Meridian Urban provides industry leading advisory and program management services in the areas of urban policy & planning, and resilience & adaptation.

The social, environmental and economic challenges affecting our settlements, and the way in which we manage them, are becoming increasingly complex. This requires a new way of thinking about how planners and city managers do their business.

Meridian Urban’s core capabilities lie in strategic planning, policy development, and statutory planning. We deliver these services for governance reviews, urban policy changes, and planning instruments. We are recognised as thought leaders in our fields and are renowned for developing creative solutions to complex problems, and providing timely, accurate and technically rich services to our clients and the communities they serve.

The work and experience of the Meridian Urban team in the field of natural hazard resilience & adaptation is currently driving change across Australia. In particular, we translate resilience and adaptation initiatives into state-wide, community-scale and site-specific planning contexts.

We also have practical experience in governance, administration and communication during and following disaster events which provides unique insight to the application of disaster resilience policy and strategy to on-the-ground practice.

Our Expertise


  • Policy formulation
  • Land use strategies
  • Strategic plans
  • Spatial plans
  • Statutory planning
  • Governance frameworks
  • Governance capacity & capability reviews
  • Community engagement


  • Natural hazard risk assessments and management plans
  • Community resilience strategies
  • Risk based land use planning
  • Climate change adaptation strategies and plans
  • Disaster management and recovery programs and plans
  • Project leadership and collaboration

Our Services


We work in partnership with our clients and stakeholders to identify, analyse and delve into complex problems, to develop plans to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and resilience of organisations, governments and community systems. This often brings new ways of thinking, revealing outcomes that benefit all.


We provide targeted, robust advice and solutions to our clients in short term or on-going capacities utilising our industry leading experience in strategic land use planning, flood risk management, bushfire risk management, coastal hazard adaptation, earthquake recovery and disaster management.


We manage and deliver a full range of planning and resilience projects and programs on behalf of our clients including the management of all specialists, sub-consultants and relevant partners.


We bring together multidisciplinary teams to capture and drill down into data revealing new and exciting interrelationships that when understood can bring better outcomes for communities.

Our Team


Stephen Dredge

Director Stephen Dredge established Meridian Urban to offer a high-quality, high-value professional consulting service with a unique difference – one that combines his passions of strategic land use planning and settlement resilience.

Stephen brings around 20 years of experience in Australia and overseas as an urban planner and public policy expert with a passion for helping people think differently and improving the way we plan. He provides thought leadership and executive level direction to dealing with the modern-day challenges of settlement systems, risk-based land use planning, resilience, climate adaptation, and statutory planning.


Laura Gannon

Laura Gannon is an Associate Director with almost 20 years of experience in strategic land use planning, bushfire risk and community resilience across both the public and private sectors. Laura specialises in management consulting approaches to the integration of natural hazard risk management into land use planning policy and strategy, with a particular emphasis on bushfire risk and resilience, floodplain risk management and climate adaptation. She has extensive experience in the areas of planning policy, strategic and statutory planning accumulated through a number of senior leadership positions.


Kim Kirstein

Kim Kirstein is a business Principal and governance and statutory planning specialist at Meridian Urban, with over 20 years of industry experience at the local, state and national government levels. Kim specialises in navigating and identifying opportunities to streamline government processes and statutory frameworks and she has been at the forefront of identifying improvements and developing fast tracked planning and assessment processes in Queensland and New South Wales.

Kim also has extensive experience in strategic and statutory land use planning and preparing and reviewing planning policies, strategies, guidelines and plans. She brings cutting edge statutory advice in translating higher order government strategies and policies and supporting technical assessments (including natural hazard risk assessments) into assessment / performance criteria, development controls and land use and zoning criteria.


Julie Brook

Julie Brook is a local and regional planning specialist with over a decade of experience across the public and private sectors. Julie also holds an MBA, providing her with diverse business and project management skills for a holistic governance, policy and strategy outlook. Julie is experienced in translating complex legislative frameworks, planning instrument and policy formation, land use strategies, risk-based planning and planning for resilient communities, in addition to significant development assessment experience. Her strong analytical skills compliment her specialist capabilities in judicial practices. Julie has been accepted as a Building Tribunal Referee, as an expert on senior industry panels, has briefed expert witnesses, and assisted counsel in various court matters.


Jane Jackson

Jane Jackson is an Associate with over 10 years of experience in a range of fields including statutory planning, land use planning, development assessment, environmental planning and project management in both public and private sectors. Jane has worked on the delivery of environmental studies, statutory planning projects and resilience strategies, including the preparation of local planning provisions and development controls and guidelines.

