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Awards for Kingborough Planners

Di Cowen, Tasmanian Planner of the Year

Two of Kingborough’s planners have been recognised at the Tasmanian Awards for Planning Excellence by the prestigious Planning Institute Australia Awards (PIA).

Kingborough Council’s Strategic Planner Di Cowen has been awarded Tasmanian Planner of the Year for 2017 and Environmental Planner Natalie Holman was awarded the Mike Shields Award for the highest academic record for her degree.

The Tasmanian Awards for Planning Excellence recognise and acknowledge quality, innovation and excellence in Planning. The Planner of the Year award recognises a planner who provides leadership and has made a significant contribution to advancing the profession in the last year or two.

Improving the effectiveness of the Tasmanian Planning Scheme is Di’s focus, and as Convenor of the Tasmanian Reference Group (TRG) she leads an important partnership to provide local government feedback to the Planning Commission.

Kingborough has seen an enormous level of development and expansion over the past few years and Di’s commitment to the improvement of Tasmania’s planning systems has enabled the municipality to keep up with demand through rezoning and expanding growth corridors, as well as protecting key environmental or landscape values.

“Di is held in very high regard both within Council and throughout Tasmania and is a very worthy recipient of this award,” said her manager and nominator Tasha Tyler-Moore. “She demonstrates leadership and initiative in her work with the Tasmanian Planning Commission and Planning Policy Unit and is committed to progression within the Planning System for a positive future. Di has been with Council for 17 years as a planner and consistently achieves excellent outcomes for both the community and for the organisation.”

“I was honoured to be nominated in the first place, considering the calibre of planners in Tasmania,” said Di, “Although I was even more appreciative of the acknowledgement to local government planners through this award. We are all working hard to bring the planning reform processes to ground level and making sure we achieve the best planning outcomes in a timely manner.”

Di will now represent Tasmania at the national Planning Excellence Awards in May next year.

The Mike Shields Award is named in honour of long-serving PIA member and local planner, and is awarded to the student graduating with the best overall academic award. Natalie Holman graduated with an outstanding record, achieving High Distinctions for every subject. Natalie has worked in environmental management for a number of years and wanted to increase her knowledge of the systems regulating land use and of the factors influencing built and natural environments.

“Working with a team of experienced planners has enabled me to significantly broaden the breadth of my planning knowledge in the real world, while the University of Tasmania course provided a foundation in planning theory,” she said. “My experience as a student planner has cemented my interest in planning and I am fortunate to work in a team of dedicated and passionate planners at Kingborough Council, who are committed to the best on-ground outcomes for the Kingborough municipality.”

General Manager, Gary Arnold said “Planning is a complex area for all councils with changing regulations and evolving schemes, and I am proud that Kingborough has such dedicated planners to navigate us all through the changes. I congratulate both Di and Natalie on their outstanding achievements.”