Director's ProfileDr. Helen Monks operates a consultancy that combines theory with extensive experience in town planning, regional development, approvals project management, mediation, and management of new and non-profit businesses. From May to October 2015, Helen was a Board member of the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand, Chair of its Communications Committee, and was a member of the External Relations Committee in 2008/9. She gave a paper on housing affordability/subdivision costs in Perth, 2015, and another on land use zones responding to climate change in Wellington NZ then at Shoal Bay NSW in 2017. Thirty five years experience in property and regional development bring tangible benefits to clients. A particular skill is to solve complex problems effectively and creatively.
Helen is a Certified Environmental Practitioner (EIANZ) who now appears annually in “Who’s Who of Australian Women”. In a pro bono capacity, Helen was registered until mid-2014 as an expert panel member for NSW Environmental Defender’s Office. From 1997 to 2015, she was a voluntary contributor to NSW Wildlife (and flora) Atlas. During 2014, following restructuring of Catchment Management Authorities, she was appointed to the Central Coast Community Network, Greater Sydney Local Land Services (as a Bushcare representative).
In 1980 Dr. Helen Monks started her town planning and management career by contracting to various consultants in Sydney and the Hunter region, before operating her own practice in the New England region for six years with private and government clients. The projects included environmental plans, development studies and impact statements, feasibility studies, market surveys, submissions to government, analyses, demographic research and occasional University lecturing.
Between 1985 and 1993 Helen was manager of government and non-profit regional development organisations, based in the New England region and Armidale district. The role entailed working strategically with industry groups, with individual businesses, with State and local governments to establish, expand, attract or retain business operations. Her innovative approaches to management led to part-time external study for a Doctor of Philosophy to research the management of regional development organisations. The doctorate was conferred at UNE in 1999, then awarded the biennial Postgraduate Thesis Award by the Australia and New Zealand Regional Science Association International.
Helen moved into local government on the NSW Central Coast in 1994, with diverse responsibilities in strategy, building, development engineering and town planning being carried out by about 120 management, professional, trades, technical and administrative staff. The annual budget ranged between $7m and $11m. Part of Helen’s role at Council was to mediate between parties to disputes in development and building, where she had a high success rate following training by the Australian Commercial Disputes Centre.
With six tertiary qualifications, Dr. Helen Monks is serving or has served as Chair, Deputy Chair, Director or member of many committees and boards. She completed a 3 year term as a Director of Central Coast Business Enterprise Centre in late 2011, and after 15 years retired as the second-longest serving member of the BEC and mentor service in mid 2014. Find Helen Monks on LinkedIn or through www.centralcoasttownplanners.com.au.
As part of her sporting interests which have included 2 Blues, she was a member of the Organising Committee for the Laser World Titles (open and masters) at Terrigal in February 2008.
Winner: Business Women Connect Central Coast Business Woman of the Year 2010
Instigator: Business Women Connect / University of Newcastle Faculty of Business and Law interactive program (2012-2016)
Winner: Business Women Connect Business Women Awards Professional Services category 2010