2022 Symposium

Speakers and Presentations

Daniel Evans Who lives in growth areas, what do they value, what is changing?


.id - informed decisions

Daniel heads the Community Views social research practice at .id - informed decisions. Community Views aims to modernise and elevate the quality of survey research conducted for the local government sector. Daniel has previously worked as a social researcher with Ipsos Public Affairs, authoring the Ipsos Life in Australia report.


Jackie Svedas Digital futures and analytics for future insights

Manager, Stakeholder Engagement NSW

nbn co

Jackie is a professional planner with over 15 years’ experience in both the public and private sector. Prior to her role as Stakeholder Engagement Manager at nbn, she was Business and Economic Development Manager at Central Coast Council, senior consultant for a land development firm, and Strategic Development Advisor for the second fastest growing city in Canada.

Jennifer Michelmore Better places: a focus on urban design


Studio THI

Jennifer is an accomplished urbanist and designer, with THI for over 15 years, from community development, to strategy and change, and now CEO. Jennifer studied Industrial Design at the Queensland University of Technology, where she’s also been a guest lecturer. Her strong design and conceptual capabilities drive her aspirations for achieving bold, innovative outcomes that can shape urban places and practice. She believes in the power of co-creation and collaboration and has secured Studio THI’s position as an independent platform for urban professionals and communities to come together.

Prof Jago Dodson Presentation on new research report - Benefit evaluation of Australian Government investment in outer suburban growth areas

Centre for Urban Research

RMIT University

Professor Jago Dodson has an extensive record of research into housing, transport, urban planning, urban policy, governance, infrastructure, energy, and spatial labour market questions.

Jago's research record includes two authored books, two edited collections, plus conference and journal papers. He has been awarded research funding from major scientific bodies including the ARC Discovery, Linkage and LIEF schemes, AHURI and the EU H2020 scheme.

Jago has led major concentrations of urban research in Australian universities, including Director of the Urban Research Program, Griffith University (2011-2014), and Director of the Centre for Urban Research at RMIT University (2014 onwards).

Dr Annette Kroen Presentation on research report with Prof Jago Dodson

Research Fellow Planning & Transport

RMIT University

Annette is an urban and regional planner and has worked on projects related to transport planning, regional and metropolitan development, citizen participation and policy analysis. 

Prior to joining RMIT University, Annette was a Research Fellow at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Dortmund, Germany. There, she was part of the research and development project "QuartiersNETZ", which explored the involvement of older people into participative neighbourhood development.

Annette's wider research interests span the areas of metropolitan governance, public participation and community engagement, transport and land use planning..

Amelia Ryan Maternal and Child Health: A sector in crisis. A partnership approach to place-based responses

Manager Children and Families

City of Whittlesea

Amelia has over 10 years’ experience in local government, working in growth area Councils and 14 years’ experience in the early childhood sector. She has a Bachelor of Business (Management) and a Masters in Regional and Community Development. Amelia oversees the Maternal and Child Health, Immunisation, Early Years and Access and Engagement portfolios.

Peter Madden Room to grow: how local governments can support children to prosper

Manager Community Capacity Development

City of Gosnells

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

Adam Worthington Penrith Resilience Mapping Project

Penrith City Council

Data and Visualisation Manager

Adam manages the GIS Team at Penrith City Council. Adam is responsible for working in partnership with the other Western Parkland City councils to deliver a shared Open Data portal, as part of the Smart Western Sydney Digital Action Plan. He has worked with GIS, Information Technology, Surveying and Civil Engineering for 30 years in Local and State Government and the private sector.

Laura Baker Innovating for growth and inclusion

Head of Smart City and Innovation

City of Casey

Laura has more than 8 years of experience in corporate innovation and has designed and delivered the smart city and innovation program in Casey. Laura is also the National President of the Australian Smart Communities Association, Australia’s only not-for profit peak body dedicated to advocating on behalf of governments for the advancement of smart communities.

