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Visiting Architect - Ellen Buttrose

Business Liaison Association

Wendy Finegan 31 May, 2021 Visiting Experts Program

Visiting Architect - Ellen Buttrose

Visiting Expert - Ellen Buttrose Architect


Ellen discussed the Architecture profession, how to become an Architect as well as similar professions in the design industry. It was great to see images of projects that Ellen has worked on and it was really interesting to see built examples of Tiny Houses/Structures and Emergency Accommodation which tied in nicely to the unit of work the Year 10’s just finished. Ellen lead an activity at the end which asked “If 50% of Cairns was wiped out in an natural event, and they Council had to set up emergency housing at GSHS, where would it go?” The students participated well and there was thoughtful discussions about where certain facilities should be placed in the school, and we also discussed what facilities were already present which allowed the school to be a great site in such an emergency. Overall, the students enjoyed their time and the presentation.


Casey King

Gordonvale State High School


Ellen Buttrose visitng Gordonvale State High School Year 10 Design and Technology students and some of the work discussed.


Ellen Buttrose from People Orientated Design visited St. Augustine’s College to speak to 14 Year 12 Design Students. Ellen is a registered architect, who works on many projects both in Cairns and further afield. Her passion is civic and cultural design, with a focus on public interface and human centred experience. Ellen won the Emerging Architect Prize in 2020 in recognition of her innovative, sustainable projects, amidst challenges of extreme climate conditions, remote delivery and intercultural engagement. Ellen spoke to the students about her experiences at university, working with clients, liaising with builders and her passions for sustainable design. Ellen then presented the students with a design brief and the students had to present a mood board of different colours and materials that fulfilled their brief.  The students were engaged throughout and were thoroughly impressed with Ellen’s vast knowledge. Ellen was a welcome visitor to the Saints community and gave the students some insights into the field of architecture.

Debra Fish

St Augustine's College


Students from St Augustine's College with Ellen Buttrose