The Queensland Urban Design and Places Panel provides state agencies and local governments with independent expert advice on the design of major infrastructure and urban-planning projects, delivering better outcomes for Queensland communities.
How we can help
We can provide advice on:
other built-environment aspects.
We are responsible for:
championing high-quality architecture and urban design as a way to create greater prosperity for the broader Queensland community
fostering a more holistic approach to best practice in place-making, land use and infrastructure planning
supporting economically sustainable, vibrant and adaptable urban places for people in Queensland
promoting community and industry awareness of the link between superior urban design and economic advantage and to spread the message that ‘good design makes good business sense’.
Benefits of involving the panel
Involving us, particularly in the early stages of project development and delivery, can benefit your project by:
maximising the value and return from infrastructure and urban-development projects by obtaining advice on procurement processes and project risks
ensuring government policy on urban design and planning is considered to supporting economic growth
mobilising a team quickly to provide best-practice specialist advice and development-oriented expertise to government agencies, local government and private sector proponents.
Membership of panel meetings is drawn from all members. When sitting, the panel will generally be attended by up to five members together with the chair.
Leah Lang (Chair)
Leah is an experienced Strategic Design Advisor and award-winning registered architect (FRAIA) has been appointed in September 2021 as the Queensland Government Architect in the lead up to the 2032 Olympic Games. Notably, she served a four-year tenure as the Gold Coast City Architect. Undaunted by large-scale, complex and ambitious projects, Leah understands site-specific subtleties, thanks to her wealth of broader experiences — including but not limited to her work on the Gold Coast Light Rail and the $60.5 million Home of the Arts (HOTA) Gallery. Leah’s expertise is in high demand — as evidenced by her appointments to multiple high-profile design Boards.
Lindy has worked as an architect for thirty-three years, eight with large practices in Brisbane, Sydney and London and twenty five directing a regional practice on the Sunshine Coast. She is a Life Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects, has been an AIA Gold Medal Juror, Creative Director for the 2016 AIA Regional Conference, speaker at the 2018 AIA National Conference, a member of the AIA QLD Regional Affairs Committee and an AIA QLD Chapter Councillor for ten years. Lindy was also on the Sunshine Coast Open House Committee for six years, two of which were in the role of Chair, she has been on the Design Excellence Panel: Queensland Social and Affordable Housing for the Department of Energy and Public Works since 2021 and she is a Founding Member of the Australian Regional Architecture Association.
Nicole is an urbanist, millennial and passionate planner. She is an urban and regional planner with over 15 years’ experience working in statutory and strategic planning within local Council, private consultancy and non-for-profit associations. Nicole is currently State Manager for Queensland and Northern Territory for Planning Institute of Australia, where she is responsible for stewarding the professional association and advocating for planners and planning. Nicole has a passion for amplifying the voice of planners and hosts the Hustle and Bustle podcast. Nicole has expertise in integrated cities, neighbourhood and precinct planning, transport and land use integration, stakeholder engagement and collaboration. Nicole is an integrator and creative problem solver, and believes good planning and design is the solution to many our wicked societal problems.
Terry seeks to contribute genuine value to local Queensland communities and a regenerative global future through authentic and memorable architecture. A specialist in wellbeing and education sectors, he aspires to make civic places that rekindle individual’s lives through transformational connections and learning experiences. His inclusive approach and design leadership has created many influential projects that have received the highest awards and enrich thousands of people every day.
Marcus is an applied economist with over 25 years professional experience in both corporate and consulting roles. He spent his early consulting career specialising in project evaluation and policy appraisal. However, over time he became increasingly interested in how economics could support other disciplines in improving community well-being. Today, Marcus works with all levels of government, the private sector and non-government organisations by applying economic techniques to enhance decision making and solution development. He relishes the opportunity to support other disciplines by providing economic advice to better respond to market needs and policy objectives.
Cathryn is an award-winning urban designer with a diverse portfolio of project experience gained over 28 years of practice across the United Kingdom and Australia. She is a passionate collaborator and highly effective project director, leading the design and delivery of large scale projects for both public and private sector clients. She is the founding Director of Urban Enquiry, holds positions on a number of Design Advisory boards and contributes regularly to the teaching of urban design in University programs.
