Architectural renders for the new ‘gateway’ precinct proposed for Ballarat, designed by Plus Architecture for Nigro Group
Past Event

Designing Growing Regional Hubs as Cultural Centres

Presented by Plus Architecture


Wed 24 May 6:00pm - 8:00pm


Free, booking required


Art Gallery of Ballarat
40 Lydiard Street North, Ballarat Central Ballarat, Victoria 3350, Australia


Seating available Wheelchair accessible

Post-pandemic and ahead of the 2026 Commonwealth Games, Victoria’s regional centres are playing an ever-important role in the future of our state. To support the sustainable growth of Victoria’s UNESCO Creative Cities (Ballarat, Geelong, Bendigo and Melbourne), the architecture, engineering and construction industry is harnessing smart and sustainable urban design to better deliver thriving regional hubs for current and future generations.

An inherently creative city with a world-class heritage landscape, Ballarat is gearing up for the 2026 Commonwealth Games – an anticipated $3 billion boost to the Victorian economy that could see as many as 40,000 people travelling to each of the regional centres. Guided by the City of Ballarat’s Creative City Strategy, Ballarat is aiming to utilise the spark of creativity to support wider plans for a city led and informed by great design.

Set to become a major pillar in the revitalisation of Ballarat, Plus Architecture has been appointed to design a major redevelopment within the Ballarat Station Southside Precinct, delivering an accessible mixed-use community destination encompassing retail, hotel, hospitality, workspace and more. Underpinned by key principles of community, sustainability and First Nations histories and futures, the progressive design will transform an underutilised site into a landmark first point of engagement for Ballarat, helping build a better city for all.

This event brings some of the leading stakeholders in the AEC industry for a discussion how we can best design functional and enjoyable regional centres that offer quality cultural, work and lifestyle experiences and promote cultural activity and connection to Country.


Ian Briggs

A Director at Plus Architecture, Ian Briggs is acknowledged as an accomplished designer with the ability to transform ideas into inspired design outcomes that challenge convention. His master planning and design expertise is evidenced through his lasting work which has helped to define many prominent precincts and created urban markers across the cities in which they stand. Connectivity is critical in Ian’s work, designing tactile, environmentally, and socially responsive architecture sympathetic to its surrounds.

Nat Anson

Nat Anson is an innovative strategic planner with extensive experience in master planning across Melbourne’s growth corridors and Victoria’s regional cities and towns. A Geelong local, Nat leads Urbis’ exciting Victorian expansion into the Geelong region and South West of Victoria. He is passionate about creating growth and economic development opportunities in regional cities and environments and specialises in stakeholder engagement – strengthening collaboration between the public and private sectors. Nat’s most recent experience at the City of Greater Geelong had him leading the delivery of the largest master planning project ever undertaken in Regional Victoria – the Northern and Western Geelong Growth Areas Framework Plan.

Joseph van Dyk

Joseph van Dyk is a Director of regional-focused developer Hygge Property and has nearly 20 years’ property development experience in Australia and the UK, specialising in residential and mixed-use led developments for private companies. His career has provided full development lifecycle exposure and he has been responsible for multiple national award-winning master planned communities and urban re-generation projects. This exposure has led to experience in site acquisition, complex joint venture structuring, legal, finance, planning, design, sales and delivery across multiple projects. Across these projects he has been heavily involved in stakeholder management, particularly with affordable housing providers, government departments and infrastructure authorities.

Roger Permezel, id Hotels Advisory

As a consultant to the hotel and hospitality industry, Roger is engaged to provide highly valued professional advice concerning project planning and assessment, operational performance and asset management. A successful business builder and manager, he offers a breadth of hands-on management and industry experience working with established ventures and start-ups. His real-world expertise affords an innovative approach to establishing and managing hospitality businesses, and successfully connecting them to the marketplace. Apart from the current ‘Ballarat Gateway’ project, other regional consulting locations around central/western Victoria have included Lal Lal, Colac, Apollo Bay, Twelve Apostles, Bendigo and Heathcote.

Martin Turnor, Associate Director, Bryce Raworth Conservation & Heritage

A leading heritage expert, Martin studied architecture at RMIT before moving to Perth and completing his final year at the University of Western Australia. Since joining Bryce Raworth Pty Ltd in 2004, Martin has documented restoration works to several buildings of state significance, including Melbourne Grammar School, the Australian Catholic University (Melbourne campus) and the former St Georges Uniting Church, St Kilda. Martin has considerable experience advising on new development in a heritage context and is currently working on a range of projects across metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. He also acts as heritage advisor to the Cities of Stonnington and Frankston.

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