NGAA Symposium 2021


Planning resilient and sustainable communities in growth areas

  • Planning a sustainable and smart new community for Wilton - David Burge and Edith Barnes
  • Upper Merri Creek Integrated Water Management Plan project - Danelle Ayres and Angela Ganley
  • Building community resilience in new and emerging communities - Nic Adams and Fiona Ryan
  • Building resilience through the Resilient Penrith Action Plan - Belinda Atkins

Growth area communities rising to the challenge

  • Building gender equity in outer growth suburbs - Liz Carroll
  • Skate parks as community assets and effective activation - Peter Madden
  • Delivering social housing in growth areas: a partnership approach - Joanna Stubbings and Kristine Mueller
  • Supporting employment in growth areas: the rise of home based business - Maria Cooke and Annette Brown

Innovation in infrastructure and places

  • Bundled recreation reserves for maximum community value - Trevor Griffin
  • Innovation and capacity building in water sensitive urban design - Melissa Bradley
  • Liverpool Innovation Precinct plan - Lance Chia



Glenn Capuano


.id – the population experts

Glenn is the oft-cited ‘census expert’ with .id – the population experts. With his passion for people and places, Glenn continues to guide .id’s  community profiles (, which are now visited by nearly 1 million people each year.


Dr Kim Johnstone

Associate Director

Astrolabe Group

Kim brings an in-depth knowledge of population to understanding how communities transform. She provides demographic advice to all levels of government. Kim is Vice-President of Family Planning NSW, Chair of their International Program Advisory Committee, and a member of the UDIA NSW Research and Ageing Sub-committees.

Helen Machalias

Associate Director

Place Infrastructure Australia

Helen leads regions and cities policy for the upcoming Australian Infrastructure Plan, and is project director of Infrastructure Australia’s Regional Strengths and Infrastructure Gaps project, which will identify and prioritise opportunities and challenges in each region of Australia. 

Mayor Wendy Waller

AMajor Partner of 2021 Symposium

Liverpool City Council

Mayor Waller was first elected to Council in 1995 and became the first woman to be elected Mayor in 2008 and was re-elected as Mayor in September 2016.

Belinda Atkins

Sustainability and Resilience Lead

Penrith City Council

Belinda is an environmental manager, educator and advocate who has worked in the local government space for over 18 years.  Belinda leads the Penrith City Council Sustainability and Resilience Team in developing innovative sustainability and resilience programs. 

Danelle Ayres

A/Team Leader Sustainable Policy and Programs

City of Whittlesea

Danelle is a mum and seasoned environment professional with an 18 year career in local government.  Danelle has worked on the Upper Merri Creek Integrated Water Management (IWM) Pilot Plan, a significant place-based partnership project. Danelle is a highly skilled collaborator, with community and environmental outcomes driving all she does.

Edith Barnes

Executive Planner – Growth

Wollondilly Shire Council

Edith’s role includes advocating for the long term vision of Wilton and Greater Macarthur through upfront strategic planning and policy development. She has over 18 years’ experience as a consultant in Newcastle, various strategic planning roles in local government involving the delivery of land release and in State government, planning of urban renewal precincts linked to health, education and rail infrastructure. 

Mellissa Bradley

Program Manager

Water Sensitive SA

Mellissa has more than 25 years’ experience working in civil design, development assessment, policy development, environmental management and construction management for stormwater and wastewater re-use schemes. Mellissa is the Program Manager for South Australia’s water sensitive urban design capacity building program, Water Sensitive SA. 

Annette Brown

Senior Project and Engagement Officer

WA Small Business Development Corporation

Annette has a background in project management roles across local government and not-for profit organisations and currently working with the policy team of the Small Business Development Corporation to deliver the Small Business Friendly (SBF) Approvals Program to West Australian councils. T

David Burge

Director Urban Design

Greater Sydney, Place and Infrastructure

David joined Department of Planning, Infrastructure and Environment in 2018 bringing extensive private and public sector experience from NSW, the Middle East and North Africa as an urban planner and urban designer. He has diverse experience in master plans, from City-Wide, Regional and Community planning. 

