City of Port Phillip
Peter has over 25 years’ experience working in the public sector at all three levels of Government in Australia where he has held senior management roles in the Federal Government, NSW and SA State Governments and in Local Government in both Adelaide and now as the CEO at the City of Port Phillip in Melbourne, Victoria.
Peter is passionate about community engagement and building community capacity and resilience through co-creation with Governments and has a relentless focus on achieving better outcomes for the communities that he works with and on providing better value for customers and recipients of Government services. He has spent many years reforming Government services to deliver better value and is a leading advocate of place based approaches to achieve this.
His strengths include strategy, governance, placemaking, housing and urban development, leadership development and organisational change. He has also worked as an adjunct professor where he has spent over ten years teaching MBA students strategy and leadership in Hong Kong and Singapore.
Peter also has considerable experience as a Board Director on Government and NFP Boards, including past chair of Place Leaders Asia Pacific. Most recently he worked as an Asia Pacific representative on the international Future of Places Advisory Board which worked directly with UN Habitat to recognise and establish the importance of public space within the new Urban Agenda of the UN.
Narelle Hutchins is an architect and customer experience strategist who is passionate about creating destinations that connect with their communities & visitors and deliver value to owners. Her twenty year career includes roles in building design, interiors, design management, customer experience and place making in Australia and the UK.
Narelle is currently Head of Place Strategy and Design at AMP Capital, one of the largest real estate fund managers in Asia Pacific.
Since authoring AMP Capital’s place strategy four years ago, she has overseen the successful implementation of this strategy across Australia and New Zealand including landmark retail destinations like Macquarie Centre in Sydney and Pacific Fair on the Gold Coast. A place-led approach is integral to the way AMP Capital are developing new landmarks such as Garden City and Karrinyup in Perth and Quay Quarter at Circular Quay, Sydney. Each property is customised to suit the local market, welcoming customers to much loved places they want to return to again and again.
In 2016, AMP Capital was internationally-recognised for its placemaking approach at the DMI Design Value Awards in Boston—the first Australian property company to do so.
NSW Small Business Commissioner
As the NSW Small Business Commissioner Robyn Hobbs OAM, leads a team that provides advocacy, dispute resolution and business support services for small businesses in New
Robyn has worked in a diverse range of sectors and has held senior executive positions with the State Chamber of Commerce, Sydney Opera House, and the City of Sydney and is a passionate place maker.
Robyn received an OAM in 2009 for her services to the community founding Carols in the Domain and raising funds for the Salvation Army.
City of Parramatta
Bruce Mills is the Manager of the Place Services team at City of Parramatta Council, a team of 13 officers focusing on delivering place-making outcomes across the City and neighbourhoods of the City of Parramatta Local Government Area. Prior to his current role, Bruce started at Council in Economic Development as a City Marketing Officer, then as a Place Manager. Before that Bruce worked in the private sector, mostly in legal services, in Product Management, Marketing and Management roles. Bruce has also seen both sides of local government, serving as an elected Councillor for four years at Hornsby Shire Council.
Brisbane City Council
Shawn is the Economic Development Manager at Brisbane City Council, responsible for delivering the Council’s $33 million economic development program and managing a team of 20 permanent and temporary personnel.
With a passion for the economic development of cities, Shawn is an urban and regional planner with a specialisation in urban economics. He has worked in leading local governments and the consulting sector in Australia and South Africa for 25 years, in the field of economic revitalisation, regeneration and reconstruction of cities. He joined Brisbane City Council in 2009 in the capacity of City Centre Place Manager. Prior to that he was Senior Consultant at Pracsys Economics, an urban economics consultancy, and Economic Development Manager at the City of Sydney and Newcastle City Council, where he led teams of economic development and tourism specialists. Shawn is a Full Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management (FAIM).
