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Meet the Reps

The Student Organised Network for Architecture (SONA) is the official student body of the Australian Institute of Architects. We represent architecture students from across Australia, organising national, state and local events that provide opportunities for students to collaborate with each other as well as architects and associated professionals.

SONA members take part in the annual Australian Institute of Architects architecture conference, the biannual student congress, local mentoring and social events, design competitions, professional committees, and receive and contribute to nationally-recognised architecture publications.

The SONA team  is comprised of an executive committee of 5 student members and 19 student SONA  Representatives from accredited universities (or those on the path way to becoming accredited) across Australia. It is this group of dedicated students that volunteers their time and energy to make positive things happen with SONA!

The SONA team would encourage you to get in touch with your university SONA rep to find out more about local happenings!

The SONA University Representatives:


Gina Engelhardt

Immediate Past President

Troy Borg

President Elect 

Jacques Chevrant-Breton

Vice President – Competitions & Events

Leanne Haider 

Vice President – Member Engagement

Amarinda Bazeley

State Representatives

Australian Capital Territory

University of Canberra

Courtney Thoo

New South Wales

University of Sydney
Jodie Chieu –

University of New South Wales
Tonia Yau (outgoing 2019) –

University of  Sydney Technology
Jack Thomas Osborn– 

Newcastle University

Sahibajot Kaur (outgoing 2019) –

Northern Territory

Charles Darwin University
Pio Gillamac –


Bond University
Nicole Mesquita-Mendes  –

Griffith University Gold Coast
Asfand Tarar-   

Queensland University of Technology
Richelle Lim –

University of Queensland
Kieran Dolores –

South Australia

Adelaide University
Geoffrey William Baddams –

University of South Australia
James Guy –


University of Tasmania
Chris Morrison –


University of Melbourne
Saran Lim –

Deakin University

Jacquelyn Mangubat (outgoing 2019)

Monash University
Daniel Soetjahjono –

RMIT University
Christopher Filippidis  –

Western Australia

University of Western Australia
Kathryn Neale –     

Curtin University
Julian Kissling –

National Staff (Melbourne Victoria)

Bianca Haas (National Membership Engagement Officer)


There’s no time to procrastinate

by Clare Cousins

SONA Australia is pleased to bring you an interview with the 2018 National President of the Australian Institute of Architects, Clare Cousins.

In keeping with the 2018 SONA theme of mental health and well-being, we stole 15 minutes with the award winning architect, Practice Director and mother of two.

Caleb Lee

Any extra-curricular activities or hobbies?
Aikido, Harp, Jazz

If you couldn’t live without one thing what would it be?

Everyone has a good app idea. What’s yours?
One that blocks data – Enjoy your time with friends when you’re out!

What is the most played song/TV show/movie/album and why?
Album: Bill Evans Trio, Jazz sounds different every time

Do you take part in any activities outside of the Industry? E.g. Tutoring, teaching, mentoring, volunteering etc.
I volunteer for Spur Afrika, a non-for profit organization which supports children living in poverty in Afrika. I’m in a quartet and we play at events. Cello.

Favorite place or building in the world?
The Toilet or shower, it’s where all my ideas come from

What’s your dream job?
Research of space – to pursue a space which enhances an action or process of something. Space that brings understanding and changes human emotion.

What do you want to achieve in Architecture?
Something original

What do you love most about your city?
How diverse in form and ideas we have

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you move?

Western Australia – ArchiMates


ArchiMates was an informal gathering over chips and drinks, where students had the opportunity to learn more about the architecture profession from:

  • Michael Woodhams – Executive Director of the WA Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects
  • Suzie Hunt – President of the WA Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects and Director of Suzanne Hunt Architect
  • Neil Cownie – Director of Neil Cownie Architects and member of the Architects Board of WA.

The students enjoyed hearing and asking questions about our guests’ experiences and insights from their studies to their careers. We were fortunate to receive helpful advice to guide us for the duration of our studies and continued career. Advice ranged from getting out into the world more through travelling studio or personal travel – whether it’s abroad or within Australia – to gain exposure and experience with different environments and cultures; to asking practices if they would be able to take you for site visits to gain experience. Getting your LinkedIn profile going, and your business card ready for networking.

