“How planning premises from the past shape the cities of tomorrow” Memorial Lecture and Panel Discussion / Sep 18

Wicked Assumptions: how planning premises from the past shape the cities of tomorrow

Dr Rob Stokes, Denis Winston Memorial Lecture
From preserving heritage to defining flood planning levels or calculating open space requirements, planning processes and decisions are inherently bound by assumptions and practices from the past.  In this inaugural lecture, Dr Robert Stokes, former minister for Planning, Public Spaces, and Cities, will reflect on how these ‘wicked’ assumptions shape contemporary cities and define their future trajectory. 

Contesting planning assumptions – Panel Discussion
Following Dr Stoke’s lecture, an eminent panel of policy and industry leaders will discuss whether and how outdated and detrimental planning assumptions can be contested and overcome.

The event will be followed by a reception from 7.30pm.

Dr Rob Stokes, Former Minister for Planning, Public Spaces, Cities, Infrastructure, Transport, Education, Environment and Heritage

Dillon Kombumerri, Principal Architect Government Architect NSW, Department of Planning and Environment
Davina Rooney, Chief Executive Officer, Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA)
Michelle Cramer, Future Communities Leader, Australia, GHD

Professor Nicole Gurran, Director, Henry Halloran Research Trust

Dr Rob Stokes
Rob Stokes is an urbanist and recognised thought leader on sustainable urban development.  Rob is a member of the Federal Government’s Urban Policy Forum, and Chair of Faith Housing.  He served as Australia’s first ever minister for Active Transport with the NSW Government, and also served as minister for Planning, Public Spaces, Cities, Infrastructure, Transport, Education, Environment and Heritage in a political career spanning more than 15 years.  Rob is a regular columnist on cities and planning and has written more than 20 articles in referred books and journals.  A qualified lawyer, Rob has read sustainable urban development at Oxford and completed a PhD in planning law under a Commonwealth Scholarship.

Dillon Kombumerri
Dillon Kombumerri is the Principal Architect for the Government Architect NSW. Originally from Queensland, he belongs to the Yugembeh and Quandamooka people of the Gold Coast and Minjerriba-North Stradbroke Island With over 25 years of experience in architectural practice he brings his own unique indigenous perspective to the design of buildings and places. Through this process he always strives to improve the health, well-being of Country and indigenous communities. During this time Dillon has also been teaching and lecturing globally in many forums to shine a light on the hidden value of indigenous knowledge and how it can positively influence private and public agencies to deliver better outcomes for the built and natural environment. He is also the founding creator and co-author for the GANSW Connecting with Country Framework – https://www.governmentarchitect.nsw.gov.au/resources/ga/media/files/ga/case-studies/connecting-with-country-framework.pdf.

Davina Rooney
A property professional with a passion for sustainability, Davina has led the Green Building Council of Australia since 2019. As a qualified engineer, Davina worked on large-scale construction projects in Sydney and London, and spent nearly a year building an award-winning school in the Himalayas. She devoted a decade to driving sustainability at one of Australia’s largest diversified property companies, Stockland, which culminated in Stockland’s recognition as the world’s most sustainable property company. Now leading a member organisation with 550-plus members with a combined value of $46 billion, Davina brings together practical knowledge, on-the-ground experience and a systematic approach to champion leadership in sustainable design and construction. Davina works with government and industry to advocate for supportive policy and transform complex supply chains. Building on a strong legacy of leadership, Davina is elevating the GBCA’s reach and impact into new markets. Davina is on the Board of Evolve Housing and the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council, as well as Chairing the Sustainable Procurement Roundtable for the Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre. The property industry has recognised Davina’s leadership with multiple awards.

Michelle Cramer
Michelle is a highly accomplished leader, speaker, researcher, and author in the city shaping sector. She is an architect, urban designer, and urban development leader with tripartite experience in development, government, and consulting. As GHD’s Future Communities Leader Australia, Michelle drives development that allows people to thrive by creating connected, productive, resilient, and inspired communities. Career highlights include Barangaroo and Sydney Olympic Park for the 2000 Olympics. She is a specialist advisor to UNICEF’s Child-Friendly Cities Initiative and to Mercedes Benz for human-centred design. She is an author of The Place Economy. Michelle is a Sydney University medallist, Harvard University distinguished graduate, Byera Hadley, Fulbright & Knox Scholar, and Telstra Business Woman of the Year nominee. In 2023 Michelle was appointed to the University of Sydney Alumni Council.

This keynote address and panel discussion is part of the annual Festival of Urbanism, hosted by the University of Sydney’s Henry Halloran Research Trust.

How will new housing, environmental, or infrastructure reform agendas advanced by governments and others confront these challenges, and whose voices will, or should, be heard? Can contests of ideas and values lead to more innovative or inclusive models of urban governance or design? The 10th Festival of Urbanism will confront these questions through a series of robust panel discussions, podcasts and film events involving researchers, policy makers, industry experts and community leaders across Australia. Join this free program of events by attending a Festival session in Sydney, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth or Lismore; or by catching an on-demand recording or podcast online.

Date and time
Mon 18th Sep 2023, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm AEST

Lecture Theatre 101 New Law Building New Law Building, Camperdown NSW 2050, Australia