Our people

Meet the team
We're dedicated to the promotion of scholarship, innovation and research in town planning, urban development and land management. Meet the team of established professionals and academics who are making it happen.


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Nicole Gurran

Nicole Gurran is an urban planning and housing researcher, educator, and practitioner. She has led a series of research projects on aspects of urban policy, housing, sustainability and planning, funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC), the Australian Urban and Housing Research Institute (AHURI), as well as state and local government.

Postdoctoral Researcher

Greta Werner

Greta Werner

Dr Greta Weston Werner is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Henry Halloran Research Trust at The University of Sydney. She is interested in population change, infrastructure provision and urban development, working on research projects funded by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute. Her research examines the social and economic processes that inform urban infrastructure development, with a focus on housing policy and civic solidarity.

Henry Halloran Research Trust Advisory Board


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Jill Hannaford

Jill is a social scientist and passionate about diversity. She has worked in community and stakeholder engagement and social sustainability for over 25 years. She was a founding member of the International Association for Public Participation, and a founding partner of CareerTrackers, an indigenous internship program that promotes and enables diversity at GHD and in the industry sectors in which we work. Jill has also been a key driver in GHD’s award winning approach to diversity in the workplace.

Board Members

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Jess Herder

Jess is a Dunghutti woman with over 20 years' experience in NSW government roles focusing on natural and cultural heritage management, and land use planning. Growing up on Dharawal Country and now living on Dharug Country, she has developed and delivered a wide range of strategies, programs, and projects in collaboration with Aboriginal communities across local to state-wide levels. Holding qualifications in Environmental Science, Project Management, and Urban and Regional Planning, Jess is dedicated to enhancing outcomes for First Nations communities. This commitment extends to her volunteer work, including a recent position as Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney's School of Architecture, Design and Planning.

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Dr Gary Cox

Dr Gary Cox is a public sector expert with wide experience in the UK and Australia. He is an economist, policy analyst and a chartered urban and regional planner. He excels at managing complex policy negotiations with multiple government and non-government stakeholders. Dr Cox has a broad academic background encompassing environmental policy, economics, international development, urban regional planning and international environmental law.

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Professor Susan Thompson

Susan Thompson is Professor of Planning in the Faculty of the Built Environment at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.  She has qualifications in education, geography and planning and is an alumnus of the University of Sydney (MTCP and PhD).  Susan’s planning career has its foundations in local and state public sector planning practice.  Her academic career encompasses both research and teaching in social and cultural planning, qualitative research methodologies and healthy built environments.  Susan was a pioneer in the development of healthy planning in Australia from an urban planning perspective, contributing to research, education and advocacy for health supportive environments.

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Professor Roland Fletcher

Roland Fletcher completed his undergraduate degree and his PhD at Cambridge University (UK) in the 1970s. He joined the staff of the University of Sydney in 1976 and is a member of the Department of Archaeology in the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry. In 2007 he was a Distinguished Fellow in Durham University at the Institute of Advanced Study. He became Professor of Theoretical and World Archaeology at the University of Sydney in 2008.

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Dr Peter Williams

Dr Peter Williams holds degrees in geography, environmental planning, public policy, and law, and a doctorate in environmental law. After 14 years’ experience in the private and public sectors, Peter joined the Faculty of the Built Environment at the University of New South Wales in 1993. He was Head of the Planning Program at UNSW between 2009 and 2012. Peter is an adjunct Associate Professor at the Sydney Law School at the University of Notre Dame Australia. He was a Commissioner of the Independent Planning Commission from 2017 to July 2023. Peter is a member of the Specialist Accreditation Planning and Environment Law Advisory Committee of the Law Society of NSW and a Fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia.

Past Board Members

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Emeritus Professor Tong Wu

Professor Wu is an urban planner with specialities in regional development strategies, urban dyamics and impacts of migration on urban development. His work includes collaborations in China, South Korea and other South-East Asian countries. He was previously the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development and International) at UWS. Previously appointments include Dean of the Faculty of Built Environment at The University of New South Wales and various academic appointments at QUT, University of Sydney, University of Hawaii and the University of Singapore. His current research is on shrinking cities, urban dyamics and urban revival strategies.

