Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Town Planner Development Program

About the program The application process Express your interest

Applications are now open

Express your interest

Closing date: 12 noon sharp, Friday 13 May 2022

Learn about this unique program, open to people who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

Tweed Shire Council and Griffith University are offering one Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person the opportunity to:

  • study the Bachelor of Urban Planning (Honours) at Griffith University’s Gold Coast campus – with Griffith University providing a scholarship towards fees
  • work in a paid job one day a week (or an equivalent combined period) during their studies for up to 4 years at the Planning and Regulation Division of Tweed Shire Council.


Become a town planner like Zoe at Tweed Shire Council (3 minutes 10 seconds)

From day one, you’ll be immersed in the world of town planning, with your education and work experience equipping you with the knowledge, skills and experience to contribute to making the Tweed and Gold Coast a great place to live, work and play.

With support from Griffith University’s GUMURRII Student Success Unit to complete your studies, mentoring opportunities with the Tweed Byron Aboriginal Land Council and a paid part-time job, this is a great career opportunity.

About the program

Through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Town Planner Development Program, you will study at university and benefit from an on-the-job training pathway, setting you up for a professional career as a town planner.

You have the option of starting the program in:

  • July 2022 or
  • March 2023.

The program is backed by Griffith University and Tweed Shire Council, and supported by the Tweed Byron Local Aboriginal Land Council and Griffith University’s GUMURRII Student Success Unit.

Where you'll study and work

  • Southport on the Gold Coast
  • Murwillumbah in the Tweed

Griffith University’s Bachelor of Urban Planning (Honours) involves 4 years of full-time study (or up to 8 years part-time) at the Southport campus.

For up to 4 years during your studies, Tweed Shire Council will employ you the equivalent of one day a week at Murwillumbah. You could, for example, work one day a week throughout the year or work only during your university breaks.

You will work in different roles within Council’s Planning and Regulation Unit, giving you experience with development assessments, strategic planning, urban design, and building and environmental health.

Who we are looking for

We’re looking for someone who:

  • identifies as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
  • wants to be a town planner
  • is prepared to study at Southport and work in Murwillumbah
  • is keen to learn and can meet Griffith University’s entrance requirements for the Bachelor of Urban Planning (Honours)
  • is ready to commit to undertake the program.

To be eligible to apply, you will need to confirm your:

  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage (through a letter from a First Nations organisation or Community Elder, or a statutory declaration)
  • Australian citizenship.

If you are an existing Griffith University student who meets the criteria, you are welcome to apply.

The application process 

Apply now

Stage 1 – Express your interest

Submit your expression of interest no later than 12 noon sharp on Friday 13 May 2022.

As part of your expression of interest, you will need to tell us about:

  • your Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage and connections with First Nations people, community and culture
  • your interest in town planning and any previous experiences, work or study relevant to this field
  • how you meet the admission requirements of the Bachelor of Urban Planning (Honours), commencing in July 2022 or March 2023, attending Griffith University’s Gold Coast campus
  • your previous studies or experiences and how you will successfully complete the degree while working at Council
  • the personal qualities you will bring to the Council job.

To support you with your expression of interest, please download and read the program’s information package(PDF, 217KB) featuring:

  • details of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Town Planner Development Program
  • information including entry requirements for Griffith University’s Bachelor of Urban Planning (Honours)
  • the position description of the Tweed Shire Council job.

Stage 2 – Participate in an interview

Council and Griffith University will develop a shortlist of preferred applicants based on the expressions of interest received. The selection criteria will be based on:

  • academic merit including the ability to meet the admission requirements of the Bachelor of Urban Planning (Honours)
  • interview merit list.

The shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an interview at Council’s Murwillumbah Civic and Cultural Centre or Griffith University’s Southport campus.