Board 2016 – 2017

The AECURN Board is a body of volunteers from Australia and New Zealand who contribute to the management and organisational functions of the AECURN Network. We are comprised of an enthusiastic team of three National Chairs, ten State Chairs, two Treasurers, two Secretaries, two website coordinators and two Social Coordinators.


Rachael Cole-Hawthorne

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Rachael Cole-Hawthorne is an ECR, graduating with her PhD from the Urban Research Program (URP) at Griffith University, Brisbane in 2016. Her research explores the junctures of Western state and local statutory land-use planning processes, negotiations and outcomes and Australian Aboriginal values to Country in the South East Queensland metropolitan region. Rachael was awarded the Peter Harrison Memorial Prize at the 2015 State of Australian Cities (SOAC) conference at the Gold Coast in recognition of her PhD research. She has served as a National Chair on the inaugural AECURN Board and believes AECURN has incredible potential as a hub for ECRs and PhD students.  Rachael aims to draw on the support of AECURNs board members and volunteers to continue the great progress of the network and meeting the needs of members.

Jennifer Witheridge

Jennifer is a PhD student with the Swinburne Institute of Social Research at Swinburne University and a sessional tutor in Landscape Architecture at RMIT.  She holds a holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture with Honours from the University of Canberra and a Master of Science (Urban Studies) with Distinction from the University of Edinburgh.  With experience in private practice and local government, her research interests include open space and urban design policy and management.  In her PhD, Jennifer is researching suburban open space distribution in Melbourne with current demands of population growth, climate change and infill development; aiming to synthesise the multilevel requirements of future open space provision and management in Australian suburbs. Jennifer aims to develop more connections with built environment disciplines and to continue to develop the AECURN name and structure as platform for members to showcase their research and support their work and career progression.

Elizabeth Adamczyk

Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Science (Architecture) and a Bachelor of Development Studies (Urban and Regional Development). Elizabeth received the University Medal for Developments Studies and her research interests lie in the intersections of urban policy and management and questions of ethics and social justice. With experience in local government and academia Elizabeth is completing her PhD at the University of Newcastle – ‘Constructing Global Sydney’ – as an exploration of the intersection of political economy with architectural policy and practice. She works as a sessional academic in the Economics, Environment, and Geography disciplines at the University of Newcastle.  Elizabeth aims to continue to build AECURN as a platform for the integration and visibility of ECRs into the urban research academy and continue the dialogue that AECURN creates between research and practice in planning urban spaces.


Hamish Sinclair – ACT

Hamish Sinclair is a Research Fellow with the Institute of Governance and Policy Analysis (IGPA), at the University of Canberra, Australia. As a Certified Planning Practitioner Hamish is a Member of the NZ Planning Institute, a former member of the Resource Management Law Association, and Associate Member of the NZ Institute of Surveyors. With over twenty years of international experience in statutory and strategic planning and land development, policy formulation and administration at all levels of Government and for the private sector, Hamish has extensive experience in planning system reform, estate development and planning processes and urban transformation. Hamish lectures on Development Control and European spatial planning as part of the Urban and Regional Planning undergraduate program at the University of Canberra and on Strategic Environmental Assessment (major projects) at the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy. Hamish is currently undertaking a PhD with IGPA, aiming to identify the constructs of prototype strategic planning for political capitals with regard to their national significance and metropolitan land use planning. His PhD seeks to offer insights for the future of strategic planning for capital cities with reference to the national capitals of Abu Dhabi, Canberra and Edinburgh.

Dr Nigel Cartlidge – QLD 

Nigel completed a PhD for Sustainable Development in the field of Urban Design and Planning at Bond University in October 2015. His thesis was a case study of the cultural landscapes produced by the facilitation of social, cultural, recreational and restorative activities through the political processes of spatial allocation and arrangement of land uses and facilities; and in particular, the nature of the attributes, characteristics and values of those landscapes as walkable places. Nigel is looking forward to a research association with colleagues in the Urban Research Program at Griffith University. Through AECURN Nigel will work alongside Dr Edward Morgan to promote and create opportunities for ECRs to socially and professionally build networks to support for the vibrant research community that is AECURN Queensland.

