top of page
Asset 3.png

This three-part seminar series in May 2019, presented at the Victorian Parliamentary Library in Parliament House, Melbourne, will explore three architectural projects of significance.

Places are limited. To attend either one or more of these seminars, please book by emailing

Eileen Chanin.png

Thursday 2 May, 1-2pm


Presented by Dr Eileen Chanin

Research Associate, Australian Studies Institute
Australian National University    

Eileen Chanin

Australia House, London is unique. How it was conceived, designed and built is a story of ambitions and achievements -- as this seminar will reveal. 


The building of Australia House began following Federation as the fledgling Commonwealth was emerging and asserting itself on the world stage. Building it, along with a new Navy,  was the new nation’s most spectacular reach to the world. 


A powerful symbol from the outset, Australia House was read through two (