This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

TDF Talks with Architect, IADV Co-founder, and Academic Jefa Greenaway

Podcast

Jefa Greenaway is a Wailwan / Kamilaroi man, and the first architect of an indigenous background to be registered in Victoria. He runs his own practice, Greenaway Architects, he’s the co-founder of Indigenous Architecture and Design Victoria (IADV), and he’s also an academic and a lecturer at the University of Melbourne.

In this enlightening conversation, Jefa chats to Lucy about the importance of indigenous participation in the Australian architecture and design community, and the great opportunities that exist to incorporate Indigenous wisdom in the Australian built environment.

16th August, 2019

Koorie Heritage Trust images at Federation Square. Photo – Peter Bennetts.

Left: Koorie Heritage Trust images at Federation Square. Photo – Peter Bennetts. Right: Ngarara Place image at RMIT. Photo – Peter Casamento.

Lucy Feagins
Friday 16th August 2019

Jefa Greenaway is more than aware of the weight of responsibility that comes with being one of a minority of Indigenous architects working in Australia today, and he’s become a brilliant advocate for indigenous voices within the built environment.

Interviewing Jefa very quickly throws into focus the glaring lack of diversity with the Australian design community.  For example, right now, Jefa estimates that there are probably between 6 and 8 registered indigenous architects in private practice nationally, and at most, he estimates that around 20 indigenous people have graduated from schools of architecture nationally, ever.

Despite these discouraging numbers, Jefa is optimistic, and the good news is, things are improving. Somewhere between 50-70 students of an indigenous background are in schools of architecture nationally right now – and the IADV, a not-for-profit organisation which Jefa co-founded, provides services to support those students and ensure they flourish.

What Jefa is seeking to do, is to move beyond what he calls the ‘deficit discourse’ of how we engage with indigenous culture. Instead, he is focussed on celebrating our shared humanity and shared connections. Because as he says, ‘we are all connected to the oldest continuing living culture in the world – so why wouldn’t we seek to look at the strength and the opportunity that that can bring?’

I found this conversation so enlightening, and I’m so grateful to be able to share just a little of Jefa’s wisdom with you via this podcast.

 

Lucy Feagins
Friday 16th August 2019

Notes and Links

Jefa’s architectural practice is Greenaway Architects.

One of Jefa’s most notable recent projects was the refurbishment of the Koorie Heritage Trust at Federation Square.

Jefa co-founded not-for-profit organisation Indigenous Architecture and Design Victoria (IADV) a decade ago.

Last year, Jefa curated Blak Design Matters, the first the first national survey of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island design – we wrote a little story about it here.

One of Jefa’s most valuable projects over the past decade has been the creation of the International Indigenous Design Charter (IIDC), which is a framework that design practitioners can follow in order to engage in responsible design practice, as it relates to first nations people.

Jefa’s upcoming speaking events include :

Participation in a panel on Decolonising the Public Realm, at Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) 30st – 31st.

Delight’ – the AIA 2019 QLD Regional Conference, Cairns, Queensland 24th – 26th October.

Object Subject’: the 2019 National Design Writing Conference, ANU Canberra, 7th – 10th November.

SDNow 4 Conference at RMIT University, on the 14th – 16th November.

This is the 33rd episode of our TDF Podcast – thanks so much for listening! You can browse all or revisit any episode here.

This Week

On The Market

A Huge Family Warehouse Apartment In The Heart Of Richmond

At approximately 520 square metres, this out-of-this world industrial home has got to be one of the biggest warehouse conversions in Melbour...

News

The Annual Mud Seconds Sale Is On In Sydney This Weekend!

Shop almost-perfect porcelain Mud pieces with discounts starting from 40% off.

Interiors

A Dark + Dingy Heritage Home Revamped In Contemporary Country Style

Interior designer Georgie Shepherd of GSiD transforms breathes new life into the interiors of this newly renovated pre-Federation villa in A...

Architecture

A Multigenerational Family Retreat In A Blue Mountains Valley

It looks like a Swiss Chalet, but 'Stonelea' is a uniquely Australian home in the Blue Mountains, by Matthew Woodward Architecture.
Amelia Barnes
  18 hours ago

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of Media Powerhouse And Ultimate Creative Slashie, Sophia Athas

The founder of digital marketing agency Hatrik House talks us through the ins-and-outs of running a successful business in your twenties!

Architecture

A Contemporary Reinterpretation Of The Classic Australian Farmhouse

FMD Architects introduce their version of the classic Australian farmhouse in 'Coopworth', located on Tasmania's Bruny Island.

News

A Massive Sale Of A-List Designer Furniture Is Happening Soon!

Nab furniture, lighting and homewares from big time European designers like Ligne Roset, Duvivier + more at DOMO’s mid-year sale.
Sponsored

Interiors

A Designer’s Fun, Mid-Century Makeover Of Her ‘90s Townhouse!

Studio Tate associate Liz Ryde shares her self-designed, Clifton Hill family home filled with mid-century elements and colour!

News

'Wear It Yellow' And Support Children's Ground This National Reconciliation Week!

Children’s Ground is an incredible organisation that supports the next generation of Aboriginal children, and their communities – an...
Sally Tabart
  7 hours ago

Stays

A Mountain-Top Holiday Spot That Floats Above The Clouds

Cloud Parade is a design-led accommodation in the Blue Mountains, with truly sublime views over the national park.

Homes

A Dreamy, Nostalgic Family Home in Melbourne's Suburbs

Sympathetic renovations featuring recycled materials have made the 1930s Malvern East family home of Josh and Anastasia Elias even better th...

News

A New Series Of Paintings From An Old Favourite

Steven John Clark (aka denHolm) exhibits his first body of paintings, ‘Flowers For Gary’, exploring the imperfect, and its chall...

Gardens

Everything You Need To Know About Working With A Landscape Designer

We asked expert garden designers Phillip Withers, Fran Hale, Kathleen Murphy, Katy Svalbe and Richard Unsworth to demystify the process of w...

Architecture

A Gentle Brutalist Masterpiece In Brisbane

The Mt Coot-Tha House by Nielsen Jenkins embraces its steep and bushy surrounds courtesy of a minimalist and raw material palette.

Creative People

Carving Softness From Stone With Carol Crawford

The Sydney-based sculptor guides us through her unfurling, flowering forms made from alabaster, stone, bronze and marble.
Sasha Gattermayr
  10 hours ago

View Comments

More Podcasts

01:01:05

Podcast

TDF Talks With Artist David Bromley

From dropping out of high school at 15 to cementing himself as one of Australia’s most well-known artists, David reflects on his unique an...

Podcast

The Design Files Talks Podcast launches TODAY!

Announcing TDF Talks – a new fortnightly podcast from The Design Files!
53:46

Podcast

TDF Talks With Designer Mary Featherston

We're BACK with our third podcast season, and one very special guest, who has been an influential force in Australia’s design world since

The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.