Hassell Principal Peter Lee’s service to community housing and architecture has been recognised on a national scale, with the architect awarded a medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) amongst the 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Lee was modest in receiving the medal, believing those he assists in the community and social realms are the ones that deserve the accolades.
“I’m honoured and delighted to receive the Order of Australia Medal; it was very unexpected,” he says.
“The citation is for service to community housing initiatives and architecture; so I assume it’s about my long-term involvement with Foundation Housing and the things I do in the world of design.
“Being useful in both those areas is reward enough but being recognised for it is wonderful. I’ve been on the board and the chair of the development committee for what was City Housing and then became Foundation Housing in the last century (23 years).
“I’ve been inspired by the work our tenancy management people do taking care of those in need. They are the ones who deserve awards. My job has been to provide a supply of housing which has grown from a few million dollars of property to a portfolio approaching ¾ of a billion dollars, housing worthy people from our lodging house residents through to key workers.
"Providing an address for people means we can deliver services and help people get back on their feet - it is a fundamental right, and our country is rich enough to do it. There is no excuse not to house everyone.
“It’s also been such a contrast dealing with housing really disadvantaged people and at the same time working on projects like Chevron, Optus Stadium, The Westin, and Brookfield Place, with Hassell also involved with WA Museum Boola Bardip, Midland, and Fiona Stanley Hospital and all the wonderful projects our team has undertaken.
“I’m blessed that Hassell has always supported my involvement in community social sustainable things like Foundation Housing, FORM, Open House, Rottnest Island Authority, State Design Review Panel and DAPs; and I’ve been able to contribute to Curtin University as an Adjunct Professor.
“All these things, I believe, add to the quality of architecture and the built environment, and it’s great to be able to give back to this wonderful industry whilst my opinions are still useful.”
Lee was instrumental in bringing Hassell to Western Australia in 2004 and was appointed as an international Director. In 2020, he stepped down from Hassell's international board after sixteen years to focus on his contributions to the Perth market.
Lee was previously elevated to Life Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects for his notable significant contribution to the profession through practice engagement with the Institute, allied professional associations, and various Boards.