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Kate’s dedication to the Planning profession started early in her career.
Kate’s dedication to the Planning profession started early in her career.

UQ Bachelor of Regional and Town Planning graduate, Kate Isles, has taken on the extensive role of rebuilding Queensland in the wake of the past few years of devastating natural disasters.

Kate is now the Director of Land Use Planning at the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) and was instrumental in the rebuilding of Grantham after destructive flooding, and parts of Far North Queensland post cyclone Yasi.

She has also played a significant role in the development of the most detailed flood plain maps in the state's history, which will shape development across Queensland in the coming years.

“The value of planning, and the role it can play in improving resilience in our communities is something that I am very passionate about,” Ms Isles said. 

Kate was a member of the QRA’s award winning land use planning team that delivered the 'planning for stronger, more resilient floodplains' toolkit.  

The toolkit has been instrumental in helping local governments and their communities better understand the flood hazards they may face.  

“The toolkit includes a risk matrix which helps Councils assess the risk exposure of land and then look to strategies to help reduce the risk,” she said.  

Kate said that planning measures such as limiting the type of development allowed in flood hazard areas, or introducing building heights are other simple ways to improve a community’s resilience to flood hazard.

“At Grantham the risk was deemed by the community as being intolerable, and therefore a land use planning response of relocation was developed,” Kate said.

The Floodplain toolkit took out the PIA’s Overall Award for Planning Excellence.

In addition to her role at the QRA, Kate became the Queensland President of the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) in 2012.

In this role Kate has said she hopes to help the PIA facilitate communication and collaboration among planners and broaden the overall profile of planning in industry and the community.

"The need for the planning community to work together has never been more evident to me than it has in the past year as I've worked in the re-building of communities,” she said.

"It's not just the challenges we are faced with in the event of natural disasters but there are so many other planning matters that we are addressing as a community, and we need to be ready to deal with them all.” 

“We are also going through a planning reform agenda.  My role with PIA is to ensure that this agenda brings forward positive change to planning in Queensland.  We need to remind ourselves, the government and the community what good planning means and we need to embrace this.  Good planning results in broader prosperity. It makes sense.”  

Kate’s dedication to the Planning profession started early in her career.

In 2000 she co-founded the Queensland Young Planners Group, and from 2002-2005 was the National Young Planner Convenor, winning the Queensland Young Planner of the year award in 2003.

Kate also coordinated the first ever YPCONNECT, an event which is now recognised as a significant national professional development event for Young Planners.

In addition to her roles with PIA and QRA, Kate has recently taking on the role of motherhood.  Kate and her husband Chris Isles, also a planner and UQ graduate, welcomed their daughter Elizabeth in late November 2012. 
Kate said that thinking of her daughter’s future has motivated her even more to influence and drive quality-planning outcomes.

NB:  Kate was given the UQ Planning Course brochure in year 12.  It was the brochure that made her decide to go to UQ and do planning.   On that brochure was a picture of her now husband Chris! 


Last updated: Feb 6, 2013