In the 1980s and early 1990’s, Paul gained valuable planning experience in Australia. This included working in the Strategic Planning Department of the City of Sydney Council, and then the Albury Wodonga Development Corporation, a ‘new town’ experiment modelled on Milton Keynes in the UK. At the end of 1992, Paul moved to the Pacific Islands and spent the next 20 years specialising in urban management and urban development projects in the Pacific Region. This included working in Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Samoa, Fiji Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Marshall Islands, as well as Philippines, China, Israel and Thailand. The latter includes living over 10 years full time in the small low lying atoll nation of Kiribati as its ‘first urban development planner’ as well as being the Australian Government Urbanisation Adviser for PNG based in Port Moresby, 2008-2010
In January, 2011, Paul joined the Urban and Regional Planning Program, Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning, at the University of Sydney, and in 2014 was made a Life Fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia for distinguished services to planning practice and education. From 2013 to the beginning of 2020, Paul was Program Director of the Master of Urban and Regional Planning Program. Paul's research has increasingly focused on Asia, including forging strong teaching and research connections with the highly esteemed Department of City and Regional Planning, School of Architecture, Planning and Policy Development, Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB) University, Indonesia. A key outcome of this collaboration has been an annual studio and exhibition of joint student work with ITB and Sydney University planning, design and architecture students centred on understanding informal urbanism in the kampungs (informal settlements) of Tamansari, Bandung. A major outcome of the first 2015 studio was the book titled 'Unpacking Informal urbanism: Planning and Design Education in Practice' published by Penerbit ITB Press, Since that time, Paul and his ITB colleagues have published extensively, as well as presented at UN regional and global conferences on insights and findings of their work in informal settlements. In August, 2019, Paul was awarded by the Senate of ITB their highest teaching award, the ‘Ganesa Widya Adiutama Medal for Teaching Excellence’, in recognition of his sustained cross-cultural collaboration in teaching.
Paul has written extensively on Asia-Pacific urbanisation, including 'The State of Pacific Towns and Cities' (2012) and 'Urban Villages: Better Understanding Urbanization in Contemporary Pacific Towns and Cities' (2016) both published by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), In 2014 and 2015, Paul was a member of the Expert Advisory Group for the joint UNESCAP and UN-Habitat report 'The State of Asian and Pacific Cities 2015'. In 2016, Paul has been a member of the Asia Pacific Expert Advisory Group for the 'Asia Pacific Habitat III Report', which was a key input to the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in Quito, October, 2016. Paul continues to advise and work with UNESCAP and UN-Habitat on Asia-Pacific urbanisation especially highlighting the plight and marginalisation of the urban disadvantaged living their lives in informal settlements.