Colleen Peterson


2022 A Year in Review



2022 A Year in Review

"I am always in awe of the vast range of work we do and we have been involved in some incredible projects over the past twelve months that reflect the passions and interests of our clients, as well as the complexity of our urban environments."

2022 A Year in Review

It’s been a year of mixed blessings as our country emerged from the pandemic, opened our borders and allowed our many lockdowns to fade from memory, only enter an era of rising inflation, global economic insecurity and uncertainty within the construction industry.

Despite these challenges, this year has been largely filled with optimism as the property and development industry has continued to thrive and adapt to emerging opportunities.

Like many businesses, Ratio has worked with our staff to adapt to the new normal. Flexible working arrangements are a permanent part of our future as shown by our staff working ‒ and travelling ‒ around the globe. The success of this hybrid arrangement speaks to the progress the world has made in three years and will be a key to keeping staff, clients and other stakeholders engaged for years to come.

I am always in awe of the vast range of work we do and we have been involved in some incredible projects over the past twelve months that reflect the passions and interests of our clients, as well as the complexity of our urban environments.

There have been a few standout projects, such as the Warburton Mountain Bike Riding Destination, that saw both our planning and transport experts give evidence before the Standing Advisory Committee earlier in the year. This will be a game-changing proposal when completed, bringing economic opportunities into the region through pedal-powered sustainable development.

Our transport and urban design teams have worked together tirelessly on a variety of projects, including our advocacy for bike lanes in the Melbourne CBD, fringe suburbs and our local Cremorne. It’s no coincidence that cycling features as a key theme in my favourite projects! I’m also looking forward to seeing the creation of an integrated transport and placemaking plan for Spotswood which is a great example of our multidisciplinary offering and the growing importance of ‘movement and place’.

We have enjoyed some advantageous partnerships with key stakeholders, including the Victorian Planning Authority, Arden and the Preston Market and Melbourne Water. We relished the chance to explore the complex issues of climate change and flooding and a bevvy of other significant projects ‒ large and small ‒ have held the shared interest of our clients and project teams. We were also excited to see the launch of in-house training initiative Ratio Academy connect our team with adjacent industry consultants.

The success of these partnerships has meant that Ratio has continued to go from strength to strength with the business continuing to expand. With over 80 engaged, committed and passionate people, it is immensely rewarding to know that we are better placed than ever to act as industry leaders.

As part of this success, it’s been an enormous pleasure to watch Alice Maloney settle into her promotion to Director this year. A long time employee of Ratio and a longer time work colleague of mine, it has been immensely rewarding to support her throughout her career.

We have also bid an extremely fond farewell to Steve Hunt as he retired earlier this year. Steve has been a pillar of the industry for many decades and it was a privilege to work alongside him for the final years of his career. Steve was rather adamant that he didn’t want a big send off which was indicative of his unassuming and mischievous nature. We all miss you, Steve!

I also can’t pass up the opportunity to recognise Katie Harker, one of our many inspiring younger staff members. Katie won the Property Council’s inaugural Rising Star Award in 2022 and we couldn’t be prouder. Well done, Katie!

We have also seen considerable success with our regional expansion as both our Bairnsdale and Geelong offices continue to flourish. It has been a pleasure to watch our regionally based staff invest heavily in these areas with support from our Cremorne office. Geelong, in particular, continues to surge ahead, buoyed by the Commonwealth Games announcement and continued investment in the region. James Hamilton has been a valuable addition to our Geelong team, and we are proud of the work the entire team is doing.

I have also been reflecting on a number of the pro bono projects we have been working on over recent years with quiet satisfaction. A number of these have come to fruition in 2022, amongst them the Victorian Pride Centre in St Kilda a glowing example of what can be achieved when like-minded firms and individuals band together to support diversity and inclusion in our community. We have also continued to support several worthwhile organisations, such as the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Norlane Community House in Geelong and Lord Somers Camp Powerhouse.

Ratio’s decade-long contribution to the Melbourne Indigenous Transition School (MITS), a Richmond-based initiative to support First Nation children as they enter the Victorian school system, has taken on a personal note this year with my family’s involvement in coaching two of the school’s basketball teams. It’s been a personal reminder of the importance of community contribution and we are pleased to know that when we have called upon clients and peers to work with us on such projects we have never received anything other than their full support.

Thank you all, yet again, for an incredible year. We are privileged to work with clients, peers and staff that share in our values of collaborative work to strive for more prosperous, equitable and sustainable places.

We wish you and your families a safe and happy Christmas and a memorable New Year. Bring on 2023!