Established in Victoria in 1914, the Town and Country Planning Association is a politically independent not-for-profit association incorporated in Victoria.
TCPA began life as the Victorian Town Planning and Parks Association, which was formed in Melbourne in 1914, with Dr J. W. (later Sir James) Barrett the first president. The name was later changed to the Town and Country Planning Association. Its objects were “to give the town a bit of the country, and the country a bit of the town, to secure better housing, to protect existing parks, to safeguard native animals and plants and erect memorials to explorers”. The Association adopted a new constitution and was incorporated in 1994.
- To promote the application of principles of ecological sustainability to existing and new settlements and urban regeneration;
- To encourage the practice of environmental planning;
- To advocate the establishment of an effective strategic planning framework;
- To motivate, educate and inspire popular support for environmental planning;
- To arrange public lectures, demonstrations, exhibitions, conferences, seminars, and meetings in support of the objectives of the Association and to pay for the costs and expenses of these from the funds of the Association;
- To establish and support, and to aid in the establishment and support of, any other associations formed for all or any of the objectives of this Association; and
- To do anything which is legal and incidental or conducive to achieving any or all of the above objectives.
President: Marianne Richards
Vice President: Tim Patton
Secretary: Peter Hill
Treasurer: Ray Walford
Committee Members: Doug Bell, Horst (Oz) Kayak, Alex Sawicki, Russell Thompson, David Wilson
Sir James Barrett Memorial Medal
Sir James William Barrett KBE, CB, CMG (1862 –1945) was an Australian ophthalmologist and academic administrator. Born in South Melbourne, he was educated at the University of Melbourne and King’s College, London. As well as being the inaugural president of the VTPPA, he was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne (1931 – 1934) and then Chancellor (1935 – 1939). He seems to have been a particularly colourful character in all phases of his medical career with a reputation as a tough and determined administrator. He was a frequent contributor to The Age and Argus newspapers.
Like many other concerned citizens of the time, Barrett was passionate on the preservation of open spaces in both the city and the country. He was strongly influenced by the Garden Cities (UK) and American playgrounds movements and their benefits for human health. By the time town planning experts, William Davidge and Charles Reade, from the UK Garden Cities and Town Planning Association arrived in Melbourne on its Australasian Town Planning Tour in 1914, Barrett had ensured that the Melbourne community was already primed.
In 1947, the TCPA benefitted from a £100 bequest from Barrett’s estate. In 1950, the then President, Prof. Brian Lewis, proposed that the bequest be used to fund a medal to recognise the best contribution annually to town planning in Victoria. The inaugural Sir James Barrett Memorial Medal was awarded in 1952 to Frank Heath (architect and TCPA Honorary Secretary 1936 – 1948) and Charles B Bennett (a town planner from Los Angeles).
The award has been made at an annual event in most years since then. Notable recipients have included, in:
- 1964, Colonel Sir Alfred Newcombe Kemsley, Secretary of Melbourne’s Metropolitan Town Planning Commission (1923-29) and member of the Town and Country Planning Board (1946-68)
- 1972, Ruth and Maurice Crow, community activists
- 1973, Peter McIntyre, architect
- 1985, (Prof) David Yencken, builder, academic and former Secretary to the Ministry for Planning and Environment
- 1986, the Hon. Evan Walker, architect, politician and former Minister for Planning
- 1987, John Bayly, architect, town planner, academic and member of the former Town and Country Planning Board
- 1987, the Hon. Alan Hunt, lawyer, politician and former Minister for Planning
- 2010, Professor Rob Adams AM
- 2014, Alan Parker, bicycling advocate and former TCPA Vice-President
- 2014, Sue Course, community activist
- 2016, Professor Michael Buxton
- 2017, Alan Davies, journalist, The Urbanist
- 2018, Cr Jackie Fristacky
- 2019, Dr Ben Rossiter, Executive Officer of Victoria Walks
The award was not always made to an individual. In 1976, the medal was awarded to the Australian Government 1972-75 and was accepted by the Hon Gough Whitlam, by then leader of the Opposition. In 1988, the award was presented to both the Melbourne City Council and the Moe City Council.