Support the David Turnbull Memorial Prize

Your donation will support exceptional Urban Planning students in David’s memory.

Profile photo of David Turnbull David Turnbull

In honour of David Turnbull, celebrated Council Planner and Executive, the David Turnbull Memorial Prize has been established at RMIT, his alma mater.

The Prize will be awarded annually to an exceptional final year Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning (Honours) student to acknowledge their academic achievements, passion for community building, empathic leadership and future contribution to the profession.

Vale David Turnbull

David Turnbull is remembered as a pre-eminent Council Planner and Executive dedicated to enhancing and strengthening communities. He placed great importance on community values and interaction, making him an inspiring leader with a unique vision for Melbourne’s Northern growth corridors.

David’s distinguished career spanned planning roles with City of Knox and Shire of Bulla, to Chief Executive positions with City of Whittlesea and Mitchell Shire. He was instrumental in establishing the Interface Group of Councils and the National Growth Areas Alliance, promoting better outcomes at the State and Federal level for our fast-growing outer suburbs.

An advocate for the most disadvantaged in communities, David ensured they were supported through strong community engagement and financial management, quality services, advocacy, innovation and planning. He embraced the challenges associated with community growth while maintaining established areas and townships, as well as rural and green wedge zones.

David got his start through RMIT’s Bachelor of Applied Science (Town Planning) course, which covered planning theory, engineering for planners, landscape design, surveying and the economics of cities to give students the best chance of employment.

“I started a planning course at RMIT in 1977 which was only available one-year full time followed by five years of night school. That was to get you into the workforce whilst simultaneously doing the planning course. On reflection, this was a good blend of theory and on-the-job training,” said David.

David’s incredible legacy lives on in the cities he planned and the communities he fostered. He was admired for his intellect, humanity and calm and considered approach no matter what the issue.

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Donations to RMIT are managed by the RMIT Philanthropy team, which can be contacted at +61 3 9925 5220; giving@rmit.edu.au; or via mail at RMIT Philanthropy, GPO Box 2476, Melbourne VIC 3001, Australia.

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.