Jury: Awards for Australian Interior Design

One half of the creative brain behind studio-gram, Dave Bickmore has spread his creative talent and style across Australia to award winning acclaim.

Since its inception in 2014, studio-gram has successfully delivered over 30 projects throughout Australia and Indonesia. Bickmore was named in SA Weekend magazine’s ‘fastest rising stars Under 30’ and received the Jack Hobbs McConnell Fellowship; providing him with exposure to architecture in the Middle East, Europe, Norway, London, New York, and Hong Kong. These travels helped inform his work when he returned to Adelaide, and are cited as a major influence in many of studio-gram’s projects.

In 2015, studio-gram’s fit out for Pirie Street’s Abbots & Kinney was awarded Best Café Design at the 2015 Eat Drink Design Awards and, in the following year, Osteria Oggi took out the 2016 Robert Dickson Award for Interior Architecture and the prestigious 2016 World Interiors News Award for Restaurant Interiors.

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. 

Sonia Simpfendorfer determines the creative direction of each project, leading her award winning team of designers to deliver interiors that are highly personal, distinctive and enduring. She is entrusted with continuing the ground-breaking design approach established by Janne Faulkner in 1967, which has made Nexus Designs synonymous with Australian style.

Sonia’s knowledge of design, history, technology, art and architecture combines with her extensive professional experience to ensure that Nexus Designs delivers excellent, bespoke contemporary design.

A co-author of the highly acclaimed interior design reference book Living, she has been a director since 2005. As a design and trend commentator, Sonia is sought after by Australia’s leading product manufacturers and design publications.


Working with the ethos that the best design innovation arises from the inherent challenges and possibilities within every project, Hanna’s partnership with Katherine Kemp at ZWEI Interiors Architecture (german for two) is a joint passion for delivering projects that are simple and considered, and yet are experiential spaces that are meaningful, authentic, playful and fun.

Having graduated from Rhein Main University, Wiesbaden, Germany, Hanna has worked in Europe across exhibition, residential and retail design before relocating to Australia two decades ago. Gaining experience in some of Melbourne’s best design studios, ZWEI was formed in 2005 and the studio has achieved international attention, consistently winning both local and international awards.

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.

Donna is a workplace strategy and design leader. As a doctor of philosophy and a registered architect, she believes in embracing reason and intuition to make workplace strategy and concept design exciting and enriching.

Donna can carry projects from research and briefing, to schematic design and post occupancy evaluation. This enables execution of project objectives, and provides a feedback loop to deliver successful business cases for clients. She has a PhD from Sydney University, has worked at top Australian universities and architectural firms and is regularly called upon by media for expert commentary on issues related to workplace design.

Tracey Wiles creates exceptional interiors that are both highly considered and inspiring. Her international portfolio reflects more than 20 years’ experience leading award-winning projects across Europe, the UK and Asia for a diverse range of retail, residential, commercial and hospitality clients.

A qualified architect and interior designer, Tracey works at the intersection of both to refine elegant spaces infused with an enduring sense of place. She combines an exhaustive knowledge of craftsmanship and love of detailing to achieve a distinct language and timeless aesthetic, reflecting the unique aspirations of her clients. Having worked in Europe for the past 20 years, Tracey is highly skilled at leading complex programs, often with significant heritage components. Her projects cover all sectors, including private residences, luxury hotels and restaurants, multi-residential developments and high-end retail projects.

Now based in Sydney, Tracey leads Make’s interiors team on a range of premium developments in Australia, London and Hong Kong, from concept design through to delivery. Notable projects include: The Opera Residences, Sydney; ongoing work for Harrods, London; The Temple House, Chengdu; and the recently completed mixed-use development, Rathbone Square, London.

Prior to joining Make in 2007, Tracey was a senior partner at Foster + Partners. Her work has been widely published, and her insightful design approach ensures she is frequently called upon as a guest lecturer for local and international industry and academic speaking engagements, and to participate in awards juries.

Kieran co-founded Fremantle-based practice CODA in 1997, and joined COX as a Director after the two studios merged in 2017.

Kieran’s portfolio of projects includes educational and public buildings that have been awarded by the Australian Institute of Architects across commercial, public, urban design, interiors, education and residential categories.

Kieran is a regular contributor to design studios at Curtin University and the University of Western Australia and has served on several professional advisory boards and juries. In 2012, he became an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at Monash University focusing on the influence design led thinking can have on Australia’s housing market. In 2016, he co-authored a ground-breaking report, #designperth, with the Property Council of Australia, The Greens and Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute on the critical role design should play in the densification of our cities.

Kieran’s work is underpinned by his belief that design matters and the ability of good design to influence positive outcomes, not just for individuals, but for the wider community.

Sustainability Advisor


John is a sustainability and communications practitioner with over 20 years’ experience as an industry adviser, consultant, advocate and research academic. He works on a range of issues covering product stewardship strategy, policy reform and regulatory analysis.


John has served as Executive Director of Product Stewardship Australia from 2006 to 2011, representing global consumer electronics brands in the detailed development of the Product Stewardship Act 2011. John was also the Associate Director of the European Union-funded ‘EcoSmart Design Program’ based in Belfast, Ireland from 2003 to 2006. He conceived EcoSpecifier in the 1990s and co-authored Australia’s first report on e-waste product stewardship in 1995 titled: Short Circuiting Waste from Electronic Products. His work on end-of- life strategies for electrical and electronics products includes a scoping study on whitegoods for the New Zealand Government.


John has worked in Australia, New Zealand, India and Northern Ireland, and is an Honorary Fellow of the Design Institute of Australia. He is currently Director of Communications with Equilibrium consultants, and provides specialist advice on product stewardship policy and implementation.

Jury: Award for Interior Design Impact

Rob Backhouse, Chairman of HASSELL, has built a reputation for design innovation and leadership on major projects in Australia and Asia over the past two decades. His work includes some of the world’s largest and most complex workplaces as well as unique apartments and houses. In Australia, he’s been involved in transformational workplace design projects for clients including ANZ, Medibank and Lend Lease.

Rob’s work has been recognised by several national and international design awards over the years including winning the 2015 Inside World Festival of Interiors Award for Medibank in Melbourne (Office Category) and the 2010 World Architecture Festival Award for ANZ Centre in Melbourne (Overall Winner for Interiors & Fitout).

Rob is a fellow of both the Design Institute of Australia and the International Federation of Interiors Architects/Designers.

An interior designer who promotes collaborative, trans-disciplinary design practice, Rob’s work has been widely publicised. He is regularly invited to speak and contribute articles for publication on latest thinking in interior architecture and design.

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 is the founder of The Soft Build, a consultancy that focuses on the renewal and reinvention of buildings, spaces and people. An architect with a 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

Geraldine is the Principal of Geraldine Maher Design.

Geraldine’s critical attention to design brings an inherent authenticity to her work. With an amassed twenty plus years 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.

Geraldine has recently embarked on establishing her own design consultancy after several successful years as 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. She is currently undertaking select design commissions and consulting to the industry and clients. Her most recent projects include; the new West Australian Supreme Court with Jackson Architecture, 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.

Where a conflict of interest exists, jurors abstain from judging the project. If the project progresses beyond the shortlisting phase to consideration for either a commendation or award, the juror is excused from judging the entire category.

Jury Host