Proudly supported by our National Play Corporate Partner, Proludic, this weekly #MemberMonday 'get to you know' profile series will showcase some of our members, asking them a range of work and play questions.

For every member that is featured, Proludic will donate to a charity on the members’ behalf. The charity they have chosen is Unicef Australia, Play & Learn Pack for Remote Indigenous Communities.

 


 

 Steve Kirsu | Associate Landscape Architect, Place Logic

WORK

What are your proudest achievements as a Landscape Architect
Seeing my niece and nephews play in a playground I helped design and sharing in their joy as they experienced the space for the first time.

What words of advice would you offer people early in their career?
Reach out to local firms and seek an internship / casual job. The exposure to the profession is so valuable and is a great supplement to your university studies.

PLAY

Favourite childhood play memory and how old you were at the time of your memory?
Adventure play with friends in the bushland around - pretending we were explorers on a mission of discovery (around 6 years old).

What is your favourite outdoors activity?
I love hiking - locally and overseas. If there's a good trail somewhere I'm there!

Are you reading anything or listening to a podcast you would recommend? If so, what’s the title and author?
This Working Life on the ABC listen app - a great podcast that has really helped me consider how to better manage work, particularly with the big changes to how we all approach work since the pandemic.

 

Rachael Roberts | Landscape Architect, City of Campbelltown (SA)

WORK

What issues do you think are important for Landscape Architects to be addressing in Australia?
Addressing water sustainability and heat related issues. We talk about sustainability and global warming as catch phrases but what does this really mean on a local micro climate level? How can we address the issues of water sustainability in a practical way and make them common place in professional practice? 

Also the issue of Advocacy. We are not landscapers. We are not gardeners. We are the Architects of the Landscape world and as such have a specific set of skills which is imperative to so many industries. We deserve to be recognised for the level of skills, knowledge and experience we bring to each and every project. 

What words of advice would you offer people early in their career?
Find your passion and go in that direction. If it is play space then surround yourself with industry professionals who excel in this area. Get to know them and their work. 

PLAY

Favourite childhood play memory and how old you were at the time of your memory?
My favourite childhood play memory is our family trips to the Monash playground - the original one! Made of steel, pipes and hessian bags. We would visit the playground on our way from Adelaide to Mildura, where my grandparents lived. It was a great space which was high risk and allowed for kids to make mistakes, but learn from them!

Do you have any hidden talents or hobbies?
I'm a closet musician. Not that I play much these days but do have a passion for music. All sorts of music: from classical to heavy rock. 

Do you have a dream holiday or travel destination?
Anywhere tropical. I love Cairns, however have always dreamed of visiting Bora Bora. Maybe when the global pandemic settles down it will happen. 

 

Jason Cuffe | Principal, Hassell

WORK

What inspired you to become a Landscape Architect?
As a young child I grew up going down the south coast of NSW, holidaying in Murramarang National Park. Days were spent discovering the outdoors, bushwalking, swimming, surfing and fishing. My deep connection with the landscape and place started here and ultimately influenced my interest in natural systems and ecologies.

What words of advice would you offer people early in their career?
Keep an open mind in everything you do and ask questions. To be challenged is a good thing. Don't be scared of critique!

PLAY

Favourite childhood play memory and how old you were at the time of your memory?
My favourite memory of play is one set in a bushland setting; walking on top of a water pipeline in a national park in the northern suburbs of Sydney. I can't remember my exact age but it would be close to 4-5years old.

What is your favourite outdoors activity?
Surfing

Do you have a dream holiday or travel destination?
A road trip caravanning around the coastline of Australia

 

Miriam Enoch | Associate Landscape Architect, DesignInc

WORK

What issues do you think are important for Landscape Architects to be addressing in Australia?
I think at the moment Landscape Architects should be leading the way in Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) we need to be guiding and teaching both Engineers and Architects how to incorporate WSUD into design, I have come across many engineers that have still never heard of WSUD or slotted kerbs, or even raingardens, so we need to teach them about it and stop them over engineering our designs with pit and pipes. 

