by Cred Consulting
With 18+ years’ experience leading a range of strategic planning projects and designing and delivering engagement projects of all scales, Brisbane-based Julia Miller-Randle, joins Cred in the role of Director, Social Strategy and Engagement.
Sharing Cred’s deep commitment to planning with and for communities to create resilient, cohesive and equitable communities and places, Julia’s appointment rounds out Cred’s all-female executive team alongside Elise, and Managing Director, Sarah Reilly, and Director, Jen Juice, based at Cred’s Sydney headquarters.
Originally from Melbourne, the mum of two primary school-aged sons now lives in Brisbane with her family, where she’s developed strong relationships with state and local Councils across both QLD and VIC in previous roles, with a focus on meaningfully engaging people in planning processes.
Julia is IAP2 Australasia accredited and on the Property Council of Australia’s Social Infrastructure Committee – reflecting her particular passions for the role cities play in supporting social inclusion, resilience, health and wellbeing, as well as for engaging with young people and children.
Julia’s arrival heralds Cred’s expansion into Victoria and Queensland, and new Queensland office alongside Associate Director, Elise O’Ryan.
Says Elise, “I’m really looking forward to establishing the Queensland arm of Cred with Julia at the helm. We are excited about a lot of things, including collaborating with people who share our mission and values and having interesting conversations about the benefits of social planning and community participation in an era of regional growth. She is not only super talented planner and community engagement expert, but also the definition of a joyful person.”
What drew you to want to work with Cred?
I’ve been a long-term fan and have followed Cred from afar in Melbourne and Queensland. I was drawn to Cred’s authenticity, creativity and its heart, as well as its commitment to social research and collaboration.
Tell us about your journey into social planning.
I cut my teeth as a statutory and strategic urban planner, working for the last 18 years in private consulting in both Melbourne and Brisbane. Over time, I’ve come to specialise more in community and stakeholder engagement, as well as social planning. I have worked on a variety of projects from preparing municipal wide community infrastructure strategies, to developing housing policy to leading consultation on coastal hazards and climate change. I am passionate about cities and the role of planning in supporting resilient, connected and informed communities, but also bring a practical understanding of planning’s broader legislative and political processes.
Are there any current industry trends or issues that are impacting your approach to social planning?
Now is such an important point for us as social planners and engagement practitioners. We’re all still experiencing the effects of a global pandemic that has fundamentally changed the way we live, work, connect – everything. Our climate is changing and needs urgent action from our governments and decision-makers about how we respond. As a community, we have also never been more connected or had access to so much information. We are also feeling the pains of population growth, urbanisation and increased cost of living. All of this creates this perfect storm where we need to remember people, their lived experiences, voices and perspectives, in all of these big trends and changes, but also our responses.
In terms of my interests, they are pretty broad and pretty big! I’m really passionate about including young people and children in the work that we do, they bring a unique point of view but I think we also need to be giving them the tools to be informed future citizens. We also have such a beautifully diverse population in Australia, so making sure our all those different cultures, particularly First Nations, values and perspectives are included in processes, policies and places, is important to me.
What excites you most about joining an all-female Executive team?
What doesn’t excite me? I have so much respect for Sarah, Jen and Elise – they are extremely clever, talented and passionate people. I also can’t think of many female-led, to this extent, organisations in our industry. I think this allows us to look at policy and urban and development issues with a different lens, but also create our own unique management and organisational culture with a strong focus on inclusion and diversity.
How do you balance work with being a parent?
I’ve always been really clear with my kids that I love them more than anything, but I also really love my job. I get a lot of energy and fulfilment from being a mum – but also from my professional career. No doubt its busy – there are lots of shared lists, calendar reminders and its always a logistical juggle. A silver lining of covid-19 has been the flexibility that it has brought to many workplaces, but also organisational mindsets.
These days I work flexible hours during the week because its important to me that my kids see me at their school for pick-ups, but also going off to work.
What’s excites you most about the future for Cred?
I feel really excited to bring the work that Cred does into Queensland and Victoria because it’s just really timely. The size of Cred means that we can provide a specialised service, but also be agile. I’m looking forward to working with our extremely talented team – sharing my knowledge and learning from them. I am excited to collaborate with great organisations and people from across the sector and work with wonderful clients. I’m also excited to deliver some beautiful projects that will deliver positive change for place and community. I think our different states, regions and cities can learn from each other to create better policies, places and communities – I look forward to gathering and sharing these learnings.