Belonging Stories - On Demand

Belonging Stories - On Demand

Belonging Stories - On Demand

3 Formal CPD Points
Available On Demand


“Belonging” is important to our community wellbeing, resilience and economy. But how do we encourage “Belonging” in the built environment? This event will explore the concept of a diverse people, a great place and how and where we create spaces to come together. Through many perspectives and lenses, following the stories of acclaimed  artists, architects, designers, singers and poets, we will look at the stories that bind us to place and remind us of what is important to reclaim and repair as we step into the footsteps of the future.

This very special course was presented by Moreton Bay Regional Council in collaboration with the Australian Institute of Architects, Queensland Chapter and the Climate Action and Sustainability Committee, as part of the Asia Pacific Architecture Festival 2022.

NSCA 2015 Performance Criteria

This presentation is equivalent to 3 hours/points of formal CPD and will deliver outcomes related to the following Competencies from the 2015 National Standard of Competency for Architects: 

Identification, analysis and integration of information relevant to siting of project.
Preparation and analysis of project development options in response to project brief. 

Design response integrates the objectives of brief, user intent and built purpose. 
Application of creative imagination, aesthetic judgement and critical evaluation in formulating design options.
Design response incorporates assessment of the physical location and relevant wider regional, contextual and environmental issues.

Evaluation of design options against values of physical, environmental and cultural contexts.
Inclusion of expertise of relevant specialists and consultants in developing the project design.
Investigation and integration of appropriate material selection for the project design.

Resolution of project design addressing all building occupancy and functional aspects including spatial requirements and relationships and circulation aspects.
Integration of materials and components based upon an understanding of their physical properties. 

NSCA 2021 Performance Criteria

This presentation is equivalent to 3 hours/points of formal CPD and will deliver outcomes related to the following Competencies from the 2021 National Standard of Competency for Architects: 

Practice management and professional conduct
PC 3 Demonstrate understanding of the principles of project planning, considering implications for Country, environmental sustainability, communities, stakeholders and project costs.  
PC 8 Be able to implement culturally responsive and meaningful engagement processes that respect the importance of Country and reciprocal relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples across architectural services.
Detailed design and construction documentation
PC 36 Be able to apply creative imagination, design precedents, emergent knowledge, critical evaluation and continued engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to produce a coherent project design. This should be resolved in terms of supporting health and wellbeing outcomes for Country, site planning, formal composition, spatial planning and circulation as appropriate to the project brief and all other factors affecting the project.  

Design delivery and construction phase services
PC 50 Be able to continue engagement with relevant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples throughout all stages of the project and its delivery in a meaningful, respectful and appropriate way. 

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this presentation you should be able to: 

  • Build capacity in professional practice of early consultation and the value reflections of culture and place in planning, landscape art, architecture and culture. 
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding about the concept of Belonging in the context of Queensland. 
  • Actively evaluate and perceive the importance of the concept of ‘Belonging’ in discussion with diverse groups. 
  • Build the capacity for ethical integration of First Nations and Sustainability perspectives in the execution of new builds and conservation of existing buildings.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Narrator of Ceremonies

Phillip Smith

Phil is an architect urban designer and arts advocate. He is a director of peak arts NFP the Creative Arts Alliance and sits on Moreton Bay Regional Council’s Design Review Panel. 
Phil is interested in the intersection between urban places, creativity and culture..


Chapter One: Respect Stories
Master of Ceremonies

Greg Vann

Greg is a Director of leading national city making firm Ethos Urban, and is qualified in planning and economics. After over forty years working in  all areas of planning in Queensland, he is one of its leading and best known practitioners. He is a former State President and national councillor of the Planning Institute of Australia, was Project Director of ShapingSEQ, the current regional plan for South East Queensland, and is chair of the Gold Coast Waterways Authority. 

He champions the need for fairer communities that are inclusive and respectful of all their people.



Dr Paul Memmott

The intensity and commitment of Dr Memmott's fifty years of work with, and for, First  Nations peoples over much of Australia has resulted in his becoming a University Professor, being awarded an AO, and importantly, elevated recently to the position of co-chair of the First Nations Advisory and Working Group of the Australian Institute of Architects. It is in this capacity that Paul works with First Nations architects to reform professional practice on Country.



Elle Davidson

Elle Davidson is a Balanggarra woman from the East Kimberley and descendant of Captain William Bligh, and describes herself as being caught in the cross-winds of Australia’s history. With a passion to empower the voices of First Nations People, Elle combines her Town Planning and Indigenous Engagement qualifications to shape our places and spaces. Through her approach, she creates a strong platform for Aboriginal voices in the planning process and builds allies to advocate for community. She is the Director of Zion Engagement and Planning, an Aboriginal training and consulting business and an Aboriginal Planning Lecturer at University of Sydney.



