Willana Urban is a collective of professionals that have an inherent knowledge and understanding of the planning process. We enjoy the team environment in which we work. As individuals, we each strive toward our own pursuit of excellence. Together we deliver results in order to uphold a commitment to quality outcomes that make a positive contribution into the future.
Vicki Shirlaw
Founding Director

Vicki established Willana Associates, in partnership, in 1999. She has over thirty years experience in Facilities, Project and Construction Management and is completing her PhD which focuses on reconstruction  and recovery in a post disaster context. Her principal role within Willana Urban is to ensure the continued growth of the new business entity.  Her passion lies in the delivery of Willana’s professional service to the client. Vicki enjoys the process of collaboration and endeavours to build working alliances with experts in diverse fields that allows Willana Urban to continue to adapt to meet the needs of it’s clients. Her strengths lie in her ability to negotiate outcomes and to ensure that the Willana team communicate effectively throughout the course of their projects.  Her ambition is for Willana Urban to forge a path to a resilient future and prevail through any urban challenge.

Stuart Harding
Founding Director

Stuart brings to the Willana team over thirty years of professional planning expertise. His depth of knowledge is underpinned by working in Local Government and in the private sector for a number of years, prior to launching Willana Associates. His key focus as a Director of Willana Urban is to consolidate a professional practice that provides creative solutions to planning issues and to reinforce quality design outcomes based on sound planning principles. His many years of providing evidence in the Land & Environment Court adds another layer to his appreciation of process, legislation and mediation. This robust experience is reflected in the outcomes he seeks for Willana’s clients. His exposure to large and complex projects helps enrich the planning team’s professional practice, keeping them well-informed of current legislation and implementation.

Michael Brewer
Project Manager, Planning

Michael joined the Willana team in 2014. He has a depth of experience in statutory and environmental planning that spans over 26 years. He has worked in both the private and public sectors in a range of senior roles. He has a solid foundation with over a decade of local government planning and building assessment expertise including extensive experience in the management of planning and environmental activities and projects. He has a proven track record providing expert evidence in the NSW Land and Environment Court, as well as managing key stakeholders, liaising with government authorities and leading multidisciplinary teams on a variety of projects across NSW and Queensland.

Nicholas Dowman
Project Manager, Planning

Nicholas joined Willana Associates in 2013 and brings over nine years experience within the NSW planning system. He has a strong background in statutory and strategic planning, having worked for notable planning consultancies in both Sydney and the Hunter region. Nicholas draws on his experience to advise a diverse range of clients, particularly within the residential and mixed use sectors. Nicholas completed his Bachelor of Planning at the University of New South Wales with Honours and holds a Master of Environmental and Business Management from the University of Newcastle.  His business acumen; professional expertise and relaxed nature is a combination that strengthens the new Willana Urban brand.

Conor Francis

Conor joined the Willana team as a student, in 2018. He is now a full-time employee of the firm and shows tremendous enthusiasm, drive and commitment to his vocation. He works on project, independently, whist continually developing his planning skills and knowledge. He is being guided by our Project Manager Planning and has worked on a number of key projects both from a statutory and strategic perspective. He has been fortuned to attend Section 34 Mediations with the Director of Willana Urban in order for him to understand the machinations of the Land & Environment Court. His development and exposure to a variety of projects and business acumen will underpin his growth within the planning discipline and provide him a platform to future work endeavours, post his study.

Jack Beale
Student Planner

Jack joined the Willana team as a student planner in 2019 with an aim to complete his professional practice as part of his award to a Bachelor of City Planning at the University of New South Wales. As part of the Willana Urban’s brand, we endeavour to provide professional development at all levels. Throughout his time at Willana, Jack will be involved in research and development with a view to writing Statements of Environmental Effects; attendance at Section 34 Mediations and Land & Environment Court Hearings when feasible. His development and exposure to a variety of projects and business acumen will underpin his growth within the planning discipline and provide him a platform to future work endeavours, post his study.



Our residential projects define
the way in which people live.



Our commercial projects shape
the way people do business.



Our community projects define
the social fabric in which we live.

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