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Walkerville Civic & Community Centre by JPE Design
photo credit Lyndon Stacy

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14 Jun Design Conversation
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18-21 Jul FAD

South Australian Competitions & Prizes

Emerging Architect Prize

About the Prize

The Emerging Architect Prize recognises an individual emerging architect or emerging architectural collaboration’s contribution to architectural practice, education, design excellence and community involvement, which advances the profession’s role within the public arena. Entrants need to be nominated by a member of the Australian Institute of Architects.

Chapter winners of the Emerging Architects Prize are awarded:

  • One (1) x ticket to attend their local ChapterArchitecture Awards event
  • One (1) x ticket to the National Architecture Conference, including return economy airfares from their closest Chapter city and accommodation for up to two nights. 
  • One (1) x ticket to the National Architecture Awards, including return economy airfares from their closest Chapter city and accommodation for up to one night
  • $1,000.00

Winners at a Chapter level proceed to be considered for the National Emerging Architects Prize.

Enter Now

Entry into the Emerging Architect Prize is a two-step process.

  1. Nomination – eligible candidates are nominated by a member of the Australian Institute of Architects via the online entry system.
  2. Submission of entry material – nominated candidates will be invited to continue with the submission. Should they wish to accept the nomination, the nominee will be asked to submit the entry material listed under 'entry requirements' via the online entry system.


Congratulations to our 2018 Emerging Architect Prizewinner Alison McFadyen from Phillips/Pilkington

The Emerging Architect Prize prompted much soul searching this year. The jury undertook a thorough re-examination of the criteria as it considered involvement in the profession outside of the workplace, especially current or immediate past involvement and the balance between portfolios which range significantly in years of experience across the definition of emerging .

After another year of tough competition, the jury congratulates Alison McFadyen as this year’s recipient of the Emerging Architect Prize. Alison McFadyen is a senior architect at Phillips/Pilkington Architects joining the practice in 2012 and appointed Associate Architect in 2015.

Her design and project work is of an exemplary and award-winning standard and includes UniSA’s Jeffrey Smart Building, the Adelaide Oval Redevelopment and the Whitmore Square Affordable Ecohousing Project. Alison is an active member of the Australian Institute of Architects and served as Chair for the 2018 State Architecture Awards for the Residential New Jury and was a juror for Heritage and Small Projects categories in 2017 and the Sustainability category in 2016. She was also a key driver for the Institute’s One to One project.

Alison also lends her time as organiser, speaker and volunteer at a variety of initiatives such as Parlour, NAWIC, Trees for Life and a refugee childcare program illustrating her ability to represent the profession on a number of platforms. Of particular note are the number of volunteer activities undertaken which have no relationship to professional or practice development or exposure – they are simply for the good of the community.

The jury commends Alison’s leadership and advocacy work and recognises her far reaching involvement and the resounding positive impacts this has had on the profession and the community. Alison shows great potential to continue this contribution throughout her career.

The Emerging Architect Prize is proudly sponsored by Architectural Window Systems (AWS).


The Jack Hobbs McConnell Travelling Fellowship is for promising designers, who might ultimately practice in South Australia, to undertake an independent program of research or course of further study in Architecture or a related field, most likely overseas.

Established in 2007 following a bequest from the estate of the late modernist architectural figure, the Fellowship is for an amount up to $15,000. Applicants must be members of the Institute and graduates in architecture from the University of South Australia or University of Adelaide of up to six years standing*.

Institute National President at the time of Jack McConnell's death, Warren Kerr, said 'Jack McConnell's influence in shaping the architects and the architecture of Australia was considerable. He pioneered modern architecture in South Australia and was without doubt the first serious modernist to build modern buildings in Adelaide.' 

To apply

Applications for the Jack Hobbs McConnell Travelling Fellowship are usually advertised in October.

Past Fellowships

Congratulations to 2019 Jack Hobbs McConnell Fellow, Todd Hislop - Future Practice
  • 2017 Matiya Marovich Timber Futures
  • 2016 Alex Kindlen - encounter: cultivating creative cities
  • 2015 Dino Vrynios - Modulation
  • 2014 Stephen Hooper – a [fabricate]d craft
  • 2013 David Bickmore – Architourism
  • 2012 Damien Chwalisz – Potentials for timber construction
  • 2011 Katie Lawson – Contemporary Wine Architecture
  • 2010 Esther Chew – RICE: India, Nepal, Bangladesh
  • 2009 Mark Berlangieri – The worldwide shift in retail architecture
  • 2008 Anthony Balsamo – Becoming the festival state

Sir James Irwin President's Medal

The Sir James Irwin President's Medal is awarded once in each President's term to a member or industry collaborative considered by the President to have made a significant contribution to architecture. It was established in 1992 through the generosity of the Irwin family in memory and in recognition of the services to architecture of Sir James Irwin.

