Western Australia appoints new ‘highly credentialled’ government architect

Emma Williamson, architect and co-founder of The Fulcrum Agency, has been appointed as WA’s new government architect and chair of the state’s Design Review Panel, replacing Rebecca Moore, who held the position for three years.

Williamson has practised for nearly 30 years and is a member of the West Australian and South Australian State Design Review Panels. Williamson’s practice has been involved in several award-winning projects, such as Boola Katitjin by Lyons with Silver Thomas Hanley, Officer Woods, The Fulcrum Agency and Aspect Studios, which won a 2023 Daryl Jackson Award for Educational Architecture and a 2023 National Award for Sustainable Architecture; and the Groote Archipelago Housing Programme, which was a joint winner of the 2023 ArchitectureAU Award for Social Impact. The practice was also a state adviser on WA Museum Boola Bardip by Hassell and OMA, which won the 2021 George Temple Poole Award.

In 2022, Williamson was named a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects for her valuable contribution to the profession beyond architectural practice. She is committed to educating the next generation of architects through her role as adjunct senior research fellow at Monash University and through her written research, which has been published both nationally and internationally. In 2023, the Institute awarded Williamson the Paula Whitman Leadership in Gender Equity Prize.

Williamson frequently uses the profession as an instrument for highlighting and advocating for social issues that correlate with the field. She has often been invited to symposiums and events to speak on topics such as gender equity, leadership, design and practice management.

The Fulcrum Agency co-founder will supersede government architect Rebecca Moore, who accepted the role in September 2020. Moore was Australia’s first female government architect. She has provided design advice on more than $28 billion worth of state and regional projects. During her tenure, she provided consultation on key projects such as the Metronet station developments, the Causeway Pedestrian and Cyclist Bridge, and the Women and Babies Hospital project.

Moore has taken a leave of absence and will conclude her position officially this February. Architect, Barbara Gdowski has been serving as acting government architect and interim chair of the State Design Review Panel.

The role will entail providing design leadership and advice to improve the quality of the state’s built environment, as well as ensure that good design is prioritized in all development and major project opportunities. It also involves providing independent advice to the Minister for Planning, and the premier on key projects and strategic planning initiatives.

Planning Minister, John Carey, welcomed the appointment, saying Williamson is a “highly credentialled architect.”

“Williamson’s experience in design review will be integral to the position, as she will play a central role in the review and assessment of significant development proposals – through the new permanent assessment pathway – as part of our government’s planning reform agenda to take effect on 1 March 2024,” Carey said.

“I would again like to thank outgoing government architect, Ms Moore, for her contribution to the design of our state, and wish her well in her next endeavours.”

Source: Architecture - architectureau

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