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Meet the tenacious emerging leaders of SJB’s Melbourne studio

A series of recent promotions within SJB’s Melbourne architecture and planning studios reflect the continued evolution of the practice’s expertise.

Meet the tenacious emerging leaders of SJB’s Melbourne studio


July 22nd, 2021

Since its foundation, in Melbourne c.1970, SJB has established and maintained a culture of trust to drive the evolution of the practice which has culminated to a multi-studio collective of experts in architecture, interiors, planning and urban design. So, it is with happy conviction that SJB’s Melbourne studio announces several new appointments in its architecture and planning studios.

“Now that we count over 200 staff in two cities and over 40 years’ history with an ever-growing body of work, the evolution of SJB is being shaped by our emerging leaders with their creativity, rigour and professionalism,” says Michael Bialek, founding director, SJB. “It’s exciting to watch SJB grow from strength to strength, and to see our team make an incredible impact in Australia’s built environment.”

The appointments in the Melbourne architecture studio reflect the growth in mixed-use, commercial and residential sectors and a drive towards sustainable design practices. Meanwhile, in the Melbourne planning office—with over 25 years of experience delivering strategic and statutory consulting services to private and public clients, and with a portfolio of work spanning all sectors, scales and challenges—the new appointments build on the strong foundations of the business and a commitment to the professional development of its team members.

Architecture appointments

Clockwise from top left: Beau Fulwood, Tracy Xia, Dom Bunnag, Nigel Morris

Nigel Morris, associate director

Nigel’s input to SJB for over 10 years builds on his experience in residential, education, hospitality and arts projects. He is skilled in the management of complex multi-stakeholder schemes, early stage briefing and project development. He seeks to draw together diverse interests – design, people and community, commerce and construction. He works to create improved outcomes for clients and to enrich the quality of the built environment and the spaces we inhabit. 

Beau Fulwood, senior associate

Beau is an experienced and talented architect who brings over 12 years’ experience to SJB with a proven track record of delivering projects both here and in Thailand. He adopts a process-driven approach that draws upon a site’s context and history to optimise project outcomes. He brings his passion for achieving the best result to lead numerous multi-unit residential and mixed-use developments, together with bespoke homes, leisure projects and workplaces. Beau’s strength lies in managing the entire design and construction process – building relationships to achieve outstanding results whilst increasing a focus on human-centred sustainable outcomes.

Dom Bunnag, associate

Dom excels in concept design, competition submissions and the visual communication of projects involving a strong understanding of both technical and functional requirements with bold knowledge and a focus on collaborative outcomes. Dom is an integral part of the SJB team. His attention to detail, together with his experience across numerous project phases and building typologies, enables him to draw on a breadth of knowledge to provide innovative design solutions.

Tracy Xia, associate

Tracy is an architect with over 9 years’ experience across residential, mixed-use, social housing and commercial developments. She brings an enviable breadth of skill and a depth of understanding with the delivery of complex novated and fast-tracked projects. Tracy adopts a tenacious, action-oriented approach in her efforts to improve the way we contribute to the built environment. Her experience across all facets of the architectural process, from project coordination to problem-solving on site with builders and contractors, ensures a successful outcome on every project.


Planning appointments 

Clockwise form top left: Adam Haines, Sarah Thomas, Holly McFall, Genevieve Kour, Joanna Jackson, Andrea Zohar

Adam Haines, senior associate

Adam prides himself on a client first approach in his leadership role with SJB. His experience spans a diverse range of town planning project typologies including small, medium and large scale residential development, mixed use development, major projects within the Melbourne CBD and inner metropolitan areas, as well as greenfield and urban growth area sites. Adam is also highly experienced in managing applications through the Planning Appeals processes and has extensive experience in representation at hearings, including complex medium density developments, both from a local government perspective and private sector representation.

Andrea Zohar, senior associate

Andrea has more than 12 years’ experience in strategic and statutory planning in Melbourne, where she has worked on many high-profile and complex development projects. Her strength lies in her detailed knowledge across the approvals process and excellent communication skills. Andrea is highly organised which gives her the tools to effectively project manage complex planning applications and keep clients well informed of their project. Andrea has positive working relationships with Council, State Government and consultants as demonstrated in the successful realisation of a wide range of planning projects

Sarah Thomas, senior associate

With over 15 years’ experience, Sarah’s diverse expertise is in the planning process, including the preparation of statutory planning policy for local councils, preparation and review of planning assessment documentation, VCAT advocacy experience and preparation of statutory planning permit applications. Her strength lies in her efficient and highly organised work practices, well-developed project management and documentation experience and as a studio leader in project coordination and management.

Joanna Jackson, associate

Joanna has been a practising planner for more 18 years, moving from a specialist position at the City of Sydney. Joanna has extensive experience with Victorian State and Local Planning Policy, liaising with clients, Councils and consultants on a daily basis and co-ordination of planning projects to ensure timely and efficient delivery from conception through to development. Since joining SJB in 2007 Joanna has been involved in projects ranging from single dwellings to large scale residential and commercial developments.

Holly McFall, associate

Holly excels in collaborating with project teams and other stakeholders to deliver positive planning outcomes. Holly’s experience includes residential subdivisions, mixed use developments, industrial developments and a broad range of medium and high density residential developments across Victoria. Holly also manages applications through the Planning Appeals and Planning Scheme Amendment processes. In addition, Holly brings urban design experience, having worked for SJB’s Urban team whilst completing her undergraduate Bachelor of Environments, majoring in Urban Design and Planning Studies.

Genevieve Kour, senior planner 

Genevieve began her career as a planner at SJB in 2019, following her role as a student planner. She has extensive experience with Victorian State and Local Planning Policy, liaising with clients, Councils and consultants on a daily basis and co-ordination of planning projects to ensure timely and efficient delivery from conception through to development. Genevieve’s experience includes residential subdivisions, multi-unit developments, mixed use developments, industrial developments and a broad range of medium to high density development across Victoria.


“Our team is defined by its collegiate working relationships, expertise in the planning industry and tenacious pursuit of a positive agenda for change in our cities and regions,” says Hugh Smyth, planning director, SJB. “We are delighted by the continued growth in our team’s capacity and capability to achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients and project partners.”

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