Mel’s interest in planning dates back to her high school days. She vividly remembers the day in her Year 12 “urbanism and sustainable cities” geography class when she asked her teacher, “who creates sustainable cities?”. What felt like a fairly basic question at the time for a 17-year-old, was met with a very long pause from her teacher. In hindsight, that pause was no doubt to consider what is quite a complex answer, given the multitude of persons/professionals involved in achieving that all important balance between the three pillars of sustainability (environmental, economic and social). After that pause, she unequivocally said, “well, a town planner does”. That was the start of her discussions with her school career advisor about becoming a town planner.
Mel completed an undergraduate degree in liberal studies’, majoring in history, geoscience, and French, and then progressed to her Masters’ degree in planning. During the final 6 months of her Masters’ degree, in 2009, Mel was given the opportunity by Sue and David to take on a graduate placement at City Plan. They took her under their wings and provided her with the support and “tools” to forge her path within the world of planning. Over the past 12 years, she has emerged as a dynamic planner, who consistently strives to achieve positive and innovative outcomes for Clients. Whilst she carries a broad spectrum of both statutory and strategic planning knowledge across a very diverse range of project types and scales, she is a statutory planner at heart with a particular interest in larger scale, more complex development proposals, and particularly those within the aged care/seniors living and social infrastructure (schools, hospitals, community facilities etc) sphere. She thrives on navigating her clients (both public and private) through the ridiculously complex planning systems we are faced with Australia-wide. She also thoroughly enjoys project managing the approvals process and design competitions, noting that she thrives on being efficient, organised and hitting milestones.
Mel loves being a planner and working within the Gyde team of like-minded professionals. Being a part of the leadership team reflects Gyde’s approach to “growing their own” and she feels privileged to now be able to assist in “growing” the next generation of bright and passionate young planners within the Gyde team.
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