ratio: consultants is more than a group of talented planners and engineers – we are great to work with.


Sam D'Amico


BA (Urban and Regional Planning) (VUT)

Sam provides high-level advice on strategic and statutory planning projects. He is interested in using his work as a planner to help shape and improve our urban and public spaces, villages and city centres.

Sam regularly appears as an expert witness before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) and panels.

Sam has a broad range of experience in both local government and private practice. No matter how big or how small, Sam’s ultimate reward is seeing the projects he’s worked on fully constructed.


Robbie McKenzie


B.App.Sci (Planning) (RMIT)

Robbie joined the team at ratio: in 2007 having previously worked in local government in Melbourne’s east.  

Robbie is a highly capable planner with a sound understanding of the Victorian Planning Provisions, and he also offers skills in project co-ordination, strategy and negotiation.  His strong technical knowledge enables him to provide clients with well-considered advice on a variety of project types, both big and small, to facilitate outcomes on residential, commercial, rural and industrial projects.

Robbie regularly appears as an advocate on behalf of clients at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.


Senior Associate

Travis Finlayson


B.Arts (Melb) P.G.Dip (Planning & Design - Urban planning) (Melb) 

Travis is an urban planner who has a variety of experience with residential, industrial, commercial, rural, gaming and licensed premises projects.

Travis appears at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal as an expert and provides advice and management of planning permit applications through the Council process.

Travis is focussed on achieving positive outcomes for his clientele.


Edelene Loke


BUPD Melbourne 2003

Edelene joined ratio: in April 2017 with over 15 years town planning experience in both the public and private sector. She has a thorough appreciation and understanding of the planning application process and the strategies required to achieve successful results. 

Her local government experience stems from working in various municipalities and she has a thorough appreciation of Council policies and procedures. Edelene has worked on a wide range of projects, and gained invaluable experience across commercial, industrial and residential planning matters.
She regularly appears at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal as an advocate for local government and private sector clients.
She is client focussed and strives to manage and deliver the best outcomes for them.


Melissa Merrick


BEng(Civil) (Hons) Monash 2000. M Traffic 2003. B Com 2001. 

Melissa Merrick has substantial experience and expertise in traffic and transport, particularly in the traffic impact assessments of residential, commercial, industrial and institutional development proposals. 

Melissa has been involved in a variety of projects including transport planning projects, intersection and access design, traffic management, road safety, and traffic modelling and analysis.  Melissa prides herself in her commitment to providing the highest level of service and professionalism to her clients.

Senior Traffic Engineer

Tanya Chen


BEng(Civil) (Hons) BBus L - Swinburne Uni (2013)

Tanya joined ratio: in 2013 and is an integral part of the traffic team.
Tanya has experience in both local government and private consultancy and seeks to continually develop a broad range of applicable skills which will enable contribution to a wide variety of projects.

Senior Planner

Dean Savage


MSocSc (Environment & Planning) R.M.I.T. 2009 
B.A. (Journalism and International Relations) Deakin 1997

Dean joined ratio: in October 2017, with over 9 years’ experience working not only in planning but as a journalist and political adviser.

Dean has managed varied planning permit applications including residential, industrial, retail and commercial developments and has experience and knowledge in;

  • Preparation of planning permit applications
  • Preparation and presentation of submissions to VCAT and Planning Panels Victoria
  • Interpretation and application of the Victorian Planning Provisions (VPPs)
  • Public consultation and mediation
  • Preparation of planning scheme amendments and due diligence planning reports 
Senior Planner

Mia Zar


BAppSci (Plan) (Hons)

Mia joined ratio: in June 2014 after working in local government for 2 years.

Mia has statutory planning experience across 3 diverse Victorian municipalities which accelerated her knowledge of the statutory planning process and procedures. 

Mia is focussed on key issues affecting proposals and engaging in a consultative approach in negotiating outcomes with clients and objectors.
Mia has had exposure to a range of different application types and is keen to continue challenging herself through taking on increasingly complex applications.



Chief Executive Officer

Colleen Peterson


B.P.D. (Hons) (Melb)

Colleen has over 24 years of experience leading statutory and strategic planning projects for both private and public clients.

Colleen regularly appears as an expert witness for VCAT and panel hearings and is an active participant in the professional development of the industry, its representative organisations and tertiary education in Victoria.  Colleen has been a leading force in the planning industry’s opposition to the extensive rollout of the Neighbourhood Residential Zone and regularly appears in the media on this and other planning related issues.

In addition to her planning expertise and passion for the built environment, she has developed a specialisation in social and economic impact assessments and liquor related matters and is a highly regarded expert in these areas.

She loves applying her lateral thinking skills to complex planning issues.


William Bromhead


B.App.Sci (Planning) (RMIT)

For over 20 years, William has worked on strategic and statutory planning projects with both public and private clients. He regularly appears as an expert witness for VCAT and panel hearings.

William has an intimate knowledge of the planning permit application process and planning scheme amendment process. He has developed an extensive network of contacts in local and state government as well as the private sector. William’s experience covers residential, commercial, industrial and retail planning projects.

