LOCAL UNDERSTANDING, GLOBAL KNOWLEDGE, TRUSTED ADVICE.

Otium Planning Group, under the direction of industry leaders Kate Maddock, Mike King, Martin Lambert and Jason Leslie, is a contemporary sport and leisure consultancy service with a focus on quality advice and informed planning. Otium has a network of more than 21 staff, 6 offices and specialist sub-consultants in sport, recreation and leisure planning.

Kate Maddock
Kate MaddockManaging Director
BA (Recreation),
Graduate Diploma (Business Administration),
Member Parks & Leisure Australia
Kate is the Founding Managing Director of Otium Planning Group. She is an experienced leisure and sports planner who has undertaken an extensive range of projects in all States of Australia and in New Zealand.

Kate has been involved in all areas of leisure, sport and recreation planning with a specialist focus on leisure and sport facility master planning, development, design, management and business analysis.

Her project experience is extremely varied ranging from international and national facility development through to local area facility, business and management strategies.

Kate has also worked with a number of State Sporting Associations on the development of strategic plans and has assisted many clients in successfully securing State and Federal Government grants.

Kate’s focus is on building strong, ongoing relationships with clients to ensure practical solutions from feasibility through to project delivery.

As Managing Director of OPG, Kate, along with her fellow Directors, has contributed to the company quickly becoming a dynamic and highly respected sport and recreation planning company.

Mike King
Mike KingDirector
B.Ed. (Physical Education Health and Recreation), Honorary Life Member Parks & Leisure Australia
Michael is a Founding Director of the Otium Planning Group. He is an experienced leisure and tourism planner who has undertaken an extensive range of projects in all States of Australia, New Zealand, North America, China and United Arab Emirates.

In his twenty-eight years of leisure planning consultancy support services, Michael has developed a reputation for providing “Practical and leading edge solutions for difficult and complex leisure problems”.Michael has been involved in all areas of leisure, sport and recreation planning with a specialist focus on leisure facility development, design, management and viability analysis.  His project experience is extremely varied ranging from international and national facility development through to local area facility, business and management strategies.

In the past five years Michael has also been involved with planning and development of a range of major aquatic, leisure and community facilities in Melbourne and Sydney that are now attracting more than 1 million visits and achieving substantial operating surpluses.

Significant international facility project commissions in PNG, China and New Zealand have also highlighted the company now provides support services of “world standard”.

As a Director of OPG, Michael has contributed to the company quickly becoming a dynamic and highly respected sport and recreation planning company.

Martin Lambert
Martin LambertDirector
Master of Education – Social & Environmental,
B.App.Sc (Parks & Recreation),
A. Dip. in Rural Techniques – Wilderness Reserves & Wildlife,
National Board Member Parks & Leisure Australia
Martin has been consulting for 20+ years and is a founding director of Otium Planning Group.  With more than 35 years’ experience he has worked in all aspects of the industry for public and private sector clients and has a strong focus on the importance of Urban Health Infrastructure which refers to the spaces, places and facilities that are critical to healthy communities.

Martin has a detailed understanding of infrastructure planning for public parks, recreation and community facilities.  He has also worked on a broad range of ecotourism and nature based recreation management plans, feasibility studies and strategies. His ability as a communicator means successful projects with a broad range of clients, providing advice to metropolitan, regional, rural and remote communities. His collaborative approach delivers realistic and implementable plans, and strategies.

With clients in Queensland, NSW, WA, ACT and NT, Martin has built a depth of experience in a broad range of projects and can rapidly focus on key issues and potential solutions.  His depth of experience working with government and industry means he can provide strong business case and feasibility assessment based on real world knowledge. Martin is extremely active in the industry and has been passionate about advancing Research and Advocacy within the industry. He has also developed a number of education and training modules targeted at community clubs and local government staff and regularly presents at state, national and international conferences.

Jason Leslie
Jason LeslieDirector
Graduate – Melbourne School of International Sports Facility Management, Graduate – Public Venue Management School
Jason has over 20 years’ experience in the sport and recreation industry and became a Director of Otium Planning Group in July 2018.

Skilled in a wide range of sport and recreation planning disciplines including the preparation of aquatic and indoor facility strategies, he has project managed numerous studies in this specialist area for both local and state government governments.

With hands-on experience as a manager of sport and recreation facilities, including the commissioning of aquatic facilities and understanding of commercial elements, Jason applies his knowledge to great effect in aquatic and sports facility planning studies to help deliver sustainable outcomes. He has recently delivered a diverse range of studies including those related to regional planning, and for planning, tenure and management of sport and recreation, aquatic and leisure facilities and regional stadiums.

