David Sweeting

Founder and Principal

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

David Sweeting is the Founder and Principal of The Urban Platform Studio. David combines his experience in social entrepreneurship and social innovation with urban resilience, human settlements and urban development to tackle complex issues and wicked problems and design unique solutions and services. He has worked extensively on project and programs supporting urban communities and cities across Asia and the Pacific (Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Thailand, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines and Nepal).

He has over 15 years experience providing consultation and advisory services to value-driven organisations, NGO’s, universities, social enterprises and start-ups including, RMIT University Global Cities Program; The Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University; The Development Planning Unit at University College London; The Centre for International Health and Development at Leeds University; Baan Mankong Housing Program; World Vision International; World Vision Australia; World Vision U.K; Save the Children Australia; Save the Children U.S; Save the Children International; and Habitat for Humanity International. He is the 2016 Dunlop Fellowship recipient with Asialink Leaders Program; and winner of the MIT Solve Youth, Skills and Future Workforce Challenge 2017.


John van Kooy

Principal consultant

Melbourne, Australia

John is Principal Consultant at the Urban Platform Studio. He has worked with us from the start, and brings his experience in research and evaluation practice, specialising in migration, refugee resettlement, integration and employment. John has over 10 years experience working in a variety of urban development settings in Australia, India, Vietnam, and South Africa. He is committed to faithfully representing the lived experiences of marginalised communities in research and evaluation studies, to inform compelling project outcomes. John has previously held roles in the Research and Policy Centre at the Brotherhood of St Laurence, and the Centre of Expertise for Urban Programming at World Vision International. He is currently a PhD Candidate and RTP Scholarship winner in the Population, Migration and Social Inclusion Focus Program at Monash University, and an Honorary Research Fellow in the Melbourne Social Equity Institute at the University of Melbourne.


Dr Liam Magee


Sydney, Australia

Liam is an Associate at The Urban Platform Studio. A sociologist of technology and cities, his research examines the powerful exchanges occurring today between cities, digital media and social practice. He has published extensively on topics of urban sustainability and smart cities, open source software and standards, and disaster loss estimates. He is also an experienced software practitioner, and his current work includes analysing geospatial patterns of cultural institutions in Sydney, and advising on software management and platform for the Kolorob project. With colleagues, he co-founded and runs the Western Sydney node of Random Hacks of Kindness, a volunteer-run hackathon event that designs innovative solutions for social enterprises. Liam has also led and managed research projects with Google, Microsoft, city governments of Sydney and Melbourne, Western Sydney Migrant Resource Centre and Australia’s National Broadband Network, and is a member of the Open Street Maps Foundation. Previously he has consulted to World Vision International on projects in Johannesburg, Kanpur, Siliguri and Phnom Penh


Sharlie Wise


Melbourne, Australia

Sharlie is an Associate at The Urban Platform Studio. Sharlie is an experienced communications professional, brand specialist and project manager, with over 10 years of experience in international development, social services and public advocacy. Sharlie’s key skills include: designing and delivering engaging communications and marketing materials for diverse audiences and purposes; developing communications strategies that incorporate clear brand identities and outreach approaches; utilising social media for effectively influencing audiences; authoring reports and publications for internal influencing and wider public consumption; conducting applied research on diverse social justice and child rights issues. Sharlie has worked or volunteered with NGOs, government agencies and peak bodies in Australia, Kenya, Uganda, and Cambodia, and has a keen interest in international affairs, global development and social justice. Sharlie has a Master of Social Science (International Development) from RMIT University.

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Emilie Traub


Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Emilie Traub is an Associate at The Urban Platform Studio. She is local urban development professional and has a thorough understanding of developing cities dynamics, with a special focus on youth. She has worked in a variety of structures such as local government, social impact start-ups, international organizations and research programs in Europe, North America, South East Asia and South America. Until shortly, Emilie was director of the Urban Social Development Department at the Municipality of Saint-Laurent du Maroni, French Guyana, where she previously worked for the Public Urban Planning Agency (EPFAG). She has also worked for the MOBGLOB european research project on global mobility and migration governance.

Tarryn Brown


Brisbane, Australia

Tarryn Brown has 15 years community development experience working in advisor and management roles across NGO and government sectors in Australia, Vanuatu, Fiji, PNG, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Philippines, Bangladesh, Indonesia and India. She has specialised in providing robust and practical disability inclusive development advice across many sectors including humanitarian, DRR, WASH, education, governance, volunteering and sport. Tarryn uses a rights-based approach, working alongside people with disabilities to strengthen the approach of aid programs to ensure no one is left behind.

Karimi Gitonga


Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Karimi possesses over 10 years of development and humanitarian programming experience with a strong background in DRR, child poverty, food security and livelihoods, and urban risk, vulnerability and resilience. He has worked for a variety of INGOs and NGOs in East and Southern Africa, Central and South East Asia and Europe as well as for public and private sector organisations including universities, local authorities, hospitals, transportation and housing agencies. He has provided global technical support to programs, managed resilience programs and projects, research and analysis, development of risk assessments and profiles, and worked in fragile and conflict contexts.