This year's winner of the Sir James Irwin President's Medal is Douglas Alexander from Flightpath Architects.

SA Chapter President Mario Dreosti's Citation

My own interactions with this year’s recipient of the James Irwin President’s Medal span a period of 15 years and fall under three primary themes. The first theme is a passion for affordable, accessible and high quality housing. The second is a collaborative, contemporary and effective application of heritage advice, and the third is a belief in mentoring, growing and supporting others, particularly younger members of our profession.

I recall attending a presentation on an affordable housing project when I was much younger. The way they spoke of the challenges and the passion which resolved a solution deeply affected me. So much so that I remember, somewhat embarrassingly in hindsight, approaching after the talk to say ‘your work has a lot of love in it’.

Having started his career in the 1970’s as a cadet in the PBD and worked in London, Douglas Alexander returned to Adelaide to found Flightpath Architects. Now in its 33rd year the practice has been recognised with over 30 Institute and Civic Trust Awards. Douglas and his practice have developed specialty in heritage architecture with Douglas being appointed by Goyder Council in 1987 as the first ever Council Heritage Advisor in South Australia for Goyder Council in 1987. He currently acts as heritage advisor to 9 Councils.

This is my second theme of personal interaction involving Douglas. In his role as Heritage advisor he has encouraged boldness from me as a project architect working in a heritage context and through mentoring, facilitated a better outcome for both my client and myself.

The third theme of interaction is specifically that of mentoring in all contexts. Only this year at our awards presentations I admired this mentoring where Douglas sat in the audience listening to and supporting his team in their presentations, but seeking no personal limelight.

Just as Douglas’ investment in 101 Hindley Street 18 years ago was one of the first projects to build the new west end precinct, his commitment to hiring and supporting graduates in his practice has seen him build many new careers.

Douglas embodies humility, passion, belief and commitment. His work is typified by helping others whether through his architecture, his advisory role or his mentoring. I am personally honoured to award Douglas Alexander the 2018 James Irwin Presidents Medal.


View the full list of Sir James Irwin President's Medallists

Below are our recent recipients and links to their citations.

City of Adelaide Prize

The City of Adelaide Prize, sponsored by the City of Adelaide, is a category within the prestigious South Australian Architecture Awards Program.

The City of Adelaide and the Australian Institute of Architects are working together to support the enhancement of the public experience of the City as South Australia’s Capital City.

The Prize recognises and awards innovative built projects including public art and temporary contributions to public space that activate and enliven the City’s public spaces and engage with the community, including urban experiments. Vote now in the People's Choice

Student Prizes

For over half a century, the SA Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects has awarded prizes to outstanding students studying architecture in South Australia.

School of Art, Architecture and Design, University of SA

The Australian Institute of Architects (SA Chapter) Prizes are awarded to students based on academic excellence across the 5 years of the Bachelor of Architectural Studies and Master of Architecture degree programs in:

  • Documentation and Technical Studies
  • Communication
  • History and Theory
  • Environmental Studies
  • Integration of Research and Design

School of Architecture and Built Environment
, University of Adelaide
Australian Institute of Architects (South Australian Chapter) Prizes are awarded to one student for each year level of the Bachelor of Architectural Design program and to the Master of Architecture program students who achieve the highest results in:

  • aggregate in Architecture Studio (ARCH 7016) Semester 1 and Urban Design Studio (ARCH 7017) Semester 2
  • Studio: Architecture (M) (ARCH 7040) Semester 1
  • Final Architecture Project (M) (ARCH 7043) Semester 2

National Prizes & Competitions

The Australian Institute of Architects supports a range of prizes and competitions that recognise and reward outstanding contributions in the fields of architecture and the built environment.

Gold Medal for Architecture

Leadership in Sustainability Prize

Student Prize for the Advancement of Architecture

BlueScope Glenn Murcutt Student Prize

COLORBOND Steel Student Biennale

William J Mitchell International Committee Prize

Neville Quarry Architectural Education Prize

Dulux Study Tour

Emerging Architect Prize

Graduate prizes

Other awards & prizes