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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.

Executive team

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Peter Phibbs
Trust Director

Peter Phibbs is a geographer, planner and social economist with extensive experience in program evaluation, financial analysis and cost benefit analysis. He has over twenty years’ experience undertaking housing research. Currently, he is the Chair of Urban and Regional Planning and Policy at the University of Sydney and also Director of the Henry Halloran Trust at the same University.

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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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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. 

Advisory board

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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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Dr Deborah Dearing

Dr Deborah Dearing has over 25 years experience across all planning and design aspects of urban development including the delivery of large-scale urban communities. She has extensive experience across both private and public sectors in Australia and overseas. Deborah’s previous positions include the National Manager of Strategic Urban Planning for Stockland, President of the Institute of Architects NSW, Executive Director with the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority and a recent appointment with Greater Sydney Commission.

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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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Glenn Grimshaw
Currently seconded to the NSW Department of Planning

Currently Principal Advisor - Planning - Transport and Planning Branch Secondment to the Department of Planning and Infrastructure - Part of the Planning Reform White Paper project team. Previous positions include Senior Analyst at Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Glen’s key areas of expertise are the economics of planning, housing supply and planning reform.

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Ms Jill Hannford

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.

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Martin Payne

Martin Payne is now an Honorary Senior Lecturer in the Faculty. He teaches in the graduate planning and the undergraduate architecture programmes. Martin has extensive consulting experience on matters relating to urban development. Urban policy analysis, and related argumentation are central to his research interests.

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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. 

Her publications include two editions of the award-winning textbook ‘Planning Australia’ and more recently, the co-authored ‘Planning Australia’s Healthy Built Environments’ and her co-edited handbook ‘The Routledge Handbook of Planning for Health and Well-Being’.  As well as writing scholarly journal papers, Susan is a regular contributor to practitioner forums, most notably her healthy built environments quarterly column in the Planning Institute of Australia’s ‘New Planner’. Susan’s longstanding contribution to urban planning was recognised in 2012 when she was elected Fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia and in 2015, with the awarding of the prestigious Sidney Luker Memorial Medal.  Susan is one of only three women to receive the award since its inception in 1956.  In 2017 she was awarded the Australian Urban Research Medal.  

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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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Emeritus Professor Tong Wu - Chair of the Board

Professor Wu is an urban planner with specialities in regional development strategies, urban dynamics 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. Previous 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 dynamics and urban revival strategies.

Visiting Scholars

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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.

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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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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.