Dillon Kombumerri has been honoured with the prestigious President’s Prize at the annual New South Wales (NSW) Australian Institute of Architects Chapter Prizes and Honours Awards for his work to better connect architecture with Country.
The NSW Chapter Prizes honour and celebrate the outstanding achievements of individuals and practices across the breadth of the profession in the state’s thriving architectural community.
Mr Kombumerri, a Yugembir descendent from the Gold Coast, is the Principal Architect with the Government Architect NSW and co-author of the state’s Connecting with Country Draft Framework, which aims to use cultural knowledge to shape the built environment.
NSW Chapter President Laura Cockburn FRAIA said Mr Kombumerri demonstrated exceptional vision, drive and determination to give voice to Indigenous issues and affect change within the industry.
“Dillon has demonstrated extraordinary leadership over a number of years in encouraging the profession to create richer, more holistic outcomes through the embrace of country-centred design,” she said.
“His passion for sharing Indigenous knowledge has helped to create more inclusive and sustainable, good design outcomes for our built environment and communities.”
Celebrated NSW architect Rachel Neeson was awarded the Marion Mahony Griffin Prize for her extensive body of work, which has helped to open the door for a generation of women architects.
The jury said: “Rachel Neeson is a remarkable architect. Through her practice she has transformed the way a generation practices architecture, encouraging us to be curious, sensitive, playful, collaborative, and most importantly, brave enough to challenge the status quo.”
Adam Swinburn’s project, A Reference Scheme For A Future Urban Australian School, took out the David Lindner Prize, named in honour of the late architect and awarded to an emerging architect who considers ideas for solving real challenges facing our cities.
Mr Swinburn’s project thoughtfully considers the challenges and opportunities in the facilitation of education in NSW as the state prepares for a significant projected increase in students over the next decade.
Ms Cockburn said the annual NSW Chapter Prizes were a recognition of the important work architects do to improve the livability, sustainability and durability of the state’s built environment.
“Our Prizes and Honours program has honoured endeavours across the breadth of our profession and provides recognition of individual excellence in research, education, advocacy, community and social aspects for practitioners,’’ she said.
“We are incredibly proud of the high calibre of entries again this year and the endeavours of so many architects that have contributed to improvements in the built environment.”
Media personality and advocate for design Tim Ross was awarded an Honorary Fellow of the Institute for his ongoing support.
The citation said: “Tim passionately supports important issues in Australian architecture and design, in particular the ‘Save Our Sirius’ campaign, where he fights alongside the local community to protect Sydney’s now neglected modernist apartment building, Sirius.”
Other award winners include Katie Hubbard, who won the Christopher Procter Prize for her project Speak Up: Seeking Greater Representation, Opportunity And Leadership For First Nations Students As Future Practitioners Within The Design And Planning Of The Built Environment.
Jurors said this aimed to broaden the understanding and create engagement for students in schools.
Guillermo Fernández-Abascal was honoured as a joint winner of the Adrian Ashton Prize for his Regional Bureaucracy project – a comprehensive and integral archive of the Government Architects Office’s regional projects between 1958 to 1988, compiled in collaboration between students, tutors, and architects.
He shares the prize with Catherine Hunter and Bruce Inglis for the Cobar Sound Chapel, a permanent sound art installation in Central Western NSW that demonstrates how joy and emotion can be embedded into architecture.
Julie Power was awarded an Adrian Ashton Prize commendation for her important contribution to architectural and planning discourse, particularly through her writing for the Sydney Morning Herald and the article, Modern Cities Like Sydney Becoming ‘ghettos Of Rich People’, Architects Warn.
Also commended was Peter Lonergan for producing and exhibiting the archive of his long-time friend and collaborator Bill Lucas with the Bill Lucas: Architect Utopian project.
The Best in Practice prize was awarded to NBRS for its innovative organisational approach which has transcended the traditional workplace structure in response to the past three years of COVID-19 upheaval.
The panel noted it was impressed with the firm’s nine-day fortnight and location agnostic approach which has incorporated initiatives considered best practice in worker satisfaction and productivity.
Dunn & Hillam was commended for becoming one of the few Australian architectural practices to be granted certified B-Corp status, meeting the highest global standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability.
BVN was also commended for improving further on the initiatives which won it the 2018 Best Practice Award through a renewed focus on employee health and wellbeing and the adaption of a hybrid working model.
The Australian Institute of Architects NSW Chapter would like to thank sponsors Lysaght, Macquarie, Ethos Urban, Sydney Community Foundation, Bespoke Careers, the Lindner family, Architecture Bulletin and BlueScope for their generous support of the event and awards.
Please send requests for images and citations to NSW Chapter Awards and Prizes Manager, Peter Fry: email@example.com
NSW Prizes and Honours Awards 2022
Best In Practice Prize
NBRS | Winner
BVN | Commendation
Dunn & Hillam | Commendation
Marion Mahony Griffin Prize
Christopher Procter Prize
David Lindner Prize
Adrian Ashton Prize
Guillermo Fernández-Abascal | Joint Winner
Catherine Hunter / Bruce Inglis | Joint Winner
Julie Power – Commendation
Peter Lonergan – Commendation
George El Khouri
CHRISTOPHER PROCTER PRIZE
Laura Cockburn, FRAIA
Philip Oldfield UNSW
DAVID LINDNER PRIZE
Paul Sanders WSU
MARION MAHONY GRIFFIN PRIZE
Laura Cockburn, FRAIA
Dr Kirsten Orr, FRAIA
Lee Stickells (UoS)
BEST IN PRACTICE PRIZE
Elizabeth Carpenter, FRAIA
ADRIAN ASHTON PRIZE
Laura Cockburn, FRAIA
(No prize awarded)
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