What are your proudest achievements as a Landscape Architect?
I recently completed the Byron Bay Bus Interchange. I started working on this project in 2016, it was part of the Transport Access Program (TAP) for Rural and Regional Stations. We had a set of 5 stations and Byron Bay had the biggest scope. There were many iterations of the design including 2 different sites but finally in 2021 it was open to the public. 
I am very proud of the design and that we were able to keep our design Intent. The heritage remediation works to the neglected water tower is incredible. I also helped to guide the engineers and encourage them to incorporate WSUD in places throughout the design. 

PLAY

Favourite childhood play memory and how old you were at the time of your memory?
My favourite childhood play memory would be going to the snow with my family and learning how to Ski. Skiing is still my favorite holiday, to have the fresh air and to be surrounded by nature. The vegetation in the snow is quite unique and different to what we see in the city so its always a refreshing change. 

Do you have any hidden talents or hobbies?
For many year growing up I was a Synchronized Ice Skater. I started Ice Skating at the age of 5, and moved to Synchronized skating when I was 10years old. I would get to the rink at 5am for practice every Sunday morning.  
As the years went by more days were added to the schedule, this would often mean skating at midnight out in Penrith or early mornings at Macquarie Ice rink. In 2002 I went overseas with my team to represent Australia at the Prague Cup and the Milan Cup. This was definitely a massive highlight and I have very fond memories of it even now.

Are you reading anything or listening to a podcast you would recommend? If so, what’s the title and author?
I have recently finished listening to Atomic Habits by James Clear. The book gives you a great understanding on how to try to create new habits and break the old ones even if small.

 

Nicholas Pierson | Associate Landscape Architect, PLACE Laboratory

WORK

What issues do you think are important for Landscape Architects to be addressing in Australia?
The roles of landscape architecture in environmental healing is typically well understood however I believe it is important that landscape architects begin to address their role in social, cultural and mental healing as well. Using our skills in place making and narrative to build more healthy and resilient communities.

What are your proudest achievements as a Landscape Architect?
Seeing a finished project come to life is always an amazing feeling however I am more proud of some of the lasting connections and relationships I have built along the way. Meeting people from many different walks of life who are just as passionate and invested in the end outcome as I am.

PLAY

Favourite childhood play memory and how old you were at the time of your memory?
Growing up with national forest as our backyard we would create our own adventures daily. However one memory particularly stands out from when I was maybe 10 years old and that was riding horses with my grandpa leading  my mother and siblings and I. Listening to his stories as we picked our way  through the trees.

What is your favourite outdoors activity?
Hiking, being a father of two boys I love taking them out to various trails not only to ensure they got the same connection to nature as I grew up with but also to learn from them and their curiosity, imagination and excitement.

 Do you have a dream holiday or travel destination?
Berlin! We were lucky enough to spend some time there in 2018 and I can't wait to return. It is a city for everyone, no matter what your interest or passion is Berlin has it! From back room breweries to michelin star restaurants or ancient history to pop art ruins if you want to experience it this city is your destination!

 

Azin Emampour | Associate Landscape Architecture, Spiire

WORK

What words of advice would you offer people early in their career?
WORK HARD AND PARTY HARD!  Be nice, honest, work hard and enjoy the journey! Have a goal and plan! You will get there I promise! Whatever that 'THERE' means to you! 

What are your proudest achievements as a Landscape Architect?
My relationship with my fellow Landscape Architect friends is my proudest achievement. The trust and support we share, the fun we have together and the works we deliver for the community is all next level. WE ARE FAMILY! 

PLAY

Favourite childhood play memory and how old you were at the time of your memory?
I was lucky enough to have my cousins and the neighbor kids all around the same age and a beach very close by! My favorite childhood play memory is all about building sandcastles and digging holes to reach to the underground water! 

Are you reading anything or listening to a podcast you would recommend? If so, what’s the title and author?
Brilliant, eye-opening, and absolutely inspiring and a riveting read "Survival of the Friendliest"

 Do you have any hidden talents or hobbies?
No hidden talent and my hobby is Landscape architecture! Cheesy? No! It's for real ask my friends!

