2015 News and Events

Past events
An archive of the news items and events
organised by the Trust in 2015.

2015 Annual Lunch

Friday 27 November, 2015

To celebrate the achievements of another successful year of propagating discussion and awareness in matters of Urban Planning and Policy in Australia, the Board of Advisers, Grant recipients and Staff of the Henry Halloran Trust gathered at the Darlington Centre to hear our Director, Prof Peter Phibbs sum up the advances made in 2015. Professor John Toon also surprised Warren Halloran, AM, with a guest's account of Warren's Father's life as uncovered by her historical research for her book.

Annual Lunch 2015, photo 01
Annual Lunch 2015, photo 02
Annual Lunch 2015, photo 03
Annual Lunch 2015, photo 04

2016 Research application forms available

Friday 02 October, 2015

The application forms for research funding in 2016 can now be downloaded from our Research page. Both the 2016 Expressions of Interest document and the 2016 Application forms have been posted. The next round of Incubator grants will open in mid 2016. For any enquiries you might have regarding research funding application, please contact our Administration Manager.

Potential policy options for improving housing affordability

Wednesday 16 September, 2015

Professor Nicole Gurran of our incubator project, The Urban Housing Lab, chairs a program inviting Professors Christine Whitehead and Steven Rowley from Curtin University to discuss how strategies to address housing affordability in Australia will unfold in coming years. This event is part of the Festival of Urbanism here at the University, the full details can be accessed by the link below;

Myth: Increasing housing supply leads to more affordable homes

Wednesday 9th September, 2015

We have this recording of the conversation between Professor Laurence Murphy and the Honorable Craig Knowles AM. at our September event. The question raised was "Is the solution to housing affordability in Sydney and other Australian cities more supply?" Recent evidence from Sydney does not seem to support this suggestion. Professor Murphy examines the relationship between housing supply and house prices and draws conclusions for housing policy-makers. While public debate centres on the role of political donations as a way to buy favours from politicians, relationship networks tell a far more interesting story.

Laurence Murphy is Professor of Property at The University of Auckland Business School and had held posts at Trinity College Dublin, Queen's University Belfast and the London School of Economics. He has published widely on property topics including home ownership, social rental housing, mortgage securitisation, office development, the institutional evolution of listed property trusts, finance capital and entrepreneurial urban governance.

The lecture was introduced by the Hon Craig Knowles AM. Craig was previously the Minister of Planning and the Minister of Planning in the Carr Government. He has a number of current roles including President, the Asthma Foundation of New South Wales, Director of the Children's Medical Research Institute and Chairman of the Murray Darling Basin Authority.

Festival of Urbanism lecture recordings

Monday 14 September, 2015

With the close of the Festival of Urbanism we've managed to procure a small selection of lecture recordings we are permitted to share here, for those who missed the events or wanted to see them one more time. The videos are being posted up in our resources section, the following are currently available;

Third Annual Henry Halloran Lecture

Wednesday 9 September, 2015

Festival of Urbanism banner

The third annual Henry Halloran Lecture will be part of the series of public events coordinated by the Festival of Urbanism, whose new website can be found here: www.sydney.edu.au/festival-urbanism. We hope you're looking forward to our third lecture titled "Myth: Increasing Housing Supply Leads to More Affordable Homes" to be delivered by Professor Laurence Murphy from the University of Auckland. We'll have more details for you very soon and in the spirit of our annual lectures, the event will be an excellent opportunity to meet the wider Urban Planning community of Sydney over a free and catered setting, here on campus at the University.

Henry Halloran Trust partners with the Festival of Urbanism

Tuesday 01 September, 2015 - Thursday 10 September

We're delighted to once again be co-sponsoring the Festival of Urbanism, a collection of public lectures and events targeted at bringing together Urban Planning professionals to consider current pertinent topics framed by insights from both local Planners and visiting Scholars. The festival will commence Tuesday 1st September and last until Thursday 10th the following week. The theme this year "Urban Mythbusting". Visit their website for more information;

Here are some photos from the recent launch event;

The launch event speakers
Introduction by Mayor Clover MOORE
Held at the Veterinary Conference hall
Professor Stephen GARTON
Professor Peter PHIBBS and Associate Professor John TOON

Henry Halloran Trust sponsors the IES July technical meeting

Thursday 30 July, 2015

IES technical meeting July

The Trust recently sponsored the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) of Australia and New Zealand's July Technical meeting, where a panel of speakers presented on the pertinent topic of "Future city lights: art and information or light pollution". Among the speakers was one of the Trust's own grant recipients, Dr Martin Tomitsch, whose research into Media Architecture and Interaction Design within the urban context investigates the future utility of interactive displays for public engagement and information communication.