Madonna Thompson

Madonna Thomson is a member of the Jagera People and is a grand-niece of the late Senator Neville Bonner. Madonna has worked with Aboriginal communities in South East Queensland with a particular focus on developing and sharing traditional knowledge about management of the State’s natural resources and environment. She has worked extensively for more than 20 years in native title, cultural heritage and natural resource management.  As managing director of Jagera Daran, Madonna is an experienced founding operator of a successful and respected Queensland Indigenous cultural heritage business as well as a co-owner and director of Nyanda Cultural Tours. She is the chair of the University of Queensland Indigenous Enterprise Group, working with chemical engineering students and food scientists in the ethical research of Australian native foods. Madonna assists researchers in connecting with Aboriginal communities and businesses for the purposes of translating scientific research in the development of research informed food products, that Indigenous communities and families can use to enter into the native foods industry.


Chapter Two: Diversity Stories
Master of Ceremonies

Katerina Dracopoulos

A Director of Fulton Trotter Architects in Brisbane, Katerina is a dynamic leader and designer. She brings an energy to her projects that excite and unite her clients, collaborators and colleagues. She is naturally skilled at developing the big-picture narrative and continues to seek truth in all aspects of design and communication. Katerina’s breadth of experience as an architect spans over 2 decades and includes working in Brisbane, Sydney and Paris. For over 17 years Katerina has worked within a range of sectors including education, aged care, cultural and community. She is a leader in the education sector and especially library design. Katerina enjoys the challenge of projects that require interpreting complex briefs, and detailed consultation and collaboration with multiple stakeholders.


Master of Ceremonies

Brendan Sutton

Brendan is an Architect who has been working at Peddle Thorp since 2015.  Since starting at Peddle Thorp, Brendan has worked across a wide range of project typologies including; health, education, civic and residential, focusing on the impacts the built environment has on people and place. He has spent the last three years delivering a regional Hospital in Far North Queensland. His enthusiastic approach to design and delivery ensures projects have a high level of attention to detail. Brendan is passionate about public facing architecture, and delivering design solutions that have a positive effect on the built environment and the people who interact with them. He joined the Queensland Equity Diversity Inclusivity Committee of the Australian Institute of Architects in 2020, with the goal of advocating for LGBTQIA+ representation within the Architecture Industry, and built environment. 



Co-founder and Cultural Consultant Munnimbah-dja
Munnimbah-dja is an Aboriginal run Consultancy, Art Gallery, Shopfront and Yarning Place in Maleny on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland on Jinibara country.

Bj Murphy is a Jinibara culture man who also has ancestral connections to Gabbi Gabbi and Kuku Yalanji countries. BJ Murphy is passionate about teaching and living his culture, he is a contemporary Aboriginal Artist and who takes inspiration from his country in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, Queensland Australia. BJ is both a visual artist, gallery owner, curator and songman who is dedicated to the continuation of his Jinibara culture. Through his consultancy work and his paintings, carvings, wood burnings, songs, and curatorial work, BJ holds a deep responsibility to his culture and the representation of stories that have been passed down to him by his family. His unique style mixes both traditional and contemporary forms and concepts.  Bj Murphy is the cofounder of Munnimbah-Dja with his wife, Quandamooka woman Libby Harward. Munnimbah-dja is a contemporary first Nations consultancy business and culture space that was established in 2021 to meet the need for a place where our local community and visitors can access and experience the culture and traditions of the First Peoples of this region in a contemporary context.  BJ’s culture work continues to inspire his people. Since dedicating his life to culture He has progressed with a strength that matches the love and passion he has for his country and family. BJ is a dedicated artist and cultural man who is an ever growing asset to Australian Contemporary Indigenous Art.



Libby Harward

Director Munnimbah-dja
Munnimbah-dja is an Aboriginal run Consultancy, Art Gallery, Shopfront and Yarning Place in Maleny on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland on Jinibara country. 

As a Ngugi woman whose Ancestral lands and waters are Mulgumpin (Moreton Island) in the Quandamooka (Moreton Bay Area), her process is one of simultaneously listening, calling out to, knowing and understanding Country and it’s connected people. Libby co-founded Munnimbah-Dja in 2021, an Aboriginal run Consultancy, Art Gallery, Shopfront and Yarning Place in Maleny on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland on Jinibara country. Her extensive experience in the community sector and specialist skills in working with people including people experiencing marginalisation make her a respected community leader. Libby has worked on and managed and administered community projects in Indigenous communities across Queensland, Northern Territory, ACT and in the Torres Strait. She has developed relational cross-cultural methodologies to ensure respectful, outcomes that are unique and reflective of each community and their cultural expression. Her major recent conceptual artworks include the ALREADY OCCUPIED series on Yugambeh Country (Gold Coast), and DABIL BUNG (Broken Water) with First Nations along the Bidgee and Barka (Murray-Darling River system). These works engage a continual process of re-calling – re-hearing – re-mapping – re-contextualising – to de-colonise cultural landscapes, utilising low and high-tech media with elements of sound, image, installation and performance, to engage directly with politically charged ideas of national and international significance. 



