Throughout my studies and time spent with placement and volunteer work, my belief of town planning is centred around holistic incrementalism, focusing on social, environmental and physical welfare of all communities and natural environments. During my early position with Findasite Town planners, I experienced a variety of tasks related town planning and office administration, the 12 weeks enabled me to have a solid footing for when I applied for other placements and positions. Following my time after Findasite, I found myself participating in many different volunteer sessions, some course-related, others were personal interest. Helping with beach clean-ups, dune care programs, vegetation establishment and management events and community surfing events allowed me to become involved in a weekly program and feel I was helping our community. Through the beach clean up and dune care programs, I learned about the effects microplastic has on our dune systems. Tree planting events taught, that its possible to establish different species in different environments where they can have a beneficial effect on surrounding environments. Community surfing, through Surfrider foundation, taught me about community-centred activism which had a positive outcome against the Equinox off-shore oil drilling in South Australia.
Recently, my placement with the Gold Coast City Council in the Planning and Enquiries Centre taught me about the benefit of having friends throughout the planning industry, nervous at first, I found that quickly subsided knowing I was working with 3 recent graduates who I have done multiple group assignments with. The tasks I was managing enabled me to roam around the office and consult with experts in their own fields, learning new parts of the city plan and being able to apply that with my own task. Towards the end of the placement, I was able to participate in important meetings which highlight how Council operate. Placement with the City of Gold Coast has provided me with valuable skills and an eager motivation in pursuing a career. Additionally, knowing that I have friends and acquaintances that I can work with and towards gives me confidence in approaching the planning field.
Career planning, compared from an academic perspective highlights the range of difference in application - from the bureaucracies, constraints, budgets and timelines, these factors leave for an alternative impression which puts a student in a position of observation (Friedmann 2008; Mateo-Babiano 2017). Personally, I believe that this creates issues around the ethical and holistic scope of planning, questioning the integrity of how governments operate and whether there’s any real ethical leadership at all (Cook and Sarkissian 2000). When studying Australias recognised institution, PIA holds integrity by promoting planners follow guidelines associated with building community, improving infrastructure, built urban form, and forward-thinking through seeking adaptive and mitigative responses (PIA n.a). Literature outlining the dynamics of local and state government-related planning and the issues of seasonal change in political preference outlines that even though considerations are made for entire communities, sudden changes to political preference can leave various constituents overlooked (Lauria and Long 2017). Furthering this, I have found that community consultation is nowhere near adequate enough to determine a holistic vision when compared to the newly established state-funded masterplan for a green space precinct on the northern end of the gold coast.