Who we are


Jill Garner

Victorian Government Architect

Jill's architectural background includes an apprenticeship over ten years with several of Melbourne's influential design practices. She went on to co-found Garner Davis Architects, a St Kilda based studio, whose work has received numerous industry awards in over twenty years of practice. Based on her built and unbuilt work she was one of the early graduates of the innovative practice-based Masters by Design at RMIT.

She has taught at both RMIT and the University of Melbourne in design, contemporary history and architectural theory. She is a regular contributor to architectural events, awards juries, publications and journals, seminars and local and interstate lectures. Over a career of thirty years she has been a visible and active contributor to the discourse of architecture and a passionate advocate for design excellence.

Stefan Preuss

Associate Victorian Government Architect

Stefan was appointed Associate Victorian Government Architect in October 2016. He is a leading advocate of innovative design and sustainability in the built environment combining his experience in executive leadership with architectural practice and technical expertise in Australia and Europe. Stefan has taken a lead role in a number of award winning buildings and government programs, which foster better places for people, a healthier environment and better life cycle economics.

Beyond his core roles Stefan has contributed significantly to the development and advocacy of key industry benchmarks in the built environment. These include the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) where Stefan served as National Steering Committee member for six years as well as Green Star, for which Stefan has also been an assessor and instructor. Internationally, Stefan represented Australia as the Executive Committee Member in the International Energy Agency Energy in Buildings and Communities (EBC) Program between 2010 and 2016. He holds Masters Degrees in Architecture as well as Environmental Design.

Sophie Patitsas

Principal Adviser, Urban Design + Architecture

Sophie brings over twenty years of urban design and architecture experience in government and the private sector to OVGA. She has spent a significant part of that time providing design review and advice on major public and private sector projects.

Sophie has practised urban design and architecture both locally and overseas, has served on selection panels and design advisory committees and regularly attends urban design and architecture critique sessions at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Sophie is a passionate advocate for design excellence in Victorian towns and cities.

David Islip

Principal Adviser, Urban Design + Architecture 

David is an architect with over twenty years experience in the private sector and government advocating the benefits of design. His experience has included procurement, education, heritage and urban design. David has presented as an expert witness at VCAT, advised on major local government projects and authored urban design studies.

David is the Deputy Chair of the Architects Registration Board of Victoria (ARBV), a member of the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA), a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD) and a member of the Victorian Design Review Panel. He has served on selection panels, awards juries and contributes to architectural journals and publications. David has taught and participated in urban design and architectural critique sessions at Melbourne University, RMIT, Deakin University, Monash University and the Robin Boyd Design Studios. 

Sarah Oberklaid

Senior Adviser

Sarah is an urban planner with experience contributing to and leading long-term strategic projects to guide future development with respect to housing, land use, built form, heritage, public space, community facilities, transportation and sustainability. With a background in conducting research and consultation for a variety of projects and publications, Sarah is interested in progressive design and policy approaches to improve the environmental performance and inclusivity of cities. In recent years, she has expanded her design skills through several architecture studio subjects and has commenced the Master of Architecture at the University of Melbourne. 

Susan Galbraith

Office Manager & Senior Executive Assistant

Susan is the Office Manager & Senior Executive Assistant to Victorian Government Architect and the Associate Victorian Government Architect. She completed her bachelor's (hons) degree in Business Management at Kingston University in London and comes with a wealth of knowledge from over ten years experience in the private sector. She believes passionately in motivating and leading others to reach positive outcomes in a timely manner.

Bronwen Hamilton

Manager, Victorian Design Review Panel

Bronwen is a passionate urban designer and landscape architect with wide ranging experience on local and international design, landscape and planning projects over 20 years. Her experience working for Federal and State governments and in private practice provides a broad appreciation of policy and development from a range of perspectives. She has worked across the spectrum from policy development, structure planning and strategic infrastructure implementation to development approvals, precinct and detailed design guidance and critique.

Although Melbourne is home, Bronwen has lived and work in several cities in Australia, Vietnam and in the UK. She returned to Melbourne after a stint in the nation's capital where she set up the NCA's Design Review Panel and managed several public space and urban renewal projects. Reinforcing the importance of high quality design and places is a constant theme for Bronwen.

Cara Wiseman

Coordinator, Victorian Design Review Panel

Cara is an architectural graduate with wide-ranging experience across the built environment sector. Her Victorian experience in award-winning architecture firms and six years as a Building Estimator is complemented by roles at the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) in the UK and teaching roles at universities across Germany.

While at university Cara was the national Vice President of the Student Organised Network for Architecture (SONA), sat on the Victorian Chapter Council of the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) and was awarded the AIA Student Prize for the Advancement of Architecture in 2002.  

Anne Barlow

Adviser, Victorian Design Review Panel

Anne is an Urban Designer with experience in a variety of roles in State and Local Government and a background in metropolitan research and environmental science.  Anne has teaching experience in Urban Design at the University of Melbourne.  She has provided urban design advice on public and private sector projects in central Melbourne as well as metropolitan, regional, heritage and alpine projects.  Anne has also contributed to the development of planning and urban design policy and a range of strategic projects.

Damian Collopy

Principal Adviser Landscape Architecture & Urban Design, Level Crossing Removal Project

Damian has practiced landscape architecture and urban design on large scale transport infrastructure projects for over twenty years with the Victorian Government's major road authority.  He has liaised closely with VicRoads Major Projects, private industry and external stakeholders to achieve high quality design outcomes to improve the experience of transport for the Victorian community and ensured that landscape architecture has been an integral aspect of the design outcomes.  

Damian has a sound understanding of the various procurement models and associated risks for urban design on complex projects, from both a design and contractual perspective.  He has contributed to project scoping, business case developments, project review committees, establishment of urban design competitions and risk management workshops.  Damian is keen to better educate decision makers about the importance of context sensitive design, the functional benefits of high quality urban design and how we can improve transport systems for all users, particularly active travel.

Mark Bol

Principal Adviser Urban Design & Architecture, Infrastructure

Mark brings over fifteen years of experience to the OVGA from national and international top-tier architectural practices.  During this time he contributed to a wide spectrum of architectural and urban design projects including many award winning civic, cultural, commercial, residential, transport and infrastructure projects.  Internationally Mark worked for architectural practices with a strong research focus.  Projects included large scale public transport infrastructure and associated urban renewal, propositions for the future of mobility and methods of communicating research outcomes.

Mark's design expertise and dedication to the translation of a project's vision into the ultimate built outcomes drives his advocacy of the value of good design through all stages of a project.  His passion for architecture is matched by his interest in the quality of the public realm and the role of architecture in delivering a sustainable built environment legacy which is capable of becoming the heritage of the future.

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