City of Port Phillip
Damian is a strategic urban design thinker with extensive experience leading and delivering a portfolio of complex projects, policies and strategies in the public sector. He is passionate about cities and how people occupy, use and experience the public realm with emphasis on engagement with the community and stakeholders to deliver high quality and sustainable outcomes. This has been demonstrated recently in his work with the City of Port Phillip on the St Kilda Triangle Masterplan process and Acland Street Upgrade.
City of Parramatta
Jan McCredie, is a highly celebrated and respected urban designer, planner, and architect who has made a significant professional contribution through her roles in the private sector and State and Local Government. She is an expert in urban design and the relationship between urban design, planning and architecture and holds Masters Degrees in Architecture and Urban Design and a Diploma in Town and Country Planning Jan is a passionate advocate of the role of design as a basis for planning.
As Director of UDAS she implemented the Premiers Design Excellence Programme and set the direction of SEPP 65 and the RFDC. Her work has won numerous awards including the 2005 PIA – Strategic Urban Design National Award, “Coastal Design Guidelines” and the 1997 “Urban Design in Australia” awarded by Australia Council of Building Design Professionals. Project: Pyrmont Point
Jan was awarded The Marion Mahoney Griffin Award  by the Australian Institute of Architects for “her lifetime commitment to urban design, her passion as an educator, and he integrity and vision” She is a Life Fellow Australian Institute of Architects  and a Member Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) In 2010
City of Canterbury Bankstown
Valerie Giammarco is Manager City Design at Canterbury Bankstown Council, the largest Council in NSW by population. She is an Urban Designer and Architect who is actively championing place-making, liveability and loveability in Sydney’s melting pot of middle ring suburbs. She values innovation and collaboration particularly when it comes to making cities and embracing change.
During her career she has had a variety of roles within the public and private sectors of the built environment industry. She has won many awards including a recent commendation at the National Planning Institute of Australia awards for “Best Planning Ideas – Small Project” for Urban Interventions in Bondi Junction.
Sunshine Coast Council
Jamie Franklin is the Design & Placemaking branch manager at Sunshine Coast Council, Queensland. He is a highly motivated, passionate leader who uses well developed communication skills to engage with and manage the expectations of all stakeholders. He is a Registered Landscape Architect with over 20 years’ experience in a rich variety of award winning international and regional scale projects for both public and private sector in Australia and throughout Europe and the Middle East.
He has shown a genuine commitment to his volunteer and advocacy roles and is the Vice President of the Queensland Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA), and the current President of the Sunshine Coast AILA chapter being an active member of this committee since 2003.
His main fields of expertise lie in urban design, placemaking, community engagement and landscape architecture, where he has coordinated and delivered highly successful urban
centre master plans, revitalisation strategies, streetscape upgrades and design policies and guidelines.
Jamie’s focus is on a multidisciplinary approach to integrating people and places with transport infrastructure needs and the associated impacts in both coastal and hinterland communities.
City of Greater Dandenong
Jenny Pemberton-Webb has over 20 years local government experience and was the City of Greater Dandenong’s first Place Manager. She is charged with implementing a series of diverse place making initiatives throughout central Dandenong in partnership with the state government’s $290 million revitalization. Jenny leverages her role to embed placemaking principles and involve the community in the planning and production of their spaces.
Initiatives that celebrate local narratives, build on the cities many cultural identities and celebrate its place in history form a strong thematic for many of the place based projects. These are delivered with an eye for strategy and a drive for practical outcomes.
Backed with a Masters (Art in Public Spaces) Jenny continues working on a range of award winning initiatives that engage local communities in central Dandenong’s rapidly changing urban environment.
Australian Retailers Association
Since 1980, Russell Zimmerman has owned and operated the Spark's Shoes retail chain with his wife Marion. Spark’s Shoes is a 75 year old family business specialising in the fitting of children’s footwear.
Russell became a Councillor of the Australian Retailers Association, New South Wales Division in 1995. He held the position of President of the NSW State Division from 2001-03. From 1997 he held the position of state delegate to the Australian Retailers Association National Council. He served as President of the Australian Retailers Association National Council from 2003-04. These positions are held in an honorary capacity.