Executive Team

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Linda Wang
Events Coordinator

Linda is a events coordinator with a background in event management, bringing her expertise to the field since 2022. With a Bachelor's Degree in Design in Architecture, Linda has honed her skills in orchestrating successful events at the University of Sydney. Her passion for seamless execution and creative flair has contributed to the success of numerous events under her meticulous planning and coordination.

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Kim Beecroft
Administration Manager

Kim has been with The Henry Halloran Trust since its start in 2013.

Currently Kim’s role within the Trust is overseeing administrative functions including the handling of financial matters and the onboarding staff and researchers.

Kim has extensive experience in academic support and is also employed at the School of Architecture, Design and Planning, The University of Sydney.

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Michael Chan
Digital Designer

Michael is the Trust's Digital Designer and is committed to ensuring that the Trust is presented in a professional manner. He graduated from the University of Sydney with a degree in Interaction Design.

Academic and International Advisors

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Professor Ann Forsyth
Academic Advisor to the Trust

Professor Ann Forsyth, the Academic Advisor to the Trust, is the Director of; the Urban Planning Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She is also a graduate of the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning at the University of Sydney. 

She has won over fifty awards, citations, and fellowships for individual and collaborative professional and research work. 

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Peter Phibbs
Professor Emeritus

After a career teaching planning students at the University of Sydney and Western Sydney University, Peter was the Founding Director of the Henry Halloran Trust (2013-2021). He resigned from the University in 2021. He is still an active researcher with a particular interest in studying the impact of short term rentals (AirBnB etc) on housing markets. He is also engaged with the Planning Institute of Australia delivering his course Planning for Non Planners. Peter spends some of his time supporting the planning profession, particularly in debates about housing affordability.

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Michael Bounds
Project Manager of Research Grants

Professor Bounds is an Urban Sociologist and author of Urban Social Theory. His research over the past 10 years has concentrated on the study of the social impacts of urban development, with a particular focus on urban consolidation and gentrification. He also reviews for a number of academic publishers and urban, planning and sociological journals. Michael is the Trust's Project Manager of Research Grants and Co-ordinator of the Practitioner-in-Residence Program.

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Honorary Associate Professor John Toon

Honorary Associate Professor, Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning John Toon, Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University from 1960-2005, has been an adviser to Warren Halloran for many years, working on a number of projects for his company Realty Realizations. These projects included the master plan for Jerrabomberra, a suburb of Queanbeyan, and plans for Vincentia and other settlements in the Jervis Bay region.

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Glenn Grimshaw

Glenn currently works at the Embassy of Australia in Washington DC, where he focuses on domestic and international climate, energy, infrastructure and trade policy issues. Prior to working at the Embassy, Glenn served as Associate Director at the New South Wales Department of Premier and Cabinet and Principal Advisor at NSW Treasury where he worked on a range of urban policy and planning issues, including metropolitan planning, planning reform, housing and infrastructure financing. Glenn has a Bachelor’s degree in economics from Macquarie University, a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Sydney and a Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Visiting Scholars and Researchers

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Niranjika Wijesooriya-Gunarathne

Dr Niranjika Wijesooriya-Gunarathne, from the University of Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning, is the Henry Halloran Research Trust’s Post Doctoral Urban Research Translation Scheme grant recipient. Her program involves creating a Biophilic Living Cities Guide that contributes to designing cities with nature and improve sustainable performance. The Guide is aimed at policy makers, professionals and educators to adapt Biophilic Living Cities to provide a readily available self-directed learning program on biophilic city development.

She was previously a research officer at the Centre for Business and Social Innovation at the University of Technology Sydney. Before commencing her PhD at the University of Sydney, Nira completed a MPhil in Architectural Education, Masters in Architecture and a Bachelor of Science (Built Environment) at the University of Moratuwa in Sri Lanka. She is a chartered architect, registered with Architect’s Registration Board, Sri Lanka and an chartered international member of Royal Institute of British Architects.

