The 2017 National Awards for Planning Excellence, presented by the Planning Institute of Australia at a ceremony in Sydney on 3 May 2017, awarded people and projects from around Australia for outstanding achievements in planning.
Three of the award categories celebrate professional achievement. The Planner of the Year Award recognizes a planner who provides visionary leadership, the Young Planner of the Year Award recognizes outstanding contribution or achievement by a young planner, and the Planning Champion Award recognizes a non-planner who is promoting good planning or the planning profession to the public.
Planner of the Year
Award: Kate Isles MPIA (QLD)
Jury comment: Kate Isles is known for her immense passion for planning, dedication to excellence and genuine desire to make a difference for Queensland’s communities and improve the lives of people within them. She is a strong and tireless advocate for achieving quality planning outcomes and processes.
Kate has a consistent track record of going ‘above and beyond’ in every situation. Kate’s extensive planning experience includes varied positions across the private and public sectors including time with the Queensland
Reconstruction Authority and overseeing a number of key projects to build a more resilient Queensland. With many wonderful career achievements under her belt, the judges were particularly impressed by Kate’s demonstrated leadership, vision and commitment to planning excellence.
Always ready to roll up her sleeves, Kate is a ‘doer’ and gets things done. In her previous role as President of PIA’s Queensland Division, she was an effective and strong advocate for the planning profession in the state. Through her commitment to leading debate on planning issues, Kate has made a significant contribution to help raise the profile of the planning profession and the importance of planning in Queensland. Kate’s nomination demonstrates not only professional achievements in the last 12 months but an ongoing commitment to planning. In an award category packed with excellent planning practitioners from around Australia, Kate is a very deserving recipient of the Planner of the Year Award.
Commendation: Dr Alan March MPIA (Vic)
Young Planner of the Year
Award: Brighid Sammon PIA (Assoc.) (Vic)
Jury comment: Brighid Sammon displays an exceptionally strong commitment to planning demonstrated through a pro-active approach to advocacy, networking and public speaking. Her communications skills, initiative in the workplace and professionalism in private practice are very impressive. A start in local government gave Brighid exposure to all facets of statutory planning ranging from rural, coastal and urban development and technical skills in this area. Brighid also displays an understanding of strategic planning theory and processes together with limitless enthusiasm, intelligence and professional maturity. Brighid has been involved in a number of high profile developments, such as Nightingale Housing projects in the Melbourne suburbs of Brunswick and Fairfield, and her ongoing voluntary work on these projects is commended.
Testimonials and the strong support from her employers at Hansen Partnership indicate the positive impact she is making in her chosen profession. She has been described by clients as bright, measured, determined, diligent and knowledgeable beyond her years.
The Victorian Young Planners, Women’s Planning Network and RMIT University have all benefited from Brighid’s involvement, assistance and advice. Brighid’s clear passion for planning and commitment to the profession is unsurpassed for someone relatively new to the profession.
Commendation: Dean Hosking MPIA (NSW)
Award: Terry Rawnsley (Vic)
Jury comment: Terry Rawnsley is one of Australia’s leading commentators on economic and planning issues. He has carved out a unique role in the public discourse about the future of our cities. In part, this is due to his insights to the market forces that are driving the outcomes that planners observe. Terry also has a knack for explaining complex ideas in an understandable way. His language is always colourful and engaging, helping to bring media attention to important urban policy issues of the day.
Terry was one of the first economics practitioners in Australia to calculate the rate at which increases in the spatial density of economic activity (agglomeration) improves the productivity of firms. This was a momentous technical innovation that has led to profound changes in the way major infrastructure projects are evaluated. It was highly influential in the Commonwealth’s renewed interest in urban policy and is now a routine consideration in the preparation of metropolitan planning strategies.
Terry has demonstrated how certain types of transport projects literally reshape the pattern of urban development through their influence on urban agglomeration.
His annual production of SGS’s city and regional ‘GDP’ accounts provide a sometimes confronting perspective to the patchwork nature of Australia’s economy and the growing social divide that afflicts the country. Terry’s work highlights the need for positive planning action to better connect suburban growth areas and regions with the knowledge economy, which is powered by the hearts of our great metropolises.