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June 2017

2016 Updates

National Committee for Gender Equity Report:
The National Committee for Gender Equity is now in its second term, with the new committee members joining the committee in April 2016 for the annual face-to-face meeting in Adelaide. Emma Williamson (WA) stepped down as chair of the committee and Lee Hillam (NSW) was nominated to lead the committee through the next two-year term.

The Committee’s membership intentionally represents almost every chapter, with a mix of men and women from small, medium and large practices as well as academia. This mix has enabled the NCGE to position itself as a unified voice from a diverse background.

The following is a brief outline of the work of the NCGE as identified at the face-to-face meeting, which tables current objectives and the committee’s plans for the year ahead.

  • The NCGE is working in each state to support a Gender Equity Taskforce (GET). Already, through the work of the NCGE and off the back of the established and prolific NSW GET, we are seeing fledgling GETs in the ACT, Tasmania and Western Australia.

  • The Paula Whitman Leadership in Gender Equity prize, an initiative of the NCGE, has now been launched and the committee will continue to support this initiative through regular promotions and comms to ensure the prize reaches as wide an audience as possible.

  • The committee will continue to raise the profile of women and equity, through the Women in Architecture series which is distributed through the Institute’s National E-News and Parlour.

  • Articles on pay equity and other related topics are also scheduled to be published throughout the remainder of the year. Gender based pay inequity is a priority for the NCGE this year. An article calling for all practices to look at their pay rates as we start a new financial year was distributed in National E-news in early July.

  • The committee is also aiming to collaborate more closely with Chapters, GET groups, SONA and EmAGN, Universities and other industry bodies such as the Property Council. The committee continues to work closely with Parlour, to ensure that all Institute members benefit from the Institute’s partnership with the organisation, including assisting with their initiative Marion’s List, a public register of the women of Australian architecture designed to convey the richness and depth of involvement of women in the profession and the discipline. Read more about Marion’s List on the Parlour website.

Go to:

2016 Updates
Committee Members
Articles and Media
Overview of Activities
Paula Whitman-Leadership in Gender Equity Prize
Parental Leave - Special Circumstances Membership


Committee Members

The National Committee for Gender Equity consists of:

Name Practice State
Michael Smith (Co Chair) Atelier Red and Black VIC
Kellie McGivern (Co Chair) Cox, Howlett & Bailey Woodland WA
Gill Matthewson Monash University VIC
Genevieve Lilley Genevieve Lilley Architects TAS / NSW
Sam McQueeney Circa Morris-Nunn Architects TAS
Jessica Hardwick Happy Haus QLD
 Michael Gay  MSG Architecture  WA
Madeline Sewall Breathe Architecture Pty Ltd VIC
Chris Major Welsh + Major Architects NSW
Catherine Startari GHD Architecture Pty Ltd SA

In 2015 the Institute formed a formal relationship with Parlour, in order to strengthen the impact and reach of the NCGE.

Articles and Media

The NCGE is has been profiling Women In Architecture.  Please visit News and Media to view the series.

Articles and reports by the NCGE:

The Merits of Mentoring - Michael Smith

Leadership - Emma Williamson

Meet the New Gender Equity Committee - Lee Hillam

EOFY Resolutions: Fair and Equitable Pay for all - Leone Lorrimer

Women in Architecture:  BKA Architecture - Lee Hillam

Paula Whitman Leadership in Gender Equity Prize - Article by Parlour

Mentors Preparing for Practice - Michael Smith and Sonia Sarangi

Multiplying Diversity - Gill Matthewson

'You must be fierce' - Lee Hillam

Speak up, women! - Gill Matthewson

GET-ting on with it! - Lee Hillam

Vale Zaha Hadid, 1950 - 2016 - Gill Matthewson

Mind the Gap - Gill Matthewson

Shock horror statistics - Gill Matthewson

Parental Leave Membership with Australian Institute of Architects - NCGE

The Parlour effect - Gill Matthewson

Same words different mouth - Gill Matthewson

Parlour and NCGE - Emma Williamson

NCGE - Article for Parlour by NCGE

The business case for gender equity - Michael Smith

Who counts? - Gill Matthewson

Meet Emma Williamson - Emma Williamson (Deputy Chair of NCGE, Former Chair of NCGE)

