2017 in Review
We are coming to the end of a momentous year of “delivery and change” at the VPA.
Tuesday saw another very successful VPA annual stakeholder event, addressed by our Minister the Honourable Richard Wynne MP and hosted by our Board Chair Jude Munro, at which I was very proud to launch the VPA’s new strategic plan for 2017-2020.
The Strategic Plan outlines the vision, mission and key directions that will guide the VPA’s work over the next 3 years. The Strategic Plan sets out how we will deliver on the project commitments set for us each year by the Minister in our annual Statement of Expectations and will give rise to a range of initiatives to strengthen the capacity of the organisation and add strategic insight and value to our work.
I took up the reins as CEO just over six months ago, and what a journey it has been so far. During that time I have had the privilege of leading a talented team of professionals working hand in hand with our many industry and local & State government partners to plan for great places across Victoria. It’s a huge honour to be at the helm of this terrific organisation at this time of rapid growth and change and I thank you all for your advice and assistance over the last six months.
2017 has seen the VPA rack up a range of impressive achievements as the State’s place-based strategic planning agency, and I invite you to watch our End of Year video (below).
Board and Executive Changes
I am very pleased to welcome back to the VPA as a Board member Laurinda Gardner.
Laurinda was a VPA Board member and Deputy Chair of the MPA before resigning to undertake the role of one of the Administrators at the City of Greater Geelong.
Laurinda is former senior government executive and experienced member of not-for-profit, state and local government boards. She also works as a leadership and change management consultant.
Her leadership and experience are invaluable to the Board in overseeing the busy work program and future direction of the VPA.
I am also pleased to announce that we have now finalised the appointment of our new Executive Directors and Directors.
We have two existing colleagues who will be taking up new internal appointments as well as some terrific new additions to the executive team:
Executive Director Inner Melbourne – Emily Mottram
Emily has been part of the VPA since 2013 and has led the Inner Melbourne planning team on a range of projects including Arden, Flinders to Richmond and Defence Site Maribyrnong.
Emily is passionate about urban renewal and has worked extensively in strategic planning and place-based partnerships in the UK and in Victoria including working for DELWP on the development of Plan Melbourne 2013.
Executive Director Outer Melbourne – Alix Rhodes
Alix is moving across from the Property Council of Australia in WA where she is the Deputy Executive Director. Alix has extensive experience spanning across both Government and industry, and has also held senior positions in the WA Department of Planning as the Director of Metropolitan Strategic Planning, WA Housing Authority, Victorian Arts Centre, Australian Cooperative Research Centre for Renewable Energy and Creative Partnerships Australia.
Alix is supported by Paul Cassidy and Martina Johnson as Directors Outer Melbourne.
Executive Director Regional Victoria – Brett Davis
Brett brings over 20 years’ experience in the planning and development profession. Most recently, Brett has been a member of the Planning Panels Victoria, and has held a number of senior planning and leadership roles in the public and private sectors including Davis Planning Solutions and UGL Limited as well as extensive experience in local Government and industry as a planner and project manager.
Brett is supported by Damien Kennedy as our newly-appointed Director Regional Victoria. Damien brings a wealth of experience in planning for regional cities and towns, acquired in Victoria and Queensland.
These new Executive Directors will join our existing executive team:
- Ed Small – Board Secretary and Executive Director Corporate Services
- Ed is supported by our Director People and Culture, Kylie Mackinnon.
- Steve Dunn – Executive Director Middle Melbourne
- Steve is supported by Emily Hillebrand as Director Middle Melbourne (Emily is currently on maternity leave and Bruce Hunter is acting in the role)
- Rachel Dapiran – Executive Director Strategy Engagement and Futures
- Rachel is supported by our newly-appointed Director Strategy Engagement and Futures, Tess Pickering. Tess joins us from the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning in Queensland Government, where she holds the position of Director, SEQ Regional Plan Implementation. With a background in planning specialising in land use planning, Tess brings extensive experience across public and private sectors.
- Paul Byrne, Executive Director Planning Infrastructure and Technical
- Paul is supported by Mark Knudsen as Director Infrastructure and Dean Rochfort as Director Streamlining.
2018 The year ahead
We are looking forward to an exciting 2018 with the pace only set to step up.
We will have many PSPs to go out on exhibition, taken through panel and approved throughout the year.
Our Streamlining for Growth program will continue to speed up processing in the post-PSP planning space and build the capacity of our councils.
Our work in our National Innovation and Employment Clusters will take greater shape in 2018, with spin off projects such as the Clayton Business Park, Sunshine Health and Wellbeing Precinct and Heidelberg Train Station.
A range of major precincts will mature and develop, including the Defence Site Maribyrnong, controls around the Preston Market, the Caulfield Station development and Arden.
Our regional projects are also continuing to expand and next year will see the exhibition of our plans in Shepparton, Wonthaggi and other work in major regional centres and peri-urban areas.
And we will strengthen our work with our partners to plan and coordinate the timely provision of infrastructure to serve growing communities across the State.
Of course, none of this will be achievable without our key partnerships.
The VPA has at its core our commitment to bring together our partners across government, industry and the community to unlock great new urban places.
We have made a great start strengthening key relationships – including through many Partnership Agreements and MoUs – and we will continue to do this next year.
Thanks for working with us in 2017, Merry Christmas and we look forward to working with you in 2018.