the good, the great and the next

Inspired by an insightful observation that the separation between good and great can be as slight as an eyelash or as boundless as an ocean, I reflected on how architects consistently deliver the good while boundlessly perusing the great, no matter how limitless that pursuit might prove to be.
But talk of eyelashes and oceans is a challenging conversation when advocating for architecture as a profession of public interest, so our work does most of the talking for us, and what wonderful stories it tells.
Just one look at the awards each year – with 2023 providing some exceptional examples – and it’s clear we can all celebrate the abundance of both.
As I reflect deeper on 2023, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude, and would simply like to say thank you to all members for their consistent delivery of good and pursuit of great architecture, and their relentless advocacy for it.
I’d also like to add a special note of appreciation for the generous help and support provided to me this past year as your Queensland Chapter President.
While we are rightly focused on what comes next in 2024, please take a moment to reflect with me on 2023.


The RAIA website is now open for voting and will close at 9.00 AM AEDT on Monday 15 January 2024, so please make yours count, continuing Queenslanders’ enthusiasm for having a say.
I would like to congratulate all candidates who have generously volunteered to be considered for leadership, including Liza Neil, Jim Gall and Andrew Noonan for National Council, Russell Hall for Queensland Chapter President (uncontested), and Liza Neil, Jim Gall, Andrew Noonan, Belinda Allwood and Jade Bebbington for Queensland Chapter Council (uncontested).
As we look forward to welcoming our new Queensland leadership team, I need to offer an abundance of gratitude and admiration to our Queensland Chapter Councillors, firstly those who will be continuing in 2024 including Shy Tay, Caroline Stalker, Aaron Peters, Renee Bourke, Roger Mainwood, and a special thanks to those who will be missing at the table next year, namely, Leah Gallagher, Mark Jones, Paul Jones, Lisa Moore, Callum Senjov, and Tamarind Taylor.
Finally, while our Regional Affairs Committee Chair, Roger Mainwood and Regional Chairs, Colin Strydom, Chris Gay, Stephen Sims, Gisela Jung, Jacqui Sue Yek, Joe Snell, Peter Muller, Liza Neil, Oskar Booth, and Peter Gardiner, are all generously continuing their leadership in 2024, I’d just like to acknowledge their hard work, valuable contributions, and positive differences they are making to the profession.

Honours and Congratulations

There is another very special group of members that have conquered the ocean of greatness and deserve our congratulations; those are our Life Fellows, Honorary Fellows, and Fellows.

Life Fellowship Elevations

the absolute highest order of congratulations goes to Eloise Atkinson, Ron Burgess, James Crawshaw, John Deicke, Jim Gall, and Peter Richards for their elevation to Life Fellow as an acknowledgement of their significant and enduring contributions to the profession of architecture.

Honorary Fellow Elevation

and in the tradition of showing our deep appreciation for those outside the profession who choose to contribute so valuably to it, congratulations go to Dr Margaret Ward for being recognised with an Honourary Fellow Elevation.

Fellowship Elevations

Congratulations also go to all elevated Fellows, some of whom are yet to be announced, so please watch this page.

Members and retired Members who have achieved 50 years of registration

Another incredible milestone worth celebrating with members is 50 years of registration, and congratulations go to James Crawshaw, John Dimitriou, Nicholas Mandikos, Peter Mannion, and Bruce Gardner.

2023 Registered Architects

Congratulations also go to all of our newly registered architects. We hope that we will welcome most of them to Membership, and I invite you to reach out and welcome them into our profession. They will literally shape our future.


Speaking of ‘next’ in relation to housing, we should set our eyes squarely on achieving a seat at a Round Table in 2024!
In a paraphrase of the wise words of Margaret West spoken recently from the podium of the BOAQ Conferring Ceremony, “All projects have problems, and architects are problem solvers.”
While The Institute would have loved a seat at the round tables of 2023, our consistent message of abundant, diverse, well-designed, enduring, resilient, healthy, accessible, sustainable, and energy efficient housing is certainly being heard at the highest levels of government. We should all take a moment to celebrate the recognition of these values by our government leaders and the reinforcement they have achieved in legislation.
I’d like to particularly commend the message delivered by the Hon Michael (Mick) de Brenni at the Conferring Ceremony where architects, The Institute, and the Office of the Queensland Government Architect, our Member, Leah Lang, were acknowledged for their passionate advocacy for architecture, and particularly for the steadfast pursuit of better housing.

Housing Code

Thank you to members Aaron Peters and Paul Worroll who generously contributed their time to provide confidential feedback to inform architects’ views on a potential new housing code. Currently, all members are invited to participate in this survey to provide their feedback, and I encourage everyone to do so.

Olympic and Paralympic Games

Industry was briefed on one of the first major Olympic Games venues last week for the new stadium at The Gabba, and The Institute is working with the Office of the Queensland Government Architect (OQGA) to facilitate an exemplary procurement process for this significant project. All interested architects should check their P’s and Q’s now – literally – as prequalification will be required for the submission of a Registration of Interest (ROI) in January next year.

