2020 Australian Institute of Architects Dulux Study Tour Winners

Update 9 April 2020: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the 2020 Australian Institute of Architect’s Dulux Study Tour has been postponed until 2021.

The Australian Institute of Architects is pleased to announce that Sam McQueeney, Tahnee Sullivan, Ksenia Totoeva, Bek Verrier and Keith Westbrook have been selected to join the 2020 Australian Institute of Architects Dulux Study Tour.

Selection for the study tour acknowledges early-career architects for their individual achievements and contribution to architectural practice, education, design excellence and community involvement. It is one of the Institute’s most coveted awards, celebrating the importance of experiencing architecture first-hand.

The jury was impressed by the depth of skill, engagement and commitment to the profession shown by the winners, Sam, Tahnee, Ksenia, Bek and Keith. We congratulate them all for their success in a very competitive field of applicants. We also encourage those eligible members not successful this year to reapply in the future. We thank Dulux for its generous support, and the jurors for their rigour and insightful contribution to the selection process.

  • Professor Helen Lochhead (Jury Chair) LFRAIA President, Australian Institute of Architects | Dean, UNSW Sydney, Faculty of Built Environment
  • Julia Cambage | CEO, Australian Institute of Architects
  • Anurita Kapur | Dulux Trade Communications Manager
  • Cameron O’Brien | Dulux National Specification Manager
  • Mark Berlangieri | Walter Brooke Associate Director
  • Thom McKenzie RAIA | 2018 EmAGN President | Director, Winwood McKenzie.

2020 winners

Sam McQueeny | Photographer: Carly McMahon

Sam McQueeney | Vokes and Peters | Queensland

Originally from Tasmania, Sam has recently joined the Vokes and Peters practice in Brisbane QLD. 

Developing a keen interest for collaboration with local makers and designers on his projects, the decision to join Vokes and Peters was an easy one, with similar interests and focus on the “local”.

Sam graduated from the University of Tasmania in 2014 after completing his B.Env Design (Arch) and MArch degrees, and became an active volunteer within the Tasmanian Institute of Architecture over a number of years. As a strong advocate in the Tasmanian Architectural space, Sam was involved with the Australian Institute of Architects’ National Committee for Gender Equity (NCGE), Tasmanian Chair of the Institute’s Emerging Architects and Graduates Network (EmAGN), committee member with the Institute’s Tasmania Practice, volunteer with Open House Hobart, and co-ordinator and contributor to the Tasmanian portion of the Hearing Architecture Podcast.

Through this industry involvement, Sam was a role model for graduates in Tasmania entering the profession and is looking to become involved in a similar vein in QLD, with a particular focus on issues around mental health and equity. The jury believes Sam will greatly benefit from taking part in the Dulux Study Tour, using the opportunity to further his passion as a leader and influencer within his new state of QLD. 

Tahnee Sullivan

Tahnee Sullivan | Sullivan Skinner | Queensland

Tahnee is a Director at Sullivan Skinner, an architecture and design practice established in November 2018. Prior to establishing her practice, Tahnee worked at Richards & Spence for 7 years and was a design architect, alongside Ingrid Richards and Adrian Spence and the Project Architect for the highly acclaimed The Calile Hotel.

Tahnee is an active member of the wider community, generously volunteering her time to the Far North Queensland Business Liaison Association where she visits schools in the Cairns region, sharing her experience in the architectural profession. Tahnee has also maintained a strong relationship with the University of Queensland Architecture School through the delivery of lectures, tutoring and guest critiques. 

Throughout her career, Tahnee has engaged with Institute initiatives including the Queensland EmAGN committee. In 2015 she co-founded an EmAGN QLD Speaker Series which to this day provides a platform for local architects to present work and share knowledge with peers. Tahnee’s exceptional work has been deservedly recognised in industry media and awards including the Think Brick Awards and the Eat Drink Design Awards. The jury commends Tahnee’s desire to learn and passion for shared knowledge and is confident the Dulux Study Tour will offer a rich and rewarding experience to help navigate her newly established architectural practice.