Dr Edward Morgan – QLD 

Dr Edward Morgan is a Research Fellow at the Urban Research Program, Griffith University, the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Water Sensitive Cities and the Griffith Climate Change Response Program (GCCRP). Ed’s research with the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities looks at catchment-scale landscape planning for water sensitive city-regions in an age of climate change to develop an integrated approach to whole-of-catchment planning and management using an urban metabolism framework. His PhD investigated the use of science in water management, policy and planning in the Southeast Queensland region to draw insights into the science–policy interface and the use of knowledge and co-learning in sustainability, environmental governance and natural resource management. Ed is interested in taking an interdisciplinary approach to issues of sustainability, natural resource management and environmental governance, and the role of knowledge can play in confronting environmental challenges, with a focus on water and climate change. Ed aims to promote genuinely interdisciplinary urban research through AECURN  by fostering networks and collaboration and to organise events and activities that can help the members of the network mentor and support each other as they face the challenges of working across disciplines.

Dr Tom Baker – New Zealand

Dr Tom Baker is a Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Auckland. His research examines how policy knowledge is produced, mobilised and applied, and the ways in which policy knowledge shapes social and spatial realities. He continues to explore these topics through projects on homelessness, housing, drug treatment and urban planning.

Elham Bahman Teymouri – New Zealand

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Elham Bahman Teymouri is a PhD student in Planning at the University of Auckland. Her dissertation investigates the logics of planning under dominant norms, rules, values and knowledge – hegemonic ideology. Her research examines the possibility or impossibility of the function of planning as a counter-hegemonic mechanism specifically in housing policies in two cases of Western Australia and Iran. Elham has worked as a senior planner in both private and public sectors, particularly in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development of Iran. She deploys her extensive work experience in her dissertation.

Kane Pham – NSW

Kane Pham is an associate at the Institute for Public Policy and Governance at the University of Technology Sydney where he is also a doctoral candidate. His current research interests are at the intersection of urban studies, urban theory and public policy. He has published on public space development in global cities and socio-political conflicts surrounding megaprojects and is currently conducting research on the application of assemblage thinking within frameworks of urban governance.

Anna Leditschke – SA

Anna is a PhD student in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of South Australia. Her research focuses upon how stakeholders understand and conceptualise ‘justice’ in contentious planning decisions. Anna has obtained a Bachelor in Archaeology and Masters of Cultural Heritage Management, both from the Flinders University of South Australia, as well as a Graduate Diploma in Urban and Regional Planning from UniSA. She intends to continue her research in heritage, as well as planning, in the future.

Jasmine Palmer – SA 

Jasmine Palmer - SA

Jasmine is Lecturer in Architecture and Sustainable Design at the University of South Australia. As a member of the Barbara Hardy Institute for Sustainability she has contributed to research projects including waste in commercial buildings and the adaptation of Australian housing to future climate change.  Her current PhD research at the University of Adelaide (Centre for Housing, Urban and Regional Planning) examines the Australian multi-unit housing provision system in comparison with international cases; identifying existing barriers to householder involvement in infill development.  It ultimately aims to enable households to collectively ‘self-develop’, contributing to a more sustainable urban future.

Dr Fiona Gray – VIC

Dr Fiona Gray is Postdoctoral Research Fellow of Urban Design and Ecologies in the School of Architecture and Built Environment at Deakin University. Her research interests include urban regeneration, second-tier cities, creative cities, and modern architectural history and theory. Fiona’s work has been recognised via academic awards including the Neil Archbold Medal, the David Saunders Prize and the Three Minute Thesis People’s Choice Award (Deakin University).  Fiona is a founding board member of Creative Geelong Inc. and is actively involved in a variety of local community initiatives as a community planning co-ordinator for the Golden Plains Shire. She is also a registered architect with industry experience across a range of government and private sector projects, ranging in scale from small community facilities through to major building assets for multi-national companies. With her background as a practicing architect, Fiona aims to bring to AECURN  a strong focus on collaboration between ECRs across different built environment disciplines. She is keen to foster opportunities for industry and academia to come together in order to share ideas and develop mutually beneficial relationships.

