Jury selection is crucial in achieving a credible awards outcome. Jurors are appointed on the basis of their practical expertise, professional standing and high profile.

The judging process is anonymous and confidential. To ensure anonymity in judging, no names of applicants or collaborating parties may appear on submitted images, drawings or written support materials. The Jury reserves the right to re-classify the project to a more appropriate category, if deemed necessary. Jury decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into.

2017 Jury

Jury: Awards for Australian Interior Design

Sonda Banney

Sonda Banney

Head of Interior Design, Architectus (Qld)

Sonda Banney has practiced interior design for over twenty years, gaining experience on a diverse portfolio of project types including Workplace, Hospitality, Multi-Residential and Education.

She was a Practice Director at BVN and headed up the Queensland Interiors team working on projects for various clients including Boeing, IBM, Sheraton and Hyatt. In 2004 Sonda established Design Nest with partner Paul Jones working for clients such as University of Queensland, Accor and Hamilton Island.

2012 saw Sonda collaborate with Geyer as the Lead Designer for the NEXT Hotel project in Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall.

In 2014 Sonda joined Architectus Brisbane where she has established a growing interiors team.

Elizabeth Carpenter

Elizabeth Carpenter

Managing Principal, FJMT Studio (NSW)

Elizabeth is a registered architect with extensive experience in Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore. She has led many multi- award winning projects including; The Mint, Newcastle Regional Museum, and the Concourse.

Elizabeth was awarded the 2014 University of Sydney Alumni Award for Professional Achievement and the 2005 NAWIC (Australia) Stockland Award for Achievement in Design. She acts both as Managing Principal of FJMT Studio and is the Studio Leader of the Sydney studio.

With proven leadership skills, Elizabeth has led numerous multi- disciplinary teams with a focus on residential (multi-unit), institutional (tertiary and schools) and public (museums and performing arts facilities). Her ability to successfully move between various typologies allows her to operate across a wide span of projects.

Elizabeth is committed to the innovation in education and its application to architecture and the relationship between pedagogy and the built form. She believes that continuous learning and development are key as it may lead to changes in an approach or methodology. Highly-respected within the industry, Elizabeth participates and is a mentor in the continued debate about gender equality within the architecture industry. 

Amanda Stanaway

Amanda Stanaway

Principal, Woods Bagot (NSW)

Amanda sits at the forefront of workplace design and has been instrumental in creating some of the most cutting edge workplaces in Australia, delivering real business advantage and positive change for clients. 

Her role as a principal of the international practice Woods Bagot, encompasses strategy and interior design across the commercial, lifestyle and public sectors. Her diverse knowledge and skills provide a unique, comprehensive and innovative approach to projects.

Amanda also contributes to the industry through her role as a public speaker, writer and lecturer, and remains focused on promoting and evolving workplace design.

Mark Simpson

Mark Simpson

Director, DesignOffice (Vic)

Mark is the Joint Creative Director of DesignOffice; a role shared with co-Director Damien Mulvihill. Together, they oversee the architectural and interior design practice working with their team to conceive confident and personable responses to client briefs. The Melbourne-based studio, established in 2008, creates building and spaces for the hospitality, retail, residential, commercial and institutional sectors.

After graduating from the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture in Scotland, Mark worked in the London office of workplace and strategy specialists DEGW before going on to join Allies and Morrison Architects. Here, in the role of Project Architect he worked on the refurbishment of the 1934 listed premises of the Royal Institute of British Architects and London's seminal Royal Festival Hall.  

In 2002 he joined Universal Design Studio and worked alongside Damien as part of the core design team for the multi-disciplinary London-based practice. In the role of Senior Designer, Mark designed and delivered projects a range of clients including London's award-winning Canteen restaurants and the British Red Cross. They also led Universal Design Studio’s collaboration with Grimshaw on the redevelopment of London’s Battersea Power Station.

Arriving in Melbourne in 2006, and prior to establishing DesignOffice, Mark joined Carr Design Group and worked with clients across a range of market sectors and scales.  Following this, he established the Australian office of Universal Design Studio with Jay Osgerby and Edward Barber and re-united with Damien to share the joint direction of the practice, leading onto the formation of DesignOffice.

Nick Travers

Nick Travers

Director, Techne Architecture + Interior Design (Vic)

Nick is driven to innovate and meet challenges head on. He thrives on the complexity of the architect’s role, and is stimulated by a thorough discourse around the philosophical and practical elements of his discipline. Through sharp examination Nick decisively pushes Technē to reach the highest possible level for his team, partners, and clients.

In his role as Technē director, Nick knows the best design occurs when ideas are challenged and shaped collaboratively. Over Technē’s 15 years, this belief has formed the cornerstone of the studio’s culture and is evident in each project.

The emotional content and high technical ability of great musicians, and the experience of live theatre provide inspiration for Nick’s work. The disruptive nature of technology and the beauty of flowing form making that is found in automotive design are a personal passion.