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Ang Li

Dr Ang Li is a Henry Halloran Research Trust Post Doctorate Research Translation Scheme grant recipient for 2022-2023. Her program aims to generate and communicate a community-based social vulnerability index that measures a wide range of social factors affecting human health that are caused by climate change and extreme weather. The national index will be made widely available using an interactive interface through the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Healthy Housing website. The assessment tool will enable community members to self-evaluate the risks in their local areas to better understand a locality’s ability to inform disaster preparedness and adaption strategies.

She is currently at the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Healthy Housing, Centre for Health Policy, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne. Previously she was a post-doc research associate at the Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney; a research officer at the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research, The University of New South Wales; and a research assistant and academic tutor at the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales.

Ang was awarded her PhD in Economics from the University of Sydney in 2019.

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Professor Mark Stephens

Mark Stephens is the Ian Mactaggart Chair in Land, Property & Urban Studies at the University of Glasgow and Visiting Professor in the School of Architecture, Planning and Design, The University of Sydney. His research interests include the study of housing systems and their relationship with wider social and economic institutions. Much of his research utilises international comparisons, and he led the EU’s Study on Housing and Exclusion.

He is passionate about enhancing the relationship between academic research and expertise, and policy making, and has held a number of government advisory roles. He is currently lead editor of the Chartered Institute of Housing’s annual UK Housing Review which has been described as the housing sector’s “Bible” and "essential encyclopaedia”.  

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Associate Professor Declan Redmond: 2023

Declan Redmond is Associate Professor of Housing and Planning at University College Dublin, Ireland. His research interests focus on evaluating the plethora of housing and planning policies that have been introduced in Ireland since the financial crisis. He has published on issues such as planning gain and obligations, housing affordability, and social housing regeneration. He is currently leading a major project which is evaluating the introduction and implementation of compact growth policies.

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Dr Cameron Murray: 2019-2023
Research Fellow

Dr Murray is a Research Fellow in the Henry Halloran Trust at The University of Sydney. His expertise covers housing and property markets, public finance, resource and environmental economics, and corruption. He is co-author of the popular book on Australia political favouritism, Game of Mates: How favours bleed the nation.

See Dr Murray's Google Scholar page and his blog.

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Dr Josh Ryan-Collins: 2019 - 2020

Dr Ryan-Collins is Head of Research at the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, University College London. Before joining IIPP, Josh was Senior Economist at the New Economics Foundation, one of the UK’s leading think tanks.

Josh is the author of two co-authored books: Where Does Money Come From? and Rethinking the Economics of Land and Housing which was featured in the Financial Times’s economics editor Martin Wolf’s top summer reads of 2017. His new book Why can’t you afford a home will be released in Australia in November this year.

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Dr David E Jacobs: 2019

Dr Jacobs, PhD, CIH is currently Chief Scientist at the National Center for Healthy Housing, where he directs the US Collaborating Center for Healthy Housing Research and Training for the World Health Organization. He was a contributing author to the recently released Guidelines on Housing and Health from the World Health Organization. He is also an adjunct associate professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health (Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Division).

He helped launch the Health Homes Initiative in the US in 1999 with a report to Congress. Dr. Jacobs has led research related to childhood lead poisoning prevention, lead exposure assessment and mitigation, healthy housing, asthma, green building design and policy development. He also ran the Healthy Housing program in the Housing and Urban Development Department for about ten years. He  has over 95 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, most of which are available on U.S. National Library of Medicine's website.

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Professor John Landis: 2014

Professor Landis is Crossways Professor and chair of the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania where he teaches and conducts research in the areas of housing and urban development policy and practice. He is currently on sabbatical at the University of Sydney working on a book on "35 Global Planning Success Stories". Professor Landis holds a Bachelor's Degree from MIT and a PhD in City Planning from the University of California, Berkeley. He previously held faculty positions at the University of Rhode Island, Georgia Tech, and UC Berkeley.

