Business Sydney

Improving Women's Engagement in Sydney's Night-time Economy

with Commissioner Karen Webb, Commissioner of the NSW Police Force and other expert speakers

Thursday, 2 March 2023

3:30pm to 7:00pm



Urbis Offices



Business Sydney Members & Guests

At this event, we discussed topics aimed at addressing women’s safety, transport and engagement issues whilst moving about and enjoying our great city including;

  • planning for a more diverse, inclusive and sustainable built environment
  • improving the public transport experience
  • a safer night time experience

We heard from NSW Minister for Minister for Women’s Safety and the Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence, the Hon Natalie Ward MLC, the NSW Shadow Minister for Women, and Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Ms Jodie Harrison MP, the NSW Police Commissioner, Karen Webb APM, and many expert panellists.

We also launched the Business Sydney and Urbis document "Improving Women's Engagement in the Night Time Economy - 10 Point Plan".

Event Partners

to come


Sydney City Police Area Command





Special Guests

Commissioner Karen Webb, APM

Commissioner of the NSW Police Force

Commissioner Karen Webb joined NSW Police Force in May 1987 and,  in her 35 year policing career, has performed general duties and a range of criminal investigations and command roles both in metropolitan Sydney and regional NSW.

Those duties have included the Child Mistreatment Unit, Drug Enforcement Agency, Detectives Training Unit and command roles at Forensic  Services Group, Local Area Commands, Operations Manager, North West Metropolitan Region  Commander, and State Surveillance Branch

In 2017, Ms Webb was promoted to the rank of Assistant Commissioner at the Police Transport & Public Safety Command, and in 2020 she was appointed the first female commander of the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command.

Ms Webb’s corporate sponsor roles -- LGBTI, Women in Policing, and Victims of Crime & Customer Service -- have seen her lead high-level projects, including the National Accreditation of NSW Police Forensic Services laboratories, and the 90 Years and 100 Years of Women in Policing celebrations.  She has commanded multiple public events and strategies, including the Invictus Games operations in 2018, and Australia Day operations in 2018 & 2019.

A member of the NSW Police Legacy Board and the State Rescue Board, Ms Webb was appointed the Deputy State Emergency Operations  Controller in July 2019 and worked closely with the emergency service agencies during the 2019-20 bushfires, floods and COVID-19 pandemic.

In July 2021 Ms Webb  was promoted to Deputy Commissioner, Corporate Services, and in February 2022, she was formally appointed the 23rd Commissioner of the NSW Police Force, becoming the first woman to hold the position in the history of the state.

Raised in the regional NSW town of Boorowa, Ms Webb is a proud working parent of two sons.


Panel Discussion | Planning for a More Diverse, Inclusive and Sustainable Built Environment


Executive Manager of Strategic Planning and Urban Design, City of Sydney

Ben is the Executive Manager of Strategic Planning and Urban Design at the City of Sydney leading a team that delivers the planning controls and strategies that guide development in the City. Ben has experience in urban renewal, policy reform, infrastructure funding and heritage and has led projects such as the renewal of Harold Park, late night trading and the local strategic planning statement across a 20 year career. Ben’s passionate about Sydney and finding new ways for planning to make it a better place. 



Director of Design Excellence, Government Architect NSW

Olivia Hyde is Director of Design Excellence at GANSW and a Professor of Practice in Architecture at the University of Sydney. She is a registered architect and a Life Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects. She has worked on a wide range of projects across Australia and internationally, including award winning public and private developments, infrastructure, urban design and master planning.

As Director of Design Excellence, Olivia leads the development of a range of measures to support and promote greater design quality in the built environment across the state, including the NSW State Design Review Panel.

Olivia has studied, worked, taught and lectured in Australia, the USA, Asia and Europe. Prior to joining GANSW she was a Senior Practice Director at BVN in Sydney. She worked for a number of years with Foster and Partners in Hong Kong and London and has taught extensively both in Australia and overseas.



Regional Director - NSW, Urbis

Princess is an economist and project manager with over 20 years of international and local experience.

Throughout her career, Princess has studied and worked in the Philippines, the United States, Sri Lanka and Australia. Prior to Urbis, she was an Economist for several years for The World Bank in international development. Here she advised policy makers on the design and implementation of reforms in a variety of economic spheres and conducted economic and policy analysis.

In her role of Property, Economics and Research Director and Regional Director NSW at Urbis, Princess applies the same expertise in economic research and analysis to help clients make evidence-based decisions to design places that work.  


Panel Discussion | IMPROVING THE Public Transport EXPERIENCE


Chief Operations Officer - Greater Sydney, Transport for NSW

Howard Collins OBE is an experienced Transport executive who has spent more than 44 years working in the British and Australian transport industries.

Currently the Chief Operations Officer (COO) for Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW), Howard is responsible for overseeing operations for all public transport, roads, and maritime services within the Greater Sydney region. During his long and distinguished career Howard has been involved in operations management, disaster recovery, operational planning, employee relations, business transformation, management, and project portfolio management including commissioning and opening new railways. In addition to his role as COO for TfNSW Howard is on the Boards of the Australasian Railway Association (ARA), TrackSAFE Foundation,  Transport Heritage New South Wales and Sydney Metro.

In 2013, he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in recognition of his success as the Lead Director for the London Underground and London Rail for the 2012 Olympic Games and for services to Public Transport.