He loves the satisfaction of attaining planning approvals and aims to show his clients the positive sides of the planning process! 


Russell Fairlie


B.Eng. Civil (Monash), M.Eng. Sci (Monash),

Russell Fairlie is a Director at ratio:consultants with key responsibilities in the area of Traffic Engineering and Sustainable Transport Planning. Russell has over thirty five years experience in a diverse range of traffic and transport related areas, gained during his extensive experience in consulting, local government and VicRoads.  

Russell has been directly involved in a wide range of significant development and urban renewal projects.  He provides high level professional advice to the firm's clients, including leading architectural and planning firms across Melbourne. 

Russell is a highly successful expert at VCAT and appears there on a regular basis.


Brett Young


B Eng.

Brett is a traffic and transport specialist. He regularly appears before VCAT as an expert witness and works on a variety of projects including strategic transport studies and traffic and transport planning for private developers.

Brett relishes the challenge of achieving great results for even the most complex projects and his excellent project management skills and creative approach enable him to successfully deliver those results.

Senior Associate

Simon Martin


BAppSci (Plan)(Hons)RMIT

Simon Martin is a statutory planner with over 12 years’ experience working in both the public and private sector in Australia and the UK.

Simon has significant expertise in all stages of the property development lifecycle, and enjoys working with his clients to achieve the best possible results.  Simon has a firm understanding of the commercial practicalities associated with developments of all sizes, and firmly understands the processes involved in achieving good development outcomes.    

Simon has comprehensive knowledge of the Victorian Planning System, and has a strong passion for residential, commercial, mixed-use, and industrial land use planning.  Simon’s focus is on providing sound planning advice and project managing applications through the town planning life cycle.  Simon often represents clients as an advocate at VCAT


Alice Maloney


BUPD Melbourne 2003

Alice joined ratio: in August 2009 with over 5 years experience in the private sector.
Prior to joining ratio: Alice gained experience in the private sector at a planning consultancy and as a project coordinator for a major construction company.
Alice has also completed a contract at local government level to gain public sector experience. Alice is generally involved in managing statutory planning projects, but also has experience in strategic planning.
Alice seeks to further develop her skills and knowledge base in the field of planning and development, and to contribute towards enhancing the built environment, progressing sustainable planning objectives and facilitating appropriate land use and development outcomes in the interests of the community.


Brian Minogue



Brian joined ratio: in July 2016 with over 6 years' experience working in both the public and private sector in Melbourne.

Brian's experience includes a wide number of projects in statutory planning, strategic planning and stakeholder consultation. Through his work he has developed advanced skills in project management and negotiating with Council, as well as acting as an advocate, enabling an ability to identify and address potential issues at the early stages and avoid delays throughout the planning process.

In addition, Brian has a thorough understanding of Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) processes and has presented at the tribunal on numerous occasions. Brian has significant expertise in client engagement, the preparation, lodgement and management of development applications across residential, commercial and retail sectors. Brian's experience also includes the preparation and delivery of Economic and Social Impact Assessments and Brian has a firm understanding of the land use economics behind delivering practical development outcomes.

Senior Traffic Engineer

Nath Chewta


BEng(Civil) BBA - RMIT (2008)

Nath joined ratio: in August 2017 having over 9 years’ experience in traffic and transport planning, with experience in both private consultancy and state government.

Nath has particular expertise in statutory traffic and transport engineering, traffic analysis, preparation of VCAT and Planning Panel reports and transport studies for a wide range of projects including, residential, subdivisions, retail, commercial, medical, childcare, industrial and mixed-use applications. Nath is highly motivated to achieve high quality outcomes to assist clients with obtaining planning approvals.

Senior Planner

Alexandra Wade


BPlanDev (Melb) 2009

Alexandra Wade is a Senior Statutory Planner with over 6 years' experience working in Local Government.

Alexandra has a firm understanding of the planning process and Council procedures and seeks to further develop her skills with more complex applications and working closely with stakeholders to achieve the best possible results.
Alexandra has had exposure to a range of different application types and has a strong passion for residential, commercial and mixed-use planning.

Managing Director



MBus (LogMgt) (RMIT)

Peter has more than 25 years’ management experience in the Construction Materials and Professional Services industries in both small business and global companies, small and large, local and international teams and across a broad range of business disciplines.

As an experienced and accredited executive coach, he brings together his passion for people and business to drive a high performance culture underpinned by a commitment to client service excellence and staff engagement.  

Peter combines his love of coffee and communication in meeting regularly to mentor and coach staff, and meeting clients to seek opportunities to continuously improve the service ratio: provides.


David Crowder


B.T.R.P. (Hons) (Melb)

David has over 25 years’ experience in town planning working with a diverse group of clients including developers, architects and designers, local government and corporate groups.

He specialises in statutory planning and providing expert evidence before the VCAT and Planning Panels forums. 

What David enjoys most about working at ratio: is taking on new challenges and devising the most appropriate strategies for achieving successful outcomes.