Practitioners in Residence

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Lucy Band

Lucy Band is a social planner and advocate for sustainable, inclusive, and creative cities. Lucy has contributed to city shaping projects across Australia and the UK and is currently Director - Social Strategy at Ethos Urban, a national urban solutions company.

Lucy Band's research project will explore how to embed wellbeing into the NSW Planning System: The recent release of Australia’s first Wellbeing Framework is a strong signal of growing domestic pressure to better align economic, environmental, and social goals in policy making. It is a movement away from a singular focus on economic prosperity to a more holistic consideration of what needs to be done to improve the lives of Australians. It is also an elevation of the social aspect of sustainability, which has until recently received less attention than environmental and economic factors. While the framework is not currently enacted through legislation, the government is looking for ways to implement it into government decision making, including planning policy. The focus of my research with the Henry Halloran Trust is how to effectively embed wellbeing into the NSW planning system. 

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Vibha Meghnad

Vibhavari Meghnad is an urban planner and policy professional with over four years of experience across both the public and private sectors. She holds a Master of Urbanism (Urban and Regional Planning) from The University of Sydney and has experience in a range of policy areas including housing and sustainability. Vibhavari is currently a Planning Officer at the NSW Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure where she is focused on strategic planning to support positive outcomes across Greater Sydney and NSW. 

Vibhavari’s research project will aim to identify the role of the circular economy in supporting sustainable and liveable residential development in new and renewed neighbourhoods. 

Past Practitioners in Residence

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Richard Benedict

Richard is a research-practitioner with 25 years of experience working in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors in Australia and the United States. Richard has advised Governments in NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and the Northern Territory on funding and asset strategies, policies and programs. He has worked with major banks, investment funds, private companies, government and not for profit providers to develop and evaluate joint venture affordable housing projects.

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Lucy Fokkema

Lucy Fokkema is currently a Senior Project Coordinator with Health Infrastructure at NSW Health. In this role she has coordinated NSW Health’s input to collaborative master plans for Health Innovation Precincts at Camperdown and Liverpool and contributed to the  development of NSW Health’s first Health Precinct Strategy and Health Precinct Guideline, which set the direction for NSW Health’s involvement in health precincts.

Lucy has previously worked at Ethos Urban and the City of Parramatta Council where she contributed to social sustainability strategies to maximise the social value and sustainable outcomes of developments, and as a consultant at SGS Economics and Planning where she was involved in social policy development, social planning, stakeholder and community engagement for various planning strategies.

Her practitioner-in-residence program explores the role of affordable rental housing in successful health precincts which aligns with the Trust’s current theme of “socially just cities,” as affordable rental housing proximal to employment in health and innovation sectors is an equity and inclusion issue in cities.

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Halvard Dalheim

Halvard has over three decades of experience covering state and local government and the private sector, including the NSW and Victorian state governments planning departments, the Greater Sydney Commission, the City of Casey, Ratio Consultants and Wolinski Planners.

After 14 years as an executive in state government, across two jurisdictions, Halvard has established his own consultancy, with a focus on executive leadership in city planning. Halvard sees this new role as a natural progression from a decade of leading metropolitan plans across Sydney and Melbourne. Most recently he led the delivery of the Greater Sydney Region Plan.

Halvard also has had extensive experience in spatial planning including regional plans, growth area plans for new communities and town centre plans across NSW, Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania.

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Donald Proctor

Donald has worked for many years as an architect, planner, project manager and asset manager in private practice, local and state government. Until recently he held the position of Director of Asset Programs for the NSW Land & Housing Corporation, formerly part of Housing NSW. In this position, he was a participant in an informal group of public housing asset managers across Australian States and Territories as well as New Zealand.

Donald has close ties with the University and the Wilkinson Building, having graduated from the Architecture and Urban & Regional Planning programs. While studying, he worked with staff and other students to establish STUCCO, the Sydney University Student Housing Co-operative, which 21 years on provides self managed affordable housing to 38 students in a converted Newtown warehouse.

