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On The Move: Design careers move forward in May

Promotions, senior appointments, mergers and more: this month’s On The Move column has it all. Find out who’s doing what with their careers in design.

On The Move: Design careers move forward in May

Michael McMahon is First Nations Leader, Wardle.

May’s highlights include a slew of promotions and senior appointments, including Conrad Gargett architects joining Architectus’ leadership post-merger, and Wardle appointing its inaugural First Nations leader. We bring you the latest On The Move, careers in design.

Architectus/Conrad Gargett

Design studios Architectus and Conrad Gargett see their merger take form with the movement of architects from Conrad Gargett to Architectus’ leadership team. Conrad Gargett’s Managing Director, Lawrence Toaldo, has been appointed Group Director – Health, Defence, and Heritage.

Other appointments include Conrad Gargett’s Director, Rebecca Moore, taking up the role of Sector Leader – Health + Science, Principal David Gole assuming the position of Sector Leader – Heritage, and Director Gillian Donaldson becoming Sector Leader – Infrastructure.

On The Move - Architectus/Conrad Gargett

Clockwise from top left: Lawrence Toaldo, Gillian Donaldson, David Gole, Rebecca Moore.

Australian Institute of Architects (AIA)

The AIA has appointed Stuart Tanner as its National President. During his one-year tenure, Mr Tanner intends to emphasise popularising design and communicating architecture’s value. He is the AIA’s first National President from Tasmania in the 21st century.

“My key objective as an architect and ambassador for our Institute is to encourage a strong literacy around the importance of design excellence and great architecture, and the role we play in sustainability and social wellbeing,” says Stuart.

On The Move - Stuart Tanner
Stuart Tanner.


Amena Reza has been appointed Head of Strategy and Operations at bureau^proberts. She has spent the bulk of her career in strategic growth roles centred around architectural design practice and was a member of the bureau^proberts advisory board for five years.

“I’m excited to bring my drive, strategic leadership and governance experience to the table to help bureau^proberts build on its great platform to take its passionate and dedicated team of design leaders to the next level,” says Amena.

On the Move - Amena Reza
Amena Reza.

Fender Katsalidis

Fender Katsalidis (FK) recently made two senior appointments at its studios in Brisbane and Sydney. Jessica Lee, a principal at FK, has been appointed Studio Lead at its Brisbane office. She has been with FK since 2005, when she joined as a graduate, and has since established herself in the industry with her award-winning seniors living projects.

On the Move - Jessica Lee
Jessica Lee.

A hospitality expert, Angela Biddle, has joined FK’s Sydney office as a Principal. She brings two decades of experience to the interiors team and has previously served as a director at Scott Carver.

Angela Biddle.

Grimshaw Auckland

Grimshaw has just announced the appointment of Neil Stonell as Managing Partner of its new Auckland Studio. Neil says: “Grimshaw is today [13 June 2023] taking a significant step in the evolution of our robust New Zealand business by committing to a new studio in Auckland. At our new base, we have an energised and thriving team helping deliver our current work in our transport and aviation sectors, simultaneously developing our work in master planning, workplace, residential, adaptive reuse and education. We will apply and develop our knowledge, informed by our work in sustainable and regenerative projects, for our clients and forthcoming projects here in New Zealand.” 

Neil has previously led Grimshaw’s Melbourne studio as Managing Partner, and has been intrinsically involved in most if not all Grimshaw’s New Zealand work for over 10 years. Neil will be supported by a senior management team comprised of Katarzyna Jurkiewicz and Malgorzota (Gosha) Haley, both Grimshaw Principals. The Grimshaw Auckland studio will be home to 20 architects and support staff. 

From left to right, Malgorzata (Gosha) Haley, Principal, Neil Stonell, Managing Partner, Katarzyna Jurkiewicz, Principal, photography by Jackie Meiring. 

Hammond Studio

Virginia Mazal at Hammond Studio has recently been promoted to Associate. Virginia Mazal has been with Hammond Studio since its inception in 2017 and has helped to deliver some of their most successful projects, such as the Darling Quarter repositioning and Havas Media.

Virginia Mazal.


Hassell has announced Liz Westgarth as its first female Managing Director, based in Sydney. Liz Westgarth has been with Hassell since 2013 and, in that time, has taken on several leadership roles. She also maintains her roles as Head of Design and Board Director.

Liz Westgarth has delivered city-shaping projects such as the UNSW NIDA Postgraduate School and the State Library of NSW redevelopment.

Liz Westgarth.


Mark Gazy has been appointed HDR’s Civic Principal. Mark’s portfolio includes 25 years of experience across the architecture and design industry, which he intends to use to help HDR deliver human-centred projects that innovate across disciplines and challenge architectural conventions.

“Following a period of significant company growth, the appointment of Mark Gazy will enable us to further diversify and integrate our markets and services so we can elevate the communities we serve and codesign resilient, equitable, and regenerative places and precincts that support and define our future,” says Cate Cowlishaw, Regional Managing Principal at HDR.

Mark Gazy.

Henning Larsen

Henning Larsen has opened a new regional studio design hub in Singapore. Henning Larsen has chosen a historical building in Singapore as its newest regional studio design hub to expand its services into the Asia-Pacific market and grow its regional staff.

Henning Larsen’s Asia Pacific Country Market Director, Leonard Ng, says, “This is an exciting and historic moment for our firm in Singapore. We now have newly expanded the capabilities of our global design network of landscape architects, urban designers, and architecture experts, alongside new data, resources, and knowledge which advances our offer to our clients across the region.”

Jacob Kurek, Global Design Director, Henning Larsen.


Wardle has appointed Michael McMahon as its inaugural First Nations Leader. Michael has been with Wardle for two years and has contributed to significant projects such as the Bendigo Law Courts and the Castlemaine Art Museum masterplan.

Partner at Wardle, Meaghan Dwyer, says, “Michael’s commitment to placing First Nations culture and knowledge sensitively within the built environment aligns closely with Wardle’s journey to link Country and the urban settings we operate in. He has assisted in the development of the role responsibilities and in turn we’re supporting his development as a practice leader. We’re thrilled to have Michael working with us in this capacity.”

Michael McMahon.

We think you might like this article about new career opportunities thanks to the AUS-UK-NZ Mutual Recognition Agreement.

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