Congratulations on your recent promotion Ben! Can you tell us about your career journey up to this point?
I still fondly remember my first day on the job. I was a project engineer working on drainage and road construction projects (some big, some very small!). We went to a site in Lara to check some levels on newly installed driveable end walls. In a full circle moment, I ended up 10 years later around the corner doing a Road Safety Audit on a similar project.
In between, my work in Local Government and now private consultancy has taken me to some of the most incredible (and at times obscure) places around the country. I live by the words: every day is a chance to make the world a better place and that never gets old for me.
What are your areas of specialty within the transport planning & engineering field?
I like to think of myself as a bit of a ‘transport all rounder’ but have found my specialisation in working with local governments on activity centre planning projects, including transport studies, structure plans and other master planning type work.
You’ve carved out a bit of a niche for yourself working with local governments in the Geelong and South-West Victorian regions. How did this come about?
The industry community down here is very tight knit and I’m so grateful to have built so many great relationships over the years.
Having been on both sides of the fence, I know that when everyone can do the same job, having local experience and presence is important above almost everything else. I’ve lived and nearly worked my entire life in the region so nothing is more appealing than working on projects in places that I know and love.
Tell us about some of your favorite projects?
My favourite projects are those that I’ve seen translate into something being built or implemented that has resulted in a great outcome for the community.
A few of my standout favourites have been a Tourism Transport Strategy I developed with the communities along the Great Ocean Road, the Outdoor Dining and Movement & Place studies in Apollo Bay working alongside our Urban Design team, and more recently an Active Transport Strategy on the Bellarine Peninsula.
What are you looking forward to workwise moving forward?
The continual emergence of Movement & Place and 20-minute neighbourhoods is really exciting as a transport planner. I’m also looking forward to see how Central Geelong can transform itself into a city where 12,000+ people will live in the near future, and the activity and vibrancy that will come along with it.
Finally, tell us an interesting fact or two about yourself!
Maybe not interesting but a bit random – I’ve done the Lorne Pier to Pub 10 times, and been to 11 AFL grand finals since 2000 – the best of course being in 2022, my ‘lucky number’ year!