May message from Michael Tilt, CEO

May has been another big month for us and, this time, the focus has been on our people. First up, we welcome back to MacroPlan, Somma Sourivong as the new General Manager of Victoria.  With nearly 20 years’ experience in the planning and property advisory sector, Somma rejoins MacroPlan from his most recent position as a Regional Planning Manager with the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

Somma's knowledge will be valuable for staff development and delivering client outcomes.  Our Victorian team will also benefit from his vast experience in managing projects across a variety of planning and research streams.

Also joining us as our National Principal Strategic Advisor is Tony Carmichael.  This role will focus on supporting our public sector clients. Tony will be based in our Brisbane office (supporting staff and clients nationally).  He comes to Macroplan from the ACT Department of Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development where he was Executive-Director, Strategic Planning.

With a wealth of experience at Commonwealth and state jurisdictions, Tony’s work has included the ACT light rail master plan, finalisation of Plan Melbourne, and holding key roles in Commonwealth Infrastructure policy and regional development.

It is always terrific to have new people and new ideas on board!  And it is also a delight to recognise the expertise and brilliant people who are already part of the MacroPlan family. We had the opportunity to do just that at the recent PIA national congress when we celebrated the 50-year milestone of Gary Prattley's career.

Gary has held almost every senior planning position in the country and has played a significant role in the way Australia has grown up.  These days you’ll find Gary heading our ACT operations, but in a sense, he’s been part of the MacroPlan story right from the start.  Gary was instrumental to the growth of MacroPlan into NSW and ACT.

It was with great pleasure that we recently partnered with Orange Sky Laundry and raised $26,000 for their fabulous service to the homeless.  A special thank-you to those who made generous donations for the PIA Congress Charity Gala Dinner raffle and silent auction.

Part of the fund-raising effort involved taking a road journey with a mobile laundry van from Brisbane to the PIA Congress in Sydney.  A lot of fun for me and a great awareness-raising experience for the delegates.  By the way, we are still selling Orange Sky t-shirts - for those of you needing a snazzy wardrobe update - and we plan to continue our partnership with the charity through to next year’s congress in Perth.

Also on the charity front, MacroPlan joined INTREC and Haworth to host a Biggest Morning Tea for the Cancer Council.  Raising $1,500 for vital cancer research and support programs, the event was especially for Women in the Property Industry.  If you’d like to be involved in any future events organised by this networking group, please contact MacroPlan’s Amy Williams.

Just as this busy month of May draws to a close, we are already up on the starters’ blocks for the first day of June when Brian Haratsis will be presenting at the City Life Labs Project Showcase. The event will highlight work that is shaping smart city practice nationally.  Brian is talking about the challenges to reaching a polycentric Sydney, focusing on disruptive technology, and there’ll be presentations on what big data reveals about Sydney, and an app which allows the community to engage with industry and government about new development.

Exciting stuff to be reporting back to you in our next issue . . .

Michael Tilt