Prior to commencing his consulting career in 2008 he held senior roles in Sport & Recreation Queensland (now Dept of National Parks, Sport & Racing) including State Manager of Recreation Centres and Manager of Business Development & Advice, representing the Department on projects such as development of the State Tennis Centre, Queensland Sport & Athletic Centre Rehabilitation & Recovery Centre and the Townsville V8 Supercars Event and Precinct establishment.

His previous experience and passion for venue management ensures that strategies reflect practical considerations to maximise the usage and viability of facilities. He has presented at several industry conferences throughout Australia on facility planning and delivered numerous training programs in facility planning and management. 

David Mason
David MasonSenior Associate
B.A. (Recreation Administration),
A. Dip. (Community Recreation),
Member Parks & Leisure Australia
One of Otium Planning Group’s founding directors, David has helped to guide the firm’s rapid progression to one of Australia’s largest and most respected specialist sport and leisure planning consulting firms. Immediately prior to Otium’s inception he was the Managing Director of sport and recreation consultancy, Strategic Leisure Group.

David has over 23 years’ consulting experience in the sport and leisure industry.  He draws on the breadth of his consulting and ‘hands on’ senior management experience to ensure that study outcomes are realistic and achievable.

He has advised government and private sector clients on major infrastructure studies, strategic planning, master planning, business planning, policy development and active & healthy living.  His knowledge of facility planning from major events to community sport and recreation is reflected in the breadth of his client base which includes State and Territory governments throughout Australia, Olympic Coordination Authority, Queensland Events, state sporting organisations, and scores of Australian local governments.

With a keen interest in planning environments for active & healthy living, David has been active in debate around planning for active communities and continues to advocate in this field.

As a former Director of Recreation for Brisbane City Council, David managed a large and diverse leisure services portfolio.  He continues to monitor industry trends and has presented to national and international conferences on a variety of sport, recreation and physical activity planning topics.

David has recently stepped down as a director of Otium but continues to play an active part-time role as a Senior Associate.

Ben Bainbridge
Ben BainbridgeAssociate
Bachelor of Arts, Sports Administration
Member, Parks and Leisure Australia
Ben has over 17 years’ experience as a Senior Manager spanning State and Local government and private consultancy. He has delivered strategy, projects and services in sport, community, planning, tourism, development and government sectors and has enjoyed changing sports facilities at local and elite level, parks, public spaces and townships into diverse and active communities and places.

Ben has broadened sport and active living services to encourage participation for all and tackle social equity and inclusion issues with managing Pride Cup and the Matilda’s Camp and Friendly career highlights.  He is an experienced strategic planner and project manager, brings a partnership approach and is a skilled facilitator and advocate.

Ben maintains a network across sport, government and industry including holding executive roles with Parks and Leisure Australia at state level and with the National Advisory Group.

Brad Billett
Brad BillettAssociate
Masters of International Sports Management
B.App.Sc (Sports Studies) majoring in Sports Management
Grad Cert in Data Science
Certificate III – Outdoor Recreation
Brad joins the Otium team with a wealth of experience in the sport and recreation industry at local and state government levels over the past 15 years.

Brad’s most recent position was as the Principal Advisor Facilities Strategy and Planning at the NSW Office of Sport, where he used his extensive project management skills, industry knowledge and experience to deliver a range of initiatives.  This included the development of the Greater Sydney Sport Infrastructure Plan which involved extensive data analysis and consultation with 33 LGAs, state government agencies and state sporting organisations.

He was also responsible for the Future Needs of Sport Infrastructure Study project which helped source $300M in funding for community sport infrastructure and won the 2018 PLA State Research award.

Brad’s prior experience at Blacktown City Council included leading a team of recreation planners and landscape architects for the long-term planning, design and strategic direction of sport and recreation facilities for one of the fastest growing communities in NSW.  He was also responsible for the development and implementation of the Recreation and Open Space Strategy, the City’s Playground Strategy, Plans of Management for Community Land, the Wellness through Physical Activity Strategy and a range of other initiatives.

Brad is passionate about the sport, recreation and leisure industry due to its positive impact on community health and wellbeing.

Bruce Mackay
Bruce MackayAssociate
Bachelor of Applied Science (Human Movement),
GAICD,
Diploma in Human Resources
Bruce is responsible for Otium Planning Group’s Facility Advisory Services unit.

Bruce is regarded as one of Australia’s leading contemporary venue managers in the industry having been CEO of two start-up organisations: Western Leisure Services, incorporating AquaPulse and Eagle Stadium, and Peninsula Leisure, incorporating the Peninsula Aquatic Recreation Centre (PARC). Bruce has proven success over many years at Executive and Management levels.

