The roles of planning and planners were remade in Australia in the 1930s. In Sydney, frustration at governmental inaction on practical progress and recognition that the longstanding Town Planning Association had fallen out of touch with best practice led to moves to establish a technical body. There were comparable stories in other states. In NSW the local chapter of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects played an instrumental role in formation of the Town and Country Planning Institute (TCPI) of New South Wales in 1934. Modelled on the British Town Planning Institute, it brought together representatives from the three main built environment professions of the day: architecture, surveying and engineering with an object to “advance the study and practice of town and country planning and kindred arts and sciences”. For nearly 20 years it managed a program of general meetings, deputations, representations, advice, and public lectures. Securing state planning legislation was a major preoccupation, achieved in 1945. With the nation-building role of planning evident by this time, subsequent moves to combine with professional bodies in Victoria and South Australia reached a crescendo at a conference held in August 1951 in Canberra. By 1953 the TCPI had submerged its identity as a division of a new federated body, now the Planning Institute of Australia. This paper explores the life and death of this organisation and its role in professionalising planning, reflecting on the politics and legacy of this critical phase in Australian planning history.