About UsBoardSponsorsContact Us 0431 022 249 admin@bla.org.au

Visiting Architect - Ellen Buttrose

Business Liaison Association

Wendy Finegan 31 May, 2021 Visiting Experts Program

Visiting Architect - Ellen Buttrose

Visiting Expert - Ellen Buttrose Architect


On Monday the 2nd of August 2021 we had Ellen Buttrose visit our Design students at Innisfail State College. We had around 15 students from Years 9, 10, 11 and 12 participate in the workshop Ellen delievered. Ellen provided these students with rich information about what a career in architecture looks like and what they can expect from the industry. The students then had the opportunity to complete an activity where they designed a mood board for a variety of different commercial spaces/clientele. The students said they found the workshop with Ellen to be extremely insightful, especially because many of them are considering a career in design/architecture. My colleagues and I found Ellen's presentation to be well structured, engaging and invaluable for the students at ISC. Attached is some images of our senior students participating in the mood board activity.


Rachael Boland

Visual Arts and Design Teacher

Innisfail State College


Innisfail State College students at Ellen Buttrose's Lecture




The presentation was inspiring for the design students to see how the skills they are learning are used on the professional level. The students were able to take a good look at many ways an architect communicates, and how many different experts they have to interact with through out the designing process. 

From a teaching stand point, the presentation inspired ideas towards some hands on lessons with mood boards.

Thanks again for the educational opportunity for our Design students at Tully State High School.


Tara Kachur

Tully State High School


Students from Tully State High School with Ellen Buttrose




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 the Council had to set up emergency housing at Gordonvale SHS, 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




Previous Next