Warren makes a second generous gift to the University

Warren Halloran AM has made a second generous contribution of $5 million dollars to the University of Sydney, through the INSPIRED giving campaign, to ensure the Henry Halloran Trust can continue to fund innovative approaches in Urban Planning in practice and research. The Trust has been very successful in recent years at bringing together these communities to collaborate in discussion and in action across a broad range of Planning domains. This second contribution means that the Trust's efforts in funding research, Practitioner-In-Residence programs and public lectures and events can continue to positively impact the Sydney Urban Planning community. You can read our Director's interview with the INSPIRED campaign staff on their website below. We at the Trust would like to again thank Warren for his ongoing support and commitment and we are very proud to continue the work of his family's lasting legacy on the city of Sydney.

Creative Spaces and the Built Environment

Friday 12 June, 2015

Creative Spaces talks
Lord Mayor Clover MOORE at the Creative Spaces talks

Australia’s cities have shifted from centres of manufacturing and industry to the drivers of a globalised economy fueled by knowledge, creativity and innovation. This shift relies on a host of new cultural enterprises. Unfortunately, existing regulatory systems often lack clear criteria for these new forms of land and building use. Applicants frequently struggle to identify suitable building code and planning classifications, whilst consent authorities struggle to assess the risk and amenity impacts of hybrid, mixed purpose and previously unseen types of activity. With the nation’s creative industries vital to our future, Australian cities need regulatory frameworks which balance this new productive economy with the need to maintain a safe and accessible built environment.

City of Sydney logo

Funded research presented at xCommunicate

Friday 05 June, 2015

Part of the Vivid Ideas program in 2015, the xCommunicate Symposium gathered both international and local experts speaking across a range of topics focused on community engagement and "placemaking" in the digital age. One of the speakers was our very own 2014 grant recipient Dr Martin Tomitsch from the Design Lab at University of Sydney. His presentation, titled "From large scale selfies to meaningful participation in community engagement" presented work from the Henry Halloran Trust-funded research project "Enabling audience participation through Urban Media as a diagnostic method in Urban Planning". You can find out more information about the xCommunicate symposium on their website;

I Wouldn't Start From Here

Towards the transport revolution Sydney needs
Thursday 23 April, 2015


The NSW government is about to spend a significant amount of money on transport in Sydney. Will it deliver the Sydney we need? Dr Tim Williams gives an overview and answers questions from our panel of transport planning professionals.

Dr Tim Williams is CEO of The Committee for Sydney and a part-time Principal with global consultancy Arup. Before coming to Australia in late 2010, Tim was recognised as one of the UK's thought-leaders in urban regeneration and economic development for his role in developing East London as CEO of the Thames Gateway London Partnership. He has also served as a special advisor on urban development, governance, city strategy and planning to 5 successive UK cabinet ministers, and to the Mayor of London. His work for the Committee for Sydney focuses on the Big City policy issues in policy-making for Sydney. Its work with the NSW Government on the Financial Services Knowledge Hub and developing Sydney as a Global Talent Hub has influenced both public policy and private sector best practice. He is passionate about the contribution great public transport, walking and cycling plays in improving the liveability and productivity of cities. Following Tim's presentation we will open the discussion to attendees and our panel of transport planning professionals. Panellists include;

Poster for event
  • Prof. Corinne Mulley
    The University of Sydney, Business School
    Professor Corinne Mulley is the founding Chair in Public Transport at the Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies
  • Liz Reedy
    Western Sydney Community Forum
    Transport Development Worker.
    Currently working in Public Transport Usability Research, Liz has spent twelve years working across Transport NSW, Railcorp and an Independent NSW transport safety and reliability regulator.

6:00 Refreshments
6:30 Welcome by the MC, Professor Peter Phibbs,
6:32 Tim Williams' presentation
7:00 Q&A with the presenter
7:05 Reaction from our panelists
7:20 Questions / Comments
7:45 Drinks / Discussion
8:30 Close

The venue for the lecture is Lecture Theatre 02
In the Peter Nicol Russell building (J02)
At the University of Sydney, Darlington campus.
View the Peter Nicol Russell building on Google maps

RSVP now closed.
There was no charge for this event.
We apologise we cannot make Tim's slides available.

