La Trobe cleans up planning awards

blueprint-plans-Tom-OThe awards saw La Trobe’s courses and students competing against major developers and government organisations across the state. Associate Professor of Planning and Community Development, Trevor Budge commented on the significance of the award.

‘We are the only university to win awards in two categories. For a program that has only been in existence for six years this is a real affirmation of the coming of age of the program and consolidates our position as a leader and innovator in the planning community,’ said Mr Budge.

Mr Budge said he was particularly delighted with the students’ win in the coveted Public Engagement and Community Planning Award, which is selected based on initiatives in best practice public engagement that achieve an outstanding contribution to social planning practice and outcomes.

‘Plan B, the La Trobe University Student Planners Association is to be commended for the initiatives they have developed and implemented in their communities that have led to this award. The future certainly looks bright for these motivated and talented students,’ said Mr Budge.

Robert Kretschmer - 2011-12 Plan B President and recipient of the 2011 individual PIA Victoria award for outstanding achievement by a young planner - said ‘we’ve been working hard as a student group to make a positive contribution to our communities; in particular in the areas of sustainable transport and food security. It’s great to get recognition for that effort and it just goes to show that the innovative nature of our courses is having an effect well beyond the class room.’

In a second win for the University, the community planning and development program received the Cutting Edge Research and Teaching Award for their entry Making the World Our Campus.

La Trobe’s video Making the World Our Campus features many current planning students and specifically focused on the planning program’s involvement with Sri Lanka and the transformative effect of the international program on local communities.

The Cutting Edge Research and Teaching Award is for a substantial report, book, thesis, article or piece of research or a planning education program which makes an outstanding contribution to the understanding of issues relating to urban and regional planning in Australia.

These awards are another feather in the cap for the University’s Planning Department. In May this year they won an international award at the NAFSA (Association of International Educators) international education video competition - the only Australian finalist amongst five other entries from the USA.

Both these winning entries will represent Victoria at the national awards to be decided in Canberra in March 2013.

The PIA Awards for Planning Excellence program in Victoria recognises individuals, companies, community groups and public sector agencies for their innovation, leadership and excellence in the Victorian planning profession.


Further Information

For more information on La Trobe University's planning and community development program visit

For more information on the awards visit

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