Liz Carroll

Community Safety Planner

City of Whittlesea

Liz has a Bachelor of Public Health and Health Promotion and has worked at the City of Whittlesea for 10 years.  Over that time she has established Councils’ strong position on preventing violence against women, addressing family violence and improving gender equity.

Lance Chia


Liverpool Innovation Precinct


Lance leads the Liverpool Innovation Precinct: health-related, public and private sector organisations working across research, commercialisation and education. An experienced Clinical Biochemist, he is a former National President of the Australian Institute of Medical Scientists, former Head of Global Marketing at ResMed Ltd and Marketing Director for APAC, MENA and Europe. 

Maria Cooke

Director City Development and Sustainability

City of Kwinana

Maria oversees the Planning and Development, Building Services, Waste, Environmental Health, Environment Services and Essential Services functions of the City of Kwinana. Cutting red tape to achieve an enhanced customer experience while ensuring compliance with our statutory responsibilities is a key focus of her role.  Maria has worked in Growth Area Councils across Victoria and Western Australia over the last 25 years.  

Angela Ganley

Senior Sustainable Environment Officer

Hume City Council

Angela is responsible for integrated water management, climate change adaptation and sustainable procurement policy and projects at Hume City Council. She has a degree in Chemical Engineering and Commerce and a Master of Environment. Angela has a background in the steel and metals industry, working for Onesteel Whyalla and Alcoa. 

Trevor Griffin

Manager of City Design and Construction

City of Casey

An engineer and urban designer, Trevor Griffin has delivered and maintained infrastructure and open space areas across a number of metropolitan and growth Councils.

Peter Madden

Coordinator Youth and Families

City of Gosnells

Peter Madden has over 15 years’ experience working in the community sector, both here in Australia and the UK. Peter has extensive experience delivering targeted community programs to the most vulnerable, as well as experience developing and activating community-based infrastructure such as skate parks, youth centres, community centres and much more.

Kristine Mueller

Social Policy Planner

Hume City Council

Kristine has more than 30 years experience in local and metropolitan government in South Africa and Australia.  She specialises in policy development and social planning across portfolios, such as social housing, gambling, liquor, early years and service planning.  Kristine has worked in the social housing area for more than 10 years, recently adding rough sleeping to her portfolios. 

Joanna Stubbings

Social Policy and Planning Officer

City of Whittlesea

With over 10 years experience in local government, Joanna specialises in advocacy, consumer research and policy and strategy development. She has led Whittlesea’s social and affordable housing policy portfolio since 2019.  

Rebecca Sirianni

Coordinator Advocacy and Social Planning

Mitchell Shire Council

Rebecca has extensive experience in community building, engagement, social planning and policy development in local government. She has worked in Melbourne's growth areas and has seen firsthand how good advocacy, social planning and policy can change the health and wellbeing of a community.

Nic Adams

Research and Advocacy Officer

Mitchell Shire Council

Nic has experience in local government and the tertiary sector. With a background in political science, law and public policy, he works in advocacy and research to support social planning and policy development.

Fiona Ryan

Senior Strategic Planner

City of Whittlesea

Fiona is an experienced Strategic Land Use Planner with over 25 years experience working in various local government areas primarily on the fringes of metropolitan Melbourne. She has worked on a range of complex strategic projects including structure plans, major rezoning proposals, heritage planning, policy review and development and the preparation of major land use strategies.

2021 Symposium

In 2021 the NGAA Research Symposium was an online event. See the presesntations and more information here.

2020 Symposium

In 2020 the NGAA Research Symposium took the form of seven issues-based webinars. This format was due to COVID-19 restrictions. See the webinars here.

2019 Symposium

The inaugural Symposium in 2019 was held at Wyndham City Council in Victoria. Read the full report from the 2019 Symposium: Research and Practice from Australia’s Fast Growing Outer Suburbs