Hilary Marshall


B.Eng. Civil. B.Bus Admin (RMIT)

Hilary has extensive experience as a Traffic and Transport Engineer and brings enormous value to our team and to our clients. Hilary is a highly respected professional and has developed a diverse skill set during her work at Grogan Richards, a stint overseas and most recently at Cardno.
Hilary’s expertise includes preparation of Traffic Impact Assessments for the full range of development proposals, including traffic planning and design for major residential and industrial subdivisions, but particularly enjoys preparation of expert evidence and presentation to both VCAT and Planning Panels Victoria.


Steve Hunt


B.Eng. Civil (Swinburne) Grad Dip H.T.E. (Caulfield)

Steve Hunt joined ratio: in mid-January 2017. Steve has had an eminent career spanning more than 35 years in the Traffic and Transport consulting field, including 28 years with the former Grogan Richards and Cardno. Beginning his career as a traffic engineer in 1975, Steve worked for several metropolitan Councils before joining Grogan Richards in 1988.

Steve’s knowledge and expertise extends across strategic and statutory traffic and transport areas and he is a leading industry expert. His experience includes due-diligence and feasibility studies, managing/directing traffic analysis, preparing traffic and transport studies and the presentation of expert evidence at VCAT and Planning Panels Victoria. He has been instrumental in delivering high profile projects across Melbourne including the development of Caroline Springs, Roxburgh Park, Mernda and Cabrini Hospital.


Senior Associate

Aaron Walley


B.Eng. Civil.(Hons) (RMIT)

With over 14 years' experience, Aaron provides high level professional advice to ratio: clients across a wide range of projects.

Aaron is sought after for major greenfield and redevelopment applications locally and inter-state and has wide-ranging experience across residential, industrial, retail and commercial developments.

With an acute understanding and appreciation of macro and micro traffic and transport issues, Aaron is able to provide robust and considered advice ranging from strategic transport matters, feasibility and due diligence studies, to detailed technical advice as part of design development and project delivery. He has an excellent understanding of town planning and statutory processes as they relate to traffic and transport engineering, and routinely prepares expert evidence and acts as an expert traffic witness at both VCAT and Planning Panels Victoria.

Key project experience includes the Dundonnell Wind Energy Facility project, Australia 108 Tower and acting as the lead traffic consultant within the project teams across four precinct structure plan areas within the Armstrong Creek Urban Growth Area.


Blanche Manuel


B (Planning & Design) Melbourne 2009

Blanche joined ratio: in September 2015 with over 7 years' experience as a planning consultant.
Blanche’s experience includes working on a variety of planning projects across Melbourne, including facilitating approvals for a range of developments across the residential and commercial markets.
Blanche has highly developed interpersonal and negotiation skills, is extremely proactive with managing her projects and has an ability to identify and implement timely and practical solutions to issues encountered as part of the planning process.

Principal Urban Designer

Maureen Benier


B.Arch (RMIT 1994)  AssocDip. Arch Tech (RMIT 1989)

Maureen is a registered architect with over twenty years' experience. Prior to joining ratio: Maureen founded two businesses, focusing on the urban context in which architecture sits, and developing a sharp sense of project commercial viability. With extensive experience in leading roles of architectural and planning nature, Maureen has steered successful outcomes and facilitated positive project committee negotiations. Maureen enjoys delivering a wide variety of projects and has contributed to award winning projects throughout Victoria. Additionally, she fosters co-working/business relationships, and is interested in connecting businesses to promote projects of community benefit.

Maureen's skill set is derived from her involvement in residential and multi-residential design, residential subdivision and plan of subdivision covenants. Her extensive interest in the effects of planning and architecture on social interaction, living and lifestyle is paramount to the success of her projects and her Urban Design knowledge.

Senior Planner

Claire Helfer


BSocSc(Env)   MSocSc(Env&Plan)

Claire joined ratio: in October 2015 after working in local government for over 4 years. She has developed a skill set in technical application, stakeholder negotiations and coordination.

Claire has a range of experience in local government across the residential and commercial markets providing her with sound insights into the planning process and framework, and enabling her to manage a range of stakeholders.

Claire has advocacy experience, appearing at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Claire is passionate about planning and strives to always achieve the best planning outcomes for clients.  

Senior Planner

Claire Whelan


B.App.Sci (Planning) (RMIT)

Claire joined ratio: in November 2016 after gaining over 7 years’ experience within local government and the private sector. 

Claire has experience in statutory planning, strategic planning and urban design.

Claire has worked on a wide variety of statutory planning projects, managing the process from start to finish. Through her work she has developed advanced skills in assessing applications and negotiating with Council, enabling an ability to identify and address potential issues at the early stages and avoid delays throughout the process. 

In addition, she has a thorough understanding of Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) processes and has presented at the tribunal on a number of occasions. Claire’s statutory planning knowledge is complemented by previous experience in both strategic planning and urban design. 

ratio: consultants pty ltd

9 Clifton Street
VIC 3121

Get in touch

Phone: (03) 9429 3111
Fax: (03) 9429 3011