Sydney Architecture Festival

(7.15pm, Wednesday 24 October 2012, Tusculum, Manning Street Potts Point)


Thank you, Matthew [Pullinger, MC]. Hello, everyone. I would like firstly to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of our land, and to pay my respects to their Elders. I also acknowledge the people of 200 nations who live in our city.

I also acknowledge:

  • Paul Berkemeier, National President-elect of the Institute of Architects
  • Government Architect, Peter Poulet and his immediate predecessor,Peter Mould
  • Pierre Mansat, Deputy Mayor of Paris and Architecture Festival special guest and
  • Sydney City Councillors John Mant, Jenny Green and Irene Doutney

It's my privilege today to formally open the sixth Sydney Architecture Festival which now has tremendous reach, and also a fascinating diversity.

This year's theme - Beyond Boundaries - a suggestion that reaches out to broader Sydney.

Also the longer time-frame evident in the Super Sydney Project previewed just now in the auditorium. Forty-one local government areas and hundreds of people joined in a city-wide conversation to envisage how Sydney could be in 50 years.

That city-wide thinking is essential if we are to build a cohesive and sustainable city and it will need the co-operation of us all, so I congratulate the Festival on taking this pro-active role.

Super Sydney, though, is just one aspect of this rich festival which includes no less than 70 events in 25 venues. And this year, the Historic Houses Trust's always-popular Sydney Open also comes under the Festival umbrella.

The City has been a festival sponsor since 2008, and this year we were joined by Kogarah, Mosman, Marrickville, North Sydney, Parramatta, Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra councils, as well as the three city universities and numerous other government and private organisations - too numerous, in fact, to list individually.

It's a welcome sign that architecture and our built environment is increasingly recognised for the vital role it plays in our lives.

I am tremendously proud of what the City of Sydney has achieved over the past eight years in co-operation with architects and landscape architects - not only to improve the appearance of Sydney, but to actually change and enrich the experience of living and working in Sydney.

Surry Hills Library, Pirrama Park, Paddington Reservoir Gardens, Prince Alfred Park and pool among others stand as testimony to the creativity, skills and insights of your professions. Not only to those of the practitioners involved but also to those of our wonderful Design Advisory Panel whose expertise has proved itself time and again.

And now I am delighted to formally open the 2012 Sydney Architecture Festival. Have a great time, everyone.