Kai is a registered architect with over 15 years of experience working throughout Australia and South-East Asia. He is Studio Director of DKO Brisbane and part of the leadership team overseeing 220+ design professionals across multiple disciplines. With a focus on master planning and urban design, Kai has extensive experience collaborating with a wide range of clientele, from government agencies to private developers. Having established the Brisbane studio in 2020, Kai has grown the studio rapidly, working on projects in numerous locations throughout the state. Kai believes that considered design and practical procurement can unlock the potential of places and cities. As a newcomer to the Queensland, Kai brings fresh perspectives and international experience to the local design discourse.
Richard as part of Cox Architecture’s Queensland office for 18 years, and with over 25 years in the industry, Richard has been part of many of the firm’s major projects nationally and internationally. He has undertaken a diverse portfolio of projects throughout his career spanning across a range of building types, including the sports, education, health, cultural, community, and transport sectors. Richard has led many projects for the Queensland Government and Local Governments in Brisbane and widely throughout the Regions, notably, the Queensland Country Bank Stadium, the Cairns Convention Centre Expansion and the Cairns Performing Arts Centre. The projects all have a focus on patron experience and the public realm. Richard is recognised for his ability to interpret a project brief and bring insightful conceptual thinking to solve complex strategic problems. Richard leads the Sustainability group for COX Queensland and has been directly involved in leading six-star Green Star projects in Australia.
Dr James Davidson
James is the founder and Principal of JDA Co. He is the lead technical advisor to the Queensland Government’s $741M Resilient Homes Fund, assisting in the design and implementation of this landmark program. JDA Co. was also a delivery partner of the Brisbane City Council’s Flood Resilient Homes Program. Previously, James has partnered with the Queensland Reconstruction Authority and other local councils and government agencies around Australia to deliver flood-resilient building design and urban planning guidelines. He holds a Doctorate in Architecture, is a previous Director of Emergency Architects Australia and a Winston Churchill Fellow. He is also the author of Waterfutures: Integrated water and flood management strategies for enhancing livability in Southeast Queensland.
Gilda is a highly skilled and award‐winning architect with over 25 years in the industry, successfully delivering many notable Queensland projects, primarily in the education and health sectors. As the Studio Director of GHDWoodhead, Gilda currently leads a diverse architecture team within a multidisciplinary environment to deliver major urban infrastructure and community projects for government clients across Brisbane and regional Queensland. Recently Gilda’s experience has focused on the delivery of significant health and research projects such as the current Capital Expansion Program (CEP) TPCH Redevelopment, PA Hospital Rehabilitation and Sub‐Acute Services, James Cook University’s Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, and Gold Coast Private Hospital Stage 2. Her strong leadership skills are complemented by a keen appreciation for architectural design and a desire to incorporate good design in all aspects of project delivery. As an active member of the Architecture industry, Gilda has been a committee member of the ACA QLD/NT branch for almost 10 years and currently leads the Committee as branch president.
Dr Shaneen Fantin
Dr Shaneen Fantin is a generous leader with a unique combination of skills in architecture, project management, community engagement, and research. As a third generation local to Cairns, she is passionate about sustainable and appropriate development for Queensland and has dedicated her career to understanding the relationship of culture, design and architecture with First Nations peoples. Shaneen has over 25 years of experience on a broad range of community, health, and housing projects in Australia and the Pacific, and she continues to advocate for sustainable design solutions, and culturally and socially inclusive outcomes for the whole community. Shaneen is a member of National and State level panels for the Australian Institute of Architects and the Queensland State Government. She is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Queensland and James Cook University where she continues to influence through teaching and research.
Paul is an experienced design leader at the Brisbane studio of COX. With over 17 years’ experience Paul is a registered architect whose career spans master planning and urban design, mixed-use residential and commercial precincts, waterfront urban regeneration, sporting and cultural complexes, tertiary campus planning and major public infrastructure projects. Paul has led the design of a wide range of significant master planning projects for the practice including Southbank Parklands Masterplan, Victoria Park Masterplan, and the Centriq Consortium bid for Cross River Rail which included the planning of precincts and parklands surrounding 4 major underground train stations. This diverse experience provides a broad foundation for critical thinking and innovation when designing active, vibrant, connected urban places of the future.