Design Meets Government

As an initiative of the OQGA, “Green Pathways, Gold Places” is the first of what we hope will be many joint initiatives of the Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA), the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA), the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA), and the Design Institute of Australia (DIA), working closely with government to bolster the strength of design resources and collaboration in this unprecedented city building decade.
Formal meetings were held recently with both Queensland Government representatives, including the Honourable Mark Bailey MP, as well as representatives of Brisbane City Council. Our goal is for designers to meet government to develop a collective position for ensuring Queensland maximises the opportunity from the 2032 games and other city changing opportunities, including valuable design legacies for host cities. Our collaborative group have already introduced ourselves to the government, and I am pleased to report that the welcome was warm indeed. I’d like to shout out thanks to Leah Lang for her leadership in bringing together so many diverse interests in one room to share a singular focus on the design process and legacy.
“Green Pathways, Gold Places” has four initial key objectives, being establishing a design coordination unit as part of the OQGA, developing an urban forest to serve as green grid connectors in Brisbane City, taking a precinct planning approach with all key games venues, creating place funding models with an outcome focus, and – of course – collaboration as a foundation for all endeavours.


The Institute spoke out in favour of ensuring heritage values and processes are not forgotten within the context of the proposed Housing Availability and Affordability legislation.
The application for Heritage listing of Riverside Centre is to be determined in the near future.
The Institute is working closely with Brisbane City Council on how to both fairly and reasonably protect heritage components that form part of development approvals within the city.

National Construction Code

New accessibility standards in the NCC have now been adopted, and we look forward to welcoming 7-star sustainability requirements next year. The Institute has also recently supported the addition of “All Gender Amenities” provisions in the NCC that will make it easier to achieve gender equity within a complex regulatory environment.

Bondor Metecno City Resilience Symposium, 14 February 2024

Be sure to mark your diaries for the 14 of February next year to express your love for architecture and our cities, as we hear from world-renowned speakers from across the globe at the National Symposium on the topic of City Resilience.
Confirmed speakers include Carol Ross Barney of Ross Barney Architects, the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal Recipient for 2023, Cr Krista Adams, Deputy Mayor, City of Brisbane, Professor Esther Charlesworth, RMIT University, Jefa Greenaway, Greenaway Architects, Maree Grenfell, Once Upon Tomorrow, Sarah Bell, City Of Melbourne, and Jeremy McLeod, Breathe Architecture.
We hope to see you there!

Open House

Discussions are still ongoing to investigate how het Institute might be able to foster and collaborate with the very popular Open House initiatives gaining strength across Australia. Please watch this space, and contribute your thoughts, expertise, and leadership where you can.
My thanks go again to all who were involved this year, from participants to sponsors to local governments, with a particular shout-out to our Chairs for 2023, Malcolm Middleton, for Brisbane, Christopher Cumming, for the Gold Coast, and Lindsay Clare for the Sunshine Coast, along with their committees and volunteers. Well done.

National Conference

Members who were able to attend the National Conference this year in Canberra were treated to an unprecedented experience, culminated by our National Awards.
One award winner, 19 Waterloo Street, Sydney, by SJB, also went on to be named the World Interior of the Year at the World Architecture Festival in Singapore.
But heads up…the National Conference is coming earlier next year between the 10– 11 of May in Melbourne, so mark your calendars now.

EOY Cruise

What can I say…this year’s event was enough to knock our socks off, though we had to keep them firmly planted on the base of our sea legs, as there was a competition afoot!
The winner stole not only victory but apparently, they had designs on Christmas as well, as it was a pair of Grinches worn that clinched the deal.
The seas may have been low but the spirits were high, thanks to the more than able crew!

Small Practice Group

It was a pleasure to meet recently with the Small Practice Group, where we realised that out of all of the issues discussed, an emphasis on the advocacy of architecture was a high priority.

New Queensland Chapter Premises

It is with great pleasure I can share that the design of the new Queensland Chapter Premises and the new home for Institute staff is progressing well under the helpful stewardship of Dr Mark Jones on behalf of myself and the Queensland Chapter Council.
The appointed architects, Architectus Conrad Gargett and Lineburg Wang, started work in mid-October and are working on a big reveal for 2024. I guess the ultimate translation of these designs into our new domicile will be the biggest ‘next’ of them all!

Dunbar Fellowship and Philip Y. Bissett Planning (Architecture) Scholarship

The Queensland Chapter would like to extend our appreciation and admiration to all who applied for these distinguished honours, and our congratulations go to the successful candidates, Dr. Elizabeth Musgrave for the Dunbar Fellowship and to Nicole Mesquita-Mendes and Gina Engelhardt for the Philip Y Bisset Planning (Architecture) Scholarship.

CiTY OF MORETON BAY Suttons Beach Pavilion Endorsed Architectural Competition

Working closely with City of Moreton Bay and City Lab, The Institute was pleased to endorse this national competition. Registrations closed this week, and first-round submissions are due Monday, 18  December. Best of luck to those members who may be busy preparing their submissions now.

The greatest!

There is one final group of great people that will be leading members through the next year that I would like to acknowledge, and that group is our amazing Queensland Chapter staff!
They were probably responsible for keeping our socks on at the EOY celebrations, and they often kept us on our toes as the Institute navigated its members through a challenging year, so it’s always the perfect time to take our hats off to celebrate our valued Queensland team.
Firstly, I’d like to say thank you and farewell to Carlos Siliezar and Alexis Schnitger, who both made great contributions to the Chapter during their time with the office this year.
And, finally, I’d like to conclude this message as it started with an enormous note of appreciation and thank our valued Queensland team, Dr Anna Svensdotter, Chido Zimunhu, Dr Galyna McLellan, Rhiannon Dow, and Amber Morewood.
Their patience, wisdom, strength, good humour, and leadership are precious gifts!
I now wish you all a good holiday, a great new year, and all the best for your next endeavours.

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