The Urban Forest Conference panel session will explore the challenges, responsibilities and opportunities for key decision makers in growing canopy in a densifying city. Hear more about our expert panel below.

David Caddy – Chairman, WA Planning Commission

David has almost 50 years of professional planning experience, including 40 years at a senior management level. He is also a Life Fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia and is an Adjunct Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Western Australia.


In association with WALGA, the WA Planning Commission developed a Better Urban Forest Planning guide to help Local Government and the community plan and manage urban forests for current and future generations.

Mayor Karen Vernon – Town of Victoria Park

Karen is a councillor at the Town of Victoria Park and became its first female Mayor in 2019. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws for the University or Western Australia and has more than 24 years’ experience as a lawyer.
The Town of Victoria Park allocated $1 million from the 2019/20 Annual Budget to implement an Urban Forest program which targets to increase the Town’s tree canopy cover from 10% to 20%.

Col Dutton - President, Urban Development Institute of Western Australia (UDIA)

With more than 20 years’ experience in the property industry, Col is General Manager of Masterplanned Communities at Stockland in Western Australia and also President of UDIA WA.

In 2022, one of the UDIA National Policy Priorities was to streamline the process for environmental approvals to improve environmental, social and economic outcomes for local communities.

Amanda Sheers- President, PIA WA

Amanda has provided leadership on a diverse range of urban planning and infrastructure strategies and projects and encourages and supports innovative solutions to growth challenges and producing evidence-based policy development. 
Amanda moved to Perth in 2020 to take up the role of Manager Development Services at the City of Stirling, where she leads a large team who are responsible for statutory planning; schemes, policies and heritage; building and verge control and pools for the City.

Faciliated by: Garry Middle

Dr Garry Middle has over 35 years’ experience in environmental planning as a practitioner, academic, educator, policy analysis and decision maker. Garry is Director of an independent environmental planning consultancy, VisionEnvironment, research associate at Curtin University and chair of Great Victoria Desert Biodiversity Trust, and former environment policy adviser at WALGA.