Sold out | 2024 NSW International Women's Day Breakfast

Sold out | 2024 NSW International Women's Day Breakfast

NSW International Women's Day Breakfast

When: Friday, 8 March 2024
7.30 am to 10.00 am AEDT
Where: The Grand, Lvl 2, Beta Events, 238 Castlereagh St, Sydney NSW 2000



Inspiring Encounters

That architecture is a male dominated profession is a truism in Australia and across the globe. In 2019 the United States Bureau of Labour Statistics noted that 25% of working architects identified as women. At the same time, American women formed 36% of lawyers and 41% of physicians and surgeons. Women who have achieved high honours in architecture are even more remote with the era of male-only recipients for the American AIA Gold Medal lasting over 100 years. Finding one’s own Ariadne's thread through the maze remains a challenge. 

Andrea Leers and Jane Weinzapfel’s Boston-based architecture practice was the first female-owned firm to win the AIA prestigious Firm Award in 2007. French architect Anne Lacaton was awarded the Mies Van der Rohe Prize in 2019 and more recently the Pritzker Prize in 2021. Firsthand encounters with these and other remarkable female architects and educators help to articulate potential professional pathways. 

A conversation with Catherine Lassen and Shannon Battisson will be followed by questions and discussion with Laura Cockburn. Speakers will highlight personal experiences working with women such as these who have achieved excellence, at times, invisibly. Intersections between such voices in architectural practice, research, and teaching look to inspire and progress individual threads forward. 


Catherine Lassen
2023 Marion Mahony Griffin Prize Winner 
Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney

With an inspiring international career as a practitioner and academic, Catherine consistently and passionately promotes and mentors those around her, creates agency in learning, and pursues research which celebrates the enduring value of Australian architecture. Drawing upon her experience in private practice, Catherine’s unique approach to teaching encompasses social, cultural, technical, and historical narratives of architecture, emphasising the advancement of a profession that is innovative, critically engaged, and socially responsible.

Catherine is Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney, and Coordinator of the Rothwell Chair in Architectural Design Leadership Program. She is a valued mentor and role model. Her selfless generosity, particularly to the women around her, is exemplary and makes her the worthy recipient of the Marion Mahony Griffin Prize.

Shannon Battisson

Director of architecture at The Mill: Architecture + Design

National President 2022-23, Australian Institute of Architects


Shannon Battisson is an architect with a great passion for people, place and the spaces we create for ourselves. She was the National President (2022-23) and is a current Director on the Board of the Australian Institute of Architects, as well as a highly contributing member of the profession in Australia, and beyond. She is an experienced public advocate for the benefit of good design, and an accomplished public speaker.

As a leader, Shannon believes in the strength of our collective diversity of voice, experience, and stories. She hopes to inspire others to step up to the challenges of both culture and climate through the celebration of our stories and an embracing of shared human vulnerability.

As an architect, Shannon has developed a strong ethos of people centric design over 20 years of practice. Having studied at the University of New South Wales, and having lived abroad, Shannon consciously settled in Canberra to establish her practice, The Mill: Architecture + Design, with business partner Sarah Welsh. Together, they are dedicated to working towards a world where all people have access to the essential elements of home (safety, comfort, and retreat) whilst ensuring these spaces are also climate responsive, affordable and joyful spaces to live in.

Laura Cockburn, MC
Principal at Architectus 
NSW Chapter President, Australian Institute of Architects (2021-2023)

Laura takes a keen interest in the collaborative approach to design that underpins her work. She focuses on creating a built environment that is respectful, purposeful, intelligent, and beautiful for our changing communities and future.

Laura has served as NSW Chapter President for the Australian Institute of Architects and is the immediate past president and a board member of the NSW Architects Registration Board. She continues to invest in the next generation of architects through her work as Practice Examiner for the Architects Registration Board and as Panel Assessor for the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia.



Member: $139 | Non-Member: $159 | SONA: $69

Event Partner


Dress Code: Smart Casual
The ticket will include a two-course breakfast.

Refunds and cancellations

Please refer to our terms and conditions for information about refunds and cancellations. By registering for this event you are agreeing to these terms.