This convergence of the real and digital world fascinates him as the major agents of current technological advancement.

Nick gained experience from Melbourne to Berlin before founding Technē with Justin. His starting point for projects is free hand drawings that give form to his thoughts, functioning as a source of inspiration. This unguarded approach is balanced with a pragmatic attention to detail that promises each moment in a project timeline is handled with dedication.

Tony Chenchow

Tony Chenchow

Director, Chenchow Little (NSW)

Tony graduated in Architecture from the University of New South Wales in 1993 with first class honours. He is a Director of Chenchow Little Architects, which was established in 1994.

Chenchow Little have received many awards for their work including the NSW Australian Institute of Architects Aaron Bolot Award for multiple housing and the Australian Institute of Architects National Robin Boyd Award. Architecture Record (USA) selected Chenchow Little amongst ten international firms for their prestigious Design Vanguard issue 2010 and the practice was the recipient of the “Premier Award" for the Australian Interior Design Awards and the “Australian House of the Year” award in 2016.

The work of Chenchow Little has attracted strong interest from leading international and local publications and websites, including Casabella (Italy), Architectural Record (USA), Wallpaper (UK), GA Houses (Japan), MARK (The Netherlands) and Architecture Australia. The work has also featured in local and international exhibitions, including 'Out from Under: Australian Architecture Now' sponsored by the American Institute of Architects; and 'Abundant Australia' at the 11th International Architecture Biennale, Venice in 2008. Chenchow Little are regularly invited to present their work in lectures, including at the National Gallery of Australia (Canberra) and the Art Gallery of NSW (Sydney).

Sophia Leopardi

Sophia Leopardi

Director, Williams Burton Leopardi (SA)

Sophia graduated from the University of South Australia in 2003 and was awarded a DIA Commendation for Interior Architecture and a DIA Australia merit prize for furniture design.

She is a Director of Williams Burton Leopardi. She established, and is the creative leader, of the Interior Design team at WBL. Her award-winning work has spanned beautiful, elegant and bespoke residential design; sophisticated and engaging retail fit outs and deeply personal workplace environments.

Recognised as one of Adelaide’s new wave of young, creative leaders, she has been profiled in local and national publications. Her passion, warmth and open-hearted design is evident in her wonderfully tactile and elegant interiors, known for celebrating and elevating life’s daily rituals.

Fiona Lynch

Fiona Lynch

Director, Fiona Lynch (Vic)

Renowned for her artistic approach to interior design, Fiona Lynch is a designer that excels in achieving beautiful and genuine outcomes across retail, hospitality and residential projects. 

Inventive use of space and custom detail are the creative hallmarks of her work.  With over 15 years’ experience, award-winning director Fiona Lynch has worked with Australia’s best. 

She leads a multidisciplinary team with expertise in architecture and interior design. With each project, her work gains the respect of industry peers whilst individual projects regularly generate media coverage in national and international titles.

In 2016 Fiona Lynch won Designer of the Year at the Belle Coco Republic Awards and the National Interior Design Excellence Awards (IDEA).

Sustainability Advisor

John Gertsakis

John Gertsakis

John is an independent sustainability practitioner. With over 20 years’ experience he has worked across a range of product-oriented areas including design for sustainability, product stewardship strategy and environmental communications. John has also served on the Australian Government’s Product Stewardship Advisory Group, where he provided advice on materials, industries and waste streams for potential product stewardship action under the Commonwealth’s Product Stewardship Act.

Jury: Award for Interior Design Impact

Madeline Lester

Madeline Lester

Director, Madeline Lester and Associates (NSW)

Madeline Lester AM is among Sydney’s most prominent practicing interior designers. Former partner of Interni for many years, she now heads Madeline Lester + Associates.

Madeline is the first Australian interior designer to be appointed as President of the International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers (IFI) from 2005-2007. In 2011 she was made a Member of the Order of Australia, for her services to the design industry and design education.

She was National President of the Design Institute of Australia (DIA) 1996-1999 and has been inducted into the (DIA) Hall of Fame. She ios a current member of the jury of the Good Design Australia Awards and was previously a juror for the Singapore President’s Design Awards from 2005 to 2009.

She is a passionate advocate of good design and the impact and role it plays in society not only in well-being but in adding value to the built environment. MLA continues to work with diverse clients in commercial, residential, hospitality and retail design projects.

Other passions in her life are family, travel, reading, golf and tending to the family’s olive grove.

Roger Poole

Roger Poole

Director, Roger Poole Architects (Vic)

Roger is the former Chairman of Bates Smart Architects and has over forty years’ experience as a design architect and strategist.   Since his retirement he has formed his own practice, Roger Poole Architects Pty Ltd, an architectural design and development advisor to private and government clients.

