Shari in Malawi

July 3, 2014  |  Comments Off on Shari in Malawi  |  by Admin  |  Uncategorized
Shari recently wrote to us, updating of her trip so far, below is her note. Continue following Shari’s experiences at
I am currently in the south of Malawi in the small town of Luchenza, just outside of Blantyre. It is here I’m visiting the organisation known as FOCHTA (pronounced ‘foshta’) – ‘Friends Of Claude Ho in Thyolo (pronounced ‘cholo’) Association’. FOCHTA have almost completed building a Vocational Training Centre (VTC) for young adults to develop their skills and improve their chances of future employment. The centre was designed by Sam Crawford Architects (Sydney) and has been in the process of design & construction for approximately 5 years.
My time is being spent helping the project manager (Australian architect Brendan Worsley, working on behalf of Sam Crawford) on the finishing details of the project as the building is almost complete in construction. Brendan is an excellent mentor and I’m learning so many new architectural skills. On top of this, I am beginning to understand some of the intricacies of construction in Malawi.
Some difficulties include the sourcing of specific materials, the difference in skill level of builders compared to those in Australia, differences with necessary certifications and WH&S.
Luckily here education is extremely important and most people speak a good level of English, even those in trades that would not normally be expected to speak English (very different to Tanzania where the less educated seemed to be employed in the construction industry). This makes it much easier for external architects to communicate and perform their tasks more efficiently.
I will depart Malawi at the end of June and make my way to Cape Town in South Africa. Here I will be volunteering my time to assist a build Habitat for Humanity during the month of July.

2014 Scholarship Launch

May 28, 2014  |  Comments Off on 2014 Scholarship Launch  |  by Admin  |  Event, News

Red Sqaure The 2014 Scholarship Launch will open the submissions for The Parker Fellowship, the Colin Madigan Commendation and a new award will be introduced – the Graphisoft Award!

The Graphisoft Award is sponsored by Graphispoft Australia and awards a student with a perpetual licence to ArchiCAD STAR(T). The award valued at $5,000 provides the latest 2014 version which has the technology embedded in ArchiCAD 17 and  enables the recipient to legally start their architectural business! This award mirrors the values of The Parker Fellowship awards and conversely supports and develops students computer aided drafting skills. More information regarding the ArchiCAD STAR(T) edition can be found on the ArchiCAD website.

The Launch will occur 1pm, Thursday 29th May in Red Square at the University of Newcastle. All students currently enrolled in architecture at UoN are encouraged to come along and find out how to apply for these amazing scholarships.

We also have a range of past scholars lined up to present their experiences on the Parker Fellowship and the value of the Commendation awards. Certainly an event not to be missed! First round applications for the 2014 awards will close Tuesday 29 July 2014. To apply for these scholarships visit the University Scholarships page.

Shari in Laos

May 9, 2014  |  Comments Off on Shari in Laos  |  by Admin  |  News

I’m currently in Luang Prabang in Laos, an extremely beautiful city filled with old French architecture. My first month in Cambodia was an incredible experience- I cannot wait to return to Siem Reap in the future. The NGO I did my first placement with, Volunteer Building Project Cambodia, was so well organised and they really made some incredible changes in the villages surrounding the city. They have built 11 houses and during my 2 week stay we were repairing an existing village house. I absolutely loved the experience & I learnt so much about building techniques as well as the operation of the NGO.

For my second placement, completed last Friday, I was working in Vang Vieng in the North of Laos, with a company called ‘Fruit Friends’. I was initially supposed to be helping with construction work on a secondary school in Keo Kuang village an hour out of the city; however over the 2 week period I was only able to visit the site once. I didn’t quite have the experience with this NGO as I had expected (perhaps Cambodia set the bar a little too high) however I’ve gained some really valuable knowledge about the difficulties NGOs face in developing countries; in Laos a lack of communication is a huge problem.

In one weeks time I will be setting down in Nairobi for the next three month segment of my journey, which is a little scary but extremely exciting! I’m so lucky to be having this incredible life experience so I have to thank The Architecture Foundation again.

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Scholars Videos

May 8, 2014  |  Comments Off on Scholars Videos  |  by Admin  |  Uncategorized


The Architecture Foundation now has a profile on Vimeo, and will be used as a forum to showcase the video content produced by our talented scholars to share their amazing opportunities and experiences!

