Manager – Planning, Melbourne
What did you study at University? Where did you attend University?
Urban Studies – Planning; Victoria University, Melbourne
How did you decide to become a Town Planner?
I enjoyed geography at school. We had a Planner come to school as part of a career's expo and Planning seemed to provide an opportunity to facilitate and create better environments for people to live, work and play – a real 'feel good' occupation. After 15 years in the field, planning has certainly lived up to what I thought it would be.
How did you come to work for Brown Consulting?
After five years working in Local Government, I developed good relationships with development consultants and was approached by Tomkinson to join the team (which recently merged to form Brown Consulting).
How long have you worked for Brown Consulting?
10 years as of October 2010
What is your role at Brown Consulting?
My role is to manage the Planning unit within Brown Consulting and in conjunction with my staff prepare and lodge planning applications, investigate client's development potential, provide advice and assist in obtaining the desired development outcome.
Describe a typical day?
For a start, I'll usually wake up in my three year old's bed! I'll get him breakfast, wrestle with him to get dressed and dropped off to crèche before 9am.
No two work days are the same, which is an attractive attribute of this job. My day might start with a meeting on site with Council to determine potential dwelling sites, or with a client to map out the way forward on a long term strategic problem.
On my way in to the office I'll return phone calls and call clients or Council to discuss pending applications – hands free of course!
Throughout the day I'll arrange for planners to investigate possible new sites, prepare quotes, review draft planning applications, liaise with civil and survey departments for input into multi-faceted quotes and liaise with sub-consultants for input into an application across traffic, flora and fauna and land capability components.
I may also meet with a new client, arrange meetings with Council and play chess with my diary to fit things in. Somewhere in the day I will brief a draftsperson for provision of plans and prepare draft solutions to problems for discussion with client/Council. I may even get a chance to make a cup of tea and grab a quick bite to eat. At the end of the day, I'll list tasks for the following day... a VCAT hearing, lunch with a client and preparations for the public consultation session later in the week. On the drive home I will pick up my three year old and answer "What is a car made from?", "How do you make paper, Mummy?", and such questions.
Once home I'll read "CAT in the HAT" five times before my son's bedtime, and probably respond to some emails. At the end of the day, despite my hectic and fast paced schedule, I like to sit down with my husband and enjoy a nice glass of wine and ask him "What did you do today…?".
If you want a career where no two days are the same, and you can feel proud of your accomplishments, then a Planning career with Brown Consulting is for you.
What is the most enjoyable aspect of your job?
Communicating with people and being able to solve their problems, manage the approvals process through to development or increase the value of their land by obtaining a greater development potential.
What makes Brown Consulting a great place to work?
A fantastic team of people with great personalities and pride in their professional capabilities.
What does the future hold for you?
Hopefully more Planners and bigger footprint for Brown Consulting within the Planning market in Victoria.