 

Cate Wallace | Associate Director, Context Landscape Architecture

WORK

What words of advice would you offer people early in their career?
Seek to learn as much as you can from every experience, find a mentor who is willing to support and guide you and never be afraid to ask questions.

What issues do you think are important for Landscape Architects to be addressing in Australia?
One of the biggest issues facing all Australians is climate change. Through design that is climate positive and responds to and respects Country, Landscape Architects are in a unique position to promote and influence better outcomes for the built and natural environment.

PLAY

Favourite childhood play memory and how old you were at the time of your memory?
Being children of the 1980's, we were a little more free range and my brothers and I would often walk to our local park and play in the playground. There was this amazing green and cream enclosed spinning apple that you would sit in and spin with a central wheel. My older brothers would spin it until we were almost sick. At the time I hated it, it a huge test of my endurance, but I enjoy looking back and laughing at what we use to get up to. My children now play in that same park, while the park and playground has evolved with time, the structure and tree planting has remained a constant.

What is your favourite outdoors activity?
Especially during the recent lockdowns, I have enjoyed walking and being reacquainted with my neighbourhood. I am fortunate to live on Bidjigal country that includes some amazing parklands that adjoin Botany Bay and the Georges River which provide beautiful places to walk and explore.

 Do you have any hidden talents or hobbies?
When I have the time, I enjoy baking and decorating cakes.

 

Paul Brookbanks | Principal Landscape Architect, Spiire

WORK

What are your proudest achievements as a Landscape Architect?
My proudest career achievement was working on super projects in China. I went over initially for 6 months and ended up staying for 12 years! I was exposed to outstanding projects with rich cultural and natural values and collaborated with so many amazing people. It gave me a broader perspective of landscape architecture's role in transforming cities, environments and places to be more sustainable, meaningful and culturally engaging. 

What inspired you to become a Landscape Architect?
Growing up in Canberra during the 1970's there were many interesting playgrounds, open space and access to nature. Those unique environments were very inspiring. I always loved the outdoors and drawing so landscape architecture was a way to blend art and nature. I'd rather design a life than make a living.

PLAY

Favourite childhood play memory and how old you were at the time of your memory?
Playing Lego: From as early as I can remember Lego was a creative way of developing unique play experiences. It taught me a lot about mechanics and was extraordinarily versatile. 

Do you have any hidden talents or hobbies?

Anyone who has been in a Teams meeting with me, whilst working from home, would have seen my guitar collection! Music is my ultimate creative passion and I love playing live and recording music. It is so pure and expressive.

What is your favourite outdoors activity?
II love hiking and exploring the Brindabella Mountains near where I live. There's a great diversity of landscapes from alpine to grassy plains and contrasting seasonal changes.

 

Christina Nicholson | Founding Director, Banksia & Lime

WORK

What are your proudest achievements as a Landscape Architect?
Being a working mother and coping, teaching future landscape architects at the UWA School of Design, and winning the 2020 AILA WA Award of Excellence for Reed House Garden. Not only because an enormous amount of effort went into the design process, but because this project highlights the beauty of designing with local species biodiversity combined with productive and exotic plants. It showcases how a variety of moods and everchanging spaces can be achieved with biodiversity. The project used over 70 plant species, most of them local native species, with some exotic and productive species too. 

What inspired you to become a Landscape Architect?
It’s a long story but I think there are four key influencing factors that lead me to a desire to design connections between the environment, community, and family:
1. Growing up in the sub-tropical arid Pilbara, a life dominated by climate and landscape, in a good way, a very fun way with obvious and overpowering ephemeral and seasonal changes and plant and animal adaptations to the extremes of this place, on a micro and macro scale.
 2. My parents' careers of following their passion for community and nature though environmental protection and teaching. 
3. My two childhood Gardens: we had the first water harvesting and local native species garden in Karratha; and in North Fremantle the trees were allowed to grow to maturity where they sprouted, resulting in a forest like feeling.
4. Trauma and seeking out nature for the coping, grieving, and healing process. As a teenager, I had a brother with a prolonged mental illness that resulted in death. Focusing on nature in the garden, neighbourhood, at the beach and the river was my relief and rejuvenator. Witnessing the larger incredible ancient systems that still keep going and the micro scale of ecosystem patterns and life flourishing, this gives me a sense of perspective and moments of beauty, awe, wonder, stillness and calm.

