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Deerubbin 2018


 The conference fee in 2018 will be the same as 2016 – AU$880 (AU$800 + 10%GST).

The conference fee includes bunk house share accommodation, all meals (and modest quantities of beer and wine) and ferry transfers from/to Brooklyn Wharf (10 mins from Hawkesbury River Station),  Kangaroo Point Wharf (for people travelling by car)


Participants can claim CPD hours through the Architects Registration Boards.  


  • Bookings for 2018 are being run through Eventbrite and payment will be by credit card or via Paypal – Mastercard and Visa only.
  • The event is up now on Eventbrite – book now


Hawkesbury River – Deep and Wide Water

Milson Island, Hawkesbury River
16 – 18 March 2018 



This event has differentiated itself from the big impersonal architecture conferences, where participants often end up ‘hanging out’ with their friends, do not meet other people, and never see the guest speakers who are whisked off to VIP events.

The ‘all together’ residential weekend format has ensured that all participants stay together and get a chance to meet each other and the guest speakers.


Uncle Max Dulumunmun Harrison – is a Yuin elder connected to his tribal lands on the NSW south coast, as a young man he was chosen for initiation into tribal lore. He learned the ancient wisdoms and has spent many years learning and teaching about caring for country. He has been a guest at the annual Glenn Murcutt Master Classes since 2005.

Peter Clegg, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studio, Bath, England – innovative and collaborative award winning practice, regarded for innovative solar and sustainable design, ‘Accordia’ in Cambridge was the first multiple housing project to receive the RIBA Stirling Prize for Best Building of the Year. Peter comes recommended by Níall McLaughlin, who was a speaker at Deerubbin 2014.

Professor Hans Narve Skotte, NTNU, Trondheim, Norway – emeritus professor, his work on urban planning and architecture has been instrumental in propelling Trondheim’s current generation of architects into exploring broader social fields. He comes recommended by Ingerid Helsing Almaas, Editor of the Norwegian Architecture Review, who was a speaker at Deerubbin 2016.

Roderick Simpson, Simpson + Wilson, Architecture and Urban Design, Sydney – he is the Environment Commissioner for the Greater Sydney Commission, until recently Associate Professor University of Sydney Master of Urbanism, and has among many other things, contributed to ‘Sustainable Sydney 2030’ and ‘City of Cities Metropolitan Strategy’ for Sydney.

Professor Kerry Clare, Clare Design, NSW and Queensland – with Lindsay Clare, AIA Gold Medallists 2010, professors at University of Newcastle and Bond, regarded for their housing design, group housing, the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art and UNSW Village Housing (with Architectus). Kerry has more recently served on numerous urban design panels – and says “not high-rise”.

James Legge, Six Degrees Architects, Melbourne – multiple award winning practice, specialists in high-use urban environments, city precincts and multi-residential urban developments, including the innovative ‘Nightingale’ community affordable housing program. An early formative project was the first of Melbourne’s back lane bars in Meyers Place!!

Adam Haddow, SJB Architects, Sydney and Melbourne – also a multiple award winning practice, he is architect and urban designer and director of architecture in Sydney studio, he was recipient of a Churchill Fellowship to research urban density and culture, and has a particular interest in – “what makes cities vibrant, connected and civil”.

Olivia Hyde, Associate Government Architect NSW and Director of Design Excellence – comes to that position with experience in large and small practices, Foster and Partners in London, BVN in Sydney, Francisco Torres in Seville, involved in residential, urban design and infrastructure projects, she held a teaching and research scholarship at the University of Michigan.

Jon Jacka, Architect, Sydney –  formerly project architect with BVN Sydney on Sulman Medal winning Westmeade Millenium Institute, his focus is on how architects can make a difference in the city, he has received NSW Government Architect funding to research ‘Baugruppen’ community urban housing models, he edited the excellent ‘Affordable’ urban issue of NSW Architecture Bulletin 2017.

Katelin Butler, Editor ‘Houses’ Magazine, Melbourne – writer and researcher, studied architecture in Tasmania and Melbourne, coedited ‘The Terrace House: Reimagined for the Australian Way of Life’ and‘The Apartment House’ published by Thames and Hudson. She curated Australia’s contribution to the international architecture showcase at the London Festival of Architecture, and accompanied 2017 Dulux Tour to Europe investigating iconic urban housing projects.

Bobbie Bailey and Owen Kelly, Newcastle Hunter Valley – the ‘antidote’ to cities, you dream up an epic journey across the country on push-bikes, inspired by Australian architects before them Phil Harris, Adrian Welke and Paul Pholeros, to “purposefully meander” through towns and landscapes – they will tell about their ‘Grand Section’ trip, from east to west 6900kms, on bikes.