Leah is a seasoned architect with a love of sensitive, delightful design. Since founding KIN Architects alongside Marjorie, she channels her skills and knowledge into creating beautiful architecture in a way that is accessible, enjoyable and low stress. With a genuine enthusiasm for her work, a drive to understand her clients’ needs, and an ability to distil many ideas into one realistic solution, her approach to design delivers outcomes that surpass expectations and create moments of joy within the everyday. Prior to KIN, Leah gained valuable experience from some of Brisbane’s leading architecture firms - including seven years at Kieron Gait Architects – which is complemented by her role as Queensland Chapter Councillor of the Australian Institute of Architects. This well-rounded foundation of knowledge is brought to each and every project, and also equips her well as a mentor for developing professionals.
Paula is an urban and regional planner and pracademic with 30 years’ experience in statutory and strategic planning in Queensland. She is currently the program director of the urban and regional planning program at the University of Southern Queensland. She is a Registered Planner and Fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) and a member of the editorial board the Australian Planner and the PIA National Education Committee. She has a strong attachment to and interest in the future of vibrant regional communities.
Brian is a graduate from the QUT School of Architecture, sole practitioner and director of Brian Hooper Architect. Based in Yeppoon & established in 1998, the design orientated practice has worked on numerous Local Queensland Government projects, commercial, high end residential and multi-residential sectors locally and throughout Western Queensland. He has also collaborated with several larger practices with commissioned work as varying as; the Tree of Knowledge Memorial, Globe Visitor Information Centre & Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame (m3architecture), Rockhampton Art Gallery (Clare Design / Conrad Gargett), & Yeppoon Foreshore Revitalisation (TCL / Architectus). Brian Hooper Architect seeks to pursue innovative design solutions to meet the pragmatic needs of their clients and is determined to maintain a high standard in all aspects of design and service. He endeavours to build close relationships to provide architectural outcomes that are responsive to their client’s expectations.
Peter is one of the Asia-Pacific’s most respected urban land-use strategists. He has led large multidisciplinary teams on projects including city renewal and new city developments, major port and airport master plans, tourism and economic development strategies and major infrastructure related projects. Peter’s 35-years’ experience spans Australia, the Asia-Pacific, Europe, the United Kingdom, North America, and the Middle East. He has undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in urban planning and economics. Peter returned to Brisbane in July 2021 after five years living and working in Singapore as the founding Regional Director of Cistri the international business of Urbis. Prior to establishing Cistri in 2016 he was from 2000 the founder and Regional Director, Queensland of Urbis. On returning to Brisbane, Peter maintains a Strategic Advisor, Director role with Urbis, and also accepted a position as Director of Planning in the School of Architecture at the University of Queensland.
Tessa is a Registered Landscape Architect that runs a successful design practice. She has extensive experience in landscape and urban design for public realm, infrastructure, parks and open spaces, and residential communities. Having a special interest in creating places that work for the people that use them, Tessa weaves the functional imperatives into landscapes that fulfill the more subjective objectives of placemaking, unique character and amenity. Her expertise and interest lie in the public realm, specifically the integration of major projects into the urban fabric. Major projects have the power to completely alter how a landscape can be navigated, read and enjoyed. Without an intrinsic understanding of how a landscape will facilitate a community, projects can become a barrier. Context, spatial understanding and an underlying understanding of social influences on choices is integral to the success of any development whether that be a road, a precinct, or a school. She currently holds the position of Queensland Chapter President for the Australian Institute of Landscape Architect, having held an Executive position since 2018.
Toby has been leading and working in collaborative teams for over twenty years in the fields of urban renewal, transit orientated development and urban infill growth management. Educated as an urban planner, he has been involved in a range of urban design and master planning projects across Australia and the United Kingdom. He is passionate about making cities and places better for people and has an ongoing role as project director for the South Bank master plan in Brisbane.
