By Karen Wright | 14 Nov 2016

As a finalist in the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) WA’s Frasers Property Women in Leadership Awards, Planning Director Karen Wright shares a day in her life, which was jam-packed with events celebrating the talent and great work being done within the property industry. 

On Friday 11 November, I was privileged to attend numerous functions and awards ceremonies in the one day that showcased the fantastic work numerous organisations have undertaken to embed diversity and inclusion in our cultural foundations.

From reconciliation action plans to awards ceremonies (including one where I was lucky enough to be nominated), it was great to represent Urbis and acknowledge the positive contributions made in our industry across Western Australia.

High-profile attendees including WA Deputy Premier the Hon Liza Harvey, UDIA WA Chief Executive Officer Allison Hailes and UDIA President Rhys Kelly gathered together for the UDIA WA Women in Leadership Awards, in a celebration of the work being undertaken by women in the property industry.

Sponsored by Frasers Property, General Manager Tony Perrin welcomed guests to this sundowner evening award ceremony, and eloquently explained why the property giant was committed to the awards.

As a finalist for the award, I felt immensely proud to be at an event with so many talented women doing great work. Award winner Tanya Steinbeck from Housing Authority WA was so deserving of this award with the work that she has been doing not only at work but also outside the industry in her personal life. Congratulations Tanya!

udia-wa-finalistsUrbis WA Planning Director Karen Wright (far left) with the other finalists of the UDIA WA Women in Leadership Awards, including winner Tanya Steinbeck (centre), UDIA President Rhys Kelly, Deputy Premier Liza Harvey and Frasers Property General Manager Tony Perrin. Image credit: UDIA WA.

Over lunch, the WA Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) Awards for Planning Excellence celebrated the positive contribution that planners and planning make to society. 

PIA WA’s Executive Officer Emma de Jager organised a great event, which was exceptional. Urbis was very pleased to sponsor the event, in particular the Young Planner of the Year, which was won by the WA Department of Treasury’s Amanda Ying. Congratulations also to Robina Crook on winning the 2016 PIA WA Town Planner of the Year. 

All are talented and inspiring females doing great work in the planning industry.

Urbis WA Regional Director Ray Haeren presents Amanda Ying with the PIA Young Planner of the Year Award. Image credit: Site Planning + Design 

Reconciliation is the business of all of us, not the business of others.

Fred Chaney

On this busy day, I was also proud to attend the launch of the South Regional TAFE’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in my capacity as Governing Council Member. 

Managing Director Duncan Anderson launched the RAP in the morning. Special guest Fred Chaney spoke very genuinely about the importance of reconciliation, saying that “reconciliation is the business of all of us, not the business of others”.

A highlight of the ceremony was the beautiful Welcome to Country by Gloria Dann.  Gloria is retired but still works with her community to support Noongar Language revival. 

Speaking with Gloria after the ceremony, her passion for the indigenous language was a reminder of the importance of storytelling by the more senior members of our society. It was a truly moving event. 

Usually, 11 November is known as a day of remembrance and reflection. For me, it has definitely been a time to reflect on the wonderful and varied work that is being undertaken to promote, celebrate and drive diversity and inclusion in our culture.

Karen has served as a member of Urbis’ Diversity Board and was last year’s PIA WA Planner of the Year.

This article originally appeared on LinkedIn.

Contact Karen regarding WA planning matters using the link below.

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