The Hansen team culture is built on pride and passion for our work

The multidisciplinary nature of our practice applies to not only what we do, but how we do it. Our services may be defined by the fields of urban planning, urban design and landscape architecture, but in reality we apply a spirit of collaboration to everything we do.

Craig Czarny standing on city street

Craig Czarny

Director – Urban Design

Craig Czarny

Director – Urban Design


Craig is a leading urban design and landscape architectural practitioner with over 28 years’ experience across design practice and research with an outstanding array of local and international project experience.

Craig is a highly regarded contributor to the urban design and landscape debate in Melbourne and overseas through regular project work, publications and conference presentations. He is the recipient of planning and design awards from local and national planning and landscape architectural institutes and is engaged by both government and private sector to advise on urban design, landscape and environmental matters.

Craig’s project work addresses the spectrum of critical design matters facing cities, spaces and places today. He is a strong advocate of strategic design processes and is regularly involved in broad scale land management and city planning initiatives. His expertise in built form analysis and masterplanning also extends to the more intricate design of urban and landscape spaces. This has been demonstrated in considerable project work within both Australia and South-East Asia and in North and South America and Great Britain.

In addition to his project work, Craig is an active contributor to research, having served as a sessional lecturer at the University of Melbourne and a regular juror for both local and international urban design and landscape architectural project awards.


Contact Craig Czarny
  • urban design master planning
  • town centre planning
  • design development and documentation of urban design and public projects
  • townscape and streetscape design assessment
  • transit city design and transit oriented development master planning
  • landscape architecture
  • scenic and landscape assessment
  • urban design education and training
David Barnes sitting at outdoor cafe

David Barnes

Managing Director

David Barnes

Managing Director


Hansen Partnership’s Managing Director David Barnes has been a town planner since 1980. With an MBA to supplement his planning qualifications, David is both a strategic planning specialist and an experienced statutory planner.

As a statutory planner David has been involved in obtaining planning approvals for a wide range of projects including residential, retail, commercial, industrial, rural, tourism, entertainment, sports, recreation and community development projects.

He has extensive experience representing clients at planning appeals and panel hearings as both an advocate and as an expert witness.

As a strategic planner, David’s experience encompasses policy formulation and implementation; preparation of strategy plans; structure plans; urban design frameworks; development plans; planning schemes and amendments; community consultation; preparation of infrastructure funding strategies and development contributions plans as well as the preparation of commercial, industrial and residential market assessments.

In addition, David has experience in Asia preparing urban management plans; strategy plans; structure plans; master plans; planning and development controls; institutional strengthening programs and professional training programs.


Contact David Barnes
  • strategic planning
  • statutory planning
  • town planning advocate
  • town planning expert witness
  • infrastructure funding and development contributions
  • international planning – urban management, institutional strengthening and training
Damian Iles sitting at outdoor cafe

Damian Iles

Director – Urban Planning

Damian Iles

Director – Urban Planning


Damian is a town planner with 20 years’ professional experience across the local government and private sectors. He offers a balanced voice, influenced by an understanding of government regulation, property strategy and the importance of liveable, sustainable and workable solutions for the built environment.

His experience and knowledge covers all facets of the statutory approvals process, including a variety of land use and development applications including aged care facilities, institutional buildings, commercial and retail development, medium density residential developments, recycling of prominent heritage landmarks and coastal development. He is also involved in the preparation of master plans for the public and private sectors, including greenfield estate planning, institutional development as well as a range of planning scheme amendments to facilitate land rezoning and development plans.

He is a respected expert witness and passionate about the longevity and sustainability of housing. He is a strong supporter of inner-city medium density development designed with the future in mind, working with leading architects as the agents of change. His experience and expertise helps cut through the complexities of the planning process as part of project delivery.  A notable example of this is the groundbreaking Nightingale 1 apartment building – an exemplary model of urban development within Melbourne’s inner north.


