Monday, 18 October, 2021


Garry O'Dell has over 40 years of combined experience in research, project management, and urban and regional planning across New South Wales's private and public sectors. Garry holds a Bachelor of Town Planning (Hons) from the University of NSW. 

Since mid-2021, Garry has been an HRF Affiliate.

From 1981, his NSW local government career evolved from a Development Assessment Planner to Senior Strategic Planner and finally to Development Services Manager. In 1994, this was followed by a role as Director and part-owner of a multi-disciplinary firm of more than 40 architects, planners, landscape architects and ecologists, providing an integrated approach to land development.

From 2009 to 2015, he was Principal Planner and sole practitioner for his planning consultancy.

From 2012 till 2021, Garry was a part-time doctoral candidate at the University of Newcastle School of Business and Law. This exploratory qualitative research is a case study of local governments in the NSW Hunter Region and examines the diversity of local government land-use decision-making processes for events. The research will assist local government authorities and other state agencies in developing and implementing better policies, regulations and practices for events and similar community and tourism-related temporary land uses in NSW.

He is passionate about developing and implementing better policies, regulations, and practices for local councils and state agencies to manage temporary outdoor activities such as events and similar community and tourism-related temporary land uses more equitably.

Garry is a member of the Planning Institute of Australia and is a member of the Hunter Committee. In 2020, Garry was a mentor for a Melbourne based planner in the PIA Women's Leadership Mentoring Programme.

In early 2020, Garry was a founding member of the Australian Regional Events Alliance (AREA). AREA created a common national voice to represent events across regional Australia and highlight their social, environmental, and economic importance for communities.


Newcastle Music Festival - An evaluation of the Festival's economic, social, and cultural contributions to Newcastle and the region. Part of the Research team with Professor Will Rifkin

Wingecarribee Shire Council - Review of the rules, processes, and practices for regulating Temporary Outdoor Activities. Report Author