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Bond University's students master the PIA awards

A team of Bond University postgraduate students has excelled at the recent Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) awards, outperforming professional teams from respected urban planning consultancies and state and local government.

Master of Urban Planning students Greg Betts, David Copray, Jonathan Leishman and Michael Zissis received three awards for their Cross-border regional planning: coastal Queensland and New South Wales project, including the prestigious PIA Queensland Award for Excellence in Regional Planning.

They also received a Certificate of Merit in the tertiary student category and a Commendation from PIA New South Wales for Professional Regional Planning Achievement.

Associate Professor of Urban Planning at Bond University Daniel O’Hare said the talented and dedicated group of students took out PIA Queensland’s top gong for regional planning ahead of six very competitive projects by consultancies and governments with many more years’ experience.

“Their project was inspired by a forum jointly hosted by Bond University’s Institute of Sustainable Development and Architecture and Parsons Brinkerhoff – a leading planning, environment and infrastructure firm,” he said.

“Involving more than sixty practitioners, bureaucrats and local government representatives, it explored the cross-border issues affecting south east Queensland and north east New South Wales and generated some very lively debate.

“In awarding the Bond team their Award for Excellence, the jury described their submission as ‘the most creative and innovative regional project to be presented this year’.

“They went on to praise the students for both their very high level of analysis and practical conclusions based on a borderless approach to regional planning.

“To be recognised at such a level and amongst the state’s best urban planners is a tremendous achievement and indicative of the quality of post graduate education that the Institute and our staff are providing,” said Associate Professor O’Hare.

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