NSW The Lived Experience

NSW The Lived Experience
Join AILA NSW online for an open discussion to promote a culture of conversation and care in our profession.

AILA NSW would like to invite practices, professionals and Landscape Architects from all over to attend, listen and contribute. We encourage your practice to make the time for this important discussion. 

The recording to this event it now available on VIMEO.

AILA NSW is privileged to welcome Monica Das, Beyond Blue volunteer Speaker for over 5 years and co-founder of Haathi in the Room, an initiative that works to raise awareness of and destigmatise the topic of mental health in South Asian communities.

Stemming from her own lived experiences with depression and anxiety, Monica was compelled to become a mental health advocate and help others going through similar experiences by sharing her own story.

Through various campaigns and events, Haathi in the Room provides knowledge and tools that can be used to create a positive impact in people's daily lives and mental wellbeing, striving for a more widespread, improved understanding of mental health, with further conversations and accessibility to more culturally driven services. 
Following Monica's testimony, Crosbie Lorimer will be leading a diverse panel of Landscape Architects who will be sharing their own lived experience facing mental health challenges and explaining the strategies they adopt to be and stay well.

Please note this event offers personal perspectives and the participants are not qualified to offer any clinical recommendations.

You can visit the Beyond Blue website here

Cost and Contribution:

This is a free online event but we do encourage attendees and practices to make a donation to Beyond Blue to help cover the costs to ensure Beyond Blue can continue to provide this free service, you can donate directly through their website website. 

Voluntary Donation to Beyond Blue

Speaker and Panellist:

           Monica Das . 

Beyond Blue Speaker 
Monica Das is a young professional who has worked in both Commonwealth and State public services on issues such fiscal policy, foreign investment and Common-wealth-State relations.
Monica is a volunteer speaker for Beyond Blue, a national organisation that works to raise awareness about anxiety and depression, reduce the associated stigma and encourage people to get help.
Monica became a Beyond Blue speaker because she wants to share her personal experience with mental illness to give hope to those who may be suffering and to encourage others to start a conversation about it with their friends and family.
Monica’s interests include travelling and enjoying good food with friends and family.


Crosbie Lorimer (Moderator)
Crosbie Lorimer says he’s middle aged, which is quite a stretch, given he’s in his mid-sixties! For 40 of those years he’s worked under the CLOUSTON banner, first in England and since 1989 in Sydney. Rarely described as a quick learner he is however persistent and so finally completed his company trajectory from Graduate in 1978 to Managing Director in 2016. Foremost of his interests when he’s not working is sailing, but he also plays poor social tennis with his wife, draws and paints, swapped playing violin for an Irish tin whistle and most unforgivably found lycra and road bikes in his mid-fifties! Like many he’s had some mental health challenges along the way, but his treatment and recovery some time back led him to decide he needed to give back on these issues. He has subsequently been a Speaker for Beyond Blue for the last six years.

Grace Mansour
Grace is a passionate Landscape Architect working in the profession for to 20 years, driven by the work we do in enhancing the environment as well as the livelihoods and wellbeing of people and communities. She has worked across many different work environments; internationally, locally, and in private practices, government, large multidisciplinary and small studios, which has provided her with a good sense of the spectrum of work pressures that we as landscape architects are exposed to, as well as ways that practices mitigate them. Having experienced these pressures first hand, as well as working in management roles, she understands the importance of supporting individuals to ensure their wellbeing, and providing an environment for them to flourish. Grace currently works as a Senior Associate at ASPECT Studios.

Tessa Colclough
Tessa is a Registered Landscape Architect who balances work and managing life with an energetic toddler. She finds joy in creating beautiful, comfortable and meaningful places, and bringing inquisitive minds together to improve urban liveability. Recognising the impacts of personal anxieties on her work, Tessa sought help. She is keen to set an example for her son, helping him to understand “big feelings”, explore the natural environment and be kind to others, particularly his cat. Tessa is an Associate Landscape Architect at OCULUS, Sydney.

Sacha Coles 

Sacha is a globally renowned design leader with a record of excellence in creating projects of transformational change. His projects aim to delight and embody a positivity which challenges a ‘business as usual’ approach.
Sacha is a collaborator who delivers innovative design within a social framework, reinforcing the role that cities can play in creating economic, social and creative opportunity. Through his work, Sacha promotes uplifting quality of life, encouraging social equity and elevating the human spirit through design. Recognised as one of the top 30 Landscape Architects operating globally, Sacha advocates for design excellence, environmental resilience, and civic delight. Sacha is currently a Director, Design and Strategy at ASPECT Studios.

Darren Mason
Darren has been working in the Horticultural industry for over 40 years, despite his saying he still acts as a 40 year old (his body is telling him another story) and he says – ”the Shiraz is keeping me young at heart. ” Having started his career as an apprentice gardener in western Sydney and completing courses in Horticulture and Landscape design his drive still remains  plants – people and places. He has been a long standing supporter and advocate of the Landscape industry and AILA from the early 80s and feels the industry and profession are now the experts in the room - that need to be listened to. Darren has a connection with facing and dealing with first-hand the “black dog “ and after a near death accident has come to realise we all need to take time out listen to others and find that common ground …that we are all different and we are all meant to be here.
Riley Donaldson
Riley is a Landscape Architect with ten years’ experience leading and working on projects in Australia, The United States and New Zealand. Riley has worked with Commercial and Private clients in Landscape Architecture, Urban Design, Planning and Agriculture. He is passionate about the role that Landscape Architecture can play in facilitating change in ecological, social, and cultural spaces, drawing on broad scale systems and patterns to create unique, site specific responses. Based in Melbourne, Riley, like many Victorians, can reflect on the extensive lockdown endured in 2020. 

7/05/2021 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
ZOOM ONLINE Link Will Be Emailed the Day Prior to the Event

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