With a career spanning over 27 years in the aquatics, recreation and leisure industry he has a deep and broad understanding of this sector from end to end including the relationships between feasibility studies, component and design briefs, demographic trends, research, political influences, capital budgets and value management exercises and the impact these relationships have on financial modelling and future business performance.

The Facility Advisory Services Unit provides facility owners and managers with practical support via operational reviews and improvement plans. With expertise gained from experience, Bruce will help you improve current business performance and support your team to deliver great outcomes.

Yvette Audet
Yvette AudetSenior Consultant
BA Sports Studies
Certificate Leisure Management
Post Graduate Diploma Community Management
Certificate Life Coaching
Yvette joins the Otium team with a diverse and extensive background over the past two decades in local government, sport, the not for profit and commercial sectors, bringing a thorough understanding of policy, planning and provision of community sport, recreation and the volunteer base that drives participation.

Understanding the importance of planning, she has the ability to build insight for companies and organisations by critically analysing information, identifying gaps and opportunities, creating great stakeholder relationships to achieve project outcome. Her diligent work ethic and passionate energy offers a structured and methodical manner that clients embrace and learn from as the project evolves.

Yvette’s significant experience includes project planning for new and existing facilities including capital works, business planning, market research, financial planning, policy planning and implementation of programs and events. She is experienced in staff recruitment and management and has developed and delivered training programs to teenage and adult learners across subjects including fitness, first aid, event management, work health and safety and personal skills.

Yvette’s life has been devoted to and around the sport and recreation industry both professionally and personally. Her involvement in governance positions on local and state community sport and aquatic/recreation boards, sports coaching as well as participation gives her a well-rounded perspective of various sports organisations and facilities.

Margaret Barrett
Margaret BarrettSenior Consultant
BA (Community Studies, Geography and Leisure Studies),
Graduate Diploma (Recreation Planning),
Member Parks and Leisure Australia,
Member Local Government Managers Association (Qld)
Margaret has over 30 years’ experience in state and local government working in metropolitan and regional communities, and most recently as the Manager Parks with Rockhampton Regional Council.

Margaret has extensive experience in open space planning, sport and recreation planning and development, policy and strategy research and formulation, community facility planning, community development and organisational development and asset management.

She has held a number of senior management roles within Brisbane City Council; with achievements such as drafting the Council’s first Sport & Recreation strategy and first Open Space Policy; introducing a ‘precinct’ approach to multi-activity facility planning and development; reviewing, updating and developing funding programs; and responsibility for the forward planning for and development of the City’s open space estate.  Margaret led the works program to restore the City’s local and public assets following the January 2011 flood.

Margaret is highly skilled in critical thinking and strategic planning in public sector organisations and a focus on practical outcomes.

Cameron Bechaz
Cameron BechazSenior Consultant
Bachelor of Applied Science (Sports Administration)
Bachelor of Laws
Member, Parks and Leisure Australia
Cameron joins Otium Planning Group with extensive experience in the sport and recreation industry having worked in both local and state government for the past 14 years, most recently as a Senior Sport and Recreation Planner with the Logan City Council where he was instrumental in setting the strategic direction for sport and recreation across Logan including the delivery of a city-wide strategy aimed at increasing physical activity levels amongst residents.

 

Cameron’s knowledge and experience includes master planning, researching trends and issues, facility planning, funding programs, operations and governance of sporting clubs, including understanding of tenure arrangements. He has developed excellent skills in community engagement and complemented by a Law degree, is particularly capable when dealing with diverse and conflicting stakeholder interests. Cameron has a strong passion for the sport and recreation industry and combines his formal qualifications, networks and experience to provide a highly strategic and analytical approach to projects.

Lauren Close
Lauren CloseSenior Consultant
Graduate Certificate (Business Management)
Member, Parks and Leisure Australia
Lauren joins the Otium Planning Group team with a background in Local Government leisure and community facilities both in Victoria and the Northern Territory.

In her previous role with Darebin City Council, Lauren oversaw the delivery of leisure and recreation services, including the development and delivery of a number of sporting programs and activities to benefit the community.

Lauren also has strong experience in governance, procurement and contracts in local and state government environments.

Lauren is also a very experienced netballer, with over five years’ experience in the Victorian and Australian Netball League, and the State and National Mixed Netball Teams.  Lauren continues to coach, and to play netball in the Victorian Netball League.

Verda Zammataro
Verda ZammataroSenior Consultant
Master of Leisure Management, B.A. (Leisure Management)
Verda is a highly accomplished leisure professional with 23 years’ industry experience, including 14 years with the Strategic Leisure Group and now Otium Planning Group.  Her prior experience has included several years in senior recreation management positions at local and state government levels in Queensland and Western Australia.