Steven Rowley How policy settings affect developer decisions


Curtin University

Steven Rowley is a professor of property in the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance. He has been director of the Australian Housing Urban Research Institute’s (AHURI) Curtin research centre since 2011 and is a member (and past chair) of the WA Housing Industry Forecasting Group (HIFG). Since joining Curtin from the University of Sheffield in 2007, Steven has secured around $3m in research income from organisations such as AHURI, the Australian Research Council and industry. His primary research focus is housing affordability and housing supply.

Peter Bourke Bicycle Transport Analysis

Executive Officer

WeRide Australia


Peter is the Executive Officer of WeRide Australia and also General Manager of the peak body for the Australian bicycle industry. He has extensive experience in sports management and community engagement in the private, government, and not-for- profit sectors. This includes management positions with the YMCA in Australia, fitness facilities in America, and in indigenous sport and community education.

Joanne Kyrkilis Social Planning Infrastructure Tool

Manager Community and Place

City of Whittlesea

Joanne brings an in-depth knowledge on best practice social policy and planning for growth areas. On behalf of Whittlesea Council, Joanne led the development of the Growth Areas Social Planning Tool (GASPT) in consultation with Victorian councils, peak bodies like VCOSS, and State and Federal Government departments

Sarah Rowe Investment Attraction for Growth Areas

City of Whittlesea

Manager Economic Development

Sarah has worked in Economic Development at Whittlesea Council for more than 15 years before commencing the role of Manager in April 2021. Sarah holds a Master of Business Administration and a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and International Trade. Passionate for the community she grew up in, Sarah is excited by the development that has occurred and the future opportunities for residents.

Chris Shannon Collaboration to improve access to tertiary education in Western Sydney

Manager Strategic Planning

Blacktown City Council

Chris has worked as a planner for over 23 years and is qualified in planning and law. Blacktown City Council is the largest populated Council in NSW and of NGAA member councils. Chris’s role is to manage growth and development within Blacktown City, including new urban development in greenfield areas and planning across urban renewal precincts. He is a member of the NGAA Committee of Management, the UDIA Planning Committee and the Property Council of Australia Western Sydney Chapter, and was seconded to the Greater Sydney Commission to provide expert planning advice for the District Plans for Sydney.

Yogeshwari Biju The Casey Design Excellence Program

Team Leader Urban Design

City of Casey

Yoge is a passionate leader in the design of places for people and has extensive experience in urban design, architecture and project management. She is a design champion, with a mission to create design excellence within local communities, a gender equity advocate prioritising the safety and wellbeing of women and girls in the ways we plan and deliver city infrastructure.

Iman Ghaffari

Member Development and Engagement Manager - ANZ

Smart Cities Council Australia New Zealand

Iman is a civil engineer with experience on projects in residential housing estates all around Australia. He is experienced in the urban development and growth sectors. Iman understands the challenges and opportunities of urban development and strives to address those including the potential to effectively leverage technology and data.

Jonathan Brain

National Business Development Manager for New Developments

Nbn co

Jonathan and his team are responsible for connecting new developments to nbn's national digital backbone. Before nbn, Jonathan held roles with global telecommunications companies across Asia, Europe and North America where he facilitated deals with customers from local SMB's to mid-market and large global enterprises. He has an honorary degree in Sales Management and is studying an MBA specialising in Cyberlaw. 

Jacqueline Newsome 2168 Children's Parliament

Coordinator Community Development

Liverpool City Council

Jacqueline Newsome leads a team of specialist community development workers who develop and deliver targeted programs and initiatives which support Liverpool’s diverse and vibrant community. Jacqueline has worked in the community services sector for 15 years in not-for-profit, state, and local government organisations including case management, program coordination, community engagement, advocacy, and policy and strategy development.

Dr Andrea Nathan

Senior Research Officer

Telethon Kids Institute/Life Course Centre

Andrea completed her PhD in public health at The University of Western Australia on built and social environmental correlates of physical activity in retirement village residents. She has worked across Australia in postdoctoral, research management and research and evaluation roles in universities and not-for-profit organisations.

2021 Symposium

In 2021 the NGAA Research Symposium was an online event. See the presentations 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