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

Homes

Emily Green's Joyous Family Home, Filled With Local Makers’ Work

The fun and colour-filled Reservoir family home of designer and Pinky's store co-owner, Emily Green, and teacher Louis Turner.

Architecture

This Lower North Shore Family House Feels Like A Permanent Vacation!

Two grand palm trees on entry provide a strong identity for the Whisper House, designed by Manolev Architects.

Sustainable Homes

A Former Corner Store Turned Sustainable Family Home

A dilapidated, Federation-era shopfront is transformed into a truly unique, energy efficient home by CplusC Architectural Workshop.

Family

An Honest Conversation On Single Parenting By Choice + Donor Conception With Takeawei Ceramics Founder, Chela Edmunds

Chela Edmunds of Takeawei ceramics shares her story of becoming a mother to 18-month-old Ocean via sperm donor and IVF.

News

An Abstract Art Biennale Celebrating Female Artists From Victoria

See ‘Of Colour and Light’ – an exhibition of 50 emerging and established female artists – on now at West End Art Space.

News

A New Book About The Wonderful, Colourful World Of Ken Done Is Here

The legendary Australian artist is celebrated with a new book by Thames & Hudson, ‘Ken Done: Art, Design, Life’.

News

Patricia Piccinini And Alpha60 Join Forces On A New Collaboration

The celebrated Australian artist and local fashion legends launch a new series of textiles titled ‘Hugs’, which are now installe...
Sponsored

Studio Visit

The Award-Winning Student Ceramicist Suspending Time In Clay

Bell Carver is the recipient of the inaugural Shelley Simpson Ceramics Prize (and $10,000 in prize money!) - a new award for emerging cerami...

Stays

This New Byron Bay Hinterland Accomodation Is Equal Parts Luxury + Rustic

Book your stay at The Perch – a beautifully renovated 1970s property in Bangalow, NSW.

News

'Giant' by Evi O Opens At Saint Cloche

Artist Evi O showcases her largest paintings to date in new exhibition Giant, on now at Saint Cloche.

On The Market

An Interior Designer’s Glamorous Victorian Pad Hits The Market!

Chelsea Hing’s apartment in an 1890s Italianate mansion in St Kilda East is up for sale. This is *the one*!

Interiors

A Social Sydney Home Elevated By Garden Views + On Point Decoration!

Following an architectural renovation by Welsh + Major, celebrated design studio Arent&Pyke elevate this Sydney home with a stunning array o...

News

A Group Show Combining Ceramics + Still-Life Under One Roof!

Ceramicist Grace Brown joins artistic forces with figurative artist Margaret Voterakis for a new exhibition at Modern Times, ‘Utopian Purs...
Sasha Aarons

Creative People

Behind The Scenes Of 'Rone In Geelong’ – Opening This Weekend!

See a retrospective of artist Rone's work to date at Geelong Gallery from Saturday February 27 to Sunday May 16, 2021.

Art

11 Affordable, Emerging Painters You Should Know!

From landscapes and surrealism to portraits and abstract art, these local artists are going BIG places.

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.