Sarah Naarden


Sarah Naarden leverages 20 years of experience as an architect, social sustainability leader, design thinking advisor and social impact entrepreneur.

As a former Associate Director with Bates Smart, Sarah specialised as an interior architect. Over 10 years at the practice, she led multi-disciplinary design teams on local hospitals, mixed use residential developments and international hotels and her work on the Royal Childrens' Hospital was a career highlight.

In 2013 Sarah founded 'Design Think Tank', to enable the voices of first people, old people and young people to be heard in the place making process. As an advocate for Closing the Gap in Indigenous Health, Sarah created an Aboriginal Healing Garden at the Monash Medical Centre which received a Federal Government Community Service Award in 2014.

In 2015 Sarah set up a design research practice 'Design Think Lab' with the aim to create prototypes of social impact in the built environment. As a social design researcher she has produced a wide range of projects including: a Neuroscience and Design Symposium. After writing a white paper in age care, she founded a start up business proposing the rethinking of co-housing models for our ageing population.

Currently, Sarah is undergoing a PhD with Wonderlab, in MADA - Monash Art Design and Architecture. It is a pilot cohort intersecting the fields of co-design, social learning and embodied practices of play. It comprises PhD candidates with backgrounds in neuroscience, architecture, embodiment coaching, communication design, graphic design and pedagogy design.  Across several countries including: Italy, Brazil,US ,India and Australia, the cohort is exploring optimal facilitation methods whilst rethinking participatory practices. Sarah is focusing on speculative place-making with eco-systems systems thinking and socially engaged design methods.


Simon Shiel


Simon Shiel is an architect with more than twenty years of diverse experience across architecture, urban design, construction and development. Simon has held senior positions at architecture firm Ashton Raggatt McDougall and with the property developer Grocon. His experience as an architect gives him a detailed understanding of retail, apartments, office buildings and cultural and performing arts centres. His work in construction and property development gives him an appreciation of the mechanics of development and also the value of high-quality design. He was Independent Certifier for the WA Schools PPP and the New Schools in Victoria PPP.

Simon's practice, SSDA, provides advice at the intersection of architecture and commerce. He works with institutions to develop project requirements, strategic planning and business cases.

Simon has a long-standing interest in architectural education. He is regularly invited as an external reviewer and presenter. He teaches architectural design in the Master of Architecture programs at RMIT University and the University of Melbourne. He has also acted as a jury member for the Australian Institute of Architects' Architecture Award.

Kirsten Bauer

Landscape Architect

Kirsten Bauer is a Fellow and immediate past Victorian President of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects. Kirsten is a Director of ASPECT Studios and leads the practice in Melbourne. ASPECT Studios is a renowned urban design, landscape architectural, living architecture (green walls, roofs and facades) and multimedia practice, that specialises in delivery of high quality public spaces for government and private clients.

Kirsten is regular guest lecturer at the University of Melbourne and RMIT University. She is an Adjunct Professor at RMIT University and appears regularly on university and industry design and jury panels.

Kirsten has been a lead designer of to a number of projects throughout Australian including award winning projects such as Caulfield to Dandenong Level Crossing Removal Project - The "Underline", Cato Square, Yagan Square in Perth, Tweed Promenade in northern NSW, the Victorian Desalination Project, Geelong Bypass, Melbourne Convention Centre and the implementation of the public realm of Victoria Harbour, Docklands. She has also been instrumental in a number of policies and design strategies for government and institutions.

She is committed to delivering high quality design for all Victorians and across all scales of government and project size. In pursuit of this she is currently Creative Director of the 2019 International Festival of Landscape Architecture and Competition "New Public Space" for Melbourne.

Minnie Cade


Minnie Cade is a practising architect with experience in the design and delivery of projects across the private and public sectors. As a Senior Associate at John Wardle Architects, she brings a strong focus on innovation and design excellence to large and complex projects across Australia.

In 2015, Minnie completed a Master of Business Administration at the University of Melbourne. This included intensive modules taught at leading business schools in Germany and the USA. This augmented Minnie's skills in navigating the complex environment of the design and construction industry.

Minnie brings considerable experience in creative problem solving and negotiating complex challenges. Her expertise spans design management, project delivery, facilitation and business skills, each being instrumental in the design review process.

Minnie is interested in the marriage of innovative design and emerging construction methods and materials. She is also firmly invested in the integration of environmentally sustainable design principles in all projects.

Helen Lardner


Helen Lardner is the director of HLCD Pty Ltd, an award winning and innovative heritage architecture consultancy. Helen is passionate about enriching our environment with good design that layers new uses and meanings on our valued past.

A registered architect, Helen undertook a Master of Architecture in Conservation. With over twenty years' experience, Helen is highly respected nationally and overseas. She was an expert member of the Australian Heritage Council and completed a six-year term on the Victorian Heritage Council. She is Chair of the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority Conservation Advisory Committee and was a sessional member of Planning Panels Victoria. Helen has worked with heritage places that are significant to all sorts of communities; local, state, national and on the World Heritage List.

Helen is a strong advocate for the sensitive reuse of industrial places and for valuing twentieth century design. She enjoys working in multi-disciplinary teams to create exciting futures for valued heritage places.

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