Graduate wins prestigious young planner award

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Graduate wins prestigious young planner award

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4 December 2019

A USC planning graduate described as a brilliant role model to others across Australia has been named Queensland’s Young Planner of the Year.

Stacey Mills, who graduated from USC with a Bachelor of Regional and Urban Planning (Honours) in 2014, was presented with the award at the recent Queensland Planning Institute of Australia’s Awards for Excellence.

Ms Mills is a Senior Strategic Planner with Mackay Regional Council and leads planning projects in the region, including the Mirani Community Precinct and community consultation for the Mackay Waterfront Development Scheme.

She also volunteers as the Central Queensland Convenor of the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) and creates opportunities for networking and professional development across the profession.

Ms Mills’ list of achievements impressed the PIA judging panel who said she used her infectious passion for planning and work ethic to excel and was a brilliant role model to other young planners across Australia.

Since graduating, Ms Mills has worked in planning roles with local government, private consultancy and the South Australian Government.

She said the experience gained though USC’s Regional and Urban Planning degree continued to shape her development as a planning professional.

“Overall, USC set me up for a career that I love, and one where I can plan for people and work on projects that shape communities,” Ms Mills said.

“USC’s smaller class sizes allowed our class to assist with real-life local projects and we were able to complete community consultation and master planning with the people who live in these communities.

“USC also allowed me to supplement my degree with subjects from other areas of interest including sociology, tourism and Indigenous studies, which I have been able to integrate with my current role.”

Ms Mills began university in South Australia and moved to Queensland after her first year of study to improve her chances of gaining employment.

“When I compared USC to the planning degrees on offer at other universities, it was easily the best fit for me,” she said.

“I liked the idea of smaller class sizes at USC and having more contact time with lecturers and tutors. The location of the campus was great and meant that I could live close by and reduce time in transit.”

Applications are open to study at USC.

— Clare McKay

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