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


Tim Biles



Tim has 40 years experience in town planning and urban design throughout Victoria and is a recognised leader in these fields. He provides planning, urban design advice, and also delivers expert evidence to VCAT and Planning Panels.

Tim was a member of Minister Delahunty’s Industry Round Table (2003- 2004); Chairman of Melbourne University Course Advisory Board (2000- 2003); Sessional Member of Panels Victoria and founding joint Editor of Planning News (circa 1974) and Planning Aid (1973).

Tim’s focus is on developing innovative and achievable solutions for often complex and difficult development issues. He has particular skills in the formulation of ‘place making’ strategies and devising design-led planning solutions. He is dedicated to making planning processes work to achieve community benefit often preceded by focused consultation carried out by the firm with others specialising in this arena. He regularly works with architects, landscape architects and designers in a collaborative approach to resolving site solutions that are responsive to context and to planning policy.


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.


Simon Martin


BAppSci (Plan)(Hons)RMIT

Simon Martin is a statutory planner with over 14 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


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

Alice Maloney


BUPD Melbourne 2003

Alice joined ratio: in August 2009 and has experience of working in both public and private sectors, including project management at a major construction company.

Alice is experienced across a range of planning projects, including facilitating multi-residential, commercial, institutional and industrial developments. In addition to these fields includes the preparation of cumulative impact assessments for liquor licencing and master planning/preparation of development plans for institutional uses or large sites.

Alice has an excellent ability to provide succinct due diligence advice, liaise effectively with relevant stakeholders and efficiently manage project teams ensures clients get results. 


Tanya Chen


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

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.


Ben Krastins


Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) (Hons) Deakin University

Ben is a Associate Transport Planner and Engineer with over 8 years’ experience in Geelong and Melbourne, working in both the public and private sectors.

During this time, Ben has worked on a diverse range of transport projects, including undertaking transport impact assessments, strategic transport planning, parking policy development, financial modelling and facilitating complex community and stakeholder engagement activities.

Ben is passionate about the important role transport plays in unlocking land use objectives. He strongly believes in the need to plan for people and not just vehicles, to create the great places we live, work and visit.


James McKenzie


BEng (Civil) (Hons) – University of Melbourne

James is an Associate Traffic Engineer with extensive experience in preparing Traffic Impact Assessment reports, Traffic Expert Evidence statements and Planning Panel reports for a range of developments across the residential and commercial sectors. He‘s able to quickly understand the various constraints and considerations of each individual project, and is driven to achieve the best possible outcome for his clients.

James has a comprehensive understanding of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) system as it relates to traffic engineering, primarily via the preparation of Traffic Expert Evidence statements for some of Victoria’s leading industry experts. He has also begun his career as a Traffic Expert, first appearing before the tribunal in August 2018. James seeks to continually develop his experience and skill set and aspires to establish himself as a leading Traffic Expert at VCAT.

Senior Planner

Andrew Guthrie


B (Urban and Regional Planning) (RMIT,2012)

Andrew is a senior planner with a diverse professional background in both private and public sector planning. Andrew joined ratio: in 2017 after gaining experience working with a wide range of land use and application types.

Andrew has a strong network across local government and is skilled at fostering relationships with key stakeholders.

He has developed a strong skill set in policy and legislation interpretation and application, stakeholder negotiation and project coordination through all stages of a project.

Andrew has a particular interest in commercial, liquor and land use applications but also has broad experience in residential, recreational, industrial, commercial, educational land uses as well as project management for large scale planning projects.

Senior Planner

Henry Johnstone


B(Hons) (Urban & Regional Planning) (RMIT, 2015)

Henry Johnstone is a Senior Town Planner who began his career working with the Boroondara City Council where he developed a sound knowledge of the inner-workings of local government, as well as the processes required for a timely decision of a planning permit. 

Henry works with a range of cliental in both the public and private sector, which includes a mix of residential and commercial applications ranging in scale and complexity. 

Henry enjoys working closely with his clients and project team in order to achieve the best possible outcome through Council, and takes pleasure in the opportunity to work through complex and difficult planning situations.


Senior Planner

Mitch Seach


B (Urban & Regional Planning) (RMIT, 2012)
Certificate IV Business Administration

Mitch has extensive knowledge of statutory planning processes which have been gained through 5 years' experience with the City of Greater Dandenong Council, Whitehorse City Council and Knox City Council.

Mitch has a particular interest in presenting at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, which he has done so for a variety of application types with varying degrees of complexity.

He has broad experience in handling application types for residential, rural, commercial, industrial, and subdivision projects. 

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. 

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! 


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.


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.


Robbie McKenzie


B.App.Sci (Planning) (RMIT)

Robbie is an accomplished urban planner with over 15 years' experience providing expert advice on a diverse and complex range of projects covering the residential, commercial, hospitality and industrial sectors.