Jane brings a strong multi-sector understanding to planning and sustainable development through her experience in the management of large scale renewable energy projects. Jane is outcome-focused and has an extensive understanding of planning frameworks across multiple jurisdictions.


Upendo Kowero

Upendo Kowero is an Associate with extensive experience in strategic and statutory land use planning across the public and private sectors. She brings a depth of capability across the areas of governance and planning frameworks, policy, strategic and statutory planning.

Upendo is an engagement specialist trained in cultural awareness, community engagement, mediation and conflict resolution. Upendo also holds considerable experience working with Aboriginal Shire Councils and their communities. Upendo’s diverse upbringing has nurtured her interest and curiosity of cultures, cities and settlements in contributing to more equitable and sustainable communities. She holds a Bachelor of Urban and Environmental Planning with honours, Masters of Development Practice, Graduate Certificate in Mediation and Conflict Resolution and is International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) accredited.

Sam Evans

Sam Evans

Sam Evans is an Associate with extensive experience working in government and private practice in various fields including land use and development, spatial analysis, policy review, policy development and infrastructure planning. Sam specialises in utilising spatial analysis to solve land use planning challenges. Sam has long-held interests in statutory frameworks and resilience and is passionate about improving planning systems to better respond to the threat of natural hazards. Sam bolsters his planning and resilience capabilities with qualifications in bushfire assessment from the University of Melbourne.

Lauren Young

Lauren Young is an Associate with nearly 10 years of experience in statutory planning, strategic planning and master planning. She has worked in both the public and private sectors in Queensland and the Middle East. Lauren is also an admitted Australian Lawyer in the Supreme Court of Queensland.

Lauren brings a depth of experience in relation to regulatory planning systems. In particular, Lauren is highly skilled in interpreting and applying statutory assessment frameworks, having previously been involved in administering the Minister’s powers and planning practices related to development assessment and greenfield developments, coordinating and preparing applications related to the construction and operation of large-scale infrastructure and working on master planning projects and developing housing strategies. Lauren is focused on achieving outcomes that are practical, innovative and responsive to the needs of stakeholders.


Fraser Ramsay

Fraser Ramsay is an urban planner with both Australian and international experience across practical and academic environments. With a dual masters degree in Science and Human Settlements from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium and an undergraduate degree in Urban and Environmental Planning from Griffith University, Fraser has worked across a range of planning fields including strategic land use planning, development assessment, infrastructure coordination, community engagement, flood resilience planning and policy development. Fraser further strengthens and supports his planning and resilience capabilities with qualifications in bushfire assessment from the University of Melbourne.


Ryan McNeilly Smith

Ryan McNeilly Smith is a planner and urban designer with experience working in government and academic settings in a variety of fields, including urban design and placemaking, urban heat policy, strategic planning, policy review, community engagement, and human and social disaster recovery. Ryan has a special interest in urban design policy responses to urban heat and the heat-health risks of heatwaves and is undertaking a PhD to deepen his knowledge in this emerging field. Ryan holds an undergraduate in Urban Design and Town Planning (Honours Class I) and is passionate about responding to emerging climate and natural hazard risks.


Olivia Scroope

Olivia Scroope is a Student Planner currently studying a Bachelor of Urban and Environmental Planning at Griffith University. Olivia’s planning interests include resilience and adaptation, urban design, green infrastructure and community engagement. Olivia is experienced in both Queensland and New South Wales planning frameworks. Her capabilities also extend to bushfire hazard assessment and mitigation, having worked across South East NSW on various recovery and reconstruction development assessment projects following the devastating Black Summer bushfires.


Jessica Dumbell

Jessica Dumbell is a corporate services and resilience professional with over 16 years of professional experience across government and private sectors in Australia and abroad. As Operations Manager she has an expansive knowledge across a broad range of corporate areas including finance, human resources, operations, and business systemisation. Jessica further supports this with professional experience in program and project management, having a proven ability to coordinate complex teams and initiatives. Jessica has a Double Bachelor’s Degree in Business (Management) and Psychology from Griffith University which supports her enduring interests in resilience and organisational psychology.


Heidi Dredge

Heidi Dredge has over 15 years of project and program management professional experience in Australia and abroad, managing a wide scope of large-scale projects and enterprises across sectors including planning, governance, and agriculture. Her wealth of knowledge spans all corporate service areas including communications, finance, human resources, operations and business administration. Heidi’s experience includes many project and operational start-ups, with a focus on hitting the ground running while laying thoughtful ground work for ongoing and future project and enterprise success.


Jessica Dumbell
Ph. 0422 224 810