PLAY

Favourite childhood play memory and how old you were at the time of your memory?
During cyclones we would be holed up in the hallway of the house for up to 24 hours, there would be calm during the eye of the storm, an hour or so, and then wild weather for another day during which we stayed in the house again. We would be let out during the eye of the storm to play in the red water gushing down the large drainage channels of Karratha before being hurried back inside for the rest of the wild weather. It was so exciting, after being stuck in the house whilst hearing the pounding rain, knowing that a torrent would be flowing in the drains, the anticipation! And then the great fun of the wild water play, with the exciting threat of the return of extreme weather... This was when I was aged 2-10 years. 

Do you have any hidden talents or hobbies?

Hobby not hidden as the outcomes are shared. I love to preserve my garden and local laneway harvests. Watching fruit grow, harvesting it, processing it, and cooking or drying it is a wonderful and beautiful way to spend my time that results in deliciousness and beautiful gifts: cumquats chillied, brandied or dried; marmalades of orange, lemon, mandarin (my favourite) and grapefruit; apricot (my other favourite) and fig jams; mulberry cordial (my other favourite); preserved olives (another favourite) and lemons; dried lemons, oregano, thyme; etc…  

Are you reading anything or listening to a podcast you would recommend? If so, what’s the title and author?
I am reading Braiding Sweetgrass - Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmer 

 

David Moir | Director, Moir Landscape Architecture

WORK

What issues do you think are important for Landscape Architects to be addressing in Australia?
Leading design and development towards more respectful and healthy outcomes in both our urban centres and regional areas. I believe that the separation between people and nature is a key reason why there are so many mental and physical conditions that plague modern society. Opportunities for connecting with nature have diminished significantly over the past 50 years and without connection its hard to build respect or understanding. By providing more opportunities for people to engage with nature (particularly kids) this respect and understanding can be nurtured. I think we as LA's have a big role in this space and already, I see a movement towards this.

What inspired you to become a Landscape Architect?
To be honest, I was initially attracted to the course because it didn't have any exams. Now though, I can't imagine myself doing anything else. It is a great profession as there are so many different directions your career can take. Whether you are a detail person or a more strategic thinker, there is an avenue in Landscape Architecture that you can pursue. The diversity of practice is what has kept it interesting, and kept me engaged. There are now quite a few LA's leading in key government positions (and in the private sector) who have the ear of decision makers and that influence is becoming evident in policy which is fantastic to see.

PLAY

Favourite childhood play memory and how old you were at the time of your memory?
When I was around 10years old on a family trip to South Australia discovering playgrounds that were "Enter at Your Own Risk". So insanely dangerous compared to todays playgrounds (and NSW 's at the time) but so much fun.

Do you have any hidden talents or hobbies?

I can drive a tractor and I'm learning to weld which I am enjoying immensely.

What is your favourite outdoors activity?
Getting battered in the shore break.  (Can I say two?) And driving my tractor.

 

Kate Elsworthy | Project Officer_PLAY, Kidsafe SA & Registered Landscape Architect 

WORK

What inspired you to become a Landscape Architect?
Landscapes create memories. They imprint themselves all throughout our sensory factors and instill emotive cues that can stay with us throughout our entire lives.  Through Landscape Architecture, we have the opportunity to narrate stories, inspire courage, create positive change and define memories. To me, that is inspiring. 

What words of advice would you offer people early in their career?
Have fun, be creative and engage in Landscape Architecture. Read that article, listen to that podcast and don't be afraid to speak up or join in - We've all started somewhere. 

