Keynote speakers

Keynote Speakers

Jan Gehl

Gehl Institute, Denmark

Jan Gehl is an Architect, Founding Partner of Gehl Architects, and Professor  emeritus of Urban Design,  The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture. Over the course of his career, he has published several books, including, “Life Between Buildings”, “Cities for People”, “New City Spaces”, “Public Spaces – Public Life”, “New City Life” and most recently “How to Study Public Life”. As part of Gehl Architects, Jan Gehl has collaborated on projects for the cities of Copenhagen, London, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth New York and Moscow, among others. He is an honorary fellow of the architectural institutes in Denmark, England, Scotland, Ireland, USA and Canada as well as the Planning Institutes of Australia & Ireland. . He has been awarded the ”Sir Patrick Abercrombie Prize for exemplary contributions to Town Planning” by The International Union of Architects as well as honorary doctor degrees from Universities in Edinburgh, Varna, Halifax and Toronto.

Eva Kail

City of Vienna, Austria

Eva Kail is one of the leading experts for Gender Planning in Europe. She works in the Competence Centre Overall Urban Planning, Smart City Strategy, Participation and Gender Planning of the City of Vienna. As an urban planner in the Executive Group for Construction and Technology, she coordinated about sixty pilot projects in the fields of housing, mobility, public space, urban development and social infrastructure.

Brent Toderian


Brent Toderian is a nationally and internationally respected practitioner and influential thought-leader on cities with over 25 years of experience in advanced urbanism, city planning and urban design.

A passionate practitioner and advocate for creative, vibrant city-building, Brent is the founding President of the Council for Canadian Urbanism (CanU), Canada’s only regular radio columnist on “City-Making” with CBC Radio, a member of ULI BC’s Advisory Board and many other bodies related to cities, and a regular writer with the Huffington Post, Planetizen, CityLab and SPACING. He is a highly sought-after international speaker, teacher and thought-leader on cities and issues of advanced urbanism.

Ronni Kahn AO


Ronni Kahn AO is a social entrepreneur and founder of food rescue charity OzHarvest. Ronni is a passionate advocate and activist renowned for disrupting the food waste landscape in Australia. She appears regularly in national media, serves in an advisory capacity to government and is a sought after keynote speaker. Her mission to fight food waste and feed hungry people is supported by some of the world’s finest chefs. Ronni is an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) and was named Australian Local Hero of the Year. Her journey is the subject of a feature film, Food Fighter and her memoir; A Repurposed Life has recently been published, which can be purchased via OzHarvest website, Dymocks and Booktopia.

The Hon. Robert Stokes MP

NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces

Rob is the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, where he is focussed on promoting development
throughout NSW that improves people’s lives into the future, as well as protecting, restoring and
building our State’s public spaces and parklands.

Rob is an environmental lawyer and has read sustainable urban development at Oxford and
completed a PhD in planning law under a Commonwealth Scholarship.

Natalie Rayment

Wolter Consulting Group​

Natalie is a registered planner, Executive Director of Wolter Consulting, planning expert to the Court, co-founder of YIMBY Qld, Deputy Chair of the Board of Beddown and Board Member of Q Shelter. In recognition for her commitment to planning work, Natalie was awarded PIA Qld’s Outstanding Women in Planning 2020 by her peers. Natalie’s passion for planning and how it impacts the quality of life in our cities and regions led her to co-found YIMBY Qld in 2016, a not-for-profit public interest organisation, saying ‘yes in my back yard’ to good development that makes for better living. Her ambition is to balance the conversation around development and urban policy, so often dominated by the ‘no’ voice, instead focussing on ‘getting to yes’. As part of the international YIMBY network, Natalie collaborates with colleagues from diverse backgrounds, working together towards a common goal of ‘housing for all’.  Natalie’s planning experience in both the private and public sector in Queensland has culminated in her role as Executive Director of Wolter Consulting Group, a privately owned planning, design and survey practice based in Brisbane. In 2019, Natalie became Deputy Chair of the Board of Beddown, a charitable organisation providing pop-up accommodation for those who are most vulnerable.

Sean Audain

Wellington City Council, New Zealand

Sean is City Innovation lead at Wellington City Council in New Zealand. Sean’s qualifications are  in urban planning and he leads the development of Wellington’s smart city capabilities, exploring how Open Data, the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Data Visualisation, GIS and Virtual Reality can help Council understand the city, better talk with citizens and make better decisions. Sean has had a long standing interest in helping create long-term, sustainable innovation cultures which can deliver better local government, and improved urban planning systems. Sean’s work has been recognised with a number of national and international awards and continues help Wellington lead in a range of fields from Urban Planning to Civil Defence.

Claire Daniel


Claire is an urban planner, programmer and spatial data scientist with broad professional experience in local government and consulting. Claire sees an urgent need for urban planners to get to grips with how technology can be used to do better planning and has recently commenced a PhD at the City Futures Research Centre, UNSW in order to devote her full attention to this cause. In addition to her research Claire is Chair of the Planning Institute of Australia PlanTech Working Group and a founding member of the Smart Cities Council ANZ Emerging Innovators.

