A pioneer of Australian landscape architecture, Conrad’s contribution to the built environment, literary texts and wider society cannot be understated.
Possessing a wealth of knowledge about Australia’s unique plantations, Conrad operated out of Conrad Gargett’s practice for the better part of three decades. During that time, Conrad created a number of projects across residential, commercial and infrastructural contexts.
Janet graduated from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Architecture in 1958, followed by a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture in 1974. She later completed a Master of Applied Science at the Queensland University of Technology in 1992. Conrad’s thesis Prospect/Refuge Theory: An Experimental Approach, published in 1993, discusses the innate relationship humans hold with nature, and the comfort that it brings. The thesis is very much an imitation of her work, where she sought to uplift the human experience by integrating plantations within the built environment.
Conrad received a number of accolades during her career, including the The Woman of Substance award in 1993 by the Girl Guides Association and named Executive Woman of the Year in 1995. She also was given Fellow status by the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects, and was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to landscape architecture, education and international relations in 1996. As well as this, Conrad was the National President of the Women Chiefs of Enterprises International (Australia) from 1995-1997.
Conrad’s tenure as a luminary of the built environment industry has left behind a glittering legacy. Survived by husband Bill, their sons Richard, Bruce and Michael, her contribution to Australian architecture as both landscape architect and businesswoman was prodigious.