Academics, graduates, staff, students and industry representatives have gathered to mark the 20th anniversary of the Planning Discipline at Griffith University.
Established as the School of Environment Planning by Professor Lex Brown and Professor Darryl Low Choy in 1995, members of the first graduating cohort were among guests who reunited at the Nathan campus in a spirit of friendship, respect and achievement.
As Discipline Head for the Urban and Environmental Planning Discipline, Professor Low Choy used the occasion to launch a book and CD — A New Planning Degree for a New Century: Environmental Planning at Griffith University-20 Years On – revealing a two-decade journey from a fledgling program with just 16 students to the highly regarded, diverse and influential entity it is today.
One of those original students, Ms Kate Weir, graduated in 1998 and is now Director, State Development Areas Division, Office of the Coordinator-General, Department of State Development.
“I chose Griffith University’s Environment Planning degree because its content spoke to me and led me to a profession I continue love,” she said at the celebration.
“The multi-disciplinary approach was new, ideal and expansive, and every day I use the lessons I learned at Griffith to move towards good outcomes for complex planning issues bringing many disciplines together.”
The Planning Institute of Australia’s Mr Sean Cullen said the environmental vision of the initial planning degree was very much of its time and continues to be.
“The Urban Research Program is a great example of this industry and community engagement, and is a reflection of the University’s approach in general,” he said.
Professor Low Choy said the Planning Discipline was ideally placed to maintain an important educatory, advisory and professional role as South-East Queensland continues to develop as the fastest growing metropolitan region in Australia.
“We are dedicated to educating and graduating a new generation of urban and environmental planning graduates who have the passion and the supporting skills and knowledge to address the contemporary and emerging challenges confronting our communities,” he said.
“Our graduates have gone on to prove themselves in the workplace and in the profession where many now hold senior and respected positions across all fields of planning.”
A New Planning Degree for a New Century: Environmental Planning at Griffith University – 20 Years On was compiled by Professor Low Choy and Senior Research Assistant Ms Pazit Taygfeld.