Verda has substantial understanding and experience in all facets of sport and recreation planning and management, both at the grassroots and senior management level.  She has an excellent understanding of local and state government perspectives in managing community sport and recreation facilities, programs and services, clubs and community groups.

Verda has a passion for active and healthy living and promoting physical activity.  She enjoys engaging various stakeholders to foster a shared vision in advocating for active and healthy places and spaces.  Verda also has a strong rural background and an interest in working with rural communities.  Her expertise also extends to sport and recreation plans, outdoor recreation management, and facility planning and policy development, making her a valuable asset to any project team.

Verda’s approachable consultancy style enables her to quickly develop a rapport with clients and stakeholders of all levels and to draw out and interpret key issues and interests.   An outstanding written communicator, Verda also has particular expertise in researching and interpreting background information to ensure study outcomes integrate with other planning.

Joshua Geraghty
Joshua GeraghtyConsultant
Bachelor of Planning (Hons)
Josh has been involved in sport and recreation for many years and as a planner, has focused his interest on sport and recreation planning.  Prior to joining Otium Planning Group, Josh worked at the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning where he assisted on the State Interest Review of various Local Government Planning Schemes and land use plans including the Cairns Regional Plan, Yarrabah Planning Scheme and the Cairns Airport Land Use Plan. He also assisted with facilitation of stakeholder engagement, specifically the Better Planning for Queensland Workshops.

During his time at Otium Planning Group, Josh has contributed to the development of a number of regional sport and recreation plans, feasibility studies and master plans. This work has been across a wide range of clients, including NFP’s, government agencies and local governments. He has a particular interest in enhancing the ability of regional communities to provide quality sport and recreation opportunities to support community development. Josh has experience across a range of areas including strategic planning, land use planning and policy development, and stakeholder engagement.

Luke Scales
Luke ScalesConsultant
B.B. (Finance and International Business Majors)
Luke joined the Otium Planning Group team in January 2019.

After completion of his studies, Luke gained business experience in a number of intern roles, enhancing his skills in data and benchmarking analysis, development of economic models, customer service and management.

His initial work with Otium has involved research into health, social and economic benefits of various types of sports facilities and greenspace areas, to give clients better strategic advice of how these spaces can improve the surrounding areas, and analysis of Ausplay datasets so clients and consultants can understand better exactly what facilities may be required in a community.

Caitlin Christie
Caitlin ChristieRecreation Planner
B Sports Management/B Business (Tourism)
Caitlin is an accomplished athlete, with experience on both the sporting field and with numerous volunteer roles for Athletics such as Team Manager, Administration Assistant and Technical Official. This practical experience has enabled her to develop strong communication and organization skills which enhance her role as a Recreation Planner.
Suzi Culic
Suzi CulicAccounts
BB (Accounting)
Grad Dip ICAA
Suzi is a qualified accountant, and prior to joining Otium she had several years’ experience with one of Australia’s largest accounting firms working with clients in varying industries including sport, Government, education, manufacturing and hospitality.
Larissa Kleiss
Larissa KleissMarketing & Communications
BA (Industrial Design)
Grad Cert (Project Management)
Larissa has a strong background in major event and project management, having worked at some of Melbourne’s biggest sporting events including 10 years at the 2006 Commonwealth Games Bid and Organising Committee.  She has also managed ceremonies and protocol at one of Melbourne’s main universities.
Nell Peters
Nell PetersAdministration Manager
Dip (Administration)
Nell has over 20 years’ experience in office administration, including experience in local government providing support in the areas of Recreation, Leisure, Arts and Culture and Parks and Gardens.  Nell has been working with Otium Directors Kate Maddock and Mike King since 2003 and employs her outstanding interpersonal and communication skills and team building ability to manage administration across the organisation.
Amy Strong
Amy StrongAdministration
With a background in Marketing, Executive Support, Customer Service and Internal Compliance Auditing, Amy brings with her proven experience in copywriting and editing; client liaison; print, online and social media marketing; website design and administration, a great basis for her role as Administration Officer.

Amy also has a keen interest in running, holding a volunteer role since 2014 as a Founding Event Director at parkrun Australia which involves a close liaison with local Council and builds strong ties within the local community.

Adrian Gover
Adrian GoverAdministration
Adrian moved to Far North Queensland following a 20-year career as a police officer in NSW, where he held middle level management and command appointments.  Choosing a sea change, he established himself in administration roles at Biosecurity Queensland, and then with a field research facility in Cairns for Monash University.  He joined Otium Planning group in mid-2018.