Robbie is regarded as a ‘planning technician’ and drawing on his knowledge of the legal and policy framework of Victoria, he is able to formulate strategies and considered advice to his clients with a focus on achieving optimal land use outcomes.

Robbie prides himself on understanding the specific needs of his clients and with his results driven attitude the ultimate success of every project, however big or small, brings him immense satisfaction.

Robbie regularly appears as an advocate at VCAT hearings and compulsory conferences, as well as Planning Panels. 


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

Blanche Manuel


B (Planning & Design) Melbourne 2009

Blanche joined ratio: in September 2015 and has over 10 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.


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.


Grant Logan


BUPD (Hons), Melbourne University
Dip. Mgmt, Swinburne University

Grant Logan has a comprehensive understanding of Victorian planning legislation, policies and development processes gained from over 11 years’ experience working in a variety of roles in local government and in consultancy. 

Grant’s most recent experience is as the VCAT Appeals Coordinator at the City of Port Phillip and the City of Maribyrnong.  There, he provided significant guidance, advocacy and dispute resolution through representation of a significant number of hearings and compulsory conferences. 

Grant is a strong communicator and enjoys working closely with relevant stakeholders in planning permit applications and at VCAT. He takes an active role in understanding the needs of his clients and provides a high level of advice and project coordination to facilitate positive development outcomes in Victoria.


Manesha Ravji


B.Eng. Civil, University of Canterbury, New Zealand (2002)

Manesha joined ratio: in 2019 with over 14 years’ of consulting experience in the field of traffic engineering and transport planning, and has worked for a broad cross-section of clients across the Australasian private and public sector.

She has particular expertise in the fields of land use planning and transport modelling. Manesha has led strategic modelling and planning projects for new communities in Melbourne’s growth areas and intensification of development in existing built up areas.

In her roles managing teams, she has been responsible for client liaison, stakeholder presentations, negotiations with approval authorities, review and quality assurance of outputs, and guiding and mentoring junior team members.

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

Scott Matheson


BA (Geography)(Hons.)(The Ohio State University, 2011) MUP (Melbourne University, 2017)

Scott joined ratio: in September 2019 and has strong experience in local government and has also worked internationally in the private sector. Scott is a senior planner that has worked in both urban and regional areas across Victoria. 

Scott is technically skilled in statutory planning with experience in managing and assessing a range of planning applications from concept stage through to receiving a planning permit, addressing conditions and commencing construction.

In addition to his technical expertise, Scott is an accomplished communicator, negotiator and facilitator.  He has led cross-functional teams in local government focused on improving planning services and has a strong network across the industry.  Scott is passionate about achieving better outcomes for all stakeholders within the Victorian planning system.

Scott particularly enjoys delivering in-fill residential development, negotiating discretionary land uses and facilitating investment in rural and regional areas. He also has broad experience in residential, commercial, recreational and educational land uses as well as discovering workflow efficiencies, implementing change and facilitating public forums.

Senior Planner

Saul Siritzky


Master of Urban Planning

Saul is an experienced urban planner with over 10 years’ private sector experience. He has extensive expertise in statutory planning in Victoria, encompassing a range of land use and development types of varying scales. Saul’s primary skill set lies in statutory planning, management of complex projects, and due diligence advice. Saul also assists the Directors in the preparation of expert evidence statements for a range of VCAT matters and Panel Hearings. Saul is committed to a high level of client service, provision of quality advice and attention to detail.

Saul has a particular interest in urban regeneration, infill development and helping to facilitate outcomes for a better city. His experience in the Victorian planning system has involved advice and project facilitation for a range of clients. This is predominately for small to medium scale residential development projects, liquor license applications and commercial/retail projects. Saul has also appeared at VCAT on several occasions representing clients as a planning advocate.

Urban Designer

Ariel Utz Wirnsberger


Master of Urban Design (University of California, Berkeley)
Architecture Professional Degree (UdeC, Chile)

Ariel joined ratio: in April 2018 with over 6 years of professional work experience in strategic urban design, master planning, community design and landscape architecture projects in Chile and USA.

With qualifications in Architecture and Urban Design, and experience in the public and private sector, his interest has always focused on the relation between built and natural environments.

His work aims to generate high quality urban environments, bringing a cultural meaning to the urban landscape design.

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.


Catherine Heggen



Catherine’s 35-year career has been devoted to the provision of project based consulting advice to a wide range of private sector and government clients. Her professional capabilities and experience lie at the intersection of urban planning, statutory control, place making and project facilitation.

Catherine’s experience extends across all aspects of development planning, from high rise inner city apartment complexes, medium density housing projects as well as delivery of social housing models, built form impact analysis and urban design appraisals, innovative greenfield subdivision and ‘environmental living’ communities, institutional master plans and environment impact assessments.

