Australian Institute of Architects

The Australian Institute of Architects (officially as the Royal Australian Institute of Architects, abbreviated as RAIA) is a professional body for architects in Australia.

Australian Institute of Architects
Tusculum (1837), NSW Chapter headquarters
MottoLatin: Artem Promovemus Una (United we advance architecture)
Formation1929 (1929)
Legal statusProfessional body; members association
HeadquartersL1/41 Exhibition St, Melbourne
Julia Cambage
Helen Lochhead
SubsidiariesNSW Chapter
VIC Chapter
QLD Chapter
SA Chapter
WA Chapter
TAS Chapter
NT Chapter
ACT Chapter
AffiliationsInternational Union of Architects


The body was known as the Australian Institute of Architects from the time of its inception on 6 September 1929 to 18 August 1930, when the "Royal" title was granted, becoming the Royal Australian Institute of Architects.[1] In 2008, following an informal poll of members in 2001, the National Council resolved to continue trading as the "Australian Institute of Architects", while retaining "Royal Australian Institute of Architects" as the legal name. The postnominals of FRAIA (Fellow) and RAIA (Members and organisation abbreviation) continue to be used with the legal name abbreviated.[2]


A number of states formed professional societies for architects, including the Queensland Institute of Architects.[3]

The Australian Institute was formed in 1929, when state architectural institutes combined to form a unified national association. A chapter is now maintained in each state and territory, though full federation did not come about immediately, with some states maintaining their independence. The Royal Victorian Institute of Architects was the last to join, in 1968.[4] The Institute is represented on many national and state industry and government bodies, and is affiliated with the International Union of Architects (UIA).

National Awards & Prizes

Gold Medal

The AIA Gold Medal is the highest award of the Australian Institute of Architects awarded annually since 1960.

Paula Whitman Leadership in Gender Equity Prize

This award honours architect and gender equity advocate Paula Whitman.[5]

  • Helen Lochhead (2019)
  • Melonie Bayl-Smith (2018)
  • Catherine Baudet (2017)

National Architecture Awards

The National Architecture Awards have been presented since 1981 and include:

State Architecture Awards & Prizes

Each of the state chapters also presents awards, with notable examples including:

New South Wales


South Australia

  • Sir James Irwin Chapter President's Medal
  • Jack McConnell Award for Public Architecture
  • Keith Neighbour Award for Commercial Architecture
  • Robert Dickson Award for Interior Architecture
  • John S Chappell Award for Residential Architecture – Houses (New)
  • David Saunders Award for Heritage Architecture
  • Derrick Kendrick Award for Sustainable Architecture
  • Jack Cheesman Award For Enduring Architecture


Western Australia


National presidents[1]

  • 2009–2010 Melinda Dodson
  • 2010–2011 Karl Fender
  • 2011–2012 Brian Zulaikha
  • 2012–2013 Shelley Penn
  • 2013–2014 Paul Berkemeier
  • 2014–2015 David Karotkin
  • 2015–2016 Jon Clements
  • 2016–2017 Ken Maher
  • 2017–2018 Richard Kirk
  • 2018–2019 Clare Cousins
  • 2019–2020 Helen Lochhead

State Chapter presidents

New South Wales

  • President: Kathlyn Loseby
  • Immediate Past President: Andrew Nimmo


  • President: Amy Muir
  • Immediate Past President: Vanessa Bird


  • President: Paul Trotter
  • Immediate Past President: Bruce Wolfe
  • Past President: Paula Whitman

South Australia

  • President: Mario Dreosti
  • Immediate Past President: David Homburg


  • President: Yvette Breytenbach
  • Immediate Past President: Brad Wheeler

Western Australia

  • President: Suzanne Hunt[7]
  • Immediate Past President: Philip Griffiths (elected 2014)[7]

Northern Territory

  • President: Jenny Culgan
  • Immediate Past President: Andrew Broffman

Australian Capital Territory

  • President: Philip Leeson
  • Immediate Past President: Rob Henry


  1. Freeland, John Maxwell (1971). The Making of a Profession: A History of the Growth and Work of the Architectural Institutes in Australia. Sydney: Angus and Robertson. p. 201. ISBN 0207122393.
  2. Standen, David; Warren, Frederick (7 October 2011). "Acronyms and meaning". Architecture Australia. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  3. "About the Queensland chapter – Australian Institute of Architects". Archived from the original on 9 July 2015. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  4. Conscious Design: the Melbourne Atelier 1919–1947 Archived 2 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine accessed 25 July 2011
  5. Wright, Louise. "New Institute Gender Equity Prize honours Paula Whitman". Architecture Australia.
  6. "NSW Architecture Awards". Australian Institute of Architects. Archived from the original on 18 November 2018. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  7. "AIA welcomes Suzanne Hunt as first female president of WA Chapter". Architecture & Design. 6 March 2017. Archived from the original on 5 December 2017. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
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