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–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.


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.


Kristian Jebbink-Junior Planner

Kristian developed his interests in town planning while studying a bachelor of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Sydney and working in his own building design firm upon graduation. He has a keen interest in the adaptive reuse and renewal of spaces, development assessment against planning controls and project buildability. Kristian is motivated in his work to achieve planning outcomes that address the needs of all stakeholders and benefit the greater community.

Douglas Bennett–Junior Planner

Douglas interests in planning revolve around the political nature of the planning system, and the challenge of creating sustainable cities for future generations. Douglas has published academic articles for UNSW regarding the nature of politics and planning, and the problems the modern planning system faces with regards to corruption, transparency, and bribery. He assists senior planners on completing development applications for clients and furthering his skills in urban planning.

Matthew Short-Junior Planner

Matthew is a born and raised country boy whose interests in town planning developed while studying architecture. Matthew has a keen interest in the relationship between people and the built environment and has a particular passion for addressing the issue of homelessness in Sydney. He works closely with the senior planners, gaining valuable experience in statutory and strategic planning.