Planning in a time of change

GML was delighted to support this year’s Planning Congress and to be a category sponsor of the 2024 National Awards for Planning Excellence.

The Planning Institute of Australia’s Planning Congress was held in Melbourne/Naarm from 22 to 24 May 2024. Its theme was Reinvention: Planning in a time of change. The ambition of the gathering was to explore how the planning profession can seize opportunities at a time of unprecedented social, environmental, economic, and technological changes to reimagine how we plan the future of Australia’s communities, including the future of its past.

Bringing together First Nations community leaders, Traditional Owners and planners from both government and private sectors, the congress provides a platform to share knowledge, showcase projects and achievements and discuss how the profession is evolving to tackle global challenges such as climate action, housing and impacts to urban environments, community resilience and wellbeing, and the potential of digitisation for better connectivity.  A particular focus was on planning with Country to better recognise and respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

With a strong commitment to telling First Stories First it was no surprise that the opening sessions of the congress were reinvented as a yarning circle with conversations led by Traditional Owners and First Nations planners.

Policy makers, and the planning and heritage sectors, must embrace a shared understanding of the importance and contribution of place. This includes working with Traditional Owners to manage Country, character and community wellbeing through liveability and sustainability.

Uncle Perry Wandin conducting the smoking ceremony and Welcome to Wurundjeri Country to open the Planning Congress 2024. Photo: Melissa Hobbs

As Allies in the work towards reconciliation and truth-telling GML delivered a presentation in the spirit of sharing knowledge, experiences and learnings from the perspective of heritage consultants and archaeologists working with Traditional Owners at the intersection of cultural heritage and planning in Victoria.

GML was honoured to support the Planning with Country category at the 2024 National Awards for Planning Excellence. Edwina Jans was on hand to present the award to Karlka Nyiyparli Aboriginal Corporation, Jamukurnu Aboriginal Corporation, Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Services, Creating Communities, Hames Sharley and BHP for the exceptional example of First Nations led planning processes for the co-designed East Newman Precinct Structure Plan.

In the context of a rapidly changing climate and environment, cultural heritage and planning professionals can learn from First Nations people to better understand the connections between people and place, culture and nature, intangible and intangible values to re-imagine how we balance heritage with renewal, diversity and plan sustainable, resilient communities in harmony with their environment.

GML’s Head of Victoria, Edwina Jans, presenting at the Planning Congress in Melbourne/Naarm. Photo: Melissa Hobbs

The East Newman Precinct Structure Plan project received the Planning with Country Award, sponsored by GML, at the 2024 National Awards for Planning Excellence. Photo: Melissa Hobbs