Dr Stephen Long
Stephen is passionate about the design of major public projects that make a positive and lasting impact on people, cities, and communities. As Architectus Conrad Gargett Sector Leader Public, Stephen’s portfolio encompasses projects across arts, culture, justice, and sports. He was part of the design leadership on the award-winning Sunshine Coast University Hospital and the award-winning Queen Elizabeth II Courts of Law. As a member of the Architectus Conrad Gargett Design Leadership Group he maintains a human-centric and collaborative approach to realise design outcomes that exemplify elegance, functionality, and sustainability. Under his leadership Architectus Conrad Gargett is currently working on the Powerhouse Ultimo Renewal and has delivered projects that include the Sydney Modern Project AGNSW, The National Herbarium of NSW, The Eromanga Natural History Museum, the Papua New Guinea National Museum and Art Gallery, and projects for QAGOMA, Queensland Museum and QPAC. Stephen’s PhD and postdoctoral studies explored Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage and relationships to place. He has undertaken research with remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities throughout Australia including extensive documentation of oral histories and places.
Kim is an environmental scientist with a passion for enhancing the ecosystem services delivered across our region to support healthy environments and communities. With a background in research and community education, Kim has been working as a consultant in the urban design and planning sector for over 15 years. She is happiest when working with people from other backgrounds and disciplines to successfully integrate water and nature to create healthy, resilient and valued places. Kim works on a wide range of projects ranging from the development of policies, strategies and guidelines, master planning, through to the design of blue / green infrastructure.
Erin is a Mandandanji woman who instils her culture throughout the design process, she pushes the boundaries through a holistic approach in translating Indigenous technologies, embedding cultural identity in the built environment. Erin is passionate about educating designers to think innovatively in an approach to provide economic growth for communities. As Principal of Design & Interiors at Blaklash, Erin works closely with Indigenous communities to reflect their cultural values and traditions in the built environment. With a deep understanding of cultural protocols, she ensures respectful and inclusive engagement by elevating First Nation voices throughout the process.
Kate is a bold strategic thinker with a passion for cities. She is a lawyer with a master’s degree in urban design and estate management. Kate has more than twenty-five years in the property industry and has worked throughout Europe and Australia as well as Asia and the USA as an urbanist and place maker. Until December 2019 she was the Chief Executive of The Hornery Institute, recently joining Urbis as a director in their strategic advisory team - Future State. Kate has worked alongside Government, industry and community partners to create a shared vision for some of Australia’s most ambitious major urban infrastructure and regeneration projects nation-wide. To continue to make a difference to the future of Australian cities and communities, she is currently enrolled in a PhD program at Curtin University where she is working with Peter Newman and the team in the School of Design and Built Environment. She has also been influential in shaping thinking about the global competitiveness of Australian Cities, the future of Sydney Harbour Foreshore and the Sydney Midtown Central Station precinct. She is a regular speaker, panelist and conference moderator, contributing to in-house and industry training programs. She is also a thought leader in relation to world class teaching, learning and research environments, talent attraction and innovation precincts.
Rebecca is a Principal and Sector Lead Health for Architectus Conrad Gargett. She leads large and complex projects, known for her expertise in design across various sectors, both locally and internationally. She is recognised as an innovative thinker, constantly pushing the boundaries of design and finding unique solutions for her clients' needs. With a focus on health and research projects, Rebecca works closely with clients and communities to understand their objectives and create purposeful architecture that is layered with innovation, research and inspiration. Her strategic mind and organic thinking style allow her to provide creative and holistic solutions within the scope of each brief. She values flexibility in design and management and stays open to emerging trends and innovations throughout project delivery. Rebecca's ultimate goal is to create meaningful places for people.
Karen is an architect and director of KO&Co Architecture, a Brisbane practice with a keen focus on socially responsible architecture and a belief that architects can, and should, make a difference to the way people live through good design. Karen has over 20 years’ experience in social and affordable housing, specialist disability and residential care accommodation, high end private residential, education facilities, commercial fit outs and cruise liner terminals. She completed her undergraduate thesis on architecture and homelessness and has participated in many panel discussions relating to social and affordable housing, mental health respite accommodation and specialist disability housing.
