UWA graduate NSW's first female Government Architect

09/10/2019 | 1 min

An architecture graduate from The University of Western Australia has been appointed NSW Government Architect – the first woman to hold the role in its 200-year history.

Abbie Galvin, a principal and director of award-winning architecture firm BVN, will take up the role of the 24th NSW Government Architect in December this year.

Ms Galvin, who graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture in 1993, credits her former UWA tutors for encouraging her experimental approach to design.

“I remain eternally grateful for such an intense design education, for having my mind opened to the many opportunities in design approach, and for having the right environment to begin to find my own way,” she said.

Ms Galvin has more than 25 years’ experience working across workplace, commercial, master planning, defence, research, education and health. She has worked on a range of high profile projects in Australia and Hong Kong, including the Taronga Zoo Upper Entrance Precinct, Royal North Shore Hospital and the Braggs Building. 

NSW Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes announced the appointment following a year-long search.

“The Government Architect has been one of the State’s most prestigious roles since it was established in 1816 to shape cities, towns and communities right across the State. From the Hyde Park Barracks designed by Francis Greenway, to the Sydney Observatory by Alexander Dawson, our Government Architects have been behind some of our most iconic buildings,” Mr Stokes said.

The Government Architect’s role has evolved over time, and Ms Galvin will be responsible for championing design excellence across NSW, as well as shaping public spaces and collaborating with agencies, councils, industry and community.

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