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

President and CEO, International Crisis Group
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 …

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. This season, Bholu 8 has been a huge success within the community and Bholu 9 is shaping up to be our most versatile yet.

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.


Harrison Gardner

Volunteers need to be flexible, need to be considerate of culture and tradition, need to be aware of the social implications of their work and their actions in these communities and most of all need to be sensitive to the opinions of the communities as when the volunteers leave, as the communities must live with and uphold the projects. | Nov 2008


Leeanne Marshall

The last four months involved with the AWF/Bholu Anganwadi project has been one of the most transformative periods of my life. I have learnt so much in this short time which has only inspired me to keep doing this work and attempting to spend my life in service of those in need. For now, my time in Ahmedabad is ending, but I feel happy that I have made a small contribution to so many new beginnings for the children in the slum communities and hope that I have been able to bring some of the life here into all of your lives. | Nov 2008- March 2009


Simon Hearn

I had a really amazing time and I would like to congratulate AWF and Bholu for making this project a reality. | Feb - March 2009


Adele Winteridge

It was an amazing experience, that I would not trade for the world. I think everyone MUST do it! Every person has the ability to make a difference and has the opportunity to bring something new to the project with personality, interaction and communication. Thank you for allowing me to partake | Jan 2009 - Feb 2009


Renae Tapley

I LOVED the experience and would absolutely go back. It definitely deeply affected me as a person and I took on new lessons in life, a lot more than I ever thought I would or could in 2 weeks. it is enriching on so many levels, yet so hard to describe and put into words | Jan 2009 - Feb 2009


Fahmi Ahmad-Yussof

It was an absolute pleasure to be part of this whole experience. To see things come together not only for us but more importantly the community was a very special moment. | Jan 2009 - Feb 2009


Paul Tilse

Paul Tilse Architects

Thank you for everything, it was really fun working with you both and amazing and inspiring experience meeting and working with the all slum children & Manav Sadhna community. | Jan 2008




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