ARCHITECTURAL PRACTICE + WORK/LIFE DEMANDS: Small Children; Aging Parents; Family.  Putting a Rocket up the Collective HR of Architecture

Open Seminar Series

School of Architecture, UTS hosted by BVN.

6pm Thursday 18th August + 6pm Thursday 6th October 2011

level 11 255 Pitt Street, Sydney.

“It was difficult to get through dinner with the kids in their laps, but neither was willing to sully the Stokke high chair”
Unhappy Hipsters Jully 22nd 2010



On average, a student of architecture submits to the Registration Board seven years after the completion of their architecture degree. If we assume that the average student is a school leaver (and we know this is not the case) that makes the average age of registration as an architect 30 years old. According to the 2006 census, the average age for childbirth in Australia is 29.8. This is a catastrophic collision between the most demanding time in one’s architectural career and the most challenging undertaking in one’s personal life.

This is not a women’s issue, this is an issue for everyone in the field. Not only is it a personal issue for those juggling the complex demands of practice, with the complex demands of a young family – but it’s also a professional issue for the whole field of architectural practice. We simply can’t afford to have 50% of the graduates of a degree in Architecture have to make the difficult decision about whether they stay in practice after their first child, or if they simply leave.

It may be you giving birth; it may be your partner; your team mate; your colleague; your friend.
How do people make this work? How does one juggle the demands of a challenging career and the demands of a young family – or as we age, how does one answer the broader responsibilities to family and life.

Join us for a glass of wine and what should be a lively discussion.

Participants in this seminar series are eligible for CPD points. Please email for further details.
Participation in this event is free.



Seminar I: Models of Flexibility from outside of Architecture.
6pm Thursday 18th August 2011.
BVN Lv 11 255 Pitt Street (Hilton Building) Sydney

Giri Sivaraman Employment Lawyer, Maurice Blackburn.
Giri Sivaraman is a NSW Law Society accredited specialist in employment and industrial law. His clients include executives in the financial and banking sectors, medical professionals, senior public servants, senior marketing executives, a CEO of a prominent NGO, and incorporated associations. Giri advises and conducts litigation in all areas of employment law including employment contracts, redundancy, restraint of trade, discrimination and adverse action. Giri recently represented an employee of Qantas in one of the first successful ‘adverse action’ cases under the Fair Work Act. Giri is the face of the firm’s Public Defender column in the Daily Telegraph while Rebecca Gilsenan is on leave. He has been interviewed several times on Sydney radio 2UE’s legal matters segment for his views on employment and industrial law issues, and he has also appeared on national breakfast television. From 2004-2006 he was a board member of JobWatch, an employee advisory and advocate NGO. Giri has contributed articles on unfair dismissal and other employment law issues to legal journals including Precedent and the NSW Law Society Journal and his views on legal cases have appeared in a wide range of mainstream media including the Sydney Morning Herald.

Claire Braund Women on Boards
Claire Braund is the executive director of Women on Boards, which she co-founded in 2006 following a career in public relations and journalism. She is an experienced director in the small business and not-for-profit sectors. A highly respected commentator and speaker on gender diversity and related business issues, Claire received a Churchill Fellowship in 2010 to look at the impact of boardroom quotas in Norway and the progress of the public policy debate in the UK and France. She has a Bachelor of Arts (journalism) and is a graduate of the 2005 Sydney Social Leadership Program. Claire grew up on a beef cattle property in northern NSW and is a former board member of the Foundation for Australian Agricultural Women.

Melonie Bayl-Smith DIRECTOR Liquid Architecture
Melonie Bayl-Smith graduated from the University of Newcastle with a Bachelor of Architecture (Honours) in 1997. In 2002 Melonie established Liquid Architecture as a full time-venture with Stephen Gray. As well as working in practice, Melonie is passionate about architectural education and teaching. She has taught Construction in the B. Des (Architecture) program at UTS since 2007 and in 2009 was Guest Critic at University of Sydney. Prior to this, Melonie taught Construction and Adaptive Reuse in the Interior Design course at The Whitehouse Institute (2004) and was a Design Tutor in the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Newcastle (2000). In 2008 Melonie was a member of the AIA NSW Chapter State Architecture Awards Jury. She is a corporate member of the AIA and NAWIC, and is a past AIA Architects Network Chair. Over the past ten years, Melonie has served on a number of AIA committees, and has also participated as a Mentor for the AIA/NAWIC Constructive Mentoring scheme. Melonie received a 2009 Byera Hadley Travelling Scholarship and the NAWIC 2010 International Women’s Day scholarship.

Tamara Donnellan – ASSOC DIR Terroir.
Tamara Donnellan joined TERROIR in 2000, and worked for the practice until her departure for international experience (Scotland) in 2002. In 2003 and 2004, Tamara worked as a Senior Architect in major British practice, RMJM, working on the design, documentation and contract administration of the School of Music, Performing Arts & Media for Newcastle College – a University project containing a theatre, music venue, studio theatre, TV studio, radio studio, recording suites plus rehearsal, general teaching areas and foyer/bar area. Tamara also worked on the design and documentation of the School of Beauty, Sport and Tourism and the project management of the Higher Education Centre for the same client, before returning to Australia and TERROIR in 2005. Tamara was made associate of TERROIR in 2006 and in late 2009 elevated to Associate Director.

Tarsha Finney Senior lecturer, School of Architecture, UTS.

Joanne Jakovich Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture, UTS.




Seminar II: Models of Flexibility from within Architecture.

6pm Thursday 6th October 2011 BVN LEVEL 11 255 PITT STREET SYDNEY

Speakers to be confirmed