Michael, Suzie, and Neil not only provided insights and advice for the students, but also gave encouragement by continuing being actively connected to the profession through SONA, which gives fellow students and professionals opportunities to network with from the industry. 

SONA UWA would like to thank Michael, Suzie, and Neil for their generous time spent at the event.

South Australia – Mates & Dates


It was a fantastic opportunity to welcome new members and provide understanding of what the 2018 SONA calendar holds. Students gained real insight as three of the South Australian Chapter Members came along; Mario Dreosti, Nicolette De Lernia and Zafiro Papanikitas.

This was very valuable as students got to know professionals in a relaxed, non- intimidating setting. Overall around 20 members came along for the evening and it was a huge success especially when the next event was announced.

We look forward to what SONA will bring to its members in 2018.

SONA President – Troy Borg


Ask yourself what has been working well for you? 

  • Have you been staying on top of your assignments, maintaining healthy relationships and keeping up with paying your bills by the due date?
  • Have you attended any of the first SONA events in your state?
  • How many people have answered yes I’m on top of everything and super organised?

For most of us that is only but a dream, architecture studies aren’t supposed to consume your entire being, so now as we start refining our routines for the second quarter, I ask you to evaluate where you allocate your time?

Have you been utilising all the benefits that come with being a member of SONA?

  • SONA provides a network that can lead you to your first work experience placement, open up opportunities for you to be involved at many architecture events, it can see you connect with industry which could lead to your first job.

We want you to get the most out of being a member of an organisation that for the past twenty years has voiced our concerns as a collective student body and provided endless opportunities.

If you’re still unsure as to what’s happening in your hood, keep your eyes peeled on the SONA website and be sure to follow the Sona Instagram for your state.

We have some exciting events just around the corner including the Upscale design and build workshop taking place at the National Conference and the SuperStudio competition where you and 2 other SONA members can win tickets and flights to the Venice Biennale.

Don’t forget that these events are all exclusive for you. Good luck with your studies in the coming weeks and honour your mind and body with regular exercise.

Look forward to seeing you at a SONA event soon.

EmAGN & SONA Bar Tour


As part of the National Conference EDGE

The tour will take place along Palm Beach, Burleigh and Nobby’s Beach, featuring five bars with speakers discussing the venues along the way.  Tour groups will be a comfortable 20 people per group.  All groups will start and finish the night together but will embark on their own smaller group tours in between, so all can experience the larger rooftops and niche boutique bars on offer.

Participants will be communicated closer to the date with maps and venue details highlighted. A charter bus will be arranged to transport the groups on the night.

Date: Thursday 7 June
Time:  6pm – 10pm

Tickets cost: $25 for members / $45 non-members.
This ticket price includes a drink at each venue and nibbles at one venue.

Limited numbers so be quick and Register here

Living with Water event

Today, some cities suffer from rising sea-levels and unprecedented storms and flooding, while others endure drought and depleted aquifers. How can we build urban resilience in such uncertain times?”

It’s a full-day symposium on 20 March 2018, led by Foreground, in partnership with the National Gallery of Victoria, the Melbourne School of Design and the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects, that will bring together a series of  international and Australian experts, who will explore how design can help mediate the burgeoning new relationships between water, land and our communities.

Our international speakers include Kongjian Yu (founder of the world’s biggest landscape architecture practice and a renowned innovator in water sensitive urban design), Lykke Leonardsen (one of Copenhagen’s governmental leaders in dealing with rising seas and flooding) and Kristina Hill (Berkeley’s resident urban design and sea level rise expert).

You can read more about the program and other speakers here:

The event is primarily aimed at professionals, but we’d like to get a good quotient of students of design in the built environment in the audience, so we’d like to offer SONA members a 50% discount on ticket prices (on top of the group discount rate too, if people can buy in bulk). We have about 50 tickets available at that rate for a limited time.