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Curtin graduate wins prestigious property development scholarship

Media release

C290/08

4 November 2008

Curtin University of Technology Urban and Regional Planning graduate Martin Keen is embracing his new role as an ambassador for other young professionals working in the property development industry in WA.

Mr Keen, 25, of Perth recently won the esteemed Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) (WA) Young Development Professional Scholarship 2008. The scholarship is awarded annually to the most outstanding young person aged 30 years and under who is currently working in the industry.

Mr Keen said that as part of his prize package – that is valued at more than $5,000 – he will act as a link between young development professionals, UDIA and the industry at large.
“I am honoured to be awarded this scholarship as there was a strong field of candidates,” Mr Keen said.

“I look forward to many benefits for my career, such as opportunities to broaden my knowledge of the development industry, its roles and individuals by attending the UDIA conference and many networking events as part of my prize.

“Current industry trends, future directions and competing agendas are areas that I am keen to learn more about as well.”

Mr Keen is the youngest Senior Planner at the East Perth Redevelopment Authority (EPRA) – having joined through its scholarship program in 2005 while he was still a student at Curtin.

He completed a Bachelor of Arts (Urban and Regional Planning) with Honours at Curtin in 2006 and began tutoring at Curtin in 2007 – taking two classes of about 30 first year governance students.

“This year I am sharing the tutoring of about 70 first year students in the Planning for Governance unit,” Mr Keen said.

“The number of students studying Urban and Regional Planning at Curtin has increased due to the popularity of the course.

“I chose to study urban and regional planning due to the diversity of the career paths it offered me.

“I chose Curtin because it offered a Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) accredited course and I respected the University’s reputation for quality.

“Studying at Curtin endowed me with the ability to think and communicate like a planner, enduring networks with peers and good links with many of my lecturers who are planning professionals – so their knowledge and contacts within the industry was invaluable too.

“I plan to share some of the knowledge I gain through the UDIA (WA) scholarship to my students, and as I make more industry contacts I can help facilitate networking opportunities for them too.”

Head of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at Curtin Mrs Julie Brunner congratulated Mr Keen on his achievement.

“Martin was a talented student and I was fortunate enough to supervise his Honours thesis,” Mrs Brunner said.
“He is a great tutor too and really knows how to connect with his students and peers.”

Although Mr Keen is busy with fulltime work, the UDIA (WA) scholarship, tutoring, and other roles such as mentoring the current EPRA scholarship planner, he has not ruled out further study at Curtin.

“While I am comfortable with the opportunities my planning degree is providing, the idea of further studies in both Architecture and Project Management are worthwhile considerations for the future,” Mr Keen said.

UDIA is focused on developing young professionals by exposing them to career development and networking opportunities through participation in activities.

Attention Editor/COS: A photograph is available on request.

Modified: 4 November 2008