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Winning for Country: Hassell Travel Scholarship

Hassell is rewarding excellence and supporting outstanding landscape architecture students through its Hassell Travelling Scholarship – Robin Edmond Award. And the 2022 winner is announced.

Winning for Country: Hassell Travel Scholarship

Image of the Tallow Creek area.

Now in its 32nd year, the Hassell Travelling Scholarship – Robin Edmond Award, has another outstanding winner to add to its impressive alumni and alumnae. The scholarship recognises graduating landscape architecture students who display outstanding potential for future contribution to the profession and the 2022 winner has been announced as University of Technology Sydney (UTS) graduate, Nathan Galluzzo.

Galluzzo received the accolade from among 21 of his peers that were nominated by eight participating Australian universities. The group’s submissions covered a diverse range of projects and broad spectrum of topics, however, Galluzzo’s proposal was deemed the winner as it explored the interface between Indigenous knowledge, local stories and climate impacts communicated through processes of film and collaborative drawing that was place specific.

Nathan Galluzzo with Uncle Norm.

Hassell principal, Sharon Wright, elaborated upon the award and judging process reflecting, “We were impressed by the often deeply personal connection to the projects, sites and issues and the passionate commitment demonstrated to exploring complex challenges and finding innovative design propositions.”

Galluzzo’s project was a response to the 2019 flood that occurred in the sacred place of the Arakwal people of the Bunjalung nation, Byron Bay. At the time of an intense weather event, the local council was pressured by residents to artificially open the mouth of Tallow Creek. The result was the demise of myriad living organisms that included mullet, bream, whiting, flathead and eels.

The following year, Galluzzo explored the relationship of local and Indigenous knowledge using film and drawing to develop a cyclical and iterative process which in turn has provided a deeper understanding of relationality through learning, experience and discussions. Through this endeavour, Galluzzo was able to uniquely communicate how landscape architects use drawing to reveal the complex relationships that exist between stakeholders and the land and foster a shared regard for future adaptive strategies.

Chloe Dowsett, Byron Shire Council’s coordinator for Coast, Biodiversity and Sustainability, says, “Nathan approached Council to learn more about Tallow Creek as part of his masters, but we have ended up learning so much from him through his deep examination of this place and its history and connection to Country. Nathan’s work has exposed a deeper level of understanding of Tallow Creek providing insights into ecosystem dynamics activated by his drawing process and research methods.”

Illustration of the creek opening.

The project was created over time as the graduate explains, “Over many months, I acted as a visual translator and created a reflective and meditative practice, where aspects of time are transcended through drawings that connect stories with moments in the environment as well as communicate unconscious and intangible values, personal relationships with place, oral narratives, spiritual beliefs and past research.”

He adds, “The scholarship win is a great opportunity to continue my passion and to extend the masters out and challenge how we could better integrate the teachings from Indigenous culture in policy and other modes that strengthen a considered and holistic view about our landscapes and our connection to landscape.”

Series 07, Through The Dunes illustration.

Wright spoke about Galluzzo’s project saying, “We were impressed with his highly original process that was shaped and guided by his exquisite drawing style. The projects scope and timeframe were ambitious, and its process and outcomes are a powerful example of what can be achieved by slowing a project down, by listening and by being hyper site-specific.”

The Hassell Travelling Scholarship – Robin Edmond Award, provides the winner with the opportunity to expand their education through travel to a destination undergoing significant development or renewal. The award also recognises the excellence of the universities training the next generation of leading landscape architects.


Courtesy Nathan Galluzzo

Series 05, Tallow Creek Cycles, illustration.
Dusky Flathead, print.
Sand painting by Auntie Delta Kay titled ‘Currents of Tallow Creek’ at the exhibition ‘Our Special Place – Tallow Creek’.
Sand painting by Auntie Delta Kay titled ‘Currents of Tallow Creek’ at the exhibition ‘Our Special Place – Tallow Creek’.

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