Having led the design of city changing projects for Townsville including Jezzine Barracks Parklands and The Strand Waterfront Parklands, Wal Smith, Design Principal and Director, Place Design Group has decided to retire at the end of this year, passing on the baton to newly appointed Design Principal, Hywel Jones.
After more than 35 years in the profession, over 25 years in Townsville, and 12 years at Place Design Group, Mr Smith has made a significant contribution to the shaping of the city of Townsville as experienced today.
Chairman of the Townsville Hospital and Health Services Board, Mr Tony Mooney AM, was the Townsville Mayor at the time of appointing Mr Smith to lead The Strand Revitalisation project.
“Wal’s passion for landscape design will leave a lasting legacy for the Townsville community. He was a major player in the greening of Townsville campaign. Wal has been critical in influencing our milestone projects, like the award-winning Strand redevelopment, that embody and promote the North Queensland lifestyle,” Mr Mooney said.
Shaun Munday, Managing Director, Place Design Group, acknowledges that it has been an incredible journey with Mr Smith leading the team in our Townsville office.
“Many of our team have had the privilege of working alongside Wal on projects which have literally transformed local communities, not least, Wal’s home town of Townsville, where he led the design and development of The Strand, Jezzine Barracks and Gregory Street Precinct, and nearby, the Whitsundays, Airlie Beach Main Street and Lagoon.
“It is through such projects that Wal has made a significant contribution to not only North Queensland, but nationally and also internationally, throughout the Pacific and Middle East,” said Mr Munday.
Awarded a fellowship of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects in 2015, Mr Smith is a recognised leader in the Australian design scene.
Mr Smith says, “It has been an incredible journey with many career highlights, but certainly reflecting on my time in Townsville, some of the notable highlights throughout this city are the projects I am most proud of.”
“There is nothing better than designing a project that improves the lives of the community around you,” he said.
Mr Smith is retiring to spend more time with his family. And whilst he will be discovering new adventures, he will be connected to Place Design Group for a little longer, taking on the role of Senior Consultant to support Mr Jones in his new role as Townsville Principal, and playing a key part in ongoing city-shaping projects.
With teams across Australia, China, and South-East Asia, Place Design Group is an award-winning leader in planning and design with a reputation for creative and commercial solutions.