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A Day in the Life of a Senior Town Planner at Barker Ryan Stewart: Ashlee Ryan

At Barker Ryan Stewart, we’re proud to have a highly motivated and passionate team that works together to deliver infrastructure and create better outcomes for our communities.

In our ‘day in the life of’ blog series, we aim to showcase the work of our talented team and help you get to know the faces behind our projects a little bit better. This month we sat down with Ashlee, one of our Senior Town Planners, to chat a bit more about the most enjoyable aspects of being part of our planning team, and what’s surprised her most about being a Town Planner throughout her career so far.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your journey to becoming a Town Planner.

I grew up in the Hunter and after finishing high school I studied a Bachelor of Development Studies at The University of Newcastle. I originally chose this degree as I was interested in working with developing nations. After my first year of study I was drawn towards the urban design and planning legislation subjects which led me to major in Urban and Regional Development.

After graduating I was offered a position with PCB as a Town Planner, I was very green and had no experience but with support and mentoring of my managers and colleagues over the years I have been able to develop the career I have today.

Walk us through a typical day in your working life. How do you usually start your workday and what are the most enjoyable parts of your day?

My workday usually starts with coffee! After checking emails and preparing my list of priorities for the day, my days generally consist of report writing, preparing/submitting applications, coordinating subconsultants, feasibility studies, client communications and preparing fee proposals.

As I am usually juggling numerous tasks, I enjoy being able to set time aside to focus on report writing. I also enjoy compiling and the lodging applications, where you can bring together all of the elements you have been working on/managing throughout the project and can see the final completed product.

What do you enjoy most about being part of Barker Ryan Stewart’s planning team?

I really enjoy being part of a friendly, inclusive and very supportive team of planners. Barker Ryan Stewart’s planning team is made up of a number of planners with a broad range of experience and expertise, so there is always someone you can ask for assistance or bounce ideas off. I also enjoy being able to work on a broad range of projects within varying locations across NSW.

Are there any stand-out projects that you’re currently working on?

I am currently working on an interesting project at Dubbo. The site has a number of constraints so the project is challenging and it has been interesting to be involved with writing new planning controls for the site.

Over the years I have also been involved with many greenfield subdivisions within the Maitland LGA. It is nice to drive around these neighborhoods knowing that you have had input and involvement in establishing the communities.

What’s been the most memorable aspect of working at Barker Ryan Stewart so far?

One of the most memorable aspects of working for Barker Ryan Stewart was assisting to facilitate the merger with PCB, from the integration of systems, marketing, and the office relocation. I always look forward to the BRS social engagements throughout the year and the annual conference as it is great to catch up with everyone from the other offices.

Looking back at your career, is there anything that’s surprised you about being a Town Planner?

The thing that has surprised me most about being a Town Planner is the diversity of the work town planners are involved with, no two days are the same! I have also been surprised by the power of interpretation, sometimes all you need to do is think outside the box to find the answer.

Finally, what advice do you have for anyone interested in becoming a Town Planner?

My advice for anyone looking to pursue a career in Town Planning is to keep an open mind. Planning covers a wide range of areas so there are many different career options available. If you are looking for a challenging and diverse career, then planning is for you!

Want to get to know our team a bit better?

Check out our other ‘day in the life of’ blogs to learn more about our team.

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