Government bond market and Future Fund, industry policy, agricultural regulation, and the emissions trading scheme. Oliver holds a range of qualifications from the Australian National University including a Bachelor of Asian Studies, a Bachelor of Economics with Honours and Masters in both Economics and Economic Policy. Oliver also holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Queensland and Honours in Accounting and Finance from the University of Western Australia.

Bruce Bolam

Dr Bruce Bolam is the Chief Preventive Health Officer in the Department of Health & Human Services, Victoria and a senior public health specialist with extensive leadership, policy and research experience in public sector, healthcare, university and non-government organisations.  Bruce has led policy and program development and delivery at a major national health non-government agency, the National Stroke Foundation, and the world’s first health promotion foundation, VicHealth. He has also acted as a Technical Advisor on non-communicable disease control to World Health Organisation Western Pacific Regional Office and became the inaugural Co-Director of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Leadership in Health Promotion hosted by the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth). Bruce maintains an active research profile and is the author of over 30 scientific publications, and is regularly invited to speak at national and international conferences.