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Visiting Research Academic, The University of Western Australia

Dr Paul Drechsler is a Visiting Research Academic in the geography and planning discipline at the University of Western Australia. Subsequent to his retirement in 2013 Paul completed a Doctor of Philosophy, specialising in retailing and consumption, which aligned with his forty year career in private sector consultancy. This included sixteen years as Group Managing Director of national architecture and planning practice, Hames Sharley. He has also served on the Board of the Western Australian Planning Commission, Western Australian Land Information System Advisory Committee and was Chair of the Australian Institute of Urban Studies (WA).

As a Professional Town Planner, Geographer and Land Economist, Paul’s experience spans 40 years as a consultant in urban and regional planning, commercial and retail feasibility studies, urban design and large-scale land development. A number of projects for which he was responsible have received awards from professional and industry bodies, including the Planning Institute of Australia and Urban Development Institute of Australia. Paul is a fellow of both the Planning Institute of Australia and the Australian Property Institute.


  • 2013–present
    Doctoral Researcher, University of Western Australia
  • 2010–2016
    Commissioner, WA Planning Commission
  • 1997–2014
    Managing Director, Hames Sharley
  • 1986–1996
    Director, Hames Sharley
  • 1975–1985
    Director, Urban & Environmental Planning Group


  • 1976 
    Flinders University, BA Geography & Biological Science


  • 2014
    Urban Policy and Research, Metropolitan Activity Centre Planning in Australia: Implications of Millennial Consumption Practices.
  • 1989
    Australian Planner, Urban Design and Implementation

Professional Memberships

  • Fellow, Planning Institute of Australia
  • Fellow, Australian Property Institute