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Past research reports by our recipients
Publications and reports produced by our research grant and support program recipients are available for download.

Research publications

Practitioner in Residence Program

Image of Donald Proctor

Donald Proctor

Communities of Practice: Getting to the heart of workplace learning, sharing and innovation

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.

Full report (pdf, 2.1MB) | Summary (pdf, 880KB)


Image of Yolande Stone

Yolande Stone

Council Decision Making and Independent Panels

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.

Both state government and local councils are relying more on in-house and independent panels to provide expert advice on development applications to assist in decision making, and sometimes to assume the decision making role. This trend, described as the 'panelisation of the DA process', is occurring across NSW, South Australia, Western Australia and Victoria.
"Increasingly there is unanimous agreement that many council DA processes result in delays and increased costs for applicants and carry corruption risks and the potential for conflict of interest of the parties" says Yolande. "The use of panels has the potential to increase the integrity of decision making, provide for additional stakeholder engagement, reduce delays, strengthen the assessment process, and reduce the risks of court proceedings."

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.

Full report (pdf, 4.9MB) | Summary (pdf, 882KB)


Image of Julie Walton

Julie Walton

The ways of the world: implications of political donations for the integrity of planning systems

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 I 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.

Full report (pdf, 871KB) | Summary (pdf, 470KB)


Image of Keiran Thomas

Keiran Thomas

Housing supply outcomes from codification in Sydney

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.

Full report (pdf, 891KB) | Summary (pdf, 680KB)


Image of Stacey Miers

Stacey Miers

The effect of land use planning decisions on the landholdings and viability of NSW local Aboriginal Land Councils

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.

This research project also meets the objectives of the University of Sydney’s Strategy Plan 2016-2020 and its commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures as defined in its strategy ‘Wingara Mura – Bunga Barrabugu’, (‘A Thinking Path – To Make Tomorrow’) which outlines the University’s obligation to expand Aboriginal education, research and engagement and for research in this domain to become part of the core activity of the University.

Full report (pdf, 5.8MB) | Summary (pdf, 280KB)


Image of James Coleman

James Coleman

Decentralisation - could it help our fast growing cities?

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.

Full report (pdf, 1.1MB) | Summary (pdf, 420KB)


Image of Steve Skinner

Steve Skinner

Value Capture on Urban Road and Rail Projects: Are There Too Many Free Rides?

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.

Full report (pdf, 2.7MB) | Summary (pdf, 419KB)


Image of Richard Benedict

Richard Benedict

Potential Roles for the Private Sector in Affordable Housing Supply: Working in Collaboration Across Sectors

Richard Benedict 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.

Full report (pdf, 1.5MB) | Summary (pdf, 259KB)


John Hudson

ePlanning and open data: transforming insights into the Sydney housing market

Full report (pdf, 6.8MB)


  • Pole position: transport and wellbeing in a greenfield estate
    Full report (pdf, 2.3MB)
  • Intersections of stigma, social capital & community engagement in the suburbs: a social network analysis
    Full report (pdf, 4.3MB)
  • Resident involvement in urban development in Sydney: the new politics of the city
    Full report (pdf, 860KB)
  • Assessing environmental impacts of major transport infrastructure projects: where does human health fit?
    Full report (pdf, 2.9MB)
  • Enabling audience participation and collective content generation through urban media as a diagnostic method in urban planning
    Full report (pdf, 2.8MB)