Wiradjuri building designer and Masters of Architecture graduate Samantha Rich was recently awarded the Andrew Taylor Memorial Prize for an outstanding student whose work demonstrates sensitivity to project context, site and the Australian landscape, and listed on the Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture Dean's List for 2022.

For her Masters project Gamil dhuningarraay baa/Place of older person: Aging in place in Walgett, Reciprocity of care, Sam worked closely with the Dharriwaa Elders Group.to develop a model of Elders housing designed to meet community needs and priorities around connection to family, culture and Country. Sam drew on a previous qualitative research study that investigated the barriers and enablers to ageing well for Aboriginal people in Walgett, which found housing was an urgent unmet need. The housing precinct for Elders she has designed aims to provide culturally appropriate, affordable, safe, community connected and Country-centric homes.

The respectful approach, integrity and insight that Sam brought to her Masters project has led to her becoming a trusted and valued advisor to the DEG. Sam is now an Adjunct Lecturer with Yuwaya Ngarra-li and continuing to work with us on developing housing to support the diversion of Aboriginal young people from the criminal justice system in Walgett, as well as crisis accommodation. We’re thrilled to see her important work recognised by ADA.