PLAY

Favourite childhood play memory and how old you were at the time of your memory?
All of us Elsworthy kids ganging up on my dad for a water gun fight at Christmas is particularly memorable. We were all at least old enough to know that 4 against 1 would definitely work in our favour. 

What is your favourite outdoors activity?

I will take a swing set and a playground buddy any day. 

Do you have a dream holiday or travel destination?
SA is great for a reason and I am still making my way through the wish list of gem travel spots. Although we may not be able to travel too far at the moment, definitely check out what SA has to offer!

 

Heath Gledhill | Integrated Design and Precincts Capability Leader, Aurecon | Fellow, AILA 

WORK

What issues do you think are important for Landscape Architects to be addressing in Australia?
The quality and accessibility of our open spaces. 

Being from Melbourne, if the last 2 yeas has taught me anything, it is to value the environment and the open spaces that you have close to you. 
 
The other thing that the effects of the pandemic has made me consider is the design of our open spaces, and the often over design of them. 
I think that we are at a juncture where we need to step back, take a breath and reflect, asking ourselves “What is really important in this space” before we put pen to paper. 

Equally in this process I believe that we need to understand more than just the space that we are designing. We need to understand the community around it, what local spaces already exist, including their successes (and shortcomings) and attempt to design spaces that cater to the needs of society today. 

Sometimes simple and paired back may be the better design solution. 
 
 What is your favourite work of landscape architecture?

Having been lucky enough to visit this site several times, I have found the 9/11 Memorial by Michael Arad and Peter Walker to be an incredibly moving, reflective and immersive space. Each time I have visited the site I have found that there is a new element of the site to connect with, a new memory to create. The tactility of the site, along with the audible sounds of the water falls, drowns out the busy sounds of New York City around you, almost transporting you into a contemplative and reflective self-moment. 

PLAY

Favourite childhood play memory and how old you were at the time of your memory?
Well I am a bit of a Lego nerd (still to this day). So I can recall a time when I had spent the weekend building a full city in my bedroom all the way around my bed. It was so stretched out that I had forgotten that I actually needed to get out the door 😊 (I think I was around 8yrs old). 

What is your favourite outdoors activity?

Running. 
I love being outdoors. Running is something that I find is a great way to unwind, disconnect from the work day and get out and enjoy the outdoors. 

Do you have any hidden talents or hobbies?

Well my family would say cooking! 
I like to cook and over the years have mastered the art! Like delivering a great open space, creating a dish that everyone enjoys is satisfying. 

 

 Tanya Wood | Tanya Wood Landscape Architecture (TWLA)

WORK

What are your proudest achievements as a Landscape Architect?
Some of my proudest achievements include starting my own business, joining the NSW executive, teaching university students at UTS and watching their careers unfold and the recent installation of my Afghanistan War Memorial project.  

What issues do you think are important for Landscape Architects to be addressing in Australia?
I think landscape architects should be at the forefront of projects, leading teams, advocating for the landscape and working with clients and stakeholders from the outset, not engaged as an afterthought. I think landscape architects should be amongst the leaders in the climate change discussion and present on the ground initiatives. I think it is time for women in our industry and allied industries to lead.   

PLAY

Favourite childhood play memory and how old you were at the time of your memory?
Swinging off home made swings into the creek at Worrowing Waterway (south coast holidays) and balancing on slippery logs in the water around 4 years old.  

What is your favourite outdoors activity?

I love going to the beach with my family...and also the exhaustion that a beach day brings to the kids by the end of the day!!  

Do you have any hidden talents or hobbies?

I really enjoy athletics and soccer and competed nationally for many years. Now I look forward to one day coaching my kids teams! 

 

 James Millar | Lead Design Integrator, Aurecon

WORK

What words of advice would you offer people early in their career?
Learn from disciplines outside of your immediate area of expertise. Landscape Architecture is a profession that thrives through inter-disciplinary coordination and a trans-disciplinary knowledge. If you're a skilled illustrator or visualiser, seek out technical writers to back your diagrams with words. If you work in small practice, attend seminars with panel chairs form large corporations. If your interest lies in documentation and detailing, find a reason to get involved in policy and strategy. Calculate the risks you take & wear as many hats as possible. It is rare for opportunities to present themselves a second time if you say no to to them the first time.

