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Kirsten Orr appointed as NSW architect registrar

The NSW Architects Registration Board (NSWARB) has appointed architect and academic Kirsten Orr as registrar.

Orr previously worked as an architecture professor and dean of the School of Technology, Environment and Design at the University of Tasmania.

She said she was particularly keen to promote a better understanding of architecture in the broader community through new partnerships and interdisciplinary collaborations with allied professions.

“There are incredible opportunities to develop an expanded program about architecture’s role in improving the liveability of our cities,” she said.

The board’s president Deborah Dearing said that Orr would bring a unique balance of professional, academic and regulatory leadership to the role.

“Her highly regarded experience within industry and university sector equips her well to realise our mission of registering architects, protecting consumers, informing the public and promoting architecture at a time when global trends and new technologies result in continual change,” she said.

Beyond academia, Orr has been involved in the governance and regulation of the architectural profession as chair of the National Education Committee of the Australian Institute of Architects (2015 to 2016), and president of the Association of Architecture Schools of Australasia (2016 to 2017).

Since 2016, Orr has also been a director of the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia, providing leadership in the development and delivery of the new Architecture Program Accreditation Procedure and the brokering of mutual recognition agreements with Malaysia, Singapore and the United Kingdom.

Orr also served as the NSW registration board’s Academic Board Member between 2011 and 2012.

“After more than 20 years in academia, I am excited to work outside the higher education context to advance the interests of the architectural profession and protect consumers of architectural services,” she said.

“My deep understanding of the architectural profession, the university sector and the workings of state and federal government will be invaluable in my new role.”

Deborah Dearing said Orr was chosen from a strong field of local and international applicants.

“We welcome Kirsten to the role and look forward to her adding new insights and driving the progressive and innovating strategic program of our ambitious board,” she said.

Kirsten Orr begins her role as registrar from 4 February, succeeding outgoing registrar Timothy Horton.

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