Who we are


Jill Garner

Victorian Government Architect

Jill took the helm of the Office of the Victorian Government Architect in 2015, stepping into the role as a public advocate for architecture and design after more than twenty years in practice. As an architect, her practice - Garner Davis - has received numerous industry awards for delivering sensitive, crafted public and private work. As a design advisor and advocate in government, she strongly promotes the value of contextual, integrated design thinking and a collaborative approach across design disciplines.

Jill has taught at both RMIT and Melbourne University in design, theory and contemporary history; she is one of the first graduates of the innovative practice-based Masters by Design at RMIT; she is a past board member and examiner for the Architects Registration Board Victoria; she chairs the national Committee for the Venice Architecture Biennale Committee and she is a Life Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects.

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-five years’ experience in the private sector and government. He is an advocate for good design and procurement across government and industry. David has advised on Public Private Partnership projects, presented as an expert witness and authored design publications. He has served on selection panels, awards juries and contributes to architectural journals and publications. David has taught and participated in architectural critique sessions at the University of Melbourne, RMIT, Deakin University, Monash University and the Robin Boyd Design Studios. 

David is the Chair of the Architects Registration Board of Victoria and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He was elected a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects and is a member of the Victorian Design Review Panel, Architects Accreditation Council of Australia and the University of Melbourne Architectural Program Advisory Board.

Cara Wiseman

Senior Adviser

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.

Matthew Borg

Senior Adviser

Matthew is an architect with over twenty-one years of architectural practice in leading Melbourne design firms. During this time, he has worked on numerous nationally and internationally recognised projects across a range of scales in the public and private sectors. He has taught and participated in architectural critiques at graduate and undergraduate levels at the University of Melbourne.

Matthew’s key areas of expertise include medium-density and high-density housing, road infrastructure design and education projects.  He is passionate about inclusivity and user engagement and is dedicated to nurturing and realising the core design values and aspirations specific to each project.

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.

Brendan Louey

Business Support Officer

Brendan is the Business Support Officer for the Office of the Victorian Government Architect. He holds a vital role within the office, assisting with administration and ensuring the smooth operating of the office. Brendan has over ten years of experience in administration roles, working in both the public and private sector. He strongly believes in inspiring others to be their best self and encourages others to be bold in initiating new ideas in the pursuit of best practice.

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 worked 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.

Anabel Adler 

Coordinator, Victorian Design Review Panel

Anabel is a passionate urban designer with over ten years experience in the private sector and local government. Starting her career in a multi-disciplinary urban design consultancy gave her a broad exposure to design led thinking in strategic planning and development projects. Working at the coal face of built environment change and applying methods to achieve contextually sensitive design has been a defining theme for Anabel. This underpinning of the importance of an effective contextual response has shaped a range of urban and regional projects and the formulation of effective urban design policy at various scales. Anabel’s was part of the team that received the 2009 PIA Planning Excellence Victorian Award and Commendation in the Urban Planning Achievement Category for the Dandenong Neighbourhood Character Study.

Anabel is a strong advocate of the value of the design review process and its importance in generating high quality development outcomes. She has served as a urban design panel member at Melbourne University and provided design advice on 50+ projects in the fast changing Melbourne middle ring. Promoting best practice processes and principles that enable dynamic and engaging places motivates her as an urban designer.  

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.

Clara Friedhoff

Adviser, Victorian Design Review Panel

Clara is an architect with wide-ranging experience in the design and construction industry. Prior to joining the OVGA, she practised in leading Melbourne architectural firms, for over 10 years, and has worked on a variety of projects in the public as well as private sector. Clara maintains a strong interest in sustainability and is passionate about architecture and design in its broader social, economic and physical context. She is dedicated to achieving high quality design outcomes.

Lorrae Wild 

Managing Lead, Urban Design & Architecture, Infrastructure 

Lorrae has over twenty five years of experience in the planning and design of complex state and regional scale transport projects. In recent years, her focus has been on advocating for better integration of transport and land use planning. Prior to joining the OVGA, Lorrae led the planning and delivery of the initial suite of level crossing removals across Melbourne elevating the status of urban design in precinct and corridor planning to better reflect its role in creating successful places.

With a background in landscape architecture and urban design, Lorrae is a strong advocate for collaborative design processes as a means of delivering contextually sensitive, integrated design outcomes. She has been recognised at both national and state levels through multiple industry awards and invitations to be on design and peer review panels, juries, committees and policy working groups. Lorrae is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA).

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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