London heads to Melbourne

AFTER five years in the role, inaugural state architect Geoffrey London has decided not to renew his contract when it expires at the end of the year, and will instead move to Melbourne to take up the equivalent position with the Victorian government. Professor London, who will take study leave in his role at the University of Western Australia, will remain in Perth until the end of the year to assist the Department of Housing and Works to find a replacement. Professor London said the new position, under the jurisdiction of the Department of Premier and Cabinet, offered some interesting challenges. “It seemed like an opportunity to deploy some of the skills I’d developed in my current role in a different setting and a larger city, with a different group of politicians and architects,” he said. Professor London said he also planned to complete several books next year, given the state architect’s position was a part-time one. Royal Australian Institute of Architects WA chapter president, Rod Mollett, said recruiting a new state architect would be very challenging. “We would hope we would be asked to participate in that process – it’s an onerous task to get someone of [Professor London’s] calibre,” he said. However, Mr Mollett said the upside to this was the position may be drafted to become a full-time role.

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