Open House Melbourne (OHM) will play host to This Is Public, a speaker series co-presented with RMIT Architecture & Urban Design and The Capitol, RMIT University as part of its 2021 July Weekend program.

This Public centres around the need to find new ways to reconnect and transform the ways in which we live and work together. The event will host speakers from a range of backgrounds and perspectives, who will endeavour to answer questions regarding the role of policy, climate change and future architecture in our cities, as well as other thought-provoking topics.

Focusing on the central theme, Reconnect, the OHM July program asks us to reconsider the way we occupy our city and to envisage new ways of designing and adapting our buildings, infrastructure, landscapes and communities as we emerge from the ongoing impact of COVID-19.

For the first edition of This Is Public and subsequent launch program of the OHM July Weekend program, invited speakers will reflect on the future from multiple perspectives. Guests can expect a series of inspiring and insightful presentations on issues such as designing on Country, provocative urbanism, people-centred policy and belonging, and safe, inclusive spaces for everyone. The evening will begin with an address from Lord Mayor Sally Capp, and an introduction to the OHM 2021 theme, Reconnect.

Marking the first of a new series co-presented with The Capitol, RMIT University, This Is Public’s July edition will be a hybrid event, presented to both live and digital audiences from the inspirational theatre. The event will be recorded and live-streamed on both the Open House Melbourne and The Capitol websites, and will later be co-presented as a podcast, with additional interviews and content produced in collaboration with RMIT media students available upon release.


This Is Public’s speakers include:

Jefa Greenaway and Tristan Wong – INBETWEEN

INBETWEEN presents a series of architectural projects, through a film compilation to show how architects, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, are working with First-Nations peoples as a way of embedding cultural authenticity into our built environment. The works were originally conceived for exhibition in Australia’s pavilion on the Giardini in Venice and has been reimagined as a film that presents a powerful set of works from across Australia and the Pacific. The works demonstrate architecture’s capacity to strengthen cultural connections and understanding between non-Indigenous and First Nations peoples.

Jill Garner, Victorian Government Architect (OVGA) – Designing Policy for People

Jill Garner took the helm of the Office of the Victorian Government Architect in 2015, stepping into the role as a public advocate for architecture and design after more than twenty years in practice. As an architect, her practice - Garner Davis - has received numerous industry awards for delivering sensitive, crafted public and private work. As a design advisor and advocate in government, she strongly promotes the value of contextual, integrated design thinking and a collaborative approach across design disciplines. Jill Garner will further explore these issues with Hamish Lyon, Director of NH Architecture, in a guided walking tour taking place over the OHM Weekend.

Nicole Kalms, XYX Lab – Your Ground: Towards a Safer and More Accessible City

Your Ground is a digital mapping platform that aims to advance knowledge of safety in public spaces. In the context of social changes brought about by COVID-19, Your Ground is backed by research and seeks to allow women and gender-diverse people to call out safe and unsafe experiences and geographically identify spaces where they have been made to feel unsafe, scared or even safe and happy. The project seeks to empower women and gender-diverse people to advocate for change through their lived experiences.

Liam Young with Ewan McEoin - The Making of Planet City

Planet City is a film exploring the productive potential of extreme densification. The project – commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria – imagines a future where humanity exists in one hyper dense metropolis, leaving the rest of the planet to thrive in wilderness. Liam Young, author, filmmaker and architect, is joined by Ewan McEoin, the Hugh Williamson Senior Curator of Contemporary Design and Architecture at the National Gallery of Victoria, to discuss the future of city existence. Liam joins ‘This Is Public’ courtesy of the Living Cities Forum and the Naomi Milgrom Foundation where he has curated a film series as part of the OHM X Living Cities satellite program.

James Brearley and Justine Della Riva (CEO) – Building Pride

Five years in the making the Victorian Pride Centre is a place of belonging, support and pride for LGBTIQ+ communities. As Australia’s first purpose-built pride centre, this is where everyone can come together, honour the past, celebrate the present, and work towards a more inclusive future. The Centre is home to important resident organisations, engaging cultural programs, vital health services and inspiring social spaces. In January 2018, BAU (Brearley Architects and Urbanists) and GAA (Grant Amon Architects), were selected winners of a two-stage design competition. Inaugural CEO Justine Dalla Riva, will be joined by architect James Brearley to discuss what it takes to create inclusive spaces that respect an individual and collective vision to belong.

Beau de Belle, Christine Phillips and Jock Gilbert – Designing On Country

Gamilaraay architect Beau de Belle and non-Indigenous design academics, Christine Phillips and Jock Gilbert consider the question: What will Melbourne look like in the future when we embrace design as an act of reconciliation? The discussion for This Is Public will set the scene for an expanded event the following evening at The Capitol, with ABC’s Jonathan Green, Boon Wurrong elder N'Arweet Dr Carolyn Briggs AM, along with RMIT Architecture & Urban Design’s Reconciliation Ngulu team exploring these questions in further depth.


The Open House Melbourne This Is Public speaker series will be held on Friday 23 July, with doors opening at 5pm for a 5:30pm start. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased here. For more information regarding the series, head to