Chair in Public Transport, Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies (ITLS), University of Sydney 

Professor John Nelson holds the Chair in Public Transport, Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies (ITLS), University of Sydney. John is particularly interested in the application and evaluation of new technologies to improve transport systems as well as the policy frameworks and regulatory regimes necessary to achieve sustainable mobility. He is a co-author (with David Hensher and others) of Understanding Mobility as a Service (MaaS). Past, Present and Future (Elsevier, 2020) and co-editor (with Corinne Mulley) of Urban Form and Accessibility (Elsevier, 2020) and (with Corinne Mulley and Steve Ison) of The Routledge Handbook of Public Transport (Routledge, 2021). His most recent book is Transportation in a Net Zero World: Transitioning Towards Low Carbon Public Transport (with Kathryn Logan and Astley Hastings and published by Springer, 2022).



Director, Urbis

Graham, Director of Urbis’ Transport Advisory service, is a transport planner and traffic engineer with over 20 years’ experience in developing and leading innovative transport planning and traffic engineering projects. 

Graham has deep experience and understanding in the interrelationship between land-use, activity and transport. 

He has developed innovative designs to enable improved connectivity at a human and city scale, and specialises in cost effective, holistic transport solutions.

Graham has expertise in transport planning, public transport system design, traffic engineering and modelling, and designing for walking and cycling.

A trusted advisor to government, he has worked closely with senior executives in Australia and the Philippines.

He has previously worked for Transport for NSW, Roads and Maritime Services and City of Sydney. 


Panel Discussion | A Safer Night Time Experience


Dr Wendy Were

Executive Director, Thought Leadership and Engagement, Greater Cities Commission

Dr Wendy Were joined the Greater Cities Commission in June 2021 as Executive Director, Thought Leadership and Engagement. She leads the research, communications and engagement teams that support the Commission’s city shaping strategic planning and innovation district work.

Wendy came to the Commission after more than seven years at the Australia Council for the Arts, where she was Executive Director, Advocacy and Development, leading the Council’s industry development, international development, research, advocacy, communications and government relations teams. She was also responsible for leading the Council’s strategic and corporate planning. 

One of Australia’s most respected creative leaders, she has held many senior roles including Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Sydney Writers’ Festival; CEO of West Australian Music; Producer at the Perth Festival and Business Advisor with the Commonwealth Government’s Creative Industries Innovation Centre. At 33 she was named by The Sydney Morning Herald as one of Sydney’s Top 100 most influential people. Wendy has completed the National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Officer program at Harvard University and holds a PhD in Literature, awarded with Distinction.


Michael Rodrigues 

24 Hour Economy Commissioner (NSW)

Mike believes in the inspirational power of cities and spends a good amount of time encouraging anyone in his orbit to get out of the house, to know their city and to have more fun. While working as a lawyer in the Middle East, he spotted an opportunity to launch global lifestyle brand Time Out in Sydney in 2007 to achieve these aims.

In 15 years at the helm of Time Out Australia he has grew the brand across print, digital, event and social channels, which now reaches 1,000,000 Australians monthly. He co-founded the Time Out Bar Awards and the Time Out Food Awards. Time Out’s contribution to our cities was recently recognised in 2020 when Time Out was awarded the Mumbrella Publish Awards Publishing Company of the Year, and Mike himself was awarded Publish Leader of the Year.

Since 2017 and prompted by the challenges facing Sydney's night time economy, Mike has focussed his efforts on aligning and empowering industry to actively engage in the political process in order to effect change. This saw him take a leading role in launching an independent bars association for Sydney in May 2018, followed by the launch of a Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) in November 2018 of which he was the inaugural Chair. The NTIA was at the forefront of the development of the NSW Government strategy for a 24-Hour Economy, and in February Mike was announced as the State of NSW’s first 24 Hour Economy Commissioner, a role that commenced formally on 29 March 2021.

Mike is also co-host of leading hospitality podcast Back of House, a board member of UNSW Art & Design’s advisory council and a board member of Torrens University Hospitality advisory council.

Fun Fact: Mike worked as a trainee civil engineer for Leighton Contractors on the Homebush Bay Rail Link in the lead up to the 2000 Games.


FACILITATOR - Superintendent Martin Fileman 

Commander, Sydney City Police Area Command

Detective Superintendent Martin Fileman began his career with the NSW Police Force in 1987 at Petersham and then Drummoyne Police Station.

In 1991, he was recognised for his work into the investigation of the Strathfield shopping mall Massacre.

Ten years later, Commissioner Peter Ryan awarded him the New South Wales Premier and Emergency Services Award for Leadership.

Detective Superintendent Fileman helped establish and coordinate Strike Force RAPTOR In 2009; undoubtedly one of the most successful and effective crime fighting tools against Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs.

As the Commander of Mudgee Local Area Command, Detective Superintendent Fileman oversaw the Coonabarabran Emergency Operations Centre during the major bushfire in 2012 and was awarded the Region Commander’s Commendation.

In 2013, he became the Commander of the State Technical Investigation Branch, responsible for the deployment of covert electronic surveillance for serious and major crime state-wide.

He moved to Commander of the Drug and Firearms Squad and Organised Crime Squad, before returning to the Eastern Suburbs as a Commander.

Superintendent Fileman is currently the Commander of Sydney City PAC.  






Director, Urbis

Madonna Locke is a talented Urban Designer, recognised for her ability to deliver inspired yet pragmatic solutions that are deliverable on the ground.

Madonna has more than 18 years’ experience working in Australia and the UK. She has shaped projects for both public and private sector clients – everything from greenfield communities to urban infill sites.

A passionate advocate for compact city design, Madonna looks to foster places that are accessible, community-focused and connected to their surrounds. Since joining Urbis in 2010, she has specialised in revitalisation master plans for urban and regional centres, built-form projects and project positioning for infill developments.

Her career highlights include preparing the groundbreaking Brisbane City Centre Master Plan 2014 – together with the Buildings that Breathe Design Guide – for Brisbane City Council. She was also involved in Destination Brisbane’s successful bid to redevelop Queen’s Wharf.



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