Moving to Australia to flee religious persecution in his home country of Iran, Arman Gouniaei has made quite the ascension, becoming an award winning business owner in just three short years.

A member of the Baha’i community which has been oppressed by the Muslim clergy for generations, Gouniaei was refused admission to university while in Iran. Opting to study an architecture degree at a private college, Gouniaei earned his stripes through designing a number of commercial and residential projects as a refugee in Turkey.  

Touching down in Australia in 2018, Gouniaei has undertaken two degrees at TAFE in New South Wales. The budding business owner completed a Diploma of Building Design at Granville, and then eventually undertook a Graduate Diploma of Building Design course that allowed him to establish his business, Art DecoLine. 

“Studying at TAFE NSW and receiving formal qualifications in Australia, was not the end of my educational journey, but the beginning I wished I had thirteen years ago in Iran,” Gouniaei says.

“The Diploma and Graduate Diploma of Building Design provided me with the practical skills and confidence to launch my own business, providing me with knowledge of Australian Standards and the Development Application process.

“Since my graduation, I have been able to start my own successful business in Australia and currently have contracts to design and manage the build of commercial and residential projects, including a stone and marble showroom in Zetland.”

Two projects undertaken by Gouniaei have taken home awards, with work completed at ArtDecoline Apartment and Violin House winning Gouniaei’s practice gongs at the Building Designers Association of Australia Sydney Regional Design Awards. Violin House was additionally awarded silver at the 2021 Sydney DrivenxDesign Awards.

TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Architectural Technology, Fadi Fadhil, says Gouniaei is the living embodiment of a successful TAFE student that has made the most of their opportunity to learn and translate these skills into the workforce. 

“Mr Gouniaei was a passionate, industrious and skillful student, and his success is a glowing endorsement of the quality of education and training provided by TAFE NSW,” he says.

“Our Building Design qualifications allows students to develop a professional portfolio of work, through learning how to produce 3D rendered model animations, and industry-standard documentation that supports client requirements.”