Taylor Burrell Barnett

Leadership Changes for TBB


Samantha Thompson
Managing Director

26 Jun 2023

We are thrilled to announce the appointment of Samantha Thompson as TBB's new Managing Director, alongside some wider changes to our leadership team.

Media Release

Perth, Western Australia 26 June 2023 – Taylor Burrell Barnett (“TBB”), a leading urban planning and design firm based in Perth, has announced the appointment of Samantha Thompson as its new Managing Director, alongside some wider changes to its leadership team.

Effective 1 July 2023, Samantha Thompson will assume the role of Managing Director, succeeding Lex Barnett, who will be stepping down from the partnership, into a newly created role of Practice Fellow.

Samantha will become the first female Managing Director in the firm’s 53 years.

Samantha, who joined the firm 31 years ago, brings 16 years of experience as a Partner and Director at TBB and is widely recognised for her wealth of experience and contributions to the industry. Throughout her leadership tenure, Samantha has demonstrated a deep understanding of the company’s vision and has proven that she brings a unique combination of the skills and qualities critical to drive growth and innovation into the future.

Samantha’s focus will be on leading the current and future strategic priorities for the business, while continuing to play an active role in projects and across her various industry appointments.

Alongside the Managing Director appointment, the leadership changes also see Directors, Ben De Marchi and Rachel Chapman, consolidate their specialist areas with their roles changing to Director – Design and Director – Planning, respectively. This alignment signifies the continued focus of the firm on retaining its roots as a design-led firm who provides a depth of expertise across planning and urban design services.

Importantly, Lex Barnett will continue to play a key part in the business taking up the newly established role of Practice Fellow, continuing to be a mentor and project leader working with the team and clients alike.

“I am honoured to take on this new challenge as our new Managing Director," said Samantha Thompson. "I feel privileged to have worked alongside pioneers of the industry in the early days, who have had such a big influence on my career, to now working with, and leading, the latest generation of talented and inspiring urban planners and designers. I look forward to working closely with my fellow Directors Rachel and Ben, and the wider executive team to build on the strong foundation laid by Lex Barnett and to drive TBB to new heights of success.

Lex Barnett has served as our Managing Director for over 20 years and has been a driving force behind our strong industry reputation and our key accomplishments. Under his leadership TBB has reached a milestone of 50 years, and worked on many legacy projects for our valued clients across WA. We are looking forward to this transition period where Lex will very much continue to play an important role in TBB as Practice Fellow.”

“Those who know me well, know how proud I am of the business that we have created, and that I have had the privilege to lead for the last 25 years,” said Lex Barnett.  “The firm’s many achievements have only been made possible by the valuable contributions made by so many of our team members, including those who are no longer with us, and they have my upmost respect and thanks for their contributions to making us one of the most successful and longest standing town planning firms in the state. I am so excited to experience the next phase of TBB’s journey under the guidance of Samantha, Ben and Rachel who, I have no doubt, will continue to build on the legacy and reputation of TBB.”

In addition to the Partnership changes, a newly created General Manager position will be taken up by Joanne Tanzi, who joined the firm as a Principal of Business Development two years ago and has since transitioned into a key leader within the business. This will enable the business to focus on seizing new opportunities and delivering even greater value to its clients.

The entire TBB team extends its gratitude to Lex Barnett for his outstanding leadership as our Managing Director and his contributions to the firm’s success, which will no doubt continue via his new role as Practice Fellow.

“As one of the pioneers of town planning in Perth, TBB is invested in staying true to its core purpose of shaping exceptional places. However, we do not shy away from evolving and taking a different approach to what we do, looking to innovation in our industry, and ultimately being focused on improving our clients’ experience with us. We continue to be driven by the notion that we are shaping WA in a way future generations will be proud to become part of.” Samantha concluded.


Samantha Thompson
Managing Director