The inaugural Paula Whitman Leadership in Gender Equity Prize has been awarded to Queensland architect Catherine Baudet for her tireless efforts in promoting gender equity in the architectural profession.

Immediate Past President and Jury Chair, Jon Clements spoke about Catherine’s pivotal role in bringing about the substantial progress being achieved today towards gender equity in the architecture industry.

Catherine co-founded Women in Architecture Queensland in 1983, with the organisation hosting the first exhibition featuring the work of 40 women architects the following year. According to Clements, Catherine has, over the past 30 years, continuously advocated for gender equity and promoted the outstanding contribution made by women to the architectural profession.

He explained that Catherine brought a new level of energetic focus to gender equity issues, both through her own practice, Ferrier Baudet Architects, and at the Institute when she became the first woman architect to be elected to the Queensland Chapter Council in 1989. Catherine had also inspired Paula Whitman on a path of investigative research, which subsequently led to the landmark 2005 study ‘Going places: The Career Progression of Women in Architecture’.

Clements concludes that the prize is a fitting tribute to, and recognition of Catherine’s achievements, the benefits of which will be felt by generations of women architects into the future.

In awarding Catherine the prize, the jury noted that ‘Catherine is an exceptional role model and mentor for many young and emerging architects and she is a most worthy recipient of the Inaugural Paula Whitman Leadership in Gender Equity Prize 2017’.

A new initiative of the Australian Institute of Architects’ National Committee for Gender Equity, the Prize aims to recognise exceptional leadership and outstanding contribution to the advancement of gender equity in architectural practice, education and governance. The national prize is named in honour of the late Queensland architect, university professor and gender equity advocate, Paula Whitman.