The Judges of the UDIA National Awards for Excellence are experienced industry leaders who bring tremendous credibility to the awards program. Their depth of experience and knowledge ensures the process is both independent and robust.
The program is rigorous, taking eight months from launch through to the completion of judging.
Our 2021 Judges are:
Panel 1 – Alan Zammit AM and Helen Dyer, who judged the following categories
- Masterplanned Development
- Residential Development
- High Density Development
- Medium Density Development
- Small Scale Development
- Seniors’ Living
Panel 2 – Darren Cooper and Nicola Smith, who judged the following categories
- Affordable Development
- Urban Renewal
- Environmental Excellence
- Marketing Excellence
- Social and Community Infrastructure
- Design Excellence
Young Leaders – Judged by Max Shifman and Kirsty Chessher-Brown.
Women in Leadership – Judged by Stephen Harrison and Vanessa Pearson.
Diversity in Development – Judged by Tanya Steinbeck and Lael Mayer.
Alan Zammit has had a career spanning over 50 years in urban, regional and community development. A former executive director of land development, home building and real estate agency companies in the former Hooker group, in 1992 Alan took on the role as managing director of Mulpha Norwest, developer of Norwest Business Park in Sydney.
From 2006, Alan has focused on offering corporate and property advisory services through his private company UPDM Pty Limited. During this period, Alan remained as chair of Norwest Association Limited, acted as a director of listed Aveo Group Limited, prior to returning to Mulpha Norwest as Board chair.
Having stepped down from this role, Alan Zammit currently serves on the boards of Evolve Housing Limited, Centacare Evolve Housing Limited, Wentwest Limited and Edmund Rice Foundation Australia.
Alan is also an independent chair or member of audit and risk committees for a number of NSW government agencies. Awarded Member of the Order of Australia in 2009, Alan was also the recipient of the UDIA National Distinguished Service Award in 2018.
Helen is an experienced Non-Executive and Executive Director, Chair and Local Government CEO with expertise in Strategy, Governance and Marketing both in the private and public sectors.
Helen started her career as a planner in Darwin. Returning to South Australia she worked in the State planning department and the South Australian Tourism Commission. Helen concluded her time in the State Government as a Ministerial Adviser to the Planning Minister, followed by 12 years in Local Government including as the CEO at both the Town of Walkerville and the City of Mitcham.
Helen is currently the Managing Director of Holmes Dyer a consultancy with the specific intent of providing bespoke outcomes focussing on managing, creating and delivering; land, cities and communities.
Helen is the former Chair of the Minister’s Development Industry Advisory Committee, former Deputy Chair of the State Commission Assessment Panel and was recently appointed Chair of the State Planning Commission (South Australia).
Helen was the 2019 recipient of the UDIA SA Women in Leadership Award and in 2020 she was the recipient of the UDIA National Women in Leadership Award.
Darren Cooper has over 20 years experience in Management and C-Suite Senior Executive roles including Mirvac, Blackburne Property Group and PEET Limited, and is currently Managing Director of Development Capital Management.
Darren holds a number of Board and Strategic Advisory roles across a range of industries including property, construction, labour hire and media & technology. He is also an investor in and director of a range of technology and media-based start-up businesses.
Darren is the Board Chair of two ASX-listed companies (The GO2 People Ltd and Spectur Ltd), is a Non-Executive Director of ASX-listed Netccentric Limited, is the Chair of Ocean Gardens Retirement Inc and Deputy Chair of Foundation Housing Inc, and is Advisory Board Chair of the Wormall Group of Companies.
Darren is Past President & Life Member of UDIA WA, and Treasurer & Immediate Past President of UDIA National.
Darren has a Bachelor of Business from Curtin University, a Masters of Applied Finance from Macquarie University, and is a graduate of the company directors course at the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Nicola Smith is a qualified Urban and Regional Planner with over twenty years’ experience in a wide range of planning and development roles in government and the private sector across Australia.
In her role as Founding Director, Planning, Nicola leads a team of 12 planners and designers at Niche Planning Studio, overseeing the statutory implementation of major projects, including scheme amendments, structure planning, plans of subdivision and planning permits.
Her diverse experience and commitment to the industry prompted her appointment to National Board Director of the Planning Institute of Australia in 2017.
In 2014 Nicola was appointed as member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee to review the Victorian State Planning Policy Framework, as Chair of the UDIA Innovation, Sustainability & Technology Committee in 2015 and elevated in 2016 to Fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia.
She is also the 2017 UDIA VIC Frasers Property Women in Leadership Award winner and 2018 UDIANational Frasers Property Women in Leadership Award winner.