Mariana Atkins – WA

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Mariana Atkins is a PhD student at the School of Earth and Environment, the University of Western Australia.  Her research focuses on how cities are responding to the needs and expectations of an ageing demographic. Mariana has an MSc. from the London School of Economics in social policy and planning and a BA in geography from University College London.  She is a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society.

Karen Paiva Henrique – WA

Karen Paiva Henrique is a Ph.D. Candidate in Human Geography and Planning at the University of Western Australia. Her research examines the role of multiple stakeholders in planning, negotiating, implementing, and contesting flood adaptation strategies in a context of uneven power relations in the Global South. Focusing on the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil, she examines how flood adaptation is conceived in relation to the floodplain’s current urban development and the uncertainty of future climate conditions; exploring how informal floodplain dwellers’ lived experiences can inform more just and effective flood adaptation projects. Karen holds a Master’s degree in Architecture from the Pennsylvania State University, United States (2014); and a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Urbanism from Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil (2008).

Isaac Middle – WA

Isaac is an ECR who recently completed his PhD in Urban and Regional Planning at Curtin University (in 2016). He is a lecturer in Curtin’s Department of Planning and Geography, and a research assistant at the Centre for Sport and Recreation Research. His research lies in the intersection between planning, recreation and place-making – promoting health, building inclusive communities and creating connections between humans and nature through landscapes as diverse as formal parks, nature trails, community gardens and off-the-leash dog exercise areas.  Building on the great work done by the previous AECURN State Chairs, Isaac sees the main priorities for the WA branch as consolidating and expanding membership to incorporate all major WA universities, ad to continue exposing and connecting the exciting work being done by PhDs and ECRs in Western Australia, with other states across Australia, and in New Zealand.



Wendy Wang

Wendy Wang is completing her doctoral research at the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney (NSW) in the space of sustainability and public transport in medium-sized cities. Her research aims to contribute to government policy and funding solutions to the regional public transport sector in Australia.

Matthew Daly

Matthew is a PhD candidate with the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney (Australia). While having a background in Environmental Engineering his research is firmly trans-disciplinary and explores the impact of living in grassroots sustainable housing communities such as cohousing communities and ecovillages on everyday consumption practices. His research uses a mix of qualitative (participant observation and interviews) and quantitative (ecological footprint data collection) methods to focus on the sustainable practices that are encouraged and/or developed within households and communities, whilst trying to understand the impact these developments might have on a wider scale. Matthew is a member of the Practices, Built Environment and Sustainability researcher network (based mostly in the UK) and is looking forward to helping AECURN increase in size and participation in coming years.


Wen Liu

Wen Liu is a PhD student within the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Auckland (UoA), Auckland, New Zealand. Currently Wen is undertaking her research on the extent of, and the potential barriers to deliver residential intensification, using Auckland city as a case study. Her research interests include compact city theory and urban growth management, and plan making and implementation.

Sajeda Tuli


Tuli is a research officer and PhD student within the Globalisation and Cities Research Program at University of Canberra (ACT). Her PhD on ‘Migration and Knowledge City: A Case Study of Global Melbourne’ draws on her mix of planning experience both in the public and private sectors, having previously worked for the ACT Planning and Land Authority. Tuli has completed a Masters in Environmental Management and Development at the Australian National University and a Bachelor degree in Urban and Regional Planning (Honours) in Bangladesh in 2006. Tuli’s academic skills have been recognised by receiving an Asian Development Bank Scholarship and an Endeavour Post Graduate Award in 2008.

Australasian Early Career Urban Research Network