The equity interviews: Ross Clark - Michael Smith

The equity interviews: Paul Berkemier - Michael Smith

The equity interview:  David Parken - Michael Smith

The equity interview: David Karotkin - Michael Smith

Architecture and the Goldilocks syndrome - Gill Matthewson

Updating the numbers, part 1: at school -Gill Matthewson

Updating the numbers, part 1: at work - Gill Matthewson

Counting registered architects: no easy matter - Gill Matthewson

Angie the architect meets Rosie the riveter - Gill Matthewson

Building community - Lee Hillam

Taking it to the limit: women as architectural breach - Gill Matthewson

Why bother? - Gill Matthewson

The numbers so far - Gill Matthewson

Women, leadership and democracy - Gill Matthewson

Architect, Barbie and Vitruvius - Gill Matthewson

Studying gender and the profession - Gill Matthewson

Overview of Activities

In May 2015 the NCGE co-hosted its first event alongside Parlour. This event was held in Melbourne at the time of the National Architecture Conference and launched the relationship between Parlour and the Institute. The event was a sell out and Emma Williamson, former NCGE Chair, gave an excellent introduction to the work of the committee and the Institute’s commitment to achieving gender equity in architecture. Ann Lau presented as a guest speaker at the event.

Coinciding with the second NCGE face-to-face meeting in October, the committee’s inaugural CPD event took place, which was developed in collaboration with the VIC Chapter. ‘How to Flex: Creating Flexible Practice for All’ looked at how flexible working arrangements are essential to achieving gender equity in the workplace and how workplace equity applies to a broad range of people, situations and contexts.

Speakers included:

  • Misty Waters, Associate at Bespoke Careers; specialising in recruiting Architects and Designers
  • Lee Hillam, Director at Dunn & Hillam Architects;
  • Patrick Kennedy, Director, Kennedy Nolan Architects; and
  • Leone Lorrimer, CEO of dwp|suters.

The presentations were well considered and thought provoking, and the audience very engaged. The event was also recorded and has been made available on Continuum as a downloadable CPD resource.

Work is currently being progressed on a number of other projects including:

  • The development of a prize to recognise exceptional leadership and an outstanding contribution to the advancement of gender equity in architectural practice, education and governance. This prize has now been endorsed by National Council and the next stage of planning is underway.
  • A campaign to profile women in architecture is currently being rolled out via monthly segments in the Institute’s E-News.
  • Due to the success of the 2015 co-hosted NCGE and Parlour event at the National Conference in Melbourne, a fringe event for the 2016 Conference in Adelaide was held titled Women Transforming the City Part 2.  

Paula Whitman - Leadership in Gender Equity Prize

The Australian Institute of Architects are proud to announce the launch of the inaugural Paula Whitman Leadership in Gender Equity Prize. The Prize aims to recognise exceptional leadership and an outstanding contribution to the advancement of gender equity in architectural practice, education and governance.

Please see the Prize page for more information.

Parental Leave - Special Circumstances Membership

In order to more effectively recognise the diversity of membership, and particularly to facilitate more appropriate career pathways for women in architecture, the Australian Institute of Architects offers special provisions for members who are unable to participate fully in employment, due to being on parental leave from their normal employment.

These members are entitled to all the normal benefits of membership and to a discounted annual fee, which is set at a 75 percent reduced rate of the normal fee for a (non-A+) Level 1 member ($243 as opposed to $971, a saving of $728).

The Parental Leave subscription rate applies to:
• Existing members, but no prior membership period applies;
• Members who do not work more than 20 hours per week because they are the primary carer of one or more children aged 5 or under.

The special subscription rate applies for a period of 2 years from the time the application is approved. Eligible members must reapply for the Parental Leave rate at not more than 2-yearly intervals.  Evidence of eligibility must be provided before eligibility can be approved.

Simply email the membership team at the Institute to discuss your options -


Should you wish to make contact with the National Committee on Gender Equity or raise any gender equity related issues, concerns or comments, please email Bianca Haas on