Having a strong interest in professional development in the social housing field, Donald is a member of the Australasian Housing Institute NSW Branch Committee.

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Yolande Stone

The increasing use of panels by councils to tighten up the development application (DA) process is a town planning trend Yolande Stone is researching as part of her Planner-in-Residency with the trust. Her research will help councils that are considering establishing panels decide on best practice.

Yolande (BSc, UQld, M Env Stud, UNSW) recently retired after 20 years in the Department of Planning where she headed teams responsible for the planning policy, systems and reform. She is also involved with the University through her occasional lectures to postgraduate students on EIA and DA processes.

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Julie Walton

Julie Walton BA LLB, MTCP, is qualified both as a lawyer and as an urban planner (MTCP). She has a wide range of experience at local and State level, including a stint as a City of Sydney Councillor from 1991 to 1999. She was one of the two principal consultants responsible for the development of the Local Government Act 1993, a complete "plain English" rewrite of the 1919 Act.

In 1999 she conducted an Inquiry into the valuation of land in New South Wales for the Premier of New South Wales, known as the "Walton report". In 2003 she delivered a supplementary report to the Premier addressing additional issues raised in new material. From January 1996 until February 2004 Julie was a Director of the State Transit Authority, and was the Chairman’s nominee on the Public Transport Advisory Council.

Most recently Julie was a Principal Officer at the Independent Commission Against Corruption, working in the Corruption Prevention Division.

She has also spent close to four years providing risk assessment advice and developing fraud and corruption prevention strategies in the private sector (at Deloitte, and O'Connor Marsden).

Julie’s area of research as the Henry Halloran Trust's practitioner in residence concerns the use of political donations as a means of influencing decision-makers, with particular reference to development decisions. She believes it is timely to reflect on how best to protect and enhance the integrity of the planning system.

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Keiran Thomas

Keiran's background is in NSW Government land use policy. He spent a decade with the NSW Department of Planning in major project assessment, assessment systems and strategic regional policy. This was followed by two years with the NSW Department of Industry managing coal seam gas licensing. He has qualifications in international urban planning, sustainable design and public administration and runs his own consultancy.

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Stacey Miers

Stacey Miers’ research investigates the impact of the NSW Planning System on the land holdings of 4 NSW Aboriginal Land Councils (two in metropolitan Sydney, one in western Sydney and one in regional NSW) and the effect of land use zoning decisions on their objective towards economic sustainability. In addition, she has explored ways of supporting improved communication between the NSW Department of Planning, Local Councils, and the Aboriginal Land Councils.

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James Colman

After an intensive period of involvement in Architecture overseas, James Colman returned to Australia and commenced practice in town planning and urban design and later strategic and environmental planning, in both the urban and non-urban sectors.  During his time working, James has written extensively for both the professional and popular press and has published three books on urban planning and heritage.

Throughout his career he has had many commendable professional affiliations including being an inaugural member of Australia ICOMOS, an inaugural member of the NSW Heritage Council in 1979 and being inducted into the Planning Institute of Australia Hall of Fame in recognition of his contributions to the profession over 4 decades of practice, teaching and writing in 2012.   

More recently James has been working on consulting assignments both abroad and in Australia and working as an expert member of three local independent planning panels. This has led to maintaining a private consultancy firm in Sydney, whilst teaching part-time.

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Steve Skinner

Steve comes from the Riverina region of NSW and has lived in the Blue Mountains for more than 20 years. He has combined degrees in Economics and Social Studies from the University of Sydney.

Steve has been a journalist over the past three decades, including Fairfax for five years (Sydney Sun-Herald newspaper); ABC Radio and TV for a decade (The Bottom Line business program; 7.30 Report; Background Briefing; 4 Corners) and Bauer Transport Media.

He was an investigative journalist for many years and has been a finalist in the Walkley Awards for journalism four times. The topic Steve has covered more than any other is transport, and he is currently a freelance writer for two Bauer trucking industry publications.