Dr Tim Williams is CEO of The Committee for Sydney and a part-time Principal with global consultancy Arup. Tim will provide a personal reflection on his experience in the city as the CEO of the Committee for Sydney.

Urban Governance and Housing Seminar

Wednesday 01 April, 2015

This forum explores how two nations with shared traditions but very different systems of urban governance and planning mediate the supply of new housing, and the roles played by government, planning authorities, developers, property owners and the public in this process. It situates these questions within the wider "politics of housing policy", which have occupied both countries for the past decade in a context of ongoing concern about inadequate supply, affordability pressures, and declining rates of home ownership.

Two presentations by researchers from England, and Australia provide a focus for discussion;

  • The first presentation Self-help: Localism, housing and neighbourhood revitalisation in England (Dr Madeline Pill, University of Sydney), examines local level forms of neighbourhood intervention. The English urban deprived neighbourhood has long been a scale for intervention and a site for action, giving rise to a variety of forms of neighbourhood governance and housing outcomes. Drawing on two phases of research in two urban local authorities, the presentation examines emerging forms of neighbourhood governance. These forms differ significantly in their design and purpose (one being explicitly for planning), but as both are voluntary and receive no additional funding, better organised and more affluent communities are more likely to pursue their development. The Coalition Government's brand of 'small state' localism is an active political strategy which affirms the self-help conjuncture and challenges the potential of neighbourhood governance as a medium of revitalisation and housing delivery.
  • The second presentation: Are governments really interested in fixing the housing problem in Australia? (Professor Nicole Gurran, University of Sydney) situates Australia in international context as a basis for comparison with other countries, outlines the co-evolution of urban governance, planning and housing provision in Australia, and traces the emergence of a particular "politics of housing policy". The presentation asks whether government responses to housing problems are beginning to resemble "busy work", exhibiting and absorbing policy energy while at the same time constraining the suite of policy options and tools able to really address the housing affordability problems affecting low income renters and aspiring owners in Australia.

More information on our speakers;

Madeline PILL  

Madeleine Pill
Lecturer in Public Policy, Department of Government and International Relations
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Sydney
Dr Madeleine Pill's research focuses on critical approaches to urban and neighbourhood governance and policy in comparative perspective.  She teaches postgraduate courses on governance, civil society and policymaking. Her research includes a comparative investigation of neighbourhood governance in Baltimore and Bristol; an assessment of approaches in London; development of the evidence base for policy approaches in Wales for the Welsh Government; and regarding the implications of England’s localism agenda. She is currently engaged in two international comparative research projects regarding the effects of austerity on the collaborative governance of cities. Her research is informed by her experiences working in local and national government in the UK (regeneration and housing supply), state government in Australia (the Metropolitan Strategy for Sydney), and academic study and research work (at Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies) in the US.

Nicole GURRAN  

Professor Nicole Gurran
Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning
Nicole Gurran is a professor of urban planning at the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Design and Planning and Director of the University’s Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) Sydney research centre.  Her research focuses on urban policy, planning and housing outcomes, particularly in relation to affordability. Her research has been funded by the Australian Research Council, AHURI, state and local governments, and the Henry Halloran Trust. She has written numerous journal articles on aspects of urban policy, reform, and housing, and she is the author of the book Australian Urban Land Use Planning; Principles Systems and Practice, now in its second edition .

The Urban Hosuing Lab launch booklet

The venue for the seminar is the New Law School (building F10)
Lecture Theatre 024. The University of Sydney.
Easiest entry is off the Eastern Avenue walkway;
View the Law School on Google maps.

6:15pm Refreshments
6:30pm Welcome, and Launch of the Urban Housing@Sydney Lab (Professor Peter Phibbs, Director of the Henry Halloran Trust)
6:35pm Presentations
7:40pm Q&A / Discussion
8:00pm Close

RSVP now closed.
There was no charge for this event.
The Urban Housing Lab launch document (600kb PDF)
is viewable here and permanently on the Resources page.

Urban Housing Lab opportunities

Wednesday 25 Mar, 2015

We're excited to announce that two research opportunities currently exist within our
Urban Housing Lab incubator project;