AECURN/ACRN Symposium and Panel Presenters

Below is a short biography of our speakers and panelists for the AECURN Early Career Researcher Presentations and Talks and for the AECURN/ACRN Presentation and Discussion Panel. You can click on their names to read more about their work.

Registrations can be made here.


AECURN Early Career Researcher Presentations and Talks – 16th February 2021

Associate Professor Gemma Read is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Human Factors and Sociotechnical Systems at USC and currently holds an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA) which aims to address potential safety risks arising from the introduction of advanced autonomous vehicles. The project will use both human factors and computer-based simulation techniques. While automation promises to reduce crashes, the project expects to generate new knowledge about the emergence of risks through interactions between human road users and autonomous vehicles, particularly in the initial transition period. The expected outcomes include an enhanced capacity to understand how risks emerge in complex systems, and the development of specific policy and regulatory interventions.

Dr Lavinia Poruschi is a research economist and econometric modeller working with CSIRO on topics related to energy generation and consumption, such as local economic analysis related to energy transitions to renewables, analysing the role of energy industries on regional development and on topics related to household energy hardship.

Dr Rachael Cole-Hawthorne is the Principal Policy Officer at the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships (DATSIP). Rachael has experience in project management, policy and research roles relating to community engagement, conservation, park and land-use planning, natural resource management, and protected area strategic policy. Rachael has also been the National Chair of AECURN from 2014-2016.


AECURN/ACRN Presentation and Discussion Panel – Friday 19th February 2021

Professor Susan Thompson is Professor of Planning in the Faculty of the Built Environment at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.  She has qualifications in education, geography and planning and is an alumnus of the University of Sydney (MTCP and PhD).  Susan’s planning career has its foundations in local and state public sector planning practice.  Her academic career encompasses both research and teaching in social and cultural planning, qualitative research methodologies and healthy built environments.  Susan was a pioneer in the development of healthy planning in Australia from an urban planning perspective, contributing to research, education and advocacy for health supportive environments.  Her publications include two editions of the award-winning textbook ‘Planning Australia’ and more recently, the co-authored ‘Planning Australia’s Healthy Built Environments’ and her co-edited handbook ‘The Routledge Handbook of Planning for Health and Well-Being’.  As well as writing scholarly journal papers, Susan is a regular contributor to practitioner forums, most notably her healthy built environments quarterly column in the Planning Institute of Australia’s ‘New Planner’. Susan’s longstanding contribution to urban planning was recognised in 2012 when she was elected Fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia and in 2015, with the awarding of the prestigious Sidney Luker Memorial Medal.  Susan is one of only three women to receive the award since its inception in 1956.  In 2017 she was awarded the Australian Urban Research Medal.

Ms Dyan Currie is a highly experienced planning executive with extensive cutting edge national and international experience in the planning sector. She is recognised nationally and internationally for her leadership in the profession and for her commitment to the delivery of high quality outcomes. Accomplished in strategic planning, development assessment, communication, economic development and political processes, she has an extensive track record of delivering major projects on time and to the highest standard. She was recognised in the Australia Day Honours list in 2020 and appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2020 for significant service to town planning and strategic urban development. She has also been the President of the Commonwealth Association of Planners for 6 years, representing over 40 000 planners throughout the Commonwealth of Nations and has also been the National President of the Planning Institute of Australia.

Heading photo by Alex Litvin on Unsplash


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