Architects and designers recognized in 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours

The Council of the Order of Australia has recognized three architects, a landscape architect and an interior designer in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Stephen Ashton. Image:  John Gollings

The late Stephen Ashton was posthumously appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) “for significant service to architecture through management and design roles, to professional organizations, and to motor sport.”

Ashton founded Ashton Raggatt McDougall (now ARM Architecture) with Howard Raggatt and Ian McDougall in 1988. He also served as the Victorian chapter president of the Australian Institute of Architects (1990–92) and was chair of the Board of Practice Service (1988–90). He was made a life fellow of the Institute in 1998.

Ashton was an examiner of the Architects Registration Board. From 1989 to 1990, he was chair of the Building Professions Committee and a member of the Ministerial Working Party into the Architect’s Act. He was also an active member of Launch Housing, a community organization that seeks to end homelessness.

In 2016 Ashton, Raggatt and McDougall received the Australian Institute of Architects Gold Medal, the profession’s highest honour. Ashton passed away in July 2016 after suffering from mesothelioma.

“Over three decades, Steve along with his co-directors, has made a significant contribution to Australia’s cultural landscape,” said the Institute’s past national president Ken Maher.

Three architects were each awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).

Karl Fender.

Karl Fender OAM was recognized “for service to architecture, and to professional institutions.” Fender was a design assistant to Robin Boyd from 1968 to 1972 before he started private practice. He was a partner of Nation Fender (1990-1996), Nation Fender Katsalidis (1996-2001) and is now partner of Fender Katsalidis.

He was Victorian chapter president of the Institute (2008–10), and national president (2010–11). In 2011, Fender chaired the jury for the National Architecture Awards and the National Architecture Conference Coordinating Committee. He became a board member of the Australian Institute of Architects Foundation in 2015 and is also a life fellow of the Institute.

Since 2009, Fender has served as a member of the Design Review Panel for the Barangaroo Delivery Authority. He was also a member of the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale committee, as well as a member of the Reconstruction Advisory Board for the Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority in 2009.

Fender is an honorary fellow of the national architectural institute of USA, Canada and Korea. He is jury chair of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat Tall Buildings Awards (2016–17).

Queensland architect Peter Harvey OAM was recognized “for service to architecture.” Harvey joined Peddle Thorpe Harvey Architects in 1962 and opened its office in Brisbane. He was chairman of the practice from 1962 to 1964 and later became chairman of Peddle Thorp from 1984 to 1994.

Harvey has been involved in the design the redevelopment of Queensland Parliament House, Papua New Guinea’s new Parliament House, as well as major office buildings in Brisbane including AMP Place, Comalco Place and the Central Plaza Redevelopment. In the 1980s, he contributed to the design and construction of the Mater Public Hospital and complex in South Brisbane and the Mater Calvary Hospital in Cairns.

Sydney architect Neville Potts OAM was also recognized “for service to architecture.” Potts was senior director of Di Carlo Potts and Associates, Health Planning Architects (1984–2005). He was made a fellow of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects in 1998.

Dianne Firth.

Landscape architect Dianne Firth OAM was recognized “for service to landscape architecture, and to education.” Firth has been adjunct associate professor of landscape architecture at the University of Canberra’s Faculty of Arts and Design since 2012. She has held various teaching positions since 1983.

Firth has been a fellow of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) since 2005 and is also a former member of the editors board. She received AILA’s Design Award for Parliament House Children’s Centre in 2010 and the Award for Research and Communication in 2005.

She has also served on various ACT government bodies including the Heritage Council and the Land Development Agency’s Design Review Panel.

Firth has authored and co-authored a range of publications and was editor of Art Quilt Australia in 2015.

Geoffrey Fitzpatrick.

Finally, designer Geoffrey Fitzpatrick OAM was recognized “for service to industrial and interior design.” Fitzpatrick is the foundation editor and instigator of Artichoke magazine (1998–2003). He is also the inaugural director and chair of the Australian Design Alliance.

He has been a member of the Design Institute of Australia since 1975 and became a Hall of Fame inductee in 2005. He served as national vice-president in 2012.

Fitzpatrick is all vice-president of Artists and Industry, director of the Independent Designers Association of Australia and a member of the Advisory Committee on Design for the Victorian Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development.

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