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

Architecture

A California Bungalow Reconfigured For Light And Practicality

Project 12 Architecture has renovated a Northcote home to overcome its southern orientation and previously disjointed rooms.
Amelia Barnes

News

All Are Welcome At North Melbourne School Of Displacement

Learn about and honour the First Nations in this accessible North Melbourne discussion series.
Amelia Barnes

Art

Balenciaga Comes To Bendigo!

Direct from the Victoria and Albert museum in London, the ground-breaking exhibition ‘Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion’ arrives at the Bendig...
Miriam McGarry

Interiors

Saying Goodbye To A Local Icon!

After over a decade of operations, the beloved Brooklyn Arts Hotel in Fitzroy is closing - and its iconic building is for sale.

News

An International Japanese Design Exhibition Opens in Launceston

Explore the work of 58 Japanese architects in this Design Tasmania exhibition.
Amelia Barnes

Interiors

Brown Is The New Neutral

Brown is back! Lauren Li gives us the lowdown on how to add warmth and texture to your home, with this somewhat divisive colour.
Lauren Li

Gardens

A Factory Rooftop Turned Lush Penthouse Garden

SJB director Adam Haddow’s Sydney apartment opens to a stunning rooftop garden, designed by William Dangar of Dangar Barin Smith.
Amelia Barnes

Architecture

The Apple Crate Shack On The Apple Isle!

A $60,000 budget goes a long way in this ambitious project in Flowerpot, Tasmania.
Miriam McGarry

Food

Julia Busuttil Nishimura's Seasonal Flavours : Citrus

One of our FAVE foodies, Julia Busuttil-Nishimura joins TDF this month as a columnist! First up, she shares a flavour-packed roasted caulifl...
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Art

Shifting Time And Space With Jasmine Mansbridge

Explore the artist’s new exhibition ‘Your Time For The Moon’, showing at 19Karen gallery.

Travel

A Stylist's Guide To Downtown Los Angeles

Sydney stylist Sarah Ellison shares her guide to all things design in Downtown LA!
Sarah Ellison

Homes

A Prahran East Atelier Adorned With Layers Of History

Revered Melbourne interior designer Tigger Hall shares her artistic home, filled with objects from all over the globe.

News

Join The ‘Garden Party’

A star-studded group exhibition at BSIDE Gallery from August 21-25th of illustration, textiles and ceramics that celebrates growing together...
Miriam McGarry

News

Up-cycling, With A Global Flair!

Kyoto-based, French designer Clementine Sander is helping you up-cycle Japanese textiles, in collaboration with The Social Studio.
Miriam McGarry

News

Tamara Dean, Bill Henson + Janet Laurence In Conversation With The Planthunter

Georgina Reid of The Planthunter sits down with artists Tamara Dean, Bill Henson + Janet Laurence in a new conversation series connecting ar...
Amelia Barnes

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