TUES 25 MAY 2021


What is a ‘positive’ planning system?

Insights for the future of Planning Systems around Australia



FACILITATOR: John Brockhoff RPIA (Fellow)

Planning Institute of Australia

John is a planner and policy advisor in infrastructure planning, environment and economic development.


John is National Policy Manager for the Planning Institute of Australia. John guided the preparation of PIA’s policy positions on climate, infrastructure funding, the Parliamentary Inquiry into the ‘development of cities’ and PIA’s call for a ‘National Settlement Strategy’.


John led the technical development of Sydney’s Metropolitan Strategy. He formulated NSW Government policy for urban renewal, employment lands and the integration of land use and transport.


In private practice, John led environmental assessment of water, road and rail infrastructure projects, as well as policy-oriented research mapping city living conditions.


John is currently an assessor on the NSW Regional Panel and Georges River Council Planning Panel.


Helen Dyer RPIA (Fellow)

Holmes Dyer, SA

Helen is an experienced Non-Executive and Executive Director, Chair and Local Government CEO with expertise in Strategy, Governance and Marketing both in the private and public sectors.
Helen started her career as a planner in Darwin. Returning to South Australia she worked in the State planning department and the South Australian Tourism Commission. Helen concluded her time in the State Government as a Ministerial Adviser to the Planning Minister.
Post Advising the Minister, Helen spent 12 years in Local Government including as the CEO at both Walkerville and Mitcham.

In 2016 Helen established Holmes Dyer with Stephen Holmes with the specific intent of providing bespoke outcomes focussing on managing, creating and delivering land, cities and communities.

Helen is the former Chair of the Minister’s Development Industry Advisory Committee, and Deputy Chair of the State Commission Assessment Panel (formerly the Development Assessment Commission). Helen is currently a Commissioner of the South Australian State Planning Commission.

Helen has a Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Diploma in Town Planning and a Master of Environmental Laws

Jennifer Roughan MPIA (Life Fellow)

Rough Plan, QLD

Jenny Roughan is the principal of Rough Plan and has over 30 years of experience as a planner, predominantly as a consultant and also in local government. She manages a range of planning and development projects for clients in both the private and public sectors. She has extensive experience in development assessment and as an expert witness in Planning and Environment Court appeals, as well as in strategic planning, policy development and planning scheme drafting.


Jenny was appointed a Fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia in 2011 in recognition of her extensive and varied contribution to the planning profession.

Chris De Silva MPIA

Mesh Planning, VIC

Chris De Silva is Executive Director of Mesh Planning, a consultancy service that specialises in growth area based strategic planning, urban design, development contributions and implementation services. Prior to forming Mesh,

Chris spent almost 20 years at the City of Whittlesea in various roles including Director Planning and Development. Chris has extensive experience in structure planning, integrated transport plans and evidence in relation to development contributions.

The approaches adopted by the City under Chris’s guidance culminated in a total of 11 State awards from the Planning Institute of Australia for Planning Excellence. He was awarded Victoria’s planner of the year for 2020.

Paul McFarland MPIA

University of New England, NSW

Paul is a planning lecturer and researcher with a focus on rural and regional planning issues.  He has a background in planning practice and his current research and supervision is in the area of land use change and planning policy associated with regional Australia and peri-urban land use generally.