2020 Engaging Women in the Built Environment

Please join us online for the 2020 Engaging Women in the Built Environment event. 

This year, we are bringing together an incredible group of engaging women who inspired us with their stories in one of our previous events.  

Each speaker will give us a brief update on where their professional life has taken them, what they’ve achieved since last joining us. This will be followed by a panel discussion hosted by Professor Helen Lochhead, Dean, UNSW School of Built Environment. 

Our speakers will explore gender equity, workplace practices, and how the industry is tracking towards the goal of 50% women in leadership roles. The panellists will share with us their insights and candid advice. Finally, you will hear what lies ahead for each speaker and their observations for the industry in this unprecedented time. 


2020 Speaker line-up

Online Event
Event date: 
25 Aug 2020 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Abbie Galvin | NSW Government Architect

Abbie GalvinAbbie commenced her role as the NSW Government Architect in January 2020.  

Abbie has worked for 30 years, in private architectural practice, on public, education, health, research and commercial projects that have been highly awarded, published and recognised internationally for bringing fresh approaches to common project types.   

Projects Abbie has led have been the recipient of more than 40 state, national and international architectural awards in addition to personal awards such as the AIA Marion Mahoney Griffin Prize for a distinctive body of work in the field of Architecture.  

Abbie is passionate about the public domain, and the ability of architecture and our built environment to positively affect human behaviour, the way people interact, and the manner in which institutions and organisations operate.  

Alison Mirams | Chief Executive Officer, Roberts Pizzarotti

Alison MiramsAlison Mirams is the founding chief executive officer of boutique tier one construction company, Roberts Pizzarotti. The company was founded in January 2017 and within the first three years has a workbook of over $1 billion. Alison is deeply passionate about addressing the systemic issues that exist in the construction industry and attracting and retaining more women in the industry.  

Alison has worked in the construction industry for 25 years. Prior to establishing Roberts Pizzarotti, Alison led the NSW & ACT business unit for Lendlease’s Building for nearly three years. Prior to joining Lendlease, Alison enjoyed a successful sixteen-year career at Multiplex, rising from contracts administrator to regional director.   

Dr Cathy Smith | Architect, Interior Designer and Senior Lecturer, Interior Architecture, UNSW

Cathy SmithCathy Smith is an Australian architect, interior designer and Senior Lecturer in Interior Architecture at UNSW where she is also the inaugural Turnbull Foundation Women in Built Environment scholar (2018-2020). She was a Richard Rogers Fellow (Harvard University GSD, Fall 2018), and Visiting Professor at Carleton University (Winter 2019, 2020). Her interdisciplinary scholarly research focuses on issues of social equity, property tenure, placemaking and urban renewal, focusing particularly on DIY procurement, meanwhile use and UK property guardianship. See:

Professor Linda Corkery | Landscape Architecture, UNSW

Linda CorkeryLinda Corkery is Professor of Landscape Architecture at UNSW Sydney. In her academic and professional activities, she focuses on planning and designing public greenspaces that support human health and well-being and urban ecology, and that foster socially inclusive and meaningful places. Her work is published in academic and professional journals and books. In UNSW School of Built Environment, Linda has served in multiple leadership roles, including Discipline Director for Landscape Architecture, Head of School, and Associate Dean International. She is a director of Corkery Consulting, a Registered Landscape Architect, Fellow of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA), and immediate past National President of AILA. 

Min Kong | Industrial Designer, Breville Group

Min Kong is currently working as an Industrial Designer at Breville Group. Min has graduated from the University of New South Wales with honours in bachelor’s degree. With over 10 years of experience in industrial design, Min has been a lead designer on various high profile projects including Qantas Airways, Emirates Group, Cochlear, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, ANZ Banking Group, Caltex Australia, TfNSW and McDonald’s Australia delivering quality and innovation in both product and experience design sectors. Min is an active member of Australian design community speaking at various Australian design forums and has been invited to judge in Good Design Awards and Victorian Premier’s Design Awards. Remaining in close ties with UNSW she has been teaching in industrial design studio since 2014.

Panel moderator: Professor Helen Lochhead | Dean, UNSW School of Built Environment

Professor Helen Lochhead is an Australian architect, urban and landscape designer.

Professor Lochhead is the Immediate Past National President of the Australian Institute of Architects. 

Prior to her appointment as Dean she held a number of influential positions in the NSW Government and the City of Sydney including including Executive Director roles at Sydney Olympic Park Authority and Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, and was most recently deputy NSW Government Architect. 

Her career has focused on the inception, planning, design and delivery of complex multidisciplinary projects and public works ranging from a 5-year city improvements program for the City of Sydney leading up to the 2000 Olympics to major urban renewal and waterfront projects. She has been instrumental in shaping more major precincts around Sydney Harbour than most, including the transformation of Sydney Olympic Park at Homebush Bay from a sports precinct into a mixed-use community and parklands with environmental credentials that set new benchmarks. More recently she led the development of 30-year plan for the transformation of Sydney Cove, the gateway to Sydney’s CBD and was instrumental in setting a new strategic vision for Sydney Harbour.

Professor Lochhead maintains a high profile in the profession and her professional contribution has been recognized through many industry awards including AIA and AILA Urban Design and Sustainability Awards, the AIA Marion Mahony Griffin Prize, the NAWIC Vision Award for leadership in the construction industry and the AIA NSW President’s Prize.

High level appointments include the National Council of the Australian Institute of Architects, Central Sydney Planning Committee, the ACT Planning and Land Council, the NSW Heritage Council and competition juries and Design Review Panels across Australia. All are a testament to her standing in the profession.

A graduate of both the University of Sydney and Columbia University in New York Professor Lochhead’s career has combined professional practice and teaching both in Australia and the United States, as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Sydney and also as visiting academic at Harvard, MIT and Columbia Universities. In 2014-15 she was also the Lincoln/Loeb Fellow at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.