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

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in South Australia

24 June Design Conversations
30 June  Awards Presentation Evening
6 July Awards Lightning Talk


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:

  • a $1000 cash prize and a certificate presented at the SA Architecture Awards Presentation Dinner
  • Receive an invitation to the SA Architecture Awards Presentation Dinner
  • Sponsored to attend the National Architecture Conference, including return economy airfares and accommodation

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


    Congratulations to our 2017 Emerging Architect Prizewinner Esther Chew from Grieve Gillett Andersen

    Esther graduated from the University of Adelaide in 2007 and registered as an architect in 2014.After graduating she worked at Mulloway Studio Architects for eight years before moving to Grieve Gillet Andersen where she has worked for the past two years.

    During her time at university she was the SONA representative, as well as serving on SONA’s National Committee as the Director of Publications and editor of TERRA. Once graduating she participated in NAG activities and established a quarterly event called ‘15’ that created a platform for designers to share ideas. She is a member of the Australian Institute of Architects, National Australia Women in Construction and Open Architecture Network.

    Some of her notable works include the Harts Mill project and the Anzac Centenary Memorial Walk. She has completed a Masters in Development Studies and is currently working with an NGO in Nepal master planning a girls Bible College.

    Esther has continuously shown a willingness to contribute to things which are not tied back to furthering her own professional position but rather directly focused on delivering the benefits of her architectural knowledge more broadly.

    As a contribution through leadership we think that Esther’s demonstration of a successful career, raising children, still contributing to pro bono projects and being able to lead high profile outcomes is a worthy exemplar to other young practitioners. We are pleased to be able to able to recognise her continuing contribution to the practice of architecture with this award.

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

    Jack Hobbs McConnell Travelling Fellowship

    The Jack 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 who died in 2005 aged 92, the Fellowship is for an amount up to $15,000. Applicants must be graduates in architecture from the University of South Australia or University of Adelaide of up to five 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.'

    Download the Fellowship Guidelines to read more about how to apply in future.

    The Jack Hobbs McConnell Fellowship is currently under review to make sure that we have the best systems in place to support our talented fellows and continue its longevity. For further details please contact 8402 5900.

    2017 Fellow Matiya Marovich

     Visit www.jhmtf.org.au to find out more

    Past Fellowships

    • 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 each year 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 John Held from Russell and Yelland.

    SA Chapter President Mario Dreosti's Citation: The recipient of this year’s Sir James Irwin Presidents Medal is in fact the current South Australian President of a complimentary organisation for the representation of Architecture.

    Architecture is a unique profession which combines creativity, science and technology along with commercial elements of delivery, team leadership and quality assurance. It does this in the context of business but with a strong social agenda and a responsibility to uphold principles of equity, sustainability and a desire to enhance the world through architecture.

    Daily practice allows us to engage with some of these aspects through the design and delivery of projects but support for the profession, advocacy and the evolution of how we operate often involves extra-curricular commitments. As the recipient of many a midnight email I am personally very aware of the phenomenal commitment in time, energy and intellectual property that John Held has made to our profession.

    John became a Director of Russell and Yelland in 1982, a practice which is now 78 years old and has traditionally worked in fields of high social value such as education and health care and with a specialist expertise in sustainability.

    Through John’s belief in collaboration Russell and Yelland were early adopters of joint venture architectural teams combing with MGT for recognised results at Mawson Lakes School and continuing this relationship with the now named Guida Mosely Brown across many new projects. John’s support of positive collaboration in an environment of competition and sometimes protectionism has been valuable to our profession. John has also undertaken significant research and been published and presented on education and the built environment, contributing to better knowledge and outcomes for projects beyond his own.

    This openness in approach to architectural practice has also seen Russell and Yelland pioneer the adoption and development of BIM in South Australia. John and his fellow directors have not only led the field in commitment to new technologies within their practice but have freely shared their learnings with others and made considerable investment in providing guidance to government and the local industry in the evolution of BIM.

    Outside of his practice John is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects, has been deputy chair of ACIF and accepted the current role of President of the ACA (SA) in 2011 following Keith Neighbour’s significant leadership.

    Under John’s guidance the ACA (SA) has further developed as an agile and productive advocate for, and supporter of, the business of architecture. As with most voluntary organisations the majority of the work is contributed by a few and John’s personal investment in time and generation of content has been remarkable.

    In recognition of a career which has demonstrated core professional values of innovation in technologies, collaboration in our thinking, and in a willingness to lead and deliver vast amounts of voluntary contribution to the benefit of our whole industry, I am honoured to award this year’s Sir James Irwin President’s Medal to John Held.

    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

    Nominations for the 2018 City of Adelaide Prize are now closed.

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

    The Adelaide City Council 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.

    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