‘It’s for the love of architecture for God’s sake. It’s for the love of architecture”

Professor Hans Narve Skotte


Friday 16 March 2018

14.00 – Ferry pick up – Brooklyn Wharf (10 mins from Hawkesbury River Station – travelling by train)
14.30 – Ferry pick up Kangaroo Point Wharf (for people travelling by car)
15.00 – Arrive Milson Island
16.00 – Welcome Uncle Max Dulumunmun Harrison
17.00 – Introduction
18.00 – Drinks
19.00 – Dinner
20.00 – Session 1 – International Keynote Speaker

Saturday 17 March (St.Patrick’s Day ! )

07.00 – Explore the Island
08.00 – Breakfast
09.00 – Session 2
11.00 – Break
11.30 – Session 3
13.00 – Lunch
14.00 – Session 4
16.00 – Break
16.30 – Session 5 – International Keynote Speaker
18.00 – Drinks
19.00 – Dinner
Event – Scotland Island Blues band (if available) – music and dancing?

Sunday 18 March

08.00 – Breakfast
09.30 – Session 6
11.00 – Break
11.30 – Session 7
13.00 – Lunch
14.30 – Ferry depart Milson Island
15.15 – Drop off Kangaroo Point
15.45 – Drop off Brooklyn Hawkesbury River Station

Lindsay Johnston will be convener and raconteur for the program

Thanks to our generous supporters  


In 2016 we succeeded in filling the island accommodation to its 150 person capacity.


Download Hampson Laverty Thong Review of 2016

Download Rod Simpson of Review 2016Review

Link to Chris Freeburn, Ironbark, 2016 Review

“This event differentiates itself from the big impersonal architecture conferences, where participants often end up ‘hanging out’ with their friends, do not meet other people, and never see the guest speakers who are whisked off to VIP events. This ‘all together’ residential weekend conference ensures that all participants stay together and get a chance to meet each other and the guest speakers.”

Milson Island, Hawkesbury River, 11-13 March

Exceptional conference, up there with any of Alvar Aalto Symposia but even better because of the interaction between the group, loved being on an island too.  Brilliant concept and execution.  Congratulations to all involved!

(A.H., Sef-employed Architect, AIA, Brisbane)

Well it happened that way. There were about 150 architects on Milson Island to hear speakers from hot and cool climates, including speakers from Denmark, Norway, New Zealand and Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean. Participants attended from all over Australia, a large number from New Zealand and from overseas, one participant came especially from Slovenia.

Highlights included the traditional ‘smoking’ welcome ceremony by Aboriginal elder Uncle Max Dulumunmun Harrison, the Friday evening address by keynote speaker Lene Tranberg of Lundberg and Tranberg Copenhagen, and the address by Queensland elder of the Australian profession Gabriel Poole, who received a standing ovation. Underpinnings, influences and inspirations were explored by Lene and the  predominantly female panel of speakers, Professor Brit Andresen, Ingerid Helsing Almaas Editor of the Norwegian Architectural Review, Julie Stout of Mitchell and Stout Auckland and, on behalf of younger practices, Christine Major of Welsh and Major Sydney.

Antoine Perrau, presented an explanation of a substantial body of work in the tropical environment of Réunion Island, using air movement, natural ventilation and vegetation to eliminate the need for air-conditioning. Richard Leplastrier and Peter Stutchbury took a joint journey of vernacular buildings and recent buildings from the north, in the extreme cold of Russia, through the tropical and temperate climates of the Pacific and Australia, to the extreme winds of the south in Tasmania. The weekend was knitted together by Lindsay Johnston, convener of the Architecture Foundation Australia.

Fine weather allowed participants to mingle with speakers, sponsors and fellow participants in the outdoors and explore the beautiful island, have an occasional swim, and dance under the stars to – the ‘Scotland Island Blues Band’’, who came by classic Halversøn boat.

Delegates travelled by ferry from Palm Beach in Pittwater, or from the train station at Hawkesbury River, or from the Pacific Highway at Kangaroo Point.

This was the second Deerubbin Conference – Deerubbin is the Aboriginal name for the Hawkesbury River, and means ‘deep and wide water’. The first was held in 2014, and it is planned to hold another in March 2018. The event lectures took place in the beautiful Michael Heenan AJ+C designed sports hall. Sponsors for the conference included Stormtech drains and channels, Velux roof windows, Dulux paints, Metalcraft New Zealand roofing and cladding, Murobond paints and Hire intelligence who supplied the video wall. The event attracted 9 formal and 1 informal CPD points under the Refuel program.


Earlier Event: February 11
Student Summer School