The Australian Institute of Architects has announced its full list of honours and winners at its 2018 National Architecture Conference.  

The highest honour, the Australian Institute of Architects’ Gold Medal, was awarded to Sydney practitioner emeritus professor Alec Tzannes, who was recognised for his work across a broad spectrum of architectural practice and his service and leadership within the profession, academia and related fields.


Sydney practitioner Alec Tzannes

Professor Rob Adams, director of City Design for the City of Melbourne, received the National President’s Prize.


Professor Rob Adams, director of City Design for the City of Melbourne.

Past AIA president Richard Kirk selected Adams in recognition of “his sheer dedication and skill over a thirty-year career with the City of Melbourne that has made Melbourne one of the world’s greatest cities.”

“The City Design team, under Rob’s leadership, has crafted a vision for the City of Melbourne where the public realm is championed. As an advocate for the city, Rob has made one of the greatest contributions to the profession – he has demonstrated that design can be an essential part of the process of how we make our cities,” says Kirk.


Melonie Bayl-Smith, founder and director of Bijl Architecture in Sydney.

The Paula Whitman Leadership in Gender Equity Prize was awarded to Melonie Bayl-Smith, founder and director of Bijl Architecture in Sydney. The jury acknowledged Bayl-Smith as an ‘exemplary leader for the architecture profession’ noting ‘her leadership in gender equity is particularly evident through her mentoring, advocacy and acting as an exceptional role model for many students, graduates and emerging architects’.

Bayl-Smith has been involved with the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) since 2005, where she has been an active contributor through mentoring. In 2010 she received the NAWIC International Women’s Day travelling scholarship for her BuildAbility research project, which investigated the future of construction education across Australasia and on an international basis.

Queensland emerging practitioner Christina Cho received the National Emerging Architect Prize. A director at Cox Architecture, Cho’s professional accolades are extensive and include finalist in the AFR BOSS Young Executives 2018, and the 2011 Dulux Study Tour.


Queensland emerging practitioner Christina Cho. 

‘She has dedicated herself wholly to the profession and tirelessly provides leadership through her affiliations with the UQ School of Architecture Advisory Board, the Institute’s Queensland Chapter Council, National Trust QLD and the Property Industry Foundation. She is a leader and a role model for graduates of architecture. Her achievements and dedication to the profession have influenced and nourished her immediate and wider community’, the jury noted.

Renowned Singaporean architect, Dr Liu Thai Ker was honoured with the William J Mitchell International Chapter Prize, awarded in recognition of significant contribution by an Australia-linked practitioner to architecture globally.

Considered the ‘architect of modern Singapore’, Dr Liu was born in Malaysia, but grew up and practises in Singapore ‘where he was influential in the conceptualisation and implementation of the urban structure and landscape the city-state’. He received his bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of New South Wales in 1962 and was later awarded an honorary Doctorate (1995) from UNSW.

Troy Borg of RMIT University received the Student Prize for the Advancement of Architecture. Borg, who is completing his Bachelor of Architecture, is the current national president of the Institute’s Student Organised Network for Architecture (SONA). The jury were impressed by Borg’s dedication and passion for giving back to the student body. 


Troy Borg of RMIT University.

“Troy embodies values that speak well to architecture’s future – generosity, leadership and inclusiveness,” the jury says.


Former SONA President and graduate of architecture, Paul Violett.

Former SONA President and graduate of architecture, Paul Violett was recognised with the Student Prize for the Advancement of Architecture – Commendation.

Five emerging architects - Kim Bridgland, Leah Gallagher, Jason Licht, Joseph O’Meara, Dirk Yates – announced earlier in the year, were selected for the sought-after Dulux Study Tour. The recipients participated in a ten-day tour visiting Milan, London and Berlin in May.

The full list of winners:

Gold Medal 

Alec Tzannes AM LFRAIA – Tzannes (NSW)

National President’s Prize 

Professor Rob Adams AM LFRAIA – City of Melbourne (Vic) 

Paula Whitman Leadership in Gender Equity Prize

Melonie Bayl-Smith FRAIA – Bijl Architecture (NSW)

National Emerging Architect Prize 

Christina Na-Heon Cho RAIA – Cox Architecture (Qld)

William J Mitchell International Chapter Prize

Dr Liu Thai Ker FRAIA – Morrow (Singapore)

Student Prize for the Advancement of Architecture 

Troy Borg – RMIT (Vic)

Student Prize for the Advancement of Architecture – Commendation

Paul Violett –  University of Queensland (Qld)

Dulux Study Tour 

Kim Bridgland RAIA – Edition Office (Vic)

Leah Gallagher RAIA – Kin Architects (Qld)

Jason Licht RAIA – Cumulus Studio (Tas)

Joseph O’Meara RAIA – BVN (NSW)

Dirk Yates RAIA – Speculative Architecture (Qld)