Andrew is Registered Landscape Architect and Horticulturist whose experience includes the private and government sector. While at the Council of the City of Sydney and Botany Municipal Council he worked on inner city urban renewal projects and park developments. Since 1990 he has been Cairns based undertaking townscape improvements, resorts, and residential projects in Queensland, Papua New Guinea, and the South Pacific. Central to these projects, many in remote localities, has been the use of tropical design responses in creating functional and aesthetic solutions utilising local materials. His work on the Paiam town project in the Enga Highlands of Papua New Guinea received listing by the United Nations Habitat Organisation as an Example of World’s Best Practice.
Michael Rayner, AM
Michael is a director of Blight Rayner Architecture, a medium-size practice established in Brisbane in 2016. He was previously a director of Cox Rayner Architects [now Cox Architecture] for 26 years. Michael’s practice is currently undertaking the New Performing Arts Venue [NPAV] at QPAC and the National Rugby Training Centre at Ballymore and has recently completed Jubilee Place in Fortitude Valley and St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School Sports Precinct in Clayfield. Michael is an Adjunct Professor in Architecture at The University of Queensland and at Griffith University, a member of Brisbane City Council’s Urban Futures Board, and a board member of the Property Industry Foundation for homeless youth. He is a Life Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects and a Past President of its Queensland Chapter.
Peter is an architect and urbanist with over 40 years’ experience working on projects from small buildings to large cities. With qualifications in architecture and urban design, Peter is particularly interested in urban quality and the rich relationship between people and place. Peter joins Archipelago in 2022 as a Principal of Architecture and Urban Design, bringing his wealth of experience guiding best-for-city outcomes. He is sought after for his collaborative design abilities and has contributed to more than 150 design workshops in Australia and internationally over the last 20 years. Peter is passionate about the role of drawing in the design process that workshops offer and led the development of Deicke Richards’ Enquiry by Design technology – first with housing cooperatives in the early 1990s and then with larger master planning projects. He has always combined practice with teaching and research. He has regularly tutored since graduation and in the early 1990s taught for two years at the UK’s Hull School of Architecture. Peter has been an adjunct professor at the QUT School of Design since 2003 as a practitioner member of the Centre for Subtropical Design, and between 2003 and 2015 as a fractional professor of design with two other colleagues.
Zoe is Arkhefield’s ‘Emerging Housing’ specialist, with over 20 years of experience working across a broad spectrum of sectors, from student accommodation to social and affordable housing. She leads a team of passionate designers engaged in Social and Affordable Housing projects for the studio. Driven by the potential of this work to positively impact the lives of many individuals, she strives to create vibrant and accessible urban spaces. Committed to improving diversity and inclusion in our urban places, Zoe is inspired by a special interest in different cultures and their unique approaches to urban life and architecture. Zoe has led Brisbane student accommodation projects including the award-winning Student One in Elizabeth Arcade and Student One in Adelaide Street, both positive examples of integrating residential and commercial uses can create memorable places. Her research work has included leading a number of Masters of Design studios at the University of Queensland, which she values for the engagement with multiple perspectives and for keeping an open and inquisitive mind in practice, as well having an impact upon the careers of our future architects and urban designers.
Deb’s career experience spans over 25 years as a Landscape Architect and Urban Designer working mainly in Queensland but also Nationally. For 22 of those years, she has led design studios in her hometown of Brisbane. Her new role as Studio Principal sees her establishing the Brisbane studio for Australia’s most awarded Landscape Architectural firm - T.C.L. Over her career she has worked across many projects with public realm opportunities including major infrastructure, nature based, cultural and health precincts. Deb has an interest in ensuring these projects establish a legacy beyond the hard infrastructure by creating lasting and sustainable benefits for the community through public realm, landscape, and open space opportunities. Translating this focus to the greater regions and cities of Queensland is of particular interest to Deb.