As National President of the Australian Retailers Association he represented Australian retail at the Federation of Asian Retailers Association in New Zealand, Beijing and Australia.
Being involved in a small business Russell brings a closer perspective of day to day issues as he has been in close contact with staff and customers as well as dealt with the managerial issues of operating and financing a Small Medium Enterprise.
In 2005 Russell became the Chair the Australian Merchants Payment Forum. The Australian Merchants Payment Forum represents merchants in Australia by liaising with the Reserve Bank of
Australia, card schemes and other interested parties on all card payment issues.
Due to Russell running his own retail outlets Russell has an overall view of all types of card payment transactions and issues that confront retailers irrespective of size of the merchant from the front of store to the back room workings.
Russell is an active member of the Rotary Club of Beecroft and has held various positions on its board. Russell was honoured with the award of a Paul Harris Fellow from the Rotary Club of Beecroft in 1990 for service to the community. Russell is a devoted family man, married to Marion. They have a son and a married daughter.
Russell was appointed Executive Director of the ARA on 7 July 2009.
Property Council of Australia
Jane Fitzgerald is Executive Director of the New South Wales Division of the Property Council of Australia, leading the advocacy agenda at a time of enormous investment and change in the sector. Prior to her appointment, Jane was a senior executive with the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department and, amongst other roles, was the Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption. Previously, Jane was the Deputy Director-General of the NSW Ministry for Police and chief of staff to two ministers in the NSW Government. Jane has a law degree and an arts degree majoring in politics from the University of NSW. She is also a moderator with the Cranlana Programme, an independent organisation with a broad objective to cultivate wisdom in leadership.
The GPT Group
Ken Knox is a Development Director, Retail and Mixed Use Development for The GPT Group.
He has 30 years experience in the creation and development of retail and urban projects in Australia/Europe/North America and Asia. Most recent projects include a $300M retail expansion at Highpoint Shopping Centre, Western Melbourne and a $470 mixed use Town Centre at Rouse Hill, NSW.
He has studied economics and urban geography and has a deep interest in the workings and functioning of our urban environment, particularly how social, economic and cultural shifts are translated into the retail environment.
City of Newcastle
Currently enjoying his position with Newcastle City Council (NCC) working within the City Revitalisation Unit as Newcastle undergoes more change than it has seen for the last 30+ years.
The City revitalisation Unit is a combination of ED, tourism, events, Smart City, destination marketing and revitalisation activities which keeps the team very focussed on what is happening in the City and what our “competitors” are doing. As the regional capital of the Hunter, Newcastle is also involved as a key stakeholder in regional activities with other agencies, business and local government areas.
A personal background in business development, hospitality and small business has assisted in the ongoing involvement in ED activities over the past 10+ years. Growing up in Newcastle and seeing the changes to the local commercial landscape also helps in understanding the way things have continually changed in our part of the world as it has moved away from being a steel city.
Diversification has definitely been the key and is the message that we try to deliver when others are
seeking advice on change.
Inner West Council
Duncan spent twenty one years in the private sector running his own legal and property development businesses.
In 1996 he left the private sector and took up a position with his local council, Gosford City Council. Over the next twenty one years, Duncan worked as the General manager of a Regional Economic Development Board, Executive Office of a Regional Organisation of Councils and Economic Development Manager in a number of councils located in both New South Wales and Queensland.
Duncan currently works in the Economic Development Unit in the Inner West Council which is a recent amalgamation of the former Ashfield, Marrickville and Leichhardt Councils. He also formed, and has been the President for the past five years of, the Economic Development Network Inc which is recognised as the peak body for economic development practitioners in New South Wales.
During his twenty one years in Public Service Duncan has won two Prime Minister’s Awards for Project Management, a NSW Local Government Award for Project Management and a National Economic Development Award for Strategic Marketing.
Sean is Managing Partner at Essential Economics. He has over sixteen years’ experience in undertaking economic assessments associated with urban development projects and regional economic development.