Jo-Anne Drieesens

Creative Associate Munnimbah-dja
Munnimbah-dja is an Aboriginal run Consultancy, Art Gallery, Shopfront and Yarning Place in Maleny on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland on Jinibara country. 

Jo-Anne was raised in Brisbane and has been a practicing photographer for 25 years. Completing a 4 year Photography cadetship at the State Library of Queensland in 1999, Jo-Anne has also worked across various arts and community focused roles and is able to bring holistic skills into specialised projects including curatorial frameworks; historical and contemporary research experience and community and cultural protocol principles. Her passion in working with old photos and archival records has also assisted her in connecting with her Aboriginal family, with historical connections to Cherbourg and Yarrabah Communities including traditional connections with the Guwa-Koa (Winton, Qld) through her Great Grandmother, (Nancy Watson/Chambers) and Yalangi and Yimithirr people (Cooktown and surrounding areas) through her Great Grandfather (Charlie Chambers). In 2015 Jo-Anne completed the National Art Gallery, Indigenous Arts Leadership Program and continued on to graduate in 2020 the Australia Council for the Arts Custodianship residential program. In addition Jo-Anne was awarded the State Library of Queensland, 2021 Mittelheuser Scholar-in-residence, which aims to support new Photographic collection ideas, tools, strategies and services that benefit both Queensland’s GLAM sector (galleries, libraries and museums) and State Library of Queensland. Balancing her commitment to the arts, Jo-Anne has been working on the Gold Coast since 2014 as an arts worker at the former Arts Centre Gold Coast, now known as Home of the Arts (HOTA) and City of Gold Coast, Arts and Culture team since 2014. Having recently left 25 years experience in Government in late 2020, Jo-Anne joined placemakers* Gold Coast, in a part time role as First Nation Curator, with the intention to continue her passion as professional photographer and specialised research projects such as the Mittelheuser scholar-in-residence. As a First Nation Curator within Placemakers* Gold Coast Jo-Anne will deliver a 5 day ‘Rising Tide Art Camp’ in May 2022, guided by Yugambeh Traditional Owners and alongside mentor artists Libby Harward and Lisa Sorbie-Martin based on South Stradbroke Island. Jo-Anne currently resides with her son on Bundjalung country, Murwillumbah, in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales.  



Alison McDonald

Alison McDonald is an Architect, Neuro-Architecture Consultant with the BEEhive Brain + Enriched Environments Lab, Research and Industry Fellow with Menzies Health Institute, and Cities Research Institute, and Ambassador with The Hopkins Centre for Rehabilitation and Resilience, Griffith University. 

Alison strives to create change for inclusivity and equity through design of cognitively usable sustainable built environments. Alison’s academic research, international industry experience as a multi-award-winning Architect and Sustainable Design Consultant, provide a platform for informed change. Her research explores social sustainability and implementation of inclusive architecture, with the goal of creating cognitive enriching environments for all. Alison’s lived experience brings fresh perspective to her professional foundation in design, building comfort, architectural science, sustainable learning environments and positive development. 



Peter Nelson

A graduate from the School of Architecture, University of Queensland, Peter has over 20 years’ experience in Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Design across the public and private sectors as both a client and consultant. As a urban designer for Tract Consultants in Darwin, senior project manager at the National Capital Authority in Canberra and Place Management Team Leader at Logan City Council, Peter has been involved in the delivery of a number of award winning urban renewal projects across Australia. Since 2017 as a principal adviser to the Queensland Government Architect, Peter has advocated for well-designed, healthy and sustainable environments for the people and communities of Queensland. 


Chapter Three: Stories of Reclamation and Repair
Master of Ceremonies

Aunty Debra Bennet

Debra Bennet is a 'Goorie Woman', a direct descendant of the Kullali Peoples (of South Western QLD) and Wakka Wakka and Gubbi Gubbi Peoples (of South East Queensland).

With 28 years of successful community and cultural development experience, Debra has held various roles in the arts sector, disability sector, correctional centres and adult education arenas. Her work involves the process of creatively drawing from, and working across disciplines and industry sectors to develop and strengthen community, and care for our natural environment.

