At Taylor Burrell Barnett, our people are our most valuable asset. Combined with her talent for planning and people skills, Rachel Chapman’s multidisciplinary qualifications make her highly valued as a core member of our team. So much so that Rachel recently became TBB’s newest partner, being promoted from Senior Associate to Associate Director on July 1st 2013.
Join Rachel as she reveals the highlights of her career planning for the remote regions of Western Australia.
Rachel Chapman – Associate Director
Rachel Chapman is an Associate Director at TBB with eight years private practice experience and ten years public sector experience, working at the then Department of Planning and Urban Development (DPUD), Ministry for Planning (MFP), Department of Planning and Infrastructure (DPI) and Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC).
Becoming a Planner
I started a degree in geology initially at UWA and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree, although geology, chemistry and botany were replaced somewhere along the way with other more interesting units. With a double major in Anthropology and Geography and minor in Archaeology, after three years I weighed up doing a DipEd and becoming a geography teacher or applying for a PhD in order to be a credible archaeologist or anthropologist, until Don Brown introduced me to urban and regional planning at Curtin University. So, a Planner I became.
My multidisciplinary qualifications have seen me working as a Principal Policy Officer in Native Title during a three year stint away from planning.
Specialising in Regional Areas
I have always seemed to be pulled towards the regional areas in my studies and work. My first job as a Planner was in the Country Planning section (or ‘State – Other Regions’ as it was later titled), where I worked in all corners of the State.
I was able to pick up work in the regions again when I joined the Office of Native Title, where there was a strong focus on work in the Pilbara and Kimberley regions in particular. I was lucky enough to go to places I would never have dreamed of going (Frog Hollow, Cotton Creek, Mowanjum) and meet the most amazing and unique people on their land.
I soon returned to (the then) DPI where I took on the role of Coordinator of Northern and Eastern Regions, which allowed me to continue work in this amazing part of the country.
Rachel’s Role at Taylor Burrell Barnett
At TBB, the work is highly diverse, and people are encouraged to pursue their areas of preferred interest. Whilst I am involved in major metropolitan projects, I also enjoy the ability to continue my love affair with work in the regions, with the Pilbara demanding (and deserving) a lot of my attention. Working with Rio Tinto, the Shires of Roebourne, Ashburton and East Pilbara, and the communities of Wickham and Paraburdoo, in particular, I have been able to undertake townsite structure planning and concept planning to guide possible future expansion plans.
This is in addition to work in Karratha, Dampier, Tom Price, Pannawonica and remote mines, where the only reference point is the Great Northern Highway hundreds of kilometres away.
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