What are your proudest achievements as a Landscape Architect?
I have been fortunate to work in a wide variety of market sectors. From residential gardens, to public realm and streetscape design, high-rise developments, aviation and transport infrastructure, even cemeteries, prisons and memorial parks. Most recently i have been fortunate to be exposed to policy, city strategy and projects that focus on infrastructure narrative. Throughout this journey I've been fortunate enough to have collaborated with industry professionals, thought leaders and studio directors who are at the top of their game. My proudest achievements aren't the accolades and awards, rather the humbling experiences and depth of knowledge I have been exposed to through the people I have had the opportunity work with and learn from of the projects I have worked on along the way.
PLAY

Favourite childhood play memory and how old you were at the time of your memory?
Crafting grooves in the dirt underneath the shade of a large oak tree at my kindergarten in the country town of Sale, Victoria racing marbles against each other for 'keeps'. Using water and tree branches as obstacles. Nature play before the term was probably coined. 

Do you have any hidden talents or hobbies?

For as long as I can remember I have been around snow or on skis. My hidden tallent, or as i like to call it my life before pursuing a career in Landscape Architecture lead me to compete on the World Cup circuit for 6 years and represent Australia at the 2006 and 2010 Winter Paralympic Games in para-nordic and para-biathlon skiing.

What is your favourite outdoors activity?

You expect this answer to be skiing or anything related to snow and whilst that is the top of my list for winter, one of my favourite activities during the green season is hiking. I'm not talking about car-camping or overnight walks. My wife and I love the challenge of multi-day hiking in remote locations. This passion has taken us to some amazing locations most recently to South West Tasmania exploring the Arthurs Ranges and country around Federation Peak. It's our (crazy) way of unwinding returning to and acknowledging the country we're so fortunate to call home.

 

Melanie Bradley | Director, Landplan Associates

WORK

What are your proudest achievements as a Landscape Architect?
At the end of a project, whether it be a garden or an entire masterplan, to hear the client say..."I Love how my ........ works and feels!" I always err on the side of quality and time taken to complete a project over cost.

What issues do you think are important for Landscape Architects to be addressing in Australia?

Education of Landscape Architects...I have had the pleasure of being on National Accreditation Review Teams that look for rigour in the programs taught at University...so that students not only have the ability to design, but also, can design things which can be built. They need to have that ability to design, document and construct their ideas.  Design is Construction and Construction is Design.

PLAY

Favourite childhood play memory and how old you were at the time of your memory?
Swinging on the big swings and playing blast-off...managing not to break my neck on those and the monkey bars!

Do you have any hidden talents or hobbies?

I am an extreme knitter and love the texture/colour/beauty of natural fibres.

What is your favourite outdoors activity?

I have a walking/running group I have been involved with for over 20 years...all women. We have our mental health coffee afterwards and a history of big parties for the achievement of 50, 60, 70 and even 75 years. These parties all have an element of activity, such as running, swimming, biking, you name it!

 

Daniel Bennett | Principal, Aurecon

WORK

What inspired you to become a Landscape Architect?
I was fortunate to live near the harbour in the inner west. From beautiful little creeks, mangroves, tidal areas, the jetties and wharves of the old harbour, to the seemingly endless yachts, ferries and boats, the life of Sydney was ever changing to my little mind. 
Most striking of all and in my memory often are the sandstone headlands around Balmain, Hunters Hill and Greenwich - with their striking Angophora Costata (Sydney’s red gum) and banksia heathlands.
I always wondered where creeks flowed from and how these massive trees clung to the sandstone....an interest in geography naturally flowed into design and at 15 I found out there was a course that combined natural systems and design! I was hooked there and then. 
There was a sliding doors moment - I studied horticulture before my LA degree at Hawkesbury Agriculture College - and was fascinated by viticulture - if only I had stayed the course?
I stuck with trees and plants and my fascination with pre-existing natural systems became my passion - I still over analyse the landscape as many of my current and former staff know!

