National President's Prize

National President's Prize

Congratulations Clover Moore

In 2020 the National President’s Prize goes to the City of Sydney Lord Mayor, Clover Moore. A vocal advocate of quality architecture, progressive policies and ambitious action on climate change, her vision and leadership over 30 years, has systematically transformed the City of Sydney into one of our most liveable cities.

Under her leadership, the City of Sydney has developed a global reputation, delivering award-winning buildings, open spaces and transport infrastructure, instituting design excellence as public policy, supporting creative industries and initiating progressive solutions to complex social and environmental challenges.

Clover entered politics out of her concerns for social and environmental justice and the degraded urban environment in her local inner-city community. Her advocacy for architecture and a quality built environment for all stems from these concerns. 

As Lord Mayor, Clover led the development and implementation of the City of Sydney’s long-term plan – Sustainable Sydney 2030. Tellingly, this plan includes many ideas from the city’s notable architects and urban designers and sets the stage for Sydney to become a world leader in sustainability and liveability. With ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse emissions, the City became Australia’s first climate-neutral Council in 2017, in 2020 it will be powered by 100% renewable energy and is on track be to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

As Lord Mayor, she was determined to have a better urban environment. To increase the certainty for residents and developers and oversaw a massive review and consultation process to frame new Planning controls and innovative policies including the landmark Design Excellence Policy.  This requires Design competitions for major sites in the city and has lifted the design quality of major developments and at the same time created new opportunities for both established and emerging architects.

Clover has also been a champion of architecture through the City’s own projects, commissioning innovative public buildings, facilities, open spaces and public art imbued with broader social, cultural and environmental goals. Here too the city has provided diverse opportunities for both eminent and emerging architects, landscape architects and urban designers.

These exemplar projects have not only rejuvenated the city’s streets, squares and green spaces but are in the main, award winning projects. Exemplars include the Sulman Award winning Green Square Library, Surry Hills Library, Prince Alfred Park and Swimming Centre and the Joynton Ave Creative Precinct, to name a few. There are many more, with others in the pipeline.

Furthermore, demonstrating an understanding of the value architects can bring more broadly, the City has employed architects in key city executive, planning, design and project roles as well as expert advisory roles on Design, Planning and Public Art Advisory Panels. 

Her commitment to the creation a lively, liveable and just city is to be applauded, and I am pleased that she sees the intrinsic value that architects, and well-designed places bring to the realisation of this agenda.

2020 President's Prize winner | Clover Moore | Photographer: Jacquie Manning

2019 winner

Tim Ross

‘Architecture needs champions: advocates who will embrace our campaigns for design – and its positive impact on communities, the environment and society – and amplify our voice to a wider audience.

One of our champions is Tim Ross. A comedian, self-proclaimed design nerd, broadcaster and entertainer, Tim is one of our industry’s most passionate activists and champions. Not only has he raised the profile of heritage and design in general, he also promotes Australian architecture in his unique voice in popular culture.

He delved into modernist Australian residential architecture in the 2016 television show Streets of Your Town, highlighting its importance in contemporary culture and its precarious standing in planning codes. This was a passion project for Tim, who devised, wrote and hosted the two-part series. It was the most-watched arts program that year. His involvement expands the reach of the architecture profession to a much wider audience than we would otherwise be able to achieve.

Together with Kit Warhurst, Tim established Man About the House in 2013 to host small gatherings in iconic Australian modernist buildings. Through storytelling, comedy and music, these events provide a unique opportunity for the public to experience architecture. In recent years, the program has expanded to showcase contemporary architect-designed homes at home and abroad.

Tim is a true advocate for the cause of architecture. Presenting the Australian Institute of Architects’ Griffin Lecture at the National Press Club last year, he argued the case for protecting our “new heritage,” its retention being critical to the cultural fabric of our communities. Tim has also been vocal in the Hands Off Anzac Hall and Save Our Sirius campaigns and achieved recognition with a National Trust Heritage Award for Advocacy last year.

Now it is our turn to officially recognize him for his advocacy, activism and outstanding contribution to the architecture profession. In awarding the 2019 National President’s Prize, we thank Tim for his passion, his entertainment, his vision, and his heart and soul for the cause of architecture.’ – Jury Citation

Tim Ross, Winner of the 2019 National President's Prize