Catherine is the author of professional papers and articles including ‘A Walk on the Wild Side’. The paper was presented at the Victorian Planning and Environmental Law Association Conference 2018.

Catherine has particular skills in development planning often involving urban design, heritage issues and visual landscape impact assessments. She has been Chair of Victoria’s Heritage Council, a Trustee of Melbourne’s Heritage Restoration fund and a jury member of various urban design, planning and landscape institute awards.


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.


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.


Aaron Walley


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

Heading our Geelong office, Aaron provides high level professional advice to ratio: clients across a wide range of projects.

With over 16 years' experience, 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.

Senior Associate

Peter Malley


B.Eng.(Civil) (Hons)(Monash)

Peter believes the transport system is not just limited to traffic activity and car parking demands. He understands that a holistic approach is required in transport planning, including consideration of land use, opportunities for public transportation, bicycle accessibility, pedestrian amenity and walkability, logistics management and travel demand management.

He has contributed to a wide range of significant traffic engineering and planning projects including local and state government projects, residential subdivisions, town centres and shopping centres, schools and universities, medical and health precincts, and high-density residential projects.

Peter works closely with clients to achieve exceptional outcomes in traffic and transport assessment, design and management by utilising creative design responses and effective resource management.

Senior Associate

Mathew Furness


MA (Hons) Town Planning

Mathew is a highly skilled urban planner with 15+ years’ experience across both the private and government sector in Australia and the UK. He has deep expertise in both statutory and strategic planning, encompassing a broad spectrum of land use and development types and scales.

Mathew’s skill set encompasses statutory planning and project formulation advice, the management of complex projects, strategic plan preparation and placemaking, urban renewal and community engagement. Mathew also assists the Directors in the preparation of expert evidence statements for a range of VCAT matters and Panel Hearings, as well as appearing as an expert and advocate in his own right.

Mathew has a particular interest in urban strategy and design issues. His experience in the Victorian planning system has involved advice and project facilitation for a range of medium and high density residential developments, institutional buildings, commercial and retail developments and cultural uses, for a range of clients.


Gokhan Karpat


Master of Urban Design, Bachelor of Town Planning

Gokhan is an Urban Designer with 10 years’ experience both in local government and the private sector.

Gokhan is responsible for the management and strategy development of Urban Design components in projects.

His skillset lies specifically in strategic planning, urban design and strategy development. He excels in this by utilising design-related programs and technologies, enabling him to prepare documents of high-level complexity and accuracy.

Gokhan’s expertise also spans a broad spectrum of 3D modelling, photomontage preparation and visual impact assessment.


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.

Senior Planner

Ansuya Bhat


BEnvs (Urban Design & Planning)(Melbourne University, 2012) MUP (Melbourne University, 2014)

Ansuya joined ratio: in August 2019 with over four years’ experience in the private sector. Ansuya has worked on a range of projects including industrial, residential, commercial, infrastructure and mixed-use development types.

Ansuya has a strong background in statutory planning and has experience in managing and assessing a range of planning applications from the initial conceptual stages through to receiving a planning permit and addressing conditions. This includes working and managing outcomes within large subconsultant teams as the lead planning consultant.

In addition to a strong technical understanding of statutory planning, Ansuya has experience in providing development and design advice for residential development ranging from townhouses to apartment buildings and subdivision layouts.

Ansuya has experience in writing submissions for VCAT appeals and appearing before the Tribunal acting for objectors, applicants and on behalf of Council.

Senior Traffic Engineer

Lina Inglis


Bachelor of Architectural Engineering(Hons.), University of Adelaide

Lina is a Senior Traffic Engineer with experience in a range of projects including traffic modelling of large mixed use precincts and residential estates in Greenfields areas and assisting in the preparation of VCAT expert evidence statements for a variety of development types. Lina has conducted design reviews and prepared Traffic Impact Assessments of a variety of uses, has conducted traffic as well as transport reviews for Council to inform rezoning of land uses.

Lina is currently a committee member of the Victorian Planning and Environmental Law Association (VPELA) Young Professionals Group (YPG).

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

Hayley Vinecombe


B.A (Hons) Geography    B.A Geography & Political Studies

Hayley joined ratio: in 2008 having previously worked in the transport planning sector within Local Government in her native NZ, and in both Local and State Government in Melbourne. With an additional 10 years’ experience in the private sector, Hayley brings a unique perspective to her role as a Senior Planner.

Hayley has a broad range of statutory planning experience, with special interest in residential and child care developments. She has valuable knowledge and expertise in the preparation and delivery of Social and Economic Impact Statements, and has a thorough understanding of key issues and ways in which to overcome obstacles. Hayley is committed to achieving the best outcome for clients through positive communication and negotiation.


8 Gwynne Street
VIC 3121


1/27-31 Myers Street


VIC 3220

Get in touch

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

ratio: consultants pty ltd