Finding balance is an important part of life. 
Alana Macwhirter is one of our urban planners. She is also an acting director, mother-of-two, footy fan, a runner and lover of country music gigs. 
Read her profile to find out how she does it. 

“I started my career in consultancy and was really lucky to be given the opportunity to run my own projects from early on. This taught me about leadership and communication as well as how to take calculated risks.”

Can you introduce yourself?

I am Alana Macwhirter, an urban planner and acting Director of the Places and Precincts team at DELWP. 

I am a proud westie, barrack for the Bombers and have two little boys, Orson and Darcy. 

I am also a runner (in training now for a 22km run at Hanging Rock!) and I love to listen to country music. 

How would you explain your job to a stranger at a dinner party?

I work every day to try and make Victoria a better place.  
In our team we run a raft of interesting projects including Building Better Apartments, Yarra River Protection and the Distinctive Areas and Landscapes program in places like Macedon Ranges and the Surf Coast.  

Can you talk me through your journey to get to this point in your career?

I started my career in consultancy and was really lucky to be given the opportunity to run my own projects from early on. This taught me about leadership and communication as well as how to take calculated risks. I have also worked at the City of Melbourne, in planning and tourism.   

For the past eight years I’ve worked for the state government and for the Minister for Planning. I’ve had two babies in that time and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to do that while working in government. 

Why do you think International Women’s Day is important?

It gives us a chance to reflect on where we are and why feminism is important. I also love to take time out to swap stories and ideas with other women. I don’t necessarily wait until womens’ day to do that though! 

The theme of this year’s IWD is Balance for Better, what does this mean to you?

Balance is a big one for me - I love my work and have the tendency to keep going and going like an energiser bunny. But I also have a young family and a heck of a lot of country music gigs to get to! So finding the balance is part of my ongoing journey.  
At the moment, I have Fridays off which helps me balance out my working week. I also find I need to take the weekends to really ‘switch off’ from technology - for me and my family it means spending a lot of time at Williamstown or Altona beach, reading for pleasure and not doing any work!

Page last updated: 08/03/19

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