Ksenia Totoeva | Photographer: Sarah Wilson

Ksenia Totoeva | Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects | NSW

Originally from regional NSW, Ksenia graduated from the University of Newcastle with the University Medal. Here she developed an early engagement in the city through Renew Newcastle, an urban regeneration initiative designed to reinvigorate the failing downtown that seeded her interest in community activism and urban projects.

From this beginning she went onto become involved in the Institute of Architects EmAGN committee where from a grassroots organiser, she emerged as a leader and role model, particularly for young women in the profession, as National President of EmaGN in 2016-18, developing her professional career in parallel, at LahzNimmo and then Tonkin Zulahika Greer, where she is now an Associate Director.

As a practitioner, she has worked across a range of project types and scales, as part of a team and as a project architect contributing to a number of award-winning projects as well as to innovations in the practice paradigm. The jury believes with Ksenia’s dynamism she will benefit greatly from the opportunity of the Dulux Study Tour and the lessons that this immersion in a range of practices will provide her continuing professional development and leadership potential.

Bek Verrier | Photographer: Adam Gibson

Bek Verrier | BENCE MULCAHY | Tasmania

Bek is a registered architect and project architect at Bence Mulcahy in Hobart. She graduated from the University of Tasmania and is actively involved in the Australian Institute of Architects’ Tasmania Chapter.

Bek has attended numerous international architectural workshops including a Master Class on Maria Island and the inaugural Utzon symposium in Marrakesh Morocco. Bek is Founding member of The Findlay Project, Tasmanian Women in Architecture group and is also heavily involved in Parlour Salon series. She is a past Institute Chapter Councillor and an EmAGN Tasmania Committee member and was the 2016 Institute Tasmanian Emerging Architect Winner. Since that award her career has continued to develop with a number of notable and awarded projects. Mount Stuart Greenhouse was awarded The Roy Sharrington Smith Award for Heritage, the Residential Alteration and Addition Award and the Colorbond Award for Steel Architecture in the Institute’s Tasmanian Architecture Awards.

At Bence Mulcahy, Bek has been involved in the Cascades Female Factory design competition which was entered with Amy Muir, Openwork and Lovell Chen. She has been instrumental throughout the highly detailed bespoke Mt Stuart House and is currently contributing to public and institutional projects including Newtown Primary School Kindergarten, Holy Rosary Primary School new works and a major project for The Friends’ School in Hobart.

Her previous project experience includes leading numerous award-winning projects at Preston Lane including Weld Street Alteration, Tassal Office, Sharkra Medispa and the UTAS Student Lounge.

The jury is confident that the Dulux Study Tour will enable her to further contribute to the community and profession in a meaningful way

Keith Westbrook | Photographer: Jonathan Wherrett

Keith Westbrook | Cumulus Studio | Victoria

Keith Westbrook is a director at Cumulus Studio where he runs the Melbourne office. Keith has quickly gained experience, and demonstrated excellence, on a number of significant commercial, public and institutional buildings.

His excellence in design is apparent in the recently completed multi-purpose space, The Protagonist, at the Arts Centre awarded through an open competition, and, the Loreto Mandeville Centre completed whilst working at Architectus.

As a young director he has demonstrated a remarkable ability to manage a practice and maintain high quality design outcomes that contribute to the Australian architectural discourse whilst contributing to the profession. Keith is an active member of the profession where he has contributed as a Victoria Chapter Councillor and member of the Architecture Victoria editorial committee, a jury member for the Victorian Architecture awards, and co-founder of EmAGN Tasmania and SONA representative.

His calm, considered approach to the practice of architecture and breadth of experience at an early stage of his career will benefit from exposure to, and engagement with, the practices and projects that will be visited during this year’s Dulux Study Tour. Engagement with leading practice directors on the tour will provide Keith with a rare opportunity to be inspired to further his leadership within the profession.

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