What words of advice would you offer people early in their career?

Gut instinct and watching the landscape. Trust one and do the other a lot.  Perhaps in reverse order! 
The ability to look, watch, walk over, analyse, understand and discuss the landscape of our places is a skill not many people have.  
In a world where everything is interconnected, never underestimate the power of deliberative observation. It is what separates us from most professions. 
If nothing else, trust your powers of analysis. Develop a way of creating scenarios to play with. And draw by hand on yellow trace. People love that sort of stuff. It is part of being a landscape architect!

PLAY

Favourite childhood play memory and how old you were at the time of your memory?
Growing up in Sydney, I have to say it is playing on the massive rocket ship that used to reside in Muston Park (the original 'rocket ship park!') in Willoughby. 
The steel rocket had a steering wheel at the top accessed by a long ladder - this was the mid 1970's! I was 3 or 4 at the time.  It was right next to Scott Creek so i could play astronauts and then be an ecologist.

Do you have any hidden talents or hobbies?

I have an unfortunate fascination in vintage cars from the 1970's.  
It is unfortunate for my family as I am not the most mechanically minded person. 
But the simplicity of old Volkswagens and Audis fascinates me. Every nut and bolt is either 10mm or 12mm. My toolkit is a dual-ended VW branded spanner and a phillips screwdriver. 
This 'habit' of mine is a bit recurring and from memory I am on vintage car number 5 - a beautiful, white, 1974 Passat which I bought (as only the second owner!) 5 years ago from an 83 year lady in Hornsby in Sydney. 
The Passat was the first ever water-cooled VW, was made in Australia (true!) and it is magnificent in every way. Apart from it is not going currently due to a small engine fire after a spirited drive through the Adelaide Hills on a very warm day a few summers ago. 
I am quite good at changing radiators and starter motors having replaced a few in my time.

Are you reading anything or listening to a podcast you would recommend? If so, what’s the title and author?

My other secret passion is politics and following elections. 
For this reason I am probably the only South Australian who does not have The Advertiser delivered every Saturday - I am a subscriber to The Saturday Paper - a great read for my political interests especially around elections. I recommend it for their sharp take on quotes from pollies during the previous week. 
Again my nerdiness is manifest in reading anything (but mostly his blog) by Antony Green, the ABC's election analyst. He is simply brilliant.

 

Esperanza Kelly | Studio Manager, Form Landscape Architects

WORK

What inspired you to become a Landscape Architect?
My Aunt Elena was a Landscape Architect.  I thought she was cool and wanted to be like her. So when I was 14 I said yep that is what I am doing.  When I look back at my 30+ year career I see many similarities in our journeys which makes me happy.  If you ask any one of my over 135 cousins they will all say that I am just like her.

What are your proudest achievements as a Landscape Architect?

I have many proud moments but as a woman opening up a landscape architecture office in the middle east is by far my biggest accomplishment.

PLAY

Favourite childhood play memory and how old you were at the time of your memory?
Sneaking out of our property in Honduras, Central America with my siblings then sliding down the hill and ending up with the pigs that were in a pen along side a dirt road.  I was about 6-7 years old.  It seems my memories from that time always included mud.

Do you have any hidden talents or hobbies?
My favorite hobby is cooking.  During the 6 month Covid lock down in Miami I was obsessed and started "Eating around the world at home".  My husband and I picked a country, researched meals, cooked, ate and posted our journey each day on Instagram.  It got to the point that people invited me to fake travel to different places.  I loved it.

My hidden talent I discovered during Covid is water coloring.  As least that is what my friends say is my talent.

Do you have a dream holiday or travel destination?
I have a lot of dream places but next on our list is a cooking tour in Italy.

