Don't take our word for it!

Here's what some of our volunteers and project partners have to say about us...


Phillip Adams

AWF Patron
ABC Journalist

For over 20 years I've sat in radio studios listening to a bombardment of ideas from academics, artists, politicians, philosophers, scientists, theologian and other rarefied creatures. Tens of thousands have come and gone – and it's a comparatively rare event for me to be greatly enthused by an idea or proposition.

… what AWF aspires to achieve is profoundly important – and inspirational … This is not simply architects in action – it’s ethics in action, with AWF being a cutting edge NGO. AWF … in my view, is destined to develop into one of the greater forces for good on this battered planet.

Gareth Evans

AWF Patron

Foreign Minister Australia, 1988-1996

AWF has shown us … how architects and planners, working with other processionals across multiple disciplines but above all with local people in their communities, can serve as true architects of peace.

Rob Adams

AWF Advisory Committee
Melbourne City Council

The way AWF has organised and catalysed the design profession to focus on their public contributions reflect a marvelous blend of attributes. There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that Architects Without Frontiers (Australia) will continue to thrive and expand the public benefits it engenders …

Joan Carling

Secretary General, Asia Indigenous People's Pact (AIPP)

Architects without Frontiers, in partnership with BURO Architects, carried with great commitment and purpose AIPP's vocation for advocating Indigenous rights, environmental protection and climate change resilience into the design of the our beautiful new secretariat Office in Chiang Mai, Thailand. AWF's contribution of brief development, feasibility assessment and environmentally conscious design expertise was fundamental in arriving at an exciting shared project vision between the AIPP secretariat, Executive Council and member organisations across 14 countries in Asia.

AWF's dedication, professionalism and sensitivity was integral to the success of the project by providing us with a great sense of confidence and our design aspirations could become a reality. The support, assistance and full cooperation of AWFs in this project has inspired indigenous peoples across Asia to undertake similar project. Thus, this project will greatly help AIPP carry out its mission with greater purpose, pride and impact.

Jodie Fried

Founder of Bholu

The Anganwadi Project has turned into such an amazing project since the inception of our amazing collaboration with AWF. Everyday when we see the progress and what all these incredible people are bring to it with their skill, time, energy and love. It still amazes me as to see what can be done on such little money, and to see that all it takes is dedicated and compassionate individuals who give their time and talent to make this project happen.

25 May 2010

Without the assistance and support of Architects Without Frontiers, the growth of the Anganwadi Project would not be possible. After speaking on a panel together with Directors Jane Rothschild and Sam Crawford at the Powerhouse Museum in 2007, it became apparent that we (Bholu and Manav Sadhna) had the problem and they (AWF) had the resources and volunteers. Together we were able to form a fantastic project structure to develop a manageable and tangible project for Australian architects to be involved in.

Without AWF’s assistance, we would not have been able to build as many schools as we have in the amount of time we have and also raised the funding needed to do this. I am forever grateful for the exceptional level of commitment AWF and its volunteers have given to this project.

9 May 2009

Viren Joshi

Co- Founder of Manav Sadhna

Thank you so much for connecting Harry and Leeanne to Manav Sadhna community. They are both amazing and inspiring everyday! MS family is so blessed with volunteers like them and organizations like Bholu and Architects Without Frontiers.

31 December 2008

Dr. David Mills

Medical Superintendent
Kompiam District Hospital

When we had architects actually visit us and spend time, there began a really useful process of education and consultation where together we were able to come up with a vision for something we could really embrace as ours, that the community would own and get excited about because they saw it as something that they had input into from the beginning, that was technologically appropriate and took into account what was going to be achievable given the resource and logistical constraints. So the process was definitely two way, with us learning heaps, and also the designers learning a lot about our needs, what assumptions they had to ditch and what they could work with.

All our interaction with AWF and Catherine’s team through them has been immensely valuable. It has given us high quality technical input that is extremely hard to come by in this country even if you have the resources, and has given us a result we are really proud of. Certainly they were able to show us there were plenty of issues we hadn’t really considered and we in turn were able to help them come up with something that was going to work on the ground.

I would highly recommend them to you and would be happy to talk more about our experience with them should it be useful to you.

Wilfred Nawirridj

(President - Injalak Arts)

Anthony Murphy

(Director - Injalak Arts)

The Gunbalanya community has been impressed with the work of AWF. Their design and costing has caused our proposal to progress significantly and with the feasibility study, will enable us to confidently approach likely financial support bodies. AWF have been most professional, sensitive and effective in their dealings with the community and their work on the design and costing and are to be congratulated.

Letter from Injalak Arts to AWF

Kirstine Cossins

(Thamurrur Development Corporation - Economic Development Officer)

In July 2009 we approached Architects Without Frontiers (AWF) for assistance in scoping and designing two new buildings for the remote indigenous community of Wadeye (Port Keats) where the Thamarrurr Development Corporation (TDC) is based. The TDC is an indigenous corporation made up of representatives of the 20 clans and 3 ceremony groups of the Thamarrurr region. The AWF team listened to the local people and encouraged community participation while also putting forward realistic suggestions for the community to consider. The two buildings we now have plans for are a new Arts and Cultural Centre and a new Business Centre.

These two buildings are an important development to the community for several reasons. Firstly the Arts and Cultural Centre will be used to preserve culture and present local art to the outside world while also providing employment for local artists. It is envisaged that the new Arts and Cultural Centre will become a community meeting place and a positive focal point of Wadeye as it grows. Secondly the Business Centre will provide local people with a source of revenue which will assist them to participate in the greater economy and retain such financial benefits in the community. This will be a real step towards self reliance, ceasing welfare dependency and closing the gap.

AWF have assisted in creating a vision for the community of Wadeye as it moves from a remote community to developing into a small country town just like any other in AustraliaAlthough the realisation of these two buildings is to date some way off we believe the project has a firm foundation from which to launch into the future.




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