2019 Jury

Australian Interior Design Awards

Scott Carver’s Angela Biddle has twenty years of experience in interior design, which has seen her work across residential, leisure and commercial sectors in northern Europe, the Middle East, Canada, South America and South-East Asia.

Angela has always been fascinated by the ever-changing ways in which people live, work and play. Her expertise lies in her ability to create a branded story to strategically position projects, ensuring that design expression maximizes the commercial potential of a project.

Angela played a pivotal role in the creation of the Yoo Hotels and Resorts brand and in designing two hotel brands for Yoo Design Studio, where she developed an intrinsic understanding of developer and operator requirements. Angela was able to question the traditional hotel model and reinvent the status quo – an experience that motivates her to help clients envision, strategize and design places for future generations.

Caroline Choker is a co-founder of ACME, a multidisciplinary design firm delivering a broad range of creative projects. The boutique practice has extensive professional experience in both small- and large-scale projects, including completed works in the hospitality, residential, commercial, industrial, public and adaptive re-use sectors.

The studio focuses on creating holistic design solutions that respond to each client’s commercial objectives and site-specific needs. While each commission is individual, the studio adopts consistent principles across all of its projects, exploring the fundamentals of environment, sustainability, space, proportion, light and materials.

Anthony Dickens is an award-winning interior designer who has worked across multiple sectors over nearly two decades. His current focus is workplace design, something he’s passionate about given its potential to transform an organization and the strong impact it has on employees. At Hassell, he is leading a 60,000-square-metre workplace project for NAB in Melbourne’s CBD as well as Seek’s new 20,000-square-metre headquarters in Cremorne, in the city’s inner east. He also played a critical role in designing Medibank Place in Melbourne – widely recognized as one of the world’s healthiest places to work. His other major Hassell projects include ANZ Centre in Melbourne, KPMG in Brisbane and AGL in Adelaide.

Anthony has been involved in many residential and hospitality projects across Australia, Asia, the UK and Europe. Outside of his time at Hassell, he was a senior designer at both DEGW and Bennett Interior Design in London. While in the UK, he was the project designer on large-scale jobs such as Rio Tinto’s headquarters and MSN’s workplace in London.

Peta Heffernan is a co-founding director of Liminal Studio, a creatively agile practice that integrates design and architecture with the disciplines of interior, furniture, object and production design as well as art curation and exhibitions. Its interdisciplinary approach is captured in the studio’s “Architecture,” “Spaces” and “Objects” identities. Peta is passionate about pushing design frontiers and firmly believes that collaboration across broader disciplines drives new thinking and empowers communities. Through architecture and design, Peta has led global and local teams and seeks to create stimulating environments that foster collaborative engagement and promote wellbeing.

Her creativity and breadth of experience have been shaped by high-profile cultural and performing arts projects, such as the Hedberg, co-located with Australia’s oldest operating theatre in Hobart; unique tourism projects, such as the new boutique Coastal Pavilions delivered for Freycinet Lodge in the Freycinet National Park, Tasmania; and community-galvanizing health and education projects, such as the Glenorchy Health Centre in Hobart, the Jordan River Learning Federation precinct in Bridgewater (north of Hobart), the innovative Ogilvie High School Student Centre in Hobart and Geeveston Child and Family Centre in Geeveston, Tasmania.

While many of Liminal’s architectural projects touch people through education, culture, health, workplaces, housing and tourism, Peta’s contribution ranges from delivering award-winning architecture and interiors to acclaimed collaborations in contemporary performances, exhibitions and festivals and roles influencing the framing of cultural policy.

Ingrid Richards co-founded Richards and Spence Architects with Adrian Spence in 2008 with the aim of creating vibrant public spaces from private commissions. She has a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Queensland and has practiced in her home town of Brisbane for almost twenty years.
Ingrid brings strategic thinking and urban choreography to the practice of architecture. Richards and Spence has been instrumental in the development of the James Street Precinct in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley – including the 19 James Street retail and commercial building, Brickworks Design Studio, the flagship retail store for West Elm, the Living Edge showroom and most recently, the landmark Calile Hotel.
Ingrid is a member of the Brisbane City Council’s Independent Design Advisory Panel and is a regular speaker at architecture, design and development forums – including presentations for the Australian Institute of Architects, the Property Council of Australia, Think Brick and the 2015 Monocle Quality of Life Conference. Most recently she was one of 21 speakers selected to demonstrate the breadth and capacity of Australian architecture at The Architecture Symposium at the 2018 Sydney Architecture Festival.

Sonia Simpfendorfer is a creative director of Nexus Designs, an award-winning studio combining interior design, graphic design and product development. The Melbourne-based studio works with clients across Australia and internationally on residential, commercial, retail, hospitality, branding, colour forecasting and product campaign projects.

Graduating with a Bachelor of Interior Design from the University of South Australia (formerly the South Australian Institute of Technology), Sonia moved to Melbourne, where her grounding in high-end, bespoke residential and multiresidential projects and hotel design began, including working with Bates Smart on Crown Towers.

After starting at Nexus Designs as a senior designer in 1997, Sonia became a creative director in 2005. She works alongside Harley Anstee and Michael Malignaggi, guiding and directing the practice’s team of designers. Sonia brings her knowledge of design, history, technology, art and architecture to interior projects ranging from complex residential renovations to a loft in New York, a restaurant in Thailand or a yacht. Projects for clients such as Bluescope Steel and PGH Bricks and Pavers allow Sonia to use her colour, trend and product knowledge, influencing product ranges and campaigns. Sonia is co-author of Living, published by Allen and Unwin in 2006.

Koichi Takada is an architect who aims to “naturalize” cities through architecture and interior design, an approach he developed after living in cities of high urbanization: Tokyo, New York and London. Koichi studied architecture at the City University of New York and the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. In 2008, he established his practice, Koichi Takada Architects, in Sydney. With a series of award-winning designs, Koichi’s growing practice is gaining an international reputation today and currently working on projects across very diverse cities: Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Doha, Tokyo, Los Angeles and Mexico City.

His interior designs include One Central Park East, East Village Urban Marketplace, Pacific in Bondi Beach, Zushi in Barangaroo and Ippudo (all in Sydney), and interiors of the National Museum of Qatar, designed by Jean Nouvel. Key architectural works in Sydney include Bower in Manly, Calibre in Surry Hills, Aqualuna at Milsons Point, Skye in North Sydney, Arc in the Sydney CBD, Infinity in Green Square and Mastery in Waterloo (in collaboration with Kengo Kuma).

Kieran is a principal at The Fulcrum Agency, a creative consultancy that seeks to leverage community and social outcomes through evidence-based design thinking, advocacy and research. Kieran’s portfolio of projects includes urban design, educational and public buildings that have been awarded by the Australian Institute of Architects across commercial, public, urban design, interiors, education and residential categories. He has also been awarded the Australian Award for Urban Design and an International Award for Public Participation for work in community-led design processes.

His writing has been published widely on topics covering urban renewal, indigenous housing and new models of practice and procurement. 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. He is an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at Monash University and Industry Partner for the University of Sydney’s Health Habitat Incubator. In 2016, he coauthored 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.

Jury Convenor

Geraldine Maher’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.

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.