Roger has a particularly strong commitment to collaboration between interior designers and architects to create a unified design solution which is thoroughly considered, innovative and timeless.    At Bates Smart, Roger and Jeffery Copolov, interior design Director, created a design method using inter-disciplinary teams which work through projects from concept to completion.  He believes in design “from the inside out and the outside in” as the method to achieve solutions which are flexible, efficient and which stand the test of time.

Building on Bates Smart’s strong reputation in commercial architecture and health, Roger and his partners took the practice into hospitality design with three hotels for Crown Resorts, and then into high-quality residential apartments, a field of special interest in recent years. 

Beginning with the Mirvac competition-winning Melburnian in St Kilda Road, Roger continued with the three-tower mixed use project at Freshwater Place, then 150 Clarendon Street in East Melbourne for Salta Properties.  With Jeffery and Kristen Whittle, Roger lead the design of Convesso Concavo in Lend Lease’s Victoria Harbour, 35 Spring Street, the almost complete tower for Cbus Properties, and the latest collaboration with Mirvac, The Eastbourne, a new residential project in East Melbourne which has set new benchmarks for the owner-occupier market. 

A Life Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects, Roger has served on  many Awards Juries, and with his former colleagues has received over forty awards for architectural and interior design.

A Life Member of the Committee for Melbourne, Roger served for fourteen years as a member of the Executive Board of the Committee. A former Chair of the Council of St Catherine’s School, Roger is currently on the Board of Chunky Move, Victoria’s premier contemporary dance company.

Sue Wittenoom

Sue Wittenoom

Founder, The Soft Build (NSW)

Sue is the founder of The Soft Build, a consultancy that focuses on the renewal and reinvention of buildings, spaces and people. An architect with an MBA, she designs change programs for projects that are new and different.

Over the past 30 years, her working life has evolved from architecture to project management, program design,  and strategic consulting. The common thread is design for change: using the design process and physical space more intelligently and creatively to create new user experiences.

As Director of DEGW 2008-2012 and Technical Director of AECOM’s Strategy+ practice in ANZ  2012-2015, she has built on the DEGW legacy of thought leadership and helps clients think strategically about how the relationship between people and place shapes organisational performance. 

She lives by Alison Smithson’s observation that “a building is ten people thick.”

Jury Convenor

Joanne Cys

Head of School: Art, Architecture and Design at the University of South Australia

Professor Joanne Cys LFDIA, is Head of School: Art, Architecture and Design at the University of South Australia.  She has been the creative director for major practice-led design competitions and symposia at state, national and international level, has spoken at national and international conferences and is regularly invited to contribute to professional design journals. Joanne is highly engaged in national and international peak design bodies.  She has been co-chair of the Global Interiors Education Open Forum (2011-2015) and Executive Board Member of the International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers (2011- 2014).  Joanne was National President of the Design Institute of Australia (2008-2010) and has been Australia's representative to the Global Design Network and the Asia Pacific Space Designers Alliance. In 2016 she was inducted into Australia's Design Hall of Fame in recognition of her contributions to design policy, education and research. Her qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Arts (Interior Design), a Master of Architecture and a PhD.

Joanne Cys

Geraldine Maher

Director of Jackson Interiors and Principal of Jackson Architecture

Geraldine Maher’s critical attention to design brings an inherent authenticity to her work. With an amassed twenty years of experience, Geraldine continues to be highly motivated, evidenced by her rigorous commitment to exploration of ideas, spatial planning, material and detail. She applies skill, energy, intelligence and passion to the design of interiors.

A Director of Jackson Interiors and Principal of Jackson Architecture in Melbourne, Geraldine leads with thoughtfulness and distinction. Her work is predicated on the belief that acknowledgment of the human circumstance is the driving force behind creative and inspirational architectural outcomes. She possesses a particular passion for civic projects that contribute to the fabric of society, are enduring and engage people.

Geraldine’s excellent design and planning skills have consistently proven to be a powerful asset. Her dedication to pushing the design envelope and commitment to keeping up to date with advancements in the field, have resulted in inspiring, innovative and functional environments. Importantly, Geraldine has the ability to embrace the streams of functional planning, spatial aesthetics and detailing to create holistic memorable spaces that exceed expectations.

Geraldine possesses the intelligence and ability to design beyond aesthetics to address the emotional, civic, functional and human aspects of interior space. This is demonstrated in a diverse range of significant projects in which she has had a pivotal lead design role.

Geraldine’s reputation in the industry is highly regarded. She enjoys rigorous discourse on design with her friends, colleagues and clients. In addition to her design work, Geraldine contributes to various events as guest speaker, sits on academic assessment panels and award juries and regularly tutors. Her current projects include; the new West Australian Supreme Court, the upgrade of the Forum Theatre in Melbourne, The Monash Law Faculty Moot Court (with JCB architects) and her own never-to-be completed, dwelling in the bush, which she uses as a prototype for testing ideas and cataloguing experiences.

Jury Host