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All-star speaker lineup announced for IDEA Gala

All-star speaker lineup announced for IDEA Gala


The Interior Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) 2023 Gala is on Thursday 23 November 2023. It’s shaping up to be a sensational night of dancing, celebration and good vibes with emcees Kevin O’Brien and Eva Sue confirmed for the event, alongside guest speakers Yasmine Ghoniem and David Flack. 

IDEA Gala Emcees

Kevin O’Brien at Finding Country Exhibition 13th Venice Architecture Biennale 2012 by Kevin O’Brien Architects in association with the Finding Country Collective and Venti di Cultura

Our first emcee and speaker is BVN Brisbane principal architect, Kevin O’Brien, who identifies as a descendent of the Kaurareg and Meriam people of north-eastern Australia. He lectures as a professor of creative design at the University of Sydney and has been a passionate leader of BVN’s Designing with Country strategy – he urges every architect to learn the tools to lead this approach.

Eva Sue - Wood Bagot Principal
Eva Sue Woods Bagot principal – Photo supplied

Woods Bagot Perth principal and interior design leader, Eva Sue, was named a judge for IDEA 2022 and is returning as speaker and emcee at the IDEA Gala in 2023. Passionate about hotel and hospitality design, Sue has travelled the world with projects in the UK, Europe, UAE and Asia. She says this experience proved vital in her professional and personal growth over the past 15 years.

Sue says awards programs like IDEA contribute “much-needed recognition, exposure and representation across the country of the leaps and bounds that have taken place in architecture and design”.

Guest Speakers

Yasmine Ghoniem – Studio YSG – Photo supplied

With more than 25 years in the industry under her belt, Yasmine Ghoniem has enraptured the design world with her boundary-pushing and bespoke style and she’s bound to create some headlines as a special guest speaker at IDEA 2023. 

Ghoniem says that while IDEA provides immense internal recognition in the design industry, it also creates external opportunities to be scouted by potential clients.

“Looking at the online directory of past winners and shortlisted entries is like having access to a digital black book,” she explains.

“They provide a filtered lens through which homeowners and hospitality entrepreneurs on the prowl for interior designers can view the work of design studios they may not even be aware of. From time to time we’ve landed new jobs because of them.”

She reflects on her winning streak in 2022. “Seeing your name among some international design greats you’ve admired for years, and one special local mate, David Flack, is real ‘pinch me’ stuff.”

Yasmine Ghoniem
David Flack headshot
David Flack – Photo supplied

IDEA 2022 winner of Overall Project of the Year, David Flack will also take to the stage as a guest speaker. 

IDEA Gala – The Details

The IDEA Gala party, held at Centennial Homestead, Sydney, is the perfect excuse to get dressed up, celebrate this year’s winners and party with the who’s who of Australia’s interior design and architecture industry.

But hurry – tickets are limited.

Tickets are $239 and provide you with a delicious menu paired with cocktails by Four Pillars Gin, beer by Moo Brew and wines by Mitchelton Estate.

24th Feb, 2022. Idea 2021 Awards at Royal Randwick, Sydney. (Matthias Engesser/Narrative Post)

Grazing stations will be set up with delectable delights such as the charcuterie grazing station with a selection of cold meats, lavosh, grissini, dips, pickled vegetables, marinated olives, fruits, and selections of three kinds of cheese.

There will also be a seafood station with assorted condiments, a pasta station featuring freshly made fettuccine and a seafood and chorizo paella station.

Buy your tickets to the IDEA gala now.

24th Feb, 2022. Idea 2021 Awards at Royal Randwick, Sydney. (Matthias Engesser/Narrative Post)

The IDEA Gala Party

  • Where: Centennial Homestead 1 Grand Drive, Centennial Park NSW
  • When: Thursday 23 November 2023
  • Time: Doors open at 5.30pm
  • Wear: cocktail, strictly no black tie

If you have any questions regarding ticket purchasing or the event in general, please send an email to idea@niche.com.au and we’ll get back to you.

We can’t wait to see you there!

IDEA 2023 is proudly brought to you by our sponsors Miele, Cult, Crafted Hardwoods, Neolith, Halliday + Baillie, Krost, MillerKnoll, Laufen, Tongue & Groove and Zenith and supported by our event partners, Axolotl, Four Pillars Gin and Moo Brew Beer.

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