Proud Kalkatungu woman Laree Barney has been awarded the 2021 Queensland University of Technology Indigenous Landscape Architecture Scholarship by Arcadia, after impressing the interview panel with her mature outlook and passion for design.

First established at the University of New South Wales in 2017, Arcadia offers scholarships for Indigenous students to study Landscape Architecture at eight universities across the country. Barney, along with other winners of the scholarship, will be supported with studio experience and mentoring from the Arcadia team in their state of choice.

Barney says being awarded the scholarship is an honour and will enable to further her studies, and awareness surrounding Indigenous practices.

“I am honoured to have been awarded Arcadia’s scholarship while I’m studying Landscape Architecture at QUT. I was drawn to this degree because I am passionate about sustainability, design, and the ongoing Care of Country using First Nations knowledge," she says.

The scholarship was born from a want to increase First Nations input within landscape architecture by Arcadia Principals. The intention of the scholarship is to encourage Indigenous students to enter landscape architecture, as proper representation of Indigenous people in this industry will increase the capacity to care for Country and connect with Country and place and to create better performing, more meaningful spaces which share stories and knowledge, allowing for true custodianship and care.

Founding Principal Alex Longley says the implementation of the scholarship is beneficial for both First Nations peoples and landscape architecture as a whole, as the industry will benefit from Indigenous knowledge.

“Arcadia established the scholarship to increase the representation of Indigenous practitioners in the Landscape Architecture industry. Having Indigenous students like Laree, on their own personal journey to further develop their understanding of Country and heritage, share their knowledge and perspective with their peers, will increase our industry’s capacity to connect and care for Country,” he says.

As well as the scholarship, Arcadia holds partnerships with Indigenous initiatives, in-house staff cultural training and our ongoing employment and mentoring of Indigenous professionals, the practice prides itself on being at the forefront of our industry in engagement, advancement and collaboration with First People. Arcadia believes its holistic and ongoing approach to Indigenous heritage, culture and Country that makes the firm best placed to provide designs that are rich in history, culture and meaning, for all to enjoy.

All Indigenous students enrolled in an AILA-accredited Landscape Architecture program are invited to apply for an Arcadia scholarship. Each scholarship will provide support to each student for the duration of the course. This scholarship will be available to one student per university, per year.

The scholarship is offered through Deakin University, the Queensland University of Technology, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, University of New South Wales, University of Western Australia, University of Canberra, University of Melbourne and the University of Technology Sydney.