Andrew Hannah-Davies, a Master of Architecture graduate has been awarded the New South Wales Graduate Medal - the most prestigious award for a graduate of architecture in the state.

Established to acknowledge excellence in architectural design, the NSW Graduate and Student Architecture Awards showcase the top student work from across the four architecture programs offered in the state.

This year’s title went to Andrew Hannah-Davies for his final-year project, Beneath the Surface, which proposes redevelopment of the existing facilities and surrounding landscape of the famous healing waters at Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre.

As a site of cultural and historical significance, the mineral waters of Moree Baths were a catalyst for change during the student Freedom Rides led by Charles Perkins that were highly influential to the 1967 referendum and Indigenous rights.

“Beneath the Surface takes the user on a social, physical and ethereal journey of healing. It is a bold demolition of the old, cleansing away that negative karma of the past via acknowledgement of that past, and a poetic reconstruction of the new,” says Andrew.

“The project tackles an issue commonly found within regional towns in Australia; being racism and more specifically the local Indigenous population excluding themselves as a result of past clashes.

“The project is a culmination of my belief in the healing power of water and it is a huge honour to receive this award. I hope it serves as a great launchpad for a lifetime in architecture."