Management Team

The Victorian Planning Authority is staffed by a dedicated, highly professional team with a broad range of experience in planning, urban development and government policy.

Our executive team includes the following:

Steve Dunn, Acting Chief Executive Officer & Lead Director, Urban Renewal


Steve is currently filling the role of acting chief executive officer until a permanent candidate is announced.

He is responsible for managing the overall VPA urban renewal program, including the planning of key urban renewal sites and National Employment Clusters within Melbourne’s established suburbs.

Steve has been at the VPA for nine years and was previously the director responsible for overseeing structure planning in the eastern and southern regions of Melbourne. Prior to joining the VPA, Steve enjoyed a long career as a director in local government and holds qualifications in urban and regional planning, geography and business administration. Steve sits on the national board of the Planning Institute of Australia and the board of Port Phillip Housing Association.


Paul Byrne, Lead Director, Greenfields

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.

Paul Cassidy, Director, Greenfields

paul cassidy_300x200px
Paul is a registered landscape architect with more than 20 years’ experience working in private consulting and for local and state governments. For the past eight years Paul has worked for the Victorian Planning Authority on a wide range of structure planning projects in Melbourne’s west and south-east, and was most recently the VPA’s Open Space Planning Executive.

In his current role, Paul is focusing on the Casey and Cardinia growth areas. He brings strong overall strategic planning, design and place-making skills to the role.

Rachel Dapiran, Lead Director, Partnerships and Communication


Rachel has a keen understanding of government and policy, derived from years spent working at a senior level in the state government. She has a Master of Urban and Regional Planning. Her recent work experience has included managing strategic planning projects within two local councils.

The Partnerships and Communication team leads the VPA’s approach to developing strategic partnerships within and outside government and provides policy input into key projects. The team manages all the communication and media needs of the organisation and oversees all community engagement activities.


Emily Hillebrand, Director, Urban Renewal

emily H

With a background in urban design and planning, Emily honed her skills in urban renewal while working at a senior level in local government and private consultancy.

Emily brings a depth of understanding in effective activity centres structure planning, housing and employment policy formulation, brownfield renewal and facilitating the development of knowledge and employment clusters through her work here and in Vietnam.

Emily is adept at managing the complexities of stakeholder relationships to deliver high quality place-based outcomes and has broad experience in the delivery of community engagement.

Martina Johnson, Director, Greenfields


Martina is responsible for the VPA’s work program in the western greenfield areas of Melbourne and is currently leading the Kororoit and Plumpton PSPs and the Mt Atkinson and Tarneit Plains PSP.

Martina has qualifications in architecture and regional and urban planning, and is keen to deliver high-quality design outcomes in Melbourne’s growing greenfield areas. Martina previously worked on active centre planning and place-management at DELWP, and prior to that in the private and local government sectors in architecture.

Mark Knudsen, Director,Infrastructure and Graphic Services



Mark is a civil engineer with an extensive background in infrastructure planning and delivery. His career covers 18 years in a variety of roles with VicRoads, five years in private consulting and six years working on public transport planning and project development with the then Victorian Department of Infrastructure.

Mark joined the VPA in 2007.  Mark’s Infrastructure and Graphics Services team supports the VPA’s planners to ensure a coordinated approach to infrastructure planning is embedded in the VPA’s land use planning. The team also provides design and graphics services for the organisation.

Jane Monk, Director, Innovation and Reform


As the VPA’s Director of Innovation and Reform, Jane oversees projects and initiatives that further the VPA’s reputation for delivering best-practice planning outcomes.

Jane is an urban planner with many years’ experience, with former roles including Director of Planning Statutory Services with the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure; a senior member of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal; and Chair of the Bracks/Brumby Government’s Priority Development Panel. Jane is the Vice-President (Planning) of the board of the Victorian Planning and Environmental Law Association (VPELA).

Emily Mottram, Director, Urban Renewal

emily M_300x200px

Emily is passionate about urban renewal and has worked extensively in strategic planning and place-based partnerships. She holds a Master of Urban Regeneration and has delivered major renewal projects in the UK and Australia. Prior to joining the VPA Emily worked for the Department of Planning (DPCD, DTPLI and now DELWP) and was involved in the development of Plan Melbourne.

As a consultant in the UK, Emily provided advice to councils about public housing estate redevelopment and community infrastructure delivery. Emily’s focus at the VPA is on supporting the evolution of inner Melbourne.

Tim Peggie, Lead Director, Regional


Tim is responsible for managing the VPA’s planning activities across regional Victoria. Previously, he was the Structure Planning Director at the Victorian Planning Authority, working primarily on the delivery of PSPs in Melbourne’s growth areas.

Prior to joining the VPA, Tim was a private consultant, during which time he worked on a number of large-scale, master planned estates, strategic projects and infill development sites. Tim is a regional Victorian, hailing from Kilmore, and has worked in local government roles in both the United Kingdom and Australia.

Ed Small, Lead Director, Technical Services


Ed is chartered accountant with a Master of Urban Policy and Planning. Ed has a background in senior management in local government, where he was responsible, at varying times, for the corporate service and finance functions in a number of Melbourne’s inner and middle-ring councils.

The Corporate and Statutory Services team are responsible for the governance activities of the VPA and the organisation’s statutory planning functions. This team also coordinates the VPA’s role in relation to the Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC).

Karoline Ware, Director, Regional


Karoline is an urban planner with 20 years’ experience in the planning field working for local and state governments and was most recently Director of Strategy and Planning at the Fishermans Bend taskforce.

In her current role Karoline is focusing on working with regional cities and towns to develop strategic framework plans. She brings strong overall strategic and statutory planning, stakeholder engagement and project facilitation to the role.