Three students from the Planning and Urban Development Program in the Faculty of the Built Environment (FBE) have dominated the Urban Development Institute of Australia's 2007 Tertiary Awards for Excellence.

The awards, which were presented by the Minister for Planning the Hon. Frank Sartor MP, recognise the nominee's research, presentation and communication skills in the area of urban planning.

Kate Wedgwood won the UDIA Tertiary Award for her thesis Destined for Closure: the Role and Demise of Urban Caravan Parks which investigates the disappearance of urban caravan parks as a form of housing for those whose only alternative is homelessness.

Dana Quintal received a judge's commendation for her work Gated Communities in Sydney: A Search for security which suggests differences in what motivates people in contemporary Australia to live in a gated community compared to living in a secured estate in other parts of the world

Fellow FBE student Renee Walmsley was awarded the UDIA scholarship for 2007 for the thesis she will undertake this year - Shifting Cities: Part 3A Planning Reform, Major Urban Development and the Local Community. This project will examine how State Government urban and regional planning policy decisions impact on major infrastructure development.

Head of the FBE Planning and Urban Development Program Associate Professor Susan Thompson said of the awards: "It is fantastic to see these young, talented women doing so well in an area that is often thought of as (and certainly used to be) male dominated."

Image caption: The Hon. Frank Sartor, Renee Walmsley, Kate Wedgwood, Dana Quintal and Associate Professor Susan Thompson