Congress 2022

Previous NGAA guest speakers

Previous NGAA guest speakers - The Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure, Communication and the Arts and The Hon. Anthony Albanese, Leader of the Opposition

Congress Highlights

  • Keynote Speaker - renowned economist, Saul Eslake
  • Government and Opposition policies and plans for growth areas
  • Growth Area Mayoral Summit
  • NGAA Awards Dinner at The Refectory in the historic Werribee Park Mansion
  • Guest speakers and specialist panel sessions
  • Networking opportunities with:
    • Mayors, CEOs and specialists from Australia’s fast growing local government areas
    • Politicians
    • and business partners in development, planning and infrastructure industries.

Saul Eslake


Saul Eslake is a Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Tasmania, and an independent consulting economist. He has previously been Chief Economist at the ANZ Bank, and at Bank of America Merrill Lynch Australia.

Winitha Bonney OAM

Inclusion Expert

Winitha Bonney is a thought leader in the advancement of People of Colour and in building anti-fragile cultures of inclusion and allyship. In 2021 she was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for her extensive work in diversity and inclusion. 

Muheed Jamaldeen

Director Deloitte Access Economics

Muheed Jamaldeen leads the  Deloitte Access Economics urban and regional policy team in NSW. He advises public and private sector clients on a range of public policy and strategy issues, with specific expertise in transport, infrastructure, and urban and regional policy areas. 

Dr Elizabeth Knight

Research Fellow

CIRES, Victoria University


Elizabeth (Lizzie) Knight joined the Centre for International Research on Education Systems (CIRES) as a research fellow in 2020. Her research areas include: provision of career information, higher vocational education, transitions to tertiary education and the nature of graduate employment and employability.

Julian Szafraniec

Principal and Partner

SGS Economics and Planning


Julian is an urban economist with extensive experience applying economic theories and models to urban issues. He has advised all tiers of government and the private sector about housing, transport, community infrastructure, retail and the economy.

Kylie Legge


Place Score


Kylie is CEO of Place Score and a founding Director of Place Partners, a multidisciplinary placemaking consultancy based in Sydney. She is an experienced place maker and has worked with communities, government and commercial developers Australia and internationally.

Ross Elliott


Suburban Futures


Ross is the co-founder of Suburban Futures (formerly The Suburban Alliance). He has 30 years’ experience in the property and urban development industry, including national leadership roles for the Property Council of Australia as its Executive Director, then Chief Operating Officer and later as National Executive Director for the Residential Development Council.

David Schwartz

Senior Associate

SGS Economics and Planning


David is an experienced economist bringing rigorous analysis and insight to today’s pressing policy and economic issues.David joined SGS in 2021 bringing more than 15 years of consulting experience throughout North America with specialist expertise in market and financial feasibility assessment, benefit-cost and value-capture analysis, policy formation, strategic planning.

James Collins

Director City Planning and Infrastructure

City of Casey


James has a multi-disciplinary background across the private and public sectors. Previous roles include Director Social and Economic Development at Yarra Ranges Council, manager roles at Monash City Council and Banyule City Council. He has also spent time in senior leadership roles in the private sector in Australia and abroad. Experienced in corporate governance, he has held board roles on Parks and Leisure Australia, Outer East Primary Care, Anchor Housing/Out of Home Care and Yarra Ranges Tourism, and is a member of the NGAA Committee of Management.

Cr Charishma Kaliyanda

Councillor, Liverpool City Council and Community Engagement and Development Officer



Charishma was raised in Liverpool after migrating to the area with her family as a young girl. She is a registered Occupational Therapist and works for headspace to build awareness of and reduce stigma around mental health and well-being so that young people can access the help they need in the community. Charishma has worked with young people across many industries to build skills and capacities in the last 10 years. She is a member of the NGAA Strategic Advisory Committee.


Congress is based at the new Holiday Inn in the heart of Werribee, the first in Australasia to feature an open lobby concept with flexible spaces for guests to socialise. 

The Awards Dinner is at The Refectory, historic charm set in the lush gardens of Werribee Park.

Site tour

The site tour includes Wyndham Harbour, Wunggurwil Dhurrung Centre and Hunter Werribee Catalyst Site.


The NGAA Awards 2022 celebrate excellence and innovation from projects and initiatives that support the development of growth areas across Australia. Winners will be announced on Monday 21 March at the NGAA Awards Dinner.

awards information
Host Council and Presenting Partner

Wyndham is a vibrant and diverse municipality located in Melbourne’s west. As one of Australia’s fastest growing cities, Wyndham is expected to be home to more than 500,000 people by 2040. It’s also the link between Melbourne and Geelong, making Wyndham an area of economic significance.

SGS Economics and Planning are Presenting Partners for the 2022 National Congress. SGS will join us to share their evidence of the strengths of growth area communities, and economic opportunities to maximise participation and remove barriers.  SGS are economists, planners and spatial analysts using evidence-based insights to shape more sustainable cities and regions, and have extensive experience working with local government in growth areas.


Some Congress and Awards sponsorship opportunities are still available. See the Sponsorship Proposal or for more information, please contact NGAA’s Executive Officer, Bronwen Clark, on 0448 401 257 or at

sponsorship proposal
Looking back at Congress 2019
Congress 2019