 

Max Yarra | Senior Landscape Architect, ACT Government

WORK

What issues do you think are important for Landscape Architects to be addressing in Australia?
I think now more than ever landscape architects have a responsibility to the environment and the community to ensure we design sustainable and resilient public spaces. The climate is becoming more hostile and uncomfortable in our built environments, and green spaces are becoming more important in providing refuge for our community.

What are your proudest achievements as a Landscape Architect?

My proudest achievement in my career is being part of the design team for the award winning Moncrieff community Recreation Park in the north of Canberra.

PLAY

Favourite childhood play memory and how old you were at the time of your memory?
My favourite memory is when me and my twin brother used to go to our local park when my dad was at rural Fire brigade meetings across the road. We would both run to the green springer frog. We would pull the springer as far back as we could, then one of us would hop, and we would let it go and hold on for dear life.

What is your favourite outdoors activity? 
I love outdoor board sports, and spend most of my winter weekends snowboarding, and as many summer weekends as I can kiteboarding.

Do you have any hidden talents or hobbies?
I have a passion for making timber furniture, and run a small business in my spare time. I design and fabricate custom pieces from recycled timber or timber milled from storm fallen tree which would otherwise be destined for the chipper.

 

Cass Gaisford | Brisbane Sustainability Agency.

WORK

What inspired you to become a Landscape Architect?
After school I studied Architecture at University. During my undergrad thesis project my lecturer suggested I look into Landscape Architecture as a post graduate degree, as my "public building" project focused on courtyards, public space, the gardens and how people used and moved through these spaces. At the time Landscape Architecture wasn't very well known, and wasnt available at most universities in South Africa, but when I think about it, I have always been passionate about the natural environment and green open spaces, and particularly the interface where and how people use those spaces. My change over to the Masters course in Landscape Architecture was the best decision and I've never looked back.

What is your favourite work of landscape architecture? 

My favourite work is seeing a project start from a small idea, and then it developing through considered design and consultation to evolve into something positive both for people and nature. Projects, such as new green public spaces that well used and enjoyed by people from all walks of life, or projects that include restoration or rehabilitation of degraded sites are for me probably the most rewarding.

PLAY

Favourite childhood play memory and how old you were at the time of your memory?
We had a great dress up box at home and quite a few climbing trees in the garden (and the neighbours on both sides-  including a giant mulberry tree), so we would get dressed up in all sorts of outfits and disappear into various imaginary worlds amongst the tree canopies for hours. I might have been around 5 years old when I first remember tearing around the gardens in dress up- I think it went on for years after that though. 

What is your favourite outdoors activity? 
My favourite work is seeing a project start from a small idea, and then it developing through considered design and consultation to evolve into something positive both for people and nature. Projects, such as new green public spaces that well used and enjoyed by people from all walks of life, or projects that include restoration or rehabilitation of degraded sites are for me probably the most rewarding.

Do you have any hidden talents or hobbies?
I have two natural talents, one is being able to find car parking at very convenient spots (I must have good relations with the parking fairy), the other is to walk into a place with live music where my timing coincides with them either going on a break or finishing their gig, its uncanny.

 

Simon Lee | Office for Design and Architecture SA

WORK

What words of advice would you offer people early in their career? 
Be open to change and continuous learning. A career in landscape architecture can take you in many different directions. 

What is your favourite work of landscape architecture? 
One of my favourite works of landscape architecture is Landschaftspark Duisburg Nord by Latz + Partner.

PLAY

Favourite childhood play memory and how old you were at the time of your memory?
Playing in the neighbourhood creek, building dams and exploring up and down the creek as far as possible before it disappeared into a stormwater tunnel or into private property. I was probably 9 or 10.

Do you have any hidden talents or hobbies? 
I love music and have an extensive vinyl collection that I'm running out of storage for! 

What’s the most memorable thing you’ve read, seen or experienced this week? 
I attended a workshop on the future of vegetation in Greater Adelaide that used a process of future scenario modelling including exploratory scenarios, visioning and back-casting and resilience-based planning. This was a fascinating process I had not been involved in before.

AILA Partners

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