Bundaberg Regional Council senior strategic planner Bethany Williams-Holthouse jointly received the Woman in Planning Award, recognised for high standards of consultation and heritage preservation.
Last week, her hard work was highlighted at the 2022 PIA Women in Planning breakfast in Brisbane where she was a joint recipient of the 2022 Outstanding Woman in Planning Award for the Queensland division.
The award provides an opportunity to celebrate the contribution that women planners offer to their profession and local communities and recognise the lasting legacy they provide.
Bethany was nominated for her policy drafting efforts within the Strategic Planning team, her passion for providing local school students with an understanding of planning for liveability and promoting planning as a career opportunity.
She was also recognised for her work organising Open House Bundaberg, an event which provided the community a deep insight into the region's heritage-listed buildings.
“It was an honour just to be considered alongside an outstanding line-up of nominees,” Bethany said.
“This award represents a team effort of hard working and dedicated female planners and aspiring planners within BRC who all would equally be deserving of this recognition.”
Bethany recognised for outstanding effort in strategic planning
In 2017 Bethany started working for Bundaberg Regional Council and said her current role as strategic planner included a wide variety of work.
“As a senior strategic planner I assist with drafting and amending Council’s local planning documents, including the Bundaberg Regional Council Planning Scheme which guides land use and infrastructure planning within the Bundaberg Region,” she said.
“I also assist with providing advice to customers regarding development of heritage places, as well as providing internal support to other Council departments.”
Her flair for public consultation and successfully engaging with local residents in a number of local planning projects has resulted in a high level of community engagement.
In addition to her policy drafting work, Bethany has also taken it upon herself to spearhead Council’s heritage program.
With much of the work done in her own time, Bethany organised the last two Open House events which boosted awareness for the importance of built cultural heritage in the region.
She is now guiding Council’s participation in the National Trust’s Heritage Festival.
“I most enjoy working with the public and other Council departments to achieve outcomes for the ongoing use, maintenance, conservation, and appreciation of our region’s heritage places,” she said.
“I am excited to experience what the National Trust’s Australian Heritage Festival has to offer this year under the theme of Curiosity.
“This year will be the first time Bundaberg Regional Council participates in the Australian Heritage Festival, offering a virtual display of the curious heritage of Bundaberg from Friday, 1 April 2022.”