Our Team

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Executive Team

Stephen Barr

Surveyor & Registered Planner

Stephen works closely with clients to combine strategic thinking with practical planning advice and expertise regarding development yield and delivery time frames; likely issues confronting developments and potential solutions; gaining approvals for a wide range of development and; post approval for land development and subdivision.

Stephen has a strong interest and involvement in the affordable housing sector which guides his vision to encourage the business sector to make positive social contributions that help support other socially aware organisations to achieve their goals. When not at work, Stephen enjoys travelling, fishing and cycling.

Rebecca Johnston

Planning Manager
Registered Planner

Rebecca is a planning and development professional with more than 20 years’ experience across local state and state government and the private sector with extensive experience in facilitating infrastructure and development projects. With a background in strategic land use planning, development assessment and project delivery; she is a highly skilled manager with considerable stakeholder and consultation expertise.

Rebecca is also passionate about helping individuals grow in their professional roles and is an established industry mentor. When she isn’t working with clients in the office, Rebecca spends her spare time with her husband and four kids enjoying the great lifestyle Newcastle has to offer.

Planning Team

Rebecca Boresch

Principal Planner, Registered Planner

Rebecca has 20 years of experience in the planning industry within private, local and State Government roles. Having an area of expertise across strategic planning, statutory planning, property dealings and planning consulting, Rebecca has worked across a variety of industries including commercial, industrial, tourism, government and residential.

Rebecca is a passionate, result driven Planner who aspires to make things happen and put the pieces of the planning puzzle together for her clients.  

Rebecca has been involved in a variety of planning and environmental projects within both metropolitan and regional areas.  Her varied experience within the industry provides a technical professional proficiency in building client and industry relationships.   

In her spare time Rebecca enjoys spending time with her family, reading, kickboxing, playing guitar and exploring the regions.

Samuel Liu

Project Planner

Samuel brings a breadth of client-side project management experience having delivered successful social infrastructure projects for the public sector. Further to this, he has knowledge and skills from previous work as a case assessor where he delivered high quality, strategic case management reviews in a  large remediation program.

Samuel has also recently completed a Master of Planning at the University of Technology in Sydney.

Outside of work, Samuel attends C3 Church Carlingford where he is involved in MC and public speaking activities along with planning the night service. He is also an active reader and enjoys brewing his own coffee.

Jack Varka


Jack joins the Barr Planning team with two years previous experience working as an assistance planner at GSA Planning. He has great knowledge and skills in providing planning advice, writing of reports including statements of environmental effects, planning proposals and S4.55 Modifications.

Jack was drawn to the Planning industry through the desire of providing better communities for all. He holds a strong interest in progress of both urban environments and regional areas with a holistic approach and aspiration of providing benefits for the wider community. Jack studied a Bachelor of City Planning at the University of New South Wales and graduated with a distinction average.

Outside of work Jack enjoys being in the outdoors and going to the beach to relax and for an afterwork swim. He is a keen golfer and enjoys playing cricket with his friends in a local competition on the weekends.

Administration & Marketing

Joanna Andrew

Administration Manager

Joanna brings to the Barr Planning team a broad range of administration management skills working across a variety of sectors including government, manufacturing and distribution, hospitality, youth and charitable organisations. She has extensive experience working in quality assurance and continuous improvement management, developing and managing internal audits of operating procedures and policies, and designing and implementing computerised accounting procedures.

Joanna’s HR expertise includes recruiting, training and supervising staff, along with being responsible for developing and monitoring KPIs. Joanna is an experienced Voice Teacher with a demonstrated history of working in the music industry. She is skilled in Musical Theatre, Opera, and Vocal Coaching.

Advisory Board

Belinda Smith



Belinda is passionate, obsessed and completely convinced that culture is the one and only strategy to effectively compete, sustainably grow and reliably provide a safe place for employees, customers, communities and stakeholders. She is an advocate for instilling an accountable culture via a simple, plain English Culture Code, fostering a healthy vibrant culture and giving back to communities locally and globally.

Belinda has a Master of Business Administration, Business from the University of Newcastle (UoN) and is a member of the Australia Institute of Company Directors (AICD). She is Chair of Newcastle based domestic violence charity Got Your Back Sista and was awarded the National Young Business Woman of the Year in the Telstra Business Women’s Awards in 2005.

Scott Campbell



Scott has a background in engineering with a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng), Electrical Engineering from the NSW Institute of Technology (NSWIT). He is a highly experienced business leader with an expertise in driving change through providing practical solutions. Scott set up his own consultancy in 2014, working with businesses, executives and managers on strategies for growth, business management implementation and project delivery solutions. He has recently made the move back to full-time engineering and loving it, delivering specialty rail and related services in the design and infrastructure management fields.

Scott has also completed a Senior Executive Program; Strategy, Leadership & Transformation from the London Business School and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) Course.

Jock Carter



Jock is a supply chain specialist with more than 20 years’ experience and has held senior roles with several significant Australian agribusinesses including Hunter Grain (GrainCorp), Allied Mills, Cargill Grain and Oilseeds, AWB and Finemores Transport.

Jock was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2009 whereby he travelled through North America & Europe to research future opportunities for regional rail operations in Australia. He grew up on a sheep property near Goulburn with a family livestock transport business that continues today.

Jock moved his family from Sydney eight years ago to establish the Newcastle Agri Terminal grain silos in Carrington. He graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Economics degree and holds a Graduate Diploma in Logistics Management from Monash University.

Brian Swaine


Brian is the Managing Director of McCloy Group, responsible for the performance of the property assets and future growth across the Group. Having been at the company since 1998, Brian is an effective leader in all facets of the business. Brian is qualified with a Bachelor of Construction Management from the University of Newcastle.