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Testimonials

Hawkesbury client proposing [...]

Great result!!!! Well done!!!

Subdivision battle

“You kept the Council staff honest by not letting them get away with a sloppy assessment that wasn’t fair and that had errors of fact. Then you tackled the Councillors! Well done.”

Sydney/Central Coast Client

"Helen – thanks very much for your email and all your hard work. It’s a tremendous result. I agree with you that working together ... gave us much leverage!"

New Central Coast owners of [...]

"We have total faith in your work and service."

Lower Portland off-grid house [...]

Lower Portland off-grid house developer (with steep land, Flame Zone, Koalas, flooding, incorrectly claimed EEC)

Brilliant response.  Brilliant.  … solid, watertight, fair but firm.

Sydney acreage buyers

"Your guidance about where to look, and what to look for, really crystallised our thinking. We are very happy with the waterfront 30 acres we have just bought."

Central Coast property owners [...]

"I appreciated your involvement. ... You came highly recommended and we realize why."

Central Coast Real Estate [...]

"Awesome."

Subdivision after a refusal

“I never thought we’d get it approved, but you persisted with both the staff and Councillors and we got there. Thank you.” The land was immediately sold at a big profit with the Development Consent!

Central Coast client [...]

"You gave us a lot to think about and the background research and information was really helpful. You have a thorough knowledge of all the planning and legal requirements, and are very professional"

Central Coast Business

"Many thanks for lodging the S4.55 application in such a short time frame and I am very impressed with your explanation in the letter which covers everything.

The 2 piece of good news is all because of you and thanks again for your assistance."

Central Coast client on [...]

"Thank you again for such prompt service and high quality work. We will definitely be in touch soon to discuss the next steps"

Central Coast client (lapsing [...]

"I can't thank you enough for the huge effort you personally put into achieving the successful outcome in the last two weeks. It was stressful for me but from the first time I spoke with you I knew I was in the most capable of hands. Your professionalism and never say die attitude is a very calming influence on your clients and I look forward to referring other people to your consultancy."

Central Coast acreage owner

“You have done it! ... (Council) said you hit the nail on the head.” (‘Challenging’ neighbours... Threatened Council breach action to cease.)

Pre-purchase uncertainty [...]

"you've overachieved, we can buy it now" "you have been an amazing help."

Central Coast client [...]

"A quick email of thanks for your time today. You certainly do know your stuff!"

Property protection

“Helen, this is fantastic thank you. Please do submit to Council, and I would be delighted if you would continue to monitor the situation.”

Central Coast Client (retail [...]

I trust you.

Pittwater waterfront client

"I have read your report. It's fabulously forensic. Thank you.."

A builder and separately an [...]

"We love the way the newsletter keeps us informed"

Apparent breach by a [...]

"Once again I can’t thank you enough for your interest in this situation. It is certainly very distressing (and could have become very expensive)."

Central Coast developer ($6m [...]

"Thank you Helen for your efficiency: you promised the short-notice reports by c.o.b. today and they arrived during the morning, full of information."

Central Coast client [...]

"Thank you so much Helen for bringing this to a positive conclusion. ... If you ever require a reference for your outstanding work I am very happy to provide it."

Central Coast client

Consummate professional

Central Coast new waterfront [...]

"We are glad to be back on track, look forward to seeing this through, and are grateful to have you on the team."

Contribution requested for [...]

"Thanks so much Helen. You're a champion."

Central Coast client with [...]

"Excellent thanks very much Helen!"

Approval despite objection

“It sounds like we are heading towards a fantastic result” “Thanks again Helen on assisting us hitting a major milestone – DA approval.”

Dual Occ. Consent

“Thank you for getting us where we are today … approval. We are very appreciative of this and we know we probably wouldn’t have got there without your skill and expertise.”

Central Coast client [...]

"Helen, thanks again, you were the best thing to come out of this whole episode I really appreciate what you did for us."

Central Coast client, selling [...]

"Thank you for your knowledge, focus and clear direction: you gave us confidence to stick with the process and do what it took to achieve our sale."

(Update...) "Thank you again for your kind assistance. Yes, we settled on ... We’re relieved, because it was such a drawn out stressful experience and now we can move on."

Central Coast activist for [...]

"Once again a well structured Newsletter and important for pulling urban planners and public interest groups together."

Rezone then subdivide

“You protected our interests throughout. … Tactically skilful and technically knowledgeable, and you know the system. We relied on your skills and knowledge and we’ve obtained the desired result.”

Central Coast waterfront [...]

"Thank you so much for your work. ... You have been a blessing to us and we could not have done this without you. ... [We] ... have always believed in finding the most skilled specialists for each project, and through [a local real estate agent] we found you. You led us along this journey, told us how to connect and who to connect to and through listening to your advice we reached our goal today ..."

Sydney client looking to buy [...]

"... Your report was very useful in defining the risks and we sought this [extra specialist] ... advice to clarify things."

Commercial site search

“Even if it was uncomfortable news for us, you told it like it is, so we could make our own decisions about taking the risk or walking away. You saved us money by avoiding a big mistake.”

Architect for off-grid house [...]

Architect for off-grid house at Lower Portland

You have done a great job.

Long-term Central Coast [...]

Would you stand for the Board?

Waterfront owners with [...]

"...we do appreciate all you have and are doing for us re this situation. It has not been an easy task for you, and your preparation for Tuesday's site meeting was great, as has been all your other work."

Waterfront owner

"You’re good at what you do."

Another satisfied client [...]

"thank you very much Helen for meeting with us in Sydney and for all the great work you’ve done so far. You’ve put us in a strong negotiating position with our neighbour."

Experienced multi-region [...]

"... You have patiently and skillfully sent info on the Central Coast Property issues for years, thank you.

You provide a great service to the area .... and for free!"

Client

"We like your work on our subdivision. Would you work on another one for us, elsewhere?"

CC resident, national [...]

"You really know what you are talking about, and I deal with many Councils for our company’s properties"

Subscriber

"A phenomenal job done with this newsletter, and right up to date with the Federal Budget."

Central Coast tradesperson

"Very impressive ...." Kindest Regards

Waterfront owner seeking 2 [...]

"You really know what you are doing"

Application for a relocated [...]

"Thanks."

Central Coast business person [...]

"Thanks again for a great, concise report."

Central Coast subdivider

"Thanks Helen for the information. You are certainly organised."

Privacy protection

“You did a fine job for us and we are most grateful to you for your efforts. We would happily recommend you to other interested parties.”

Sydney/Central Coast Client

"This is such great news! Thank you so much to Helen for the hard work and the quality of the submission and follow through that I have no doubt significantly contributed ... Collaborating made such a difference."

Central Coast waterfront [...]

"Thank you for your expertise in helping us to understand the workings of the Central Coast Council and your advice on the various options open to us."

Central Coast Lawyer

Thanks. Great report.

Satisfactory resolution

“May I take this opportunity to thank you for involvement in this complicated matter which is now at a conclusion. There is no doubt that your assistance has been of immense help.”

Building a portfolio

“You gave me strategic advice that I hadn’t heard in any of the investment seminars I’d paid good money for. It was well worth while having a couple of planning sessions with you.”

Contact Us

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Dr Helen MonksDr. 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. Apart from regular presentations at the annual NSW Coastal Conference, she gave a presentation to the EIANZ conference 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. Over 40 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) with recent multi-year entries 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.

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 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.

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
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