Angie Abdilla

Old Ways, New

Angie Abdilla is a Palawa, (Trawlwoolway) woman who has been living and working in Sydney for over 15 years.


Angie works with Indigenous cultural knowledges to inform placemaking, service design and the resulting deep technologies for both the public and private sectors.


Her published research on Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Robotics, and Artificial Intelligence was presented at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

Lisa Stafford

Queensland University of Technology

Dr Lisa Stafford is a researcher, educator & planner in creating inclusive sustainable communities. Lisa argues that to improve equality and participation for people with diverse disabilities and chronic illness requires the disruption of long-standing practices and ideas that maintain social-spatial injustices and exclusion by design. Change is enabled through perspective taking, questioning what matters, along with local and global examples leading the way.

Lisa has over 20 years of experience in community planning and disability. She has worked as an academic, practitioner and manager in government and non-government organisations. Lisa is a part time Senior Lecturer/ARC DECRA Fellow and a program lead for Ecologies of Justice in Centre for Justice at QUT. Lisa is a full member of the Planning Institute of Australia (MPIA), Institute of Australian Geographers (IAG) and Disability Leadership Institute (DLI).

Ingrid Cumming

Congress MC

Ingrid Cumming is a Whadjuk Noongar woman from Fremantle, Western Australia. A graduate of Murdoch University and Melbourne Business School, she has during her career, presented and published articles internationally including one with the United Nations Women Leaders Collective in Israel, represented Indigenous Australian Business in the US, presented at TedXPerth 2014 and is internationally recognised for her work in leadership, Indigenous knowledge, research and cultural development.

Mrs Cumming is the founder and CEO of Kart Koort Wiern (Head Heart and Spirit), founded in 2010, is a Perth based Indigenous consultancy that offers consultancy, training, and workshops across Australia promoting reconciliation and increasing awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders strengths and strategy.

Leo R. Asuncion, Jr., AICP

President, American Planning Association, USA

Leo R. Asuncion is a commissioner with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission and previously served as director and administrator of the State of Hawaii Office of Planning.  Leo has over 30 years of extensive experience in planning, policy analysis, and management throughout Hawaii and the Pacific Region, in both the public and private sectors, through previous positions with Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc., SSFM International, Inc., the Hawaii State Judiciary, and the State Land Use Commission.  He has also chaired or been a member of a number of governmental boards, commissions, task forces and councils during his professional career. 

Leo holds a certification from the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and holds an MBA from Hawaii Pacific University, and Master of Urban and Regional Planning and bachelor’s degrees from the University of Hawaii.   He has served in a number of leadership roles within APA, including serving on the Board of Directors and the Chapter Presidents Council, and as APA Hawaii Chapter president. He is a member of Lambda Alpha International, a board member of McKinley High School (Honolulu) Business Academy, and past chair of the Coastal States Organization.


President, Royal Town Planning Institute, UK

Wei is the President of the Royal Town Planning Institute for 2021. She is a lead figure in researching, promoting, and implementing 21st Century Garden City approach worldwide. She has extensive experience in managing multi-disciplinary teams. Her professional strengths lie in combining innovative planning inspirations with feasible implementation solutions.
Wei is the Founder of Wei Yang & Partners, an award-winning master planning firm in London. Actively promoting joined up thinking between different professionals, Wei is a Fellow of Academy of Social Sciences, an Independent Trustee of the Landscape Institute, a board member of the British Library, and a Board Trustee of Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre. Wei is the Global Planners Network (GPN)’s representative at UN Habitat Professional Forum.

Reginald Proffit

Chair, New Zealand Planning Institute, NZ

E ngā māna, e ngā reo e ngā mema o PIA tēnā koutou.


Reginald is the newly elected Chair of the New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI) and occupies the Te Ao Māori position on the NZPI Board.  He is the first person to hold the Te Ao Māori position on the Board and the first person of Māori descent to hold the position of NZPI Chair.  Reginald has worked in local government positions across New Zealand and the private sector working in both regulatory, policy and hearing commissioner roles, and has significant experience working in a Te Ao Māori frame within the Resource Management Act legislation of New Zealand.  Reginald was integral to the establishment of and was Chair for many years of Papa Pounamu, a collective under NZPI progressing; the recognition and incorporation of Māori planning, culture and perspectives, and; the increase of Māori planners, in New Zealand.  This experience places him in a strong position to lead NZPI with upcoming legislative resource management reform to provide an Aotearoa New Zealand planning framework. 


Reginald had the privilege to attend, present and most importantly meet PIA delegates at the PIA conference held in the Gold Coast, in which he spoke as part of the conference and at the Fellows event.  Reginald is looking forward to reconnect and extend connections with PIA Fellows and contributing to the discussion from a Aotearoa New Zealand perspective. 


Founded by Ronni Kahn AO in 2004 after noticing the huge volume of food going to waste, OzHarvest quickly grew to become Australia’s leading food rescue organisation. Food is at our core, saving surplus food from ending up in landfill and delivering it to charities that help feed people in need. We are committed to halving food waste by 2030, inspiring and influencing others to do the same, and transforming lives through education.