Architecture & Design columnist Tone Wheeler and former Sustainability Awards judge Caroline Pidcock have been awarded the 2021 Leadership in Sustainability Prize from the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA), as founders of the movement in Australia to demonstrate how sustainability can be delivered in the built environment.

Says the AIA Jury: “They are both outstanding in the time, energy and creativity they have provided to the profession and to the broader community over several decades. They have led the profession by showing that there is hope in tackling the structures that impede sustainability and by their involvement in demonstration projects that enable everyone to see that sustainability can be cost-effective, inclusive and beautiful.”

On Wheeler, the Jury noted that, “Wheeler has contributed to leadership in sustainability in education, research, advocacy, community engagement and policy development on a national level. As an academic and researcher, he has helped to create many of the guidelines for how to achieve sustainability in the built environment, including the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) and the Building Sustainability Index (BASIX). In advocacy, community engagement and policy development, he has become the voice of architecture through his public speaking, media interviews and regular “Tone on Tuesday” column. Via his architectural practice, Wheeler has continued to deliver projects that demonstrate his leadership and to be a contributor to the Australian Institute of Architects.”

For Pidcock, the judges noted that “By contributing to almost every professional and community-based group in New South Wales that has had a sustainability agenda for the built environment, Pidcock has shown that architects must attack the agenda through civil society. As a result, she has contributed to many government changes in regulations and guidelines, as well as being an effective media spokesperson.”