Debra is currently employed as Director of Indigenous Services with Relationships Australia (Qld), was previously Manager of the Indigenous Arts and Community Cultural Development Program with QLD Community Arts Network (QCAN), a partner in Nuthakine Consultancy, serves as a member of QLD Museums and Regional Galleries Indigenous Advisory Board, chairs the QLD Indigenous Arts Marketing and Export Agency (QIAMEA) within the Department of Premier and Cabinet, and is a founding member and director of the National Foundation for Indigenous Recovery and Development.

Debra has worked in Local Government and has had several years’ involvement coordinating student services in Secondary and Tertiary environments within Queensland, including the establishment of student support services at Griffith University and Central Queensland University. Debra facilitates arts and cultural workshops including workshops on Cultural Awareness, Cultural Competencies and Alternative Approaches to Leadership. Debra is committed to building communities through maintaining social justice, arts and cultural practices and culturally appropriate processes.



Dr Shaneen Fantin

Shaneen has a combination of experience that includes architecture, project management, community engagement, research and teaching.

She is co-director of People Oriented Design (POD) and is a registered architect with over 25years of experience. Shaneen is committed to sustainability and social justice in architecture and making good design available to everyone. Shaneen is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Queensland and James Cook University, and a member of International Association for Public Participation. She sits on the Queensland State Government Urban Design and Places Panel and is a member of the First Nations Advisory Working Group for the Australian Institute of Architects. Shaneen has published extensively in book chapters, journal articles and conference presentations on intercultural design, collaborative First Nations projects, tropical architecture, sustainability, housing and health projects. 

Shaneen holds a PhD from the University of Queensland on the relationship between design and culture in Aboriginal housing and has applied this research knowledge to policy development (Indigenous housing guidelines at a state and national level) and to many housing, health and community projects in Queensland, the Northern Territory, New South Wales, South Australia and Canada.



Belinda Allwood

Belinda is an experienced Director, architect, landscape architect, and researcher. Belinda is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects and a Queensland Chapter councillor. She is also a member of RAIA Queensland Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, an adjunct Research Fellow, Griffith University, an architecture graduate from QUT, and a Master of Landscape Architecture from Deakin University.

Since graduating from Deakin University in 2019, Belinda has co-authored two book chapters and won best paper at an international conference sharing her findings on memorials, remembrance, and Country. Her Master’s research was undertaken with guidance from Abriculture, an Indigenous land management and ecology practice. Together, they proposed an alternative use for a sport and recreation precinct, a beautiful memorial for local frontier war events and remembrance.

As a result of this research, her firm has been working with the Yidinji people of Cairns on new memorial places to honour the important cultural heritage and remains unearthed during large-scale road works. The value of Belinda’s initial research has led to long-term trust and advocacy with the Yidinji in creating new memorial places in Queensland. She is highly regarded for her inclusive, collaborative style, sustainable, reconciliation focus and comprehensive construction knowledge.  


David Kaunitz

David Kaunitz is focused on facilitating high quality architecture in some of the most disadvantaged communities and First Nations People in Australian and Asia – Pacific. Underlying this is a deep commitment to participatory design and local construction.

Each project delivered by Kaunitz Yeung Architecture work is co-designed in an authentic partnership with communities, NGOs, and Government Agencies. They have developed methods of engagement that enables all sections of the community to be heard and involved. By involving, the architecture is imbued with culture, integrated with place and reflective of the community’s history, hopes and aspirations. The result is architecture which helps to reconcile the two worlds most First Nations Peoples live in. Through this each project achieves high levels of community ownership. This is demonstrated by increased presentation rates (recorded on all their health projects), high community usage, well-loved and maintained buildings, and nil rates of vandalism. 

David’s commitment to utilizing architecture for the improvement of underprivileged communities and people extends well beyond project delivery. It includes advocacy, teaching, lecturing, pro bono work and an unwavering commitment to innovation particularly with regards to sustainability. 




Dr Hope O'Chin

Hope is a Kabi-Kabi [also known as Gubbi-Gubbi], Wakka-Wakka, Koa. Gugu-Yalanji educator and artist, who has worked in education from the early 1980’s and as a professional artist from 1993.

Born into the dormitory systems on the Aboriginal Settlement of Cherbourg, her dedication to education and art, and all of its forms, evolved out of the intensities of attitudes and values that prevailed in the historic treatment of Cherbourg residents, and other Indigenous Australians. Hope has an Honorary Doctor of Education, Indigenous Knowledge from the World Indigenous Nations University Hawaii USA and has completed a Doctor of Philosophy Creative Arts and Industries USC 2021. 

In her position as a senior executive in Queensland education, hope has been responsible for curriculum, staffing and resourcing to 250 state schools in the Peninsular region, and was a consultant to the Director-general, Education Queensland, and Minister for Education.  



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