The 2018 Developing Northern Australia Conference is almost here again and will this year be held at Alice Springs Convention Centre over Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 June. 

Mr Geoff Barker, Principal at PM+D Architects P/L joins us at the Conference to discuss ‘A collaborative project development process delivering appropriate community infrastructure’.


In order to deliver appropriate community infrastructure and facilities the importance of a collaborative approach between Community, Government [three levels], Business and Professional Support cannot be over-emphasised. The Aboriginal Male’s Healing Centre Strong Spirit Strong Families Strong Culture Inc. (AMHC) is both a physical centre located within the lands of the Nyiyaparli/Martu but more importantly a centre of Service Delivery that will consist of 2 key components; a secure residential healing centre for perpetrator’s of Family and Domestic Violence (FDV) and a holistic outreach healing service with a focus on prevention and early intervention. The AMHC, and its Project, on which this paper is based, took the initiative to deliver a Community facility in Newman WA catering for 28 participants over a 12 month program, based on the melding of cultural healing with western clinical psychology services, rather than incarceration, with the objective of achieving changed behaviours.

This paper will outline the project’s objectives and explore its delivery through the collaborative approach undertaken, involving the following:
1. Traditional Custodians
2. AMHC Board and Working Group
3. Local Community members and Organisations,
4. Federal, State and Local Government – Sources of Funds and resources. Including the Shire of East Pilbara who have agreed to transfer some land to the AMHC at no cost.
5. Planning and Environment Assessment agencies – Shire, CASA, Main Roads WA, Fire Risk Assessors
6. Private Business and Philanthropists
7. Professional Specialists – planning, concept design and developed design iterative processes

All of these interests have been engaged variously as “Partners in Development” involving a diverse range of engagement tools and strategies, to ensure their needs, requirements, ideas, and opportunities were respected, considered, incorporated and communicated as appropriate.
The project is ongoing and currently in the process of seeking significant capital and recurrent funding and support


A senior professional with over thirty years of experience on a wide range of project types and working cross culturally in Australia and internationally, Geoff has a particular interest in working collaboratively with like minded people on multi-faceted projects where there are often competing objectives integrated within its ‘fabric’ [such as physical, financial and social]. Geoff also looks for opportunities to challenge conventional project delivery praxis and pursuing projects in which there is the potential for adding value.

He applies methodologies that integrate; a people focus, the implementation of locally relevant community engagement strategies, the application of sustainability and the incorporation of Universal Design principles. His experience covers a broad spectrum of projects: 1. Education, Health, Housing, Planning, as Principal of PM+D Architects 2. Community based pro-bono work in Australia and Internationally 3. Delivering a $500M program of housing and Infrastructure as Design Manager for the Territory Alliance 4. “Housing for Health”, projects as Senior Project Manager for 10 years in the NT and WA delivering the program, providing R&D input and contributing to policy. 5. Manager and Director of an Indigenous organisation [NBC – originally Northern Building Consultants – Darwin and Broome] for 7 years. Geoff is currently working pro-bono on a major multifaceted project in Newman WA to which his paper refers.

For more information on the 2018 Developing Northern Australia Conference and to secure your spot in Alice Springs this June please visit the conference website.