AACA Director Catherine Townsend appointed as ACT Government Architect

New Government Architect brings valuable local knowledge to position

Media Release: 31 August 2016

The ACT has a new Government Architect following the appointment of Catherine Townsend, Minister for Planning and Land Management Mick Gentleman said today.

“I am delighted to announce the appointment of Catherine Townsend of Townsend + Associates Architects (T+AA) to the position of ACT Government Architect.

“Catherine brings a wealth of local expertise in roles such as the Director of the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia, Chair of ACT Board of Architects, and as a member of the Building Regulatory Advisory Committee, as well as being recognised as a highly competent architect.” Minister Gentleman said.

The role of the Government Architect is to provide independent design advice to the ACT Government on architecture, urban design, planning and procurement. Advice from the Government Architect may be sought on major government projects or private proposals.

Catherine attained a Bachelor of Applied Science in Environmental Design from the University of Canberra in 1980 before going on to study Architecture at the University of Sydney where she graduated in 1984.

“As a young architect Catherine worked for Mitchell Giurgola & Thorp Architects and Peter Freeman & Partners Architects and Planners during the 1980’s before establishing the Canberra based firm
Townsend + Associates Architects in 1993 with her partner Bruce Townsend.

“Through her work at T+AA Catherine attained an impressive list of industry awards and has contributed to a number of important advisory groups and tribunals such as 2003 Bushfire Recovery Taskforce, juror on the National Portrait Gallery Design Competition and Advisor for the Canberra International Arboretum Design Competition.

“Australia is one of the world’s most urbanised countries, and Canberra is not alone in seeking better ways to nurture our physical environment: both natural and built. I am excited to work with the ACT Government to focus on improving quality of life through good design.” Ms. Townsend said.
Minister Gentleman said the ACT’s first Government Architect Professor Alastair Swayn submitted his resignation earlier this year due to ill health and sadly passed away earlier this month.

“I would like to again recognise Alastair’s valuable contribution to design quality in the development of our city during his five years of tenure.
“Independent, highly qualified professional advice to government remains a vital part of the ACT Planning Strategy and will continue to contribute to the development of our great city,” Minister Gentleman concluded.

Statement ends

Media contacts: Hayden McGirr T (02) 6207 4596 M 0434 860 282 [email protected] 


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