Griffith University planning students and alumni again took home a swag of trophies this year at the Minister’s Planning Awards and Planning Institute of Australia Queensland Awards for Planning Excellence.

Rachael Leeson receiving her award from Assistant Minister for Health and Regional Health Infrastructure Brittany Lauga (Photo credit: The Planning Institute of Australia).

Around 350 planners and their family and friends gathered to celebrate the nominees and winners at the sold-out gala dinner held at Victoria Park.

Griffith’s clean sweep continued in the Minister’s Planning Awards Female Student in Planning category, as fourth-year Bachelor of Urban and Environmental Planning (Honours)/Bachelor of Science student Rachael Leeson joined previous winners Georgia Quick (2022) Ruby Stockham (2021) and Jasmine Divall (2019).

Rachael achieved outstanding results throughout her studies and received multiple awards including selection for the Griffith Honours College. She is from regional Queensland and is a highly resilient student who has overcome several major challenges throughout her studies, managing her full-time academic studies with a part time student planner position, and volunteer work.

Rachael’s Honours thesis is in transport planning as she has a passion for reducing car-dependency in Australia. It is her hope to contribute to the delivery of world-class public transit infrastructure in Brisbane by 2032.

Bachelor of Urban and Environmental Planning (Honours) alumnus Kobi Lane (2018) was named the Young Planner of the Year.

Kobi has been a member of the Institute since 2016 and has made significant contributions to PIA’s Gold Coast Branch and Queensland Young Planners Committee, and is a champion for the planning profession more broadly. Kobi is also actively involved in mentoring, presenting to prospective planners and has been an advocate for good planning through his work.

Bachelor of Urban and Environmental Planning (Honours) alumnus Kobi Lane (2018) was named the Young Planner of the Year.

Kobi  demonstrated his abilities as a problem solver and has welcomed opportunities to expand his knowledge and application of planning-adjacent legislation and complex planning matters. Kobi is an advocate for young planners, regional councils and continual learning, and the judges can’t wait to see what he does next.

Adam Holloway (Bachelor of Urban and Environmental Planning (Honours)), Henry Trembath (Master of Urban and Environmental Planning), Yoko Leung (Master of Urban and Environmental Planning), and Rachael Leeson (Bachelor of Urban and Environmental Planning (Honours)/Bachelor of Science) received a commendation in the Tertiary Student Project category for their Strategic Planning Studio project Disaster Resilience in South East Queensland: Regional Strategic Plan.

The judges were impressed by the innovative strategies developed for agriculture, energy, transport and water which would deliver very high-quality outcomes for enhancing disaster resilience in SEQ.

More information on Minister’s awards can be found here: