NSW AILA Landscape Heritage Round Table

NSW AILA Landscape Heritage Round Table
Join us for Round Table Talk #2!

JOIN US at 3:30pm 

AILA Landscape Heritage Round Table : All Landscape is Cultural : an invitation to nominate an Inspirational Landscape

At the second Round Table Talk the AILA NSW Heritage Committee will discuss the topic 'All Landscape is Cultural: an invitation to nominate an Inspirational Landscape’  Join our panel and your industry peers to share your thoughts and opinions in a fun and casual setting!

National Reconciliation Week ends each year on 3 June, the date of the 1992 High Court Mabo decision, a turning point for the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ rights, because it acknowledged their unique connection with the land.

How can landscape architects act on the AILA Reconciliation Action Plan to develop respectful relationships and create meaningful opportunities within AILA and the communities within which it operates? Forums like this one, investigate the new gaps and overlaps with allied professions and the broader community.

Landscapes that inspire can be a form of solace and hope in times of crisis. Perhaps now is the time to rethink what we see as inspirational landscapes, using creative and innovative approaches that build on Crocker & Davies work on the AHC’s Inspirational Landscapes project in 2005.

We reflect on devastating drought, deluge, bushfire and pandemic. We remember the life of ‘Green Ban’ champion, Jack Mundey OAM. We acknowledge Traditional Custodians.  Condolences are reinforced by collective appreciation of the value of landscape and interconnected life at rural, regional and local scales. And by life we mean culture and nature, as an inseparable whole. Landscape Architects are asked to consider the implications of these forces in terms of landscape heritage: identifying impacts and opportunities.

The Royal Commission of Inquiry into National Disaster Arrangements and the NSW Independent Bushfire Inquiry raise deep concern; shared understanding that Australia is a fire country, that Climate Change is real and call for further revival of Indigenous land management, Care for Country, to be integrated in changes to planning and design.

Responses to the current pandemic - fast-tracked developments in priority precincts and ‘tactical urbanism’- challenge Landscape Architects to act in a timely manner to modify public spaces and ways people interact with each other, together with regenerating fragmented green infrastructure.

Forums like this one investigate the new opportunities and overlaps with allied professions and the broader community.

Bring places you regard as an inspirational landscape to the Round Table and discuss how we can ensure they thrive for generations. Your nomination may be an outstanding public park, street, place of industry, infrastructure, institutional open space, commemorative place or experience.


Guests, Stuart Read, NSW Heritage and Aboriginal Places Listings nominations, and Den Barber, descendant of the Traditional Custodians from Mudgee of the Wiradjuri people, Aboriginal Cultural Fire Practitioner, Yarrabin Cultural Connections, will join us.

Positive change in conservation and regeneration of landscape requires deep understanding, rethinking and collaborative action.

The Local Government Landscape Design Forum (LGLDF), with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, (DPIE) Public Spaces team, showcased the benefits of State, Local and Greater Sydney integration, at The Australian Botanic Garden, Mt Annan. Fiona Morrison, Director of Open Spaces, Public Spaces Division will join this Round Table to continue the dialogue with AILA NSW.

More recently, the DPIE/Transport for NSW ‘Streets as Shared Spaces’ webinar, held on 18th May, revealed that regional councils recognise a need for Landscape Architectural services and AILA is the directory to fulfil this need. Within this webinar, landscape heritage is addressed in terms of character in the Liverpool case study ‘design framework’ and a DPIE interactive mapping tool invites Councils to highlight the streets that are valued as public spaces.

AILA members now proactively identify significant places, including nominations to the State Heritage Register (SHR), and a list of significant landscape architecture. Landscape Heritage values of these places are now acknowledged and understood, prior to transformations within their curtilage.

AILA Landscape Heritage Report, and the nominations, prepared by Christine Hay, Colleen Morris and James Quoyle, was recently presented in the DPIE Connection to Country (C2C) webinar with Dillon Kombumerri. Speaking for the Ochre Grid, Dillon gave insight to how an understanding of the heritage of the place can influence more holistic, integrated planning. (‘Advocate > Significant Landscape Architecture’ at AILA.org.au.)

AILA Landscape Heritage Groups’ terms of reference are also available on the AILA website and conversations from the membership are welcomed. Contact from members has resulted in the ALHG acting in defence of important landscapes such as; reviewing planning documents at Sydney Olympic Parkland, enabling preservation of the original design intent in Mackenzie legacy projects and contributing to submissions to Government, including the NSW Independent Bushfire Inquiry. Craig Burton explained this at the recent AILA NSW Round Table #1 on Bushfire, online.

Den Barber will join us at this Round Table as we begin to develop a deeper understanding and recognition of Connection to Country Cultural Fire practices in NSW.

Stuart Read will share his perspective as a landscape architect within NSW Heritage. Latest news is the AILA nominations of Bandangi (Berry Is. and Wollstonecraft Foreshore Reserve) are officially progressing to the State Heritage Register, notable for being a grouping of places.

AILA members and guests are invited to share places they nominate as an inspirational landscape.

We aim to amplify Landscape Architects’ unique skills in the collaborative realisation of visionary, enduring change that, in the words of Craig Burton, “listens, understands past present and future, discusses, shares, rethinks and acts collaboratively”.

Oi Choong, Helen Armstrong and Craig Burton will respond and conclude the Round Table discussion. We look forward to talking with you there, live on screen.

Guests and Members of the Committee

Fiona Morrison 
B.L.Arch. (UNSW), MBA (U. Newcastle), Dip. Proj. Mgmt (AIM)
Director of Open Space Public Spaces Division, Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.
After completing her Bachelor of Landscape Architecture at UNSW, Fiona achieved MBA at University of Newcastle and Diploma of Project Management at Australian Institute of Management In 2011. Her experience includes a role as Landscape Architect at Hawkesbury Campus, University of Western Sydney, Open Space Planning and Assets Manager, Ryde, Landscape Manager and Development assistant Manager, Lendlease and Exec Manager of Open Space, Campbelltown City Council.

Fiona has been instrumental in Everyone Can Play - A Guideline to Create Inclusive Playspaces, Livvi's Place at Yamble Reserve, Integrated Open Space Plan

2013 NSW Minister for Planning and Infrastructure's Sydney Greenspace Award

2013 NSW Premier's People's Choice Award - Livvi's Place at Yamble Reserve

Awards for Planning in Landscape Architecture - Children's Play Implementation Plan

Project Management Achievement Award - National Award for Community Service and/or Development

Planning Award - NSW

Project Management Achievement Award - NSW Award for Community Service and/or Development

NSW Minister for Planning and Infrastucture's Sydney Greenspace Award


Stuart Read B. Hort. Sc., Grad. Dip. L. Arch., (LU NZ)

Senior Heritage Operations Officer, Metro South, Heritage NSW.

Stuart has over 20 years’ experience in private sector and government (federal, state and local) working in planning, policy and programs on landscape, parks & recreation, horticulture, planning, urban design and in conserving, educating, assessing and managing natural and cultural heritage.

Stuart prepares nominations for State Heritage and Aboriginal Place listings, advice on site management, grants, education and training for advisers, planners, developers and the community through regular lectures, talks, seminars, assisting local and state government managers, owners and stakeholders. He contributes to diverse publications.

Stuart advises on adaptive reuse, managing change and giving heritage a viable, productive economic future. He is a renowned expert in Landscape heritage and garden history, collaboratively working in Urban Design, Landscape Planning with a passion for landscape design, horticulture, plants & botany. He is currently co-chair of the Australian Garden History Society.


Dennis (Den) Barber B.App Sc. Parks, Rec & Herit. (CSU)

Senior Land Services Officer/ Aboriginal Communities with Greater Sydney Local Land Services, Director of Non-profit Koori Country Firesticks Aboriginal Corporation(KCFAC), Cultural Burn Consultant/Practitioner and Artist.

Den is an Aboriginal man and descendant of the Traditional Custodians from Mudgee of the Wiradjuri people in the Central Tablelands of NSW.

Den’s work, drawing on over 15 years experience in cultural heritage and environmental management with NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) as a Ranger and Aboriginal Officer, revives traditional cultural practices to care for Country. KCFAC acknowledge the Elders of the Kuku Thaypan, Lama Lama Country of Cape York in Queensland who passed on their knowledge to us and inspired the creation of KCFSAC. In particular, KCFSAC acknowledges the work of Victor Steffensen of Mulong and Oliver Costello of Firesticks who lead the revival of this important cultural practice.

Further knowledge has been passed on by Elders of Country from New South Wales where Aboriginal Cultural Burning practices are being reintroduced. Through deep learning with elders and knowledge holders, Den has initiated numerous not for profit organisations to sensitively revive traditional land management and Aboriginal Cultural Burning over many trials in NSW, with local people. Observations of this process are now gaining international media attention. A recent collaboration with a Bungendore landholder has evolved into a series of workshops over 30ha of cultural burns, with the support of State Government agencies. Other case studies in the Hunter Valley provide opportunities for people to experience first hand the effect of this way of caring for Country. Den’s time is shared between Local Land Services NSW, KCFAC and a number of advisory roles such as the Firesticks Alliance Indigenous Corporation.

For a full interview with Jade Paton, Talk to the Trees, April 2019 : http://www.kooricountryfiresticks.com.au/assets/pdf/Cultural-Burning.pdf

Professor Helen Armstrong AM FAILA BSc (SydU) Grad Dip Landscape Design (UNSW), M.L.Arch (UNSW), PhD (UNSW)

Professor-Emeritus of Landscape Architecture Queensland University of Technology Associate, Institute for Culture and Society, University of Western Sydney. 

