Aurora Alumna to Design Western Sydney University Indigenous Centre of Excellence

Aurora alumna and Senior Associate at Jackson Clements Burrows Architects (JCB) Sarah Lynn Rees has been announced as part of the winning team of a national design competition to design Western Sydney University’s new Indigenous Centre of Excellence on Darug land.

Sarah is a proud Palawa woman. She was a participant on the 2012 Aurora International Study Tour and received a Charlie Perkins Scholarship and Chevening Scholarship in 2013 to pursue a Master of Philosophy in Architecture and Urban Design at the University of Cambridge.



Sarah, the team at JCB, Peter Stutchbury Architecture and Jane Irwin Landscape Architecture won the competition in collaboration with Uncle Dean Kelly, Hill Thalis Architecture and Flux Consultants. Their design was selected from four shortlisted groups, with the Chair of the Design Competition Selection Committee, Dillon Kombumerri, saying the winning project is “an outstanding, Country centred design that promotes First Peoples’ leadership, knowledge sharing, creative skills and living cultural practices. As well as being an iconic destination that the Western Sydney University and the communities it serves can be proud of, the facility will be a welcoming place for everyone who visits, ensuring its enduring legacy.”

As spokesperson for the winning team, Sarah said that they are thrilled to have been selected to design the project: “It is not very often that you have the opportunity to respond to a brief that is seeking to holistically embed and care for Country, culture and community. We could not be more excited for the next stages, walking side by side with Western Sydney University, Darug Ngurra and the community to realize a place that shows the world how powerful mob can be when we are allowed to be,” said Rees.

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