Mark is an architect and Principal of Hassell with 40 years’ experience designing and delivering major projects and master plans for the education and science sectors with complementary health project experience. Mark is passionate about design excellence and knowledge leadership in architecture. He has been the global leader of Education and Science at Hassell for the last decade consulting with universities and research institutions across Australia and internationally from master planning and project briefing through to project design and delivery phases. He is motivated by deep engagement with stakeholder communities working collaboratively to deliver innovative and transformational design outcomes. The design excellence achieved in projects in recognised in the extensive list of state and national Australian Institute of Architects awards for projects Mark has led.
Caroline is a Hassell Principal. She is an architect, urbanist and highly skilled designer, communicator and leader of teams on complex city shaping projects. Her experience spans 34 years and projects around Australia, South East Asia and London, including integration of new urban infrastructure into urban settings, new communities, urban regeneration around transport hubs, urban and town centres revitalisation, universities, public spaces, public buildings, station architecture, mixed use and multi-residential architecture. Caroline’s consistent design focus has been to deploy design excellence on complex city projects. She prioritises listening to people and place as a foundation for creativity, climatic design, collaborative and technically integrated design, social architecture and addressing environmental challenges. This sustained focus on design quality has been recognised through numerous architecture and planning awards.
Shy is an accomplished architect and urbanist with a strong track record of leading large-scale projects in urban renewal, mixed-use precincts, and transportation. He played a critical role in delivering major projects such as the Brisbane International Cruise Terminal and the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games athletes' village. Shy has co-authored several design guidelines for local governments, such as Brisbane City Council’s New World City Buildings that Breathe Design Guide and Design-led City Traditional Housing: Alterations and Extensions Design Guide and is committed to contributing to strategic design policy He has provided design stewardship, project leadership and strategic advice for various major development schemes, key infrastructure and policies through his work in practice, involvement on Design Advisory boards, and State Juror roles for the AIA Architecture Awards.
Ben is a partner of m3architecture with over 20 years of experience in architectural practice. He is working in the education sector, having master planned, designed, documented, and administered contracts on numerous school and university projects. This work has been recognised with architectural awards and through architectural and educational media coverage. Ben is fluent in the economic, environmental, heritage, pedagogical, and social impacts of education architecture. He also has expertise in contemporary learning environments, passive solar design, environmentally sustainable design and life cycle assessment.
Nathalie is passionate about the role that design can play in enhancing a project outcome to create sustainable and meaningful places that inspire the people who use them. She is deeply concerned about the future of our planet and the legacy we leave future generations, bringing this focus to her influence on projects. Working in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and Australia over the last 30+ years, Nathalie has collaboratively engaged with multidisciplinary teams to produce award-winning outcomes on projects in the realms of urban design, infrastructure, park design, residential design, site rehabilitation and visual impact assessment. Projects of note include the Green Grid Strategy for Brisbane, Southport Broadwater Parklands on the Gold Coast, the Victoria Park Vision and the redevelopment of the Brisbane Showgrounds including the Plaza, King Street and Alexandria Precinct; projects that promote investment in green infrastructure and high-quality public realm outcomes. Nathalie is a panel member of the NSW Design Review Panel and Brisbane City Council’s Independent Design Advisory Panel and was awarded a Fellowship from AILA for her contributions to the Landscape Architecture profession in September 2017.
Simon is an architect who is currently Head of Design at the country’s most awarded private residential developer, Aria Property Group. He drives Aria’s creative direction across a range of high-rise residential, retail, public art and laneway urban renewal projects. Simon holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the Queensland University of Technology, and prior to joining Aria, he established and grew an award winning national architectural design practice for 14 years.
Ruth is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA), a practicing architect working in heritage for over thirty years and was a member of the Queensland Heritage Council for eight years from 2002 to 2009. Ruth is currently a Member of Australia ICOMOS and the heritage sub-committee for the Queensland Chapter of the AIA. Eighteen years ago, Ruth started her own practice which specializes in the adaptive re-use and conservation of heritage listed buildings. Ruth previously owned a State listed property which she adaptively re-used as her family home for over 20 years. This project as well as other adaptive re-use projects has won her awards from the Australian Institute of Architects and National Trust.