Chris Isles

“For me the great enjoyment comes from seeing projects that I have led or worked on come to life.”


Why did you study regional and town planning?

I think that the planning profession is a great profession. I’ve always been interested in how we live and the way our cities enable us to live our lives.

We are moving into a new technological era and I think planning has many opportunities to adopt and apply new technologies to make our cities smarter.

What was the best part of your time at UQ?

There is no doubt for me the highlight was being given a student prize in 3rd year, which was the opportunity to undertake a 3 month paid internship with a local government over the summer break. It was a great opportunity to get exposure to the profession.

Beyond that, certainly the friendships and connections from my classmates. These people are still friends and colleagues to this day and are an importantly part of my professional network.

What does a typical day in your job look like?

My day to day job is a variety of hands on practical planning work, as well as significant amounts of business development, presenting and business operations. My national planner role sees me lead a team of 20+ planners, in a number of locations, so I travel quite a bit on projects, which is always interesting to see Australia and how planning differs across the country.

What advice do you have for someone deciding how to start their career?

My main advice is to get involved. It is a great profession and will be all the better for energetic people that want to make a difference to our cities and how we are going to live in the future. 

The next generation of planners were basically born with computers in their hands, so I think they will be the generation of planners that will perhaps have the single biggest step change in how we live since the advent of the motorcar. So, we need more planners who are interested in cross disciplinary thinking in planning.

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Chris Isles

Chris Isles

Job title
Director and National Planning Leader, Place Design Group

Bachelor of Regional and Town Planning

Profile published 2016

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