Ellen Buttrose appointed Cairns City Architect

The Australian Institute of Architects Queensland Chapter has welcomed the appointment of Ellen Buttrose as Cairns’ Regional Council’s first City Architect.

Award-winning architect Ms Buttrose has joined the local government in its bid to shape vibrant, resilient and inclusive urban environments.

Ms Buttrose, who won the Australian Institute of Architects Emerging Architect Prize in 2020, said it was a privilege to contribute to Cairns’ growth and sustainable development.

I’m excited to bring my passion for design to shape the future of Cairns,” she said.

“Here in the tropics, we are growing and will continue to do so in the long term. As we grow, the need for good design only increases – good design and good policy that enables design is critical for us to be prosperous, liveable and resilient.

“This is a great opportunity to engender visionary and inclusive spaces for Queensland’s far north.”

A picture of Ellen Buttrose, Cairns City Architect
Ellen Buttrose RAIA | Cairns City Architect

The Institute’s Queensland Chapter State Manager Anna Svensdotter said the appointment of a City Architect to the Cairns Regional Council was a great move to increase the level of independent oversight on complex building projects.

“Architects are pivotal to the effective delivery of major urban projects and the appropriate place-making,” she said.

“Design professionals support development of places that appropriately respond to the climate and natural environment. As the impacts of climate change continue to be felt in the region, we need to build resilience. When disasters strike, we need to build back better. That’s where architects can help.”

In recent years, the Australian Institute of Architects has championed for all city and regional councils to appoint a city architect. 

Queensland Chapter President Amy Degenhart commended Cairns Regional Council for recognising the high value of the role.

“Every community benefits from good urban and built form design, whether it be in the form of civic infrastructure, commercial development, or housing, and a city architect provides the expertise to work with councils to enhance these outcomes and ensure that people and place are well considered,” she said. 

Ms Buttrose, who is a registered architect in Queensland has previously worked with Cairns firm People Oriented Design, Melbourne practice Six Degrees and the South Australian state government with Adelaide-based Office for Design + Architecture SA.


Media contact: Rosanne Barrett on behalf of the Australian Institute of Architects | M 0425 420 024 |  hello@barrettcomms.com.au

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