Architects recognised in 2023 Australia Day Honours

Two architects have been recognised among 1,047 recipients in the 2023 Australia Day Honours List, celebrated for their meritorious and conspicuous contributions to the country.

Former NSW government architect Christopher Johnson was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for “distinguished services to urban design an architecture, to planning form and compliance, and to the community”.

Johnson was government architect for 10 years from 1995 to 2005. He was also the chief executive for Urban Taskforce Australia from 2011 to 2019. He has held a number of advisory roles, including as a member of the Australian Building Codes Board and of the Complying Development Committee for NSW Department of Planning.

Johnson has been a judge on design excellence panels and a coordinator for charity fundraising for the St Vincent’s Prostate Cancer Centre and Warrah Homes. He has authored a book titled Mid-Rise Urban Living (2021), making a case for the mid-rise as an essential component of growing cities, and he has been an advisory consultant for urban planning since 2019. Johnson is a Life Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects and a former member of the Planning Institute of Australia.

Eli Giannini, director MGS Architects.


Courtesy Eli Giannini

Elisabetta Giannini has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) “for significant service to architecture, and to the arts.”

Born in Rome, Italy, Giannini moved to Australia when she was 15 years old. She studied at RMIT before landing her first job at Williams and Boag Architects in 1983. Giannini has been a registered architect since 1985, and after completing her registration, she moved to Godrey and Spowers in 1987 before becoming a director at MGS Architects – a position she currently holds.

Giannini was president of the Victorian Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects and National Councillor from 2002 to 2004, and was deputy chair of the National General Equity Committee from 2014 to 2016.

Giannini has been a member of the editorial panel for Architect Journal, and the recipient of numbers RAIA awards as design principal of MGS, including a National Architecture Award or McIntyre Drive apartments, and for Public Architecture for Bendigo Library.

Governor General David Hurley said it was “encouraging” to see an increased diversity among this year’s Order of Australia, with a 48 percent female representation for the General Division recipients.

“Congratulations to the outstanding Australians recognised in today’s Honours List,” he said. “The recipients have had a significant impact at the local, national and international level and are, quite simply, inspiring.”

Source: Architecture - architectureau

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