About Us


James Lidis-Managing Director

James Lidis has over 25 years’ experience in Local Government and private practice in New South Wales.

James has experience in all areas of statutory planning including the preparation of planning controls and environmental assessments as well as appearing as an expert witness at the Land and Environment Court.

Prior roles included  senior positions in Local Government.


David Rippingill–Associate Director

Holding a Bachelor of Environmental Planning, David Rippingill commenced his career at Design Collaborative as a student planner and now holds the position of Associate.

David has extensive experience in all areas of development applications including residential, commercial and industrialas well as strategic planning in the preparation of planning proposals and policy advice to local Councils and Planning bodies.

David has a focus on development assessment, social impact and due diligence. He regularly assists with Land and Environment Court proceedings and has been retained as an expert witness.


Jody Scanlan-Associate

One of our longest serving staff members, Jody Scanlan has over 20 years’ experience in private practice working on a wide range of statutory and strategic planning projects for private clients and for councils.

Jody’s work has focused on the provision of planning and development advice. With experience in project and environmental assessment. This provision of advice often involves the resolution of multifaceted planning and environmental issues as part of a multi-disciplinary team.

Jody has also had involvement in a range of valuation and Aboriginal Land Claim matters.

Darius Ardeshirian

Darius Ardeshirian-Senior Planner

Darius Ardeshirian hails from Western Australia and has over five years of planning experience in both Government and private roles. Darius has extensive experience in urban planning, project management, site acquisitions and review. Darius holds a Bachelor of Science degree: Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Western Australia. Darius has also gained experience in Liquor Licencing by working closely with senior staff.


Denise Tse-Planner

Denise Tse is part of our urban planning team and is a qualified Planner and Member of PIA. Graduating from UNSW Planning with Honours in 2013, Denise gained international experience by interning in a planning consultancy and the Hong Kong Planning Department, before returning to Sydney to continue her career.

Working closely with senior staff at Design Collaborative, Denise has gained valuable experience in statutory planning and strategic planning, including preparation of environmental assessments, strategic reports and retail studies.

During her time with Design Collaborative she has also gained experience in dealing with the hospitality sector and liquor licensing. Denise is also fluent in both Cantonese and Mandarin.

Libby Baron

Libby Barron-Administration

Libby Barron has extensive experience in various professional organisations at senior support levels. Libby joined Design Collaborative in 2016 and provides extensive support in administration, accounts, data entry and making sure the office runs smoothly on a day to day basis.



George Smith

Founding director of the company, George Smith has over 50 year’s experience in statutory, environmental, economic and retail planning. He has expertise in liquor and gaming matters and has made numerous appearances as an expert witness at Land and Environment Court and other tribunals.