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The ACT State Government has announced that it has appointed Professor Alastair Swayn to the role of Government Architect.
In the role, Professor Swayn will provide leadership and strategic advice to the ACT Government and its agencies on architecture and urban design.
AIA Chapter President Sheila Hughes said of the announcement: The Institute congratulates the ACT Government on the appointment of Professor Swayn as the inaugural ACT Government Architect. Now is a moment in time when the future form and performance of our cities and buildings is a core issue for the community.
Professor Swayn will split his time, working as the Government Architect and teaching at the University of Canberra. Primarily funded by the university as part of its contribution to the Centenary of Canberra celebrations, Swayn will be appointed at a Professorial Fellow in Architecture and will teach one architecture class each semester at the university.
Hughes described the move by the university as visionary. By linking it to a professorial appointment, [the initiative] ensures the Government and its agencies receive independent professional advice on architectural matters.
Professor Swayn said he was looking forward to promoting Canberra as a city of design. I believe that my extensive experience in designing and constructing buildings in Canberra will be a great resource for Ministers and Government agencies in delivering high quality design to the Canberra community, he said in a statement.
Karl Fender, National President of the Australian Institute of Architects, added: I congratulate Professor Swayn on his appointment and I believe this model of a joint professorial role and Government Architect works well and has proven so in other states such as Queensland and WA. The ACT Government and University of Canberra are to be congratulated on this appointment.
Professor Swayn will begin his three-year term on 1 August 2010.