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South Australia’s newly appointed Government Architect Kirsteen Mackay takes on a larger role than her predecessors, and plans to use her weight to publicly advocate for design.

The SA Government has revealed that the Scottish-born architect and London Royal College of Art alumnus will also take on the Acting Manager job at the Office for Design and Architecture South Australia (ODASA).

Her role will now include articulating conversation and opinion between the private design sector and the planning department, meaning her scope of influence now include planning policy and approvals.

She told the Adelaide Independent News that balancing the coordination between the design industry and planning will be a challenge.

“Not only is the Government Architect involved in the planning approvals processes, but it’s planning policy now,” she says.

“That has to be done really carefully by a Government Architect.

“Sometimes people feel that it’s more independent if it’s not in a department. [However] I’m finding that … it’s actually really good that we’re embedded within the planning department, because we get really good access to the Minister.”

Mackay studied architecture at the Glasgow School of Art and worked with Marks Barfield Architects who designed the London Eye. She was also Principal at Springett Mackay Architecture in the UK before moving to Australia.

Image: SA GOV.