There are currently two videos uploaded. The first was produced by Graphisoft, our latest sponsor, who interviewed our 2012 scholar Matthew Kelly. The second was produced by our current scholar, Shari Blanch, while on site in Cambodia.

Stay tuned for future content!

Shari’s travels begin!

May 8, 2014  |  Comments Off on Shari’s travels begin!  |  by Admin  |  News

Shari Blanch is our 2013 Parker Fellowship travelling fellow.

Shari left for Cambodia during March on a five month adventure to research the role of  process of Non-Government Organisations in the design and construction industry in developing countries. Shari’s journey will take her through Cambodia, Laos, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and South Africa.

Shari is recording her adventures and observations at

Below is a presentation Shari created of her itinerary and the associated NGO’s she will be involved with. Shari will complete her travels with an architecture conference at Durban, South Africa.


Indian Summer

July 15, 2013  |  Comments Off on Indian Summer  |  by Joey Trongchittham  |  Uncategorized

MK-India-WebOur current travelling fellow, Matthew Kelly, is now in India – a country that provides no comfort zone. Matt shares his exciting and sometimes hilarious journey on his new blog here.

The Architecture Foundation 2013 Annual Dinner

June 28, 2013  |  Comments Off on The Architecture Foundation 2013 Annual Dinner  |  by Joey Trongchittham  |  Event, News

logoThe Architecture Foundation takes great pleasure in inviting you to attend the 2013 Architecture Foundation award dinner at the Link Gallery, Newcastle Museum, Wharf Road and Workshop Way, Honeysuckle on Friday 20 September 2013, from 6.30 pm.

This year we have a very special guest speaker: Grahame Bond, aka Aunty Jack, Kev Kavanagh, Flash Nick from Jindivick. Grahame is an architecture graduate from Sydney, instigator of the Sydney University architecture reviews, a comedian who changed the face of Australian television comedy, a writer and an actor.

Grahame Bond is one of Australia’s most prolific, influential and best-loved personalities. Having entertained and informed Australians for over thirty years, Grahame says he’s been “trapped in the A’s” – art, architecture, acting, advertising, archaeology and of course, Aunty Jack.’

The 13th annual dinner welcomes back the 2012 Parker Fellowship recipient Matthew Kelly from his time urban globetrotting, as well as the recipient of the 2012 Colin Madigan Commendation, Hannah Cheetham, from her time at the Julian Ashton Art School. We will also announce the 2013 award recipients.

The major 2013 fundraiser raffle will be an original framed watercolour by Charles Martin and the 2013 annual dinner raffle is also a watercolour by Charles Martin. Tickets are available from any committee member and from the Newcastle Divisional office of the AIA. This year, one ticket will cover both the major raffle and the 2013 annual dinner raffle, however, the 2013 dinner prize will be drawn on the night and only be available to the 2013 annual dinner attendees.

If you would like to attend the annual dinner, please complete our 2013 dinner registration form and email it back to us. We would be grateful if you could respond by Wednesday 14 August 2013 so that we can confirm final numbers for catering. If you are unable to attend but would like to make a tax deductible donation towards our scholarship fund, please use the form to register your donation.

I look forward to catching up with you at our dinner.

Best wishes,

Robert Donaldson
Chair of the Trustee and Hon Treasurer
The Architecture Foundation

Pin Cushion Islands

May 15, 2013  |  Comments Off on Pin Cushion Islands  |  by Joey Trongchittham  |  News, Scholars

Matt Kelly - HKOur 2012 Parker Fellow, Matthew Kelly has started his Journey. Follow Matt through Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China on his blog update.

Matt’s Itinerary

April 11, 2013  |  Comments Off on Matt’s Itinerary  |  by Joey Trongchittham  |  News, Scholars

Matt-KellyOur 2012 Parker Fellow Matthew Kelly is getting ready to depart on his study trip. We are very excited and looking forward to following  Matt’s journey on his graphic blog.


2012 Parker Fellow

October 13, 2012  |  Comments Off on 2012 Parker Fellow  |  by ross  |  News, Scholars

Our 2012 Parker Fellow is Matthew Kelly. His award was announced at the Twelfth Annual Architects Foundation Dinner at Isabellas Restaurant held at Newcastle University on Saturday evening, 29th March.  Also announced was the winner of the Col Madigan Commendation Award , Hannah Cheetham, a second year student.