Helen Armstrong’s scholarly work in landscape architecture reflects expertise in cultural landscape interpretations, environmental heritage and landscape design. Helen’s University lecturing covers environmental studies, design and perceptions of landscape. Research, writing and exhibitions focus on cultural landscapes, environmental heritage, landscape design, migration and place and marginal landscapes.

Senior Lecturer, Landscape Architecture University of New South Wales 1986-1996 Founding Director, Cultural Landscape Research Unit 1985 -2003. Professional landscape design work includes large industrial landscapes, park designs, visual assessments and master planning in Australia and UK. Consultancies include the Guide to Migrant Heritage Places for the Australian Heritage Commission and cultural landscape and heritage landscape assessments. Design judge: a wide spectrum of landscape design and planning projects in Australia.  Fellow of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects, Member, ICOMOS (Australia) Member, International Editorial Advisory Board, Landscape Research, UK Selected Advisory & Steering Committees. Helen’s extensive experience as an academic: in USA, UK, China, Vietnam and Vienna, Initiated studios in Hangzhou and Vienna.

Professor Craig Burton FAILA ARAIA AAILA BArch MA DipL.D Dip EnvSt.Hort.Cert

Adjunct Professor at University of Western Australia, Professor, Landscape Ecologies, University of Technology, Sydney, Architecture at University of Sydney and Landscape Architecture at University of New South Wales. International Masterclasses with Glen Murcutt. Director, CAB Consulting, Pittwater.

Recently, Craig Burton was part of a team who prepared the successful World Heritage nomination for the Blue Mountains Plateaux.Craig Burton is a gifted polymath – a practicing architect, landscape architect, horticulturist, fine arts historian and environmental studies graduate. He works on a wide range of projects in Australia and overseas, including the Jerusalem Garden at Hebrew University  and has been teaching architecture and landscape architecture since 1979. In 2006 he was made Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Visual Arts at the University of Western Australia.

He is much involved with heritage issues, including studies and conservation plans in the natural and cultural environments. He has worked on Sydney Harbour projects that include Bradley’s Head, Ballast Point and the Waverton Peninsula. His award-winning Bradley’s Head Project was listed by the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects as one of Australia’s 15 most significant projects. His private gardens in Sydney, the Blue Mountains and country New South Wales attract much attention.The key to his work is a deep understanding of the history and spirit of a place, through reading the land culturally. He speaks of ‘connecting the past with the present and the future’, and seeks a continuity which will usually include indigenous plants. In Sydney he loves to work with sandstone and in Western Australia, with limestone. He has a passion for trees.

Oi Choong  B Sc(Arch) B Arch (Syd) Grad. Dip. Landscape Design, Grad. Dip. Env.Studies  RLA, FAILA

Principal, Oi CHOONG Consultant : Consulting Partner, Context, Sydney.

Oi Choong has over thirty years of distinguished experience as a landscape architect in the public and private sectors. She has extensive experience in master planning, urban landscapes, waterfronts, green infrastructure, heritage and campus landscapes. She was a former head of the Landscape Section at the Government Architects Office. Oi established CONTEXT Landscape Design in 1990.

As Director of the practice, she led many award winning local and international landscape and master planning projects in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, SE  Asia China and the UAE . These include the Kuching Waterfront Sarawak, East Malaysia, (World Waterfront Award 1994) Walsh Bay Redevelopment, Sydney (Lloyd Rees Award) Centennial Parklands Tree Master Plan ( AILA Merit Award University of NSW Mall (AILA Project Award) M7 Westlink Orbital, Old Parliament House Gardens Canberra, Empress Place and Esplanade Park Singapore , Moore Park Plan of Management, Dubai Festival City, Nanjing Waterfront, China.

Oi currently advises the private sector and government as a Landscape Consultant and is a member of numerous competition juries and Panels including the Design Excellence Panels including the Government Architect’s State Design Review Panel, Barangaroo Design Excellence Advisory Panel, Parramatta Council Design Excellence Panel. Oi was awarded the Marion Mahony Griffin Prize by the AIA in 2018  in recognition for her distinctive body of work and contribution to the profession.


David Matthew Taylor BLArch, MBEnv(Cons), AAILA, RLA. Director Taylor Brammer, Woollahra

Matthew is an experienced landscape architect and conservation landscape architect with a broad understanding and appreciation of historic, cultural and natural landscapes. His work both in Australia and internationally has been recognised in a number of design awards.

Matthew has had long term involvement in National, State and locally listed sites including Admiralty House, Government House Canberra, The Lodge Canberra, Cockatoo Island, Nielsen Park, Goat Island and the Bantry Bay Explosives Magazine Complex, Sydney. He has lectured on a range of design issues including the evolving nature of Sydney as an urban form in relation to landscape and has recently given a keynote address in India on “An Urban World” strategies for smart cities in the 21st Century.

: Wed 3 June 3:30-4:30pm

Location: ZOOM -register to receive via email the link a few days prior to the event

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3/06/2020 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

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