Contact Damian Iles
  • VCAT and Planning Panels expert witness
  • development approvals reports
  • planning scheme amendments
  • ministerial amendments
  • planning advice
  • development and land use strategy
Steve Schutt sitting at outdoor cafe

Steve Schutt

Director – Landscape Architecture

Steve Schutt

Director – Landscape Architecture


Steve is a registered landscape architect with extensive experience in Australia and internationally. He is skilled and experienced in the delivery of  projects ranging across the fields of public domain design, residential landscapes, educational institutions, recreational facilities, natural and rehabilitated landscapes, commercial developments and large-scale infrastructure projects.

His skills and experience embrace the full spectrum of landscape architecture including conceptual design; design development; documentation; contract administration; master planning; visual assessment; community consultation as well as the provision of expert evidence to planning tribunals.

Steve has extensive experience in the management of multidisciplinary project teams. He has managed the design and implementation of a number of major landscape projects including the University of New South Wales Mall, Walsh Bay Redevelopment, Sydney Olympic Velodrome, Frankston CAD Urban Renewal, Langtree Mall redevelopment in Mildura, the Devonport Foreshore redevelopment in Tasmania as well as the multi-award winning Mackenzie Falls Gorge Trail.

As a director of Hansen Partnership, Steve is able to apply his skills and experience to a range of projects from landscape master planning to urban design studies and the detailed implementation of landscape designs in both urban and non-urban environments. In this regard, Steve is able to operate effectively as a multidisciplinary professional, offering skills in urban planning, urban design and landscape architecture.


Contact Steve Schutt
  • public domain design
  • master planning
  • landscape design
  • strategic planning and design
  • visual assessment
  • VCAT expert witness
Gary Wissenden sitting at outdoor cafe

Gary Wissenden

Director – Urban Planning

Gary Wissenden

Director – Urban Planning


Gary is a town planner with over 16 years’ professional experience in public and private sector roles. His career has taken him to the United Kingdom as well as the Cities of Stonnington, Yarra and Glen Eira in metropolitan Melbourne, in addition to more than eight years in the private sector working across metropolitan, peri-urban, coastal and rural projects.

As a planner, Gary has managed a diverse range of statutory planning projects including mixed use and residential developments, commercial and retail projects, a range of liquor license and entertainment venues, education and institutional projects as well as telecommunications and infrastructure projects.

Much of Gary’s expertise lies in advocacy work. He regularly represents the public and private sector at VCAT and public meetings, providing professional and balanced advice.

In addition to his statutory planning work, Gary maintains a keen interest in strategic planning. He has worked on several land use strategies, with a focus on the coastal regions of Victoria. His strategic experience also extends to Hansen Partnership’s work in Vietnam.

Gary is an active member of Victoria’s planning industry bodies such as the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) and the Victoria Planning and Environmental Law Association (VPELA).


Contact Gary Wissenden
  • VCAT advocacy
  • VCAT expert witness
  • development approvals
  • planning scheme amendments
  • planning advice and due diligence
  • strategic planning
Sandra Rigo sitting at outdoor cafe

Sandra Rigo

Director – Urban Planning

Sandra Rigo

Director – Urban Planning


A Director of Hansen Partnership, Sandra is a Town Planner with over 25 years of experience in statutory and strategic planning, in both the private and local government sectors.

Sandra’s experience encompasses all elements of the development approvals process from initial site choice, to a collaborative design process and finally navigating the statutory process to gain planning approval.

She regularly gives planning evidence at VCAT and enjoys the challenge of presenting and participating in a range of public forums including community consultations, stakeholder and council meetings.

Whilst focussed on statutory planning in recent years, Sandra’s experience extends to strategic planning projects, including built form reviews, urban character studies, structure plans and urban design framework plans. Her responsibilities in these projects include the coordination and conduct of community consultation programs and writing planning policies and controls.

Outside project work, Sandra is a strong supporter of women in the property industry with a particular focus on the professional development and mentoring of young planners. As the only female director of Hansen Partnership, Sandra has taken a leading role in the mentoring of female staff, fostering their career development and opportunities to encourage the next generation of female directors.


Contact Sandra Rigo
  • VCAT and planning panels expert witness
  • development approvals with coastal and heritage expertise
  • planning scheme amendments
  • development feasibility advice
  • peer review
  • strategic planning