QLD’s Awarded Landscapes Champion Creativity & Designing With Country

The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) has announced the winners of the 2023 QLD State Awards at an event held in Brisbane. The jury, made up of academics, landscape architects and renowned experts in their fields, honoured 20 winners for their strong creativity and innovation.

Jury Chair Dr Mimi Tsai says the winners showcase a dedication to First Nations engagement and the critical role of landscape architects in responding to climate change.

“With landscape architects at the forefront working with the land, there is an increasing strong awareness in designing with Country and embedding Indigenous perspectives in projects,” she says.

“We’ve seen more projects engaging with climate and biodiversity positive design in the planning, design or methods. This shows landscape architects’ determination to lead and advocate for climate resilience and sustainability.”


Parks & play spaces honoured, embrace designing with Country

Tract won the Award of Excellence prize in the Parks and Open Spaces category for its Hanlon Park / Bur’uda Waterway Rejuvenation project. The park has returned nature to inner-city Brisbane, following an ambitious council program to holistically rethink the Norman Creek catchment. What was previously an underutilised space with a concrete-lined channel is now a naturalised creek that’s become a thriving place for people, with a design that responds to Country, community and ecology. Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner noted the importance of the project in rewilding our cities and giving kids a local creek to connect to. Meanwhile, the awards jury said “this project showcases an exceptional concept of natural play, expertly integrated into the local environment and community. It demonstrates a climate-positive approach to both process and outcomes, emphasising climate mitigation and adaptation.” The project also won an Award of Excellence for Land Management.

Hinterland Adventure Playground, designed by Urbis, took out the top Award of Excellence honour in the Play Spaces category. The playground, located in Cooroy, has become a destination play experience for Noosa Council and the greater Sunshine Coast region, delivering an immersive, all-abilities nature play zone traversing the site’s natural and industrial heritage. Children and adults alike are inspired by a variety of play areas ranging from quiet reflective spaces to highly active adventure play zones. The jury says ”this project has not only delivered a valuable regional asset, but also an outcome that drives a higher standard of play strategy, experience and outcome.” The project also won a Regional Achievement Award for the Sunshine Coast.

Arcadia’s University of Queensland Reconciliation Garden won a Landscape Architecture Award in the Health and Education Landscape category. The project embraces and celebrates Indigenous culture and place, fostering cultural exchange and learning while respecting and aligning within its context of health and higher education. As an educational environment, there are opportunities to foster understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal culture, history and modes of learning. The jury said “the garden respectfully balances the colonial heritage and Indigenous knowledge for the physical, mental and cultural well-being of both site users and the Country.”

All winners at the State Awards level proceed to the National Landscape Architecture Awards held later this year.

AILA is the peak body for Landscape Architecture in Australia, championing quality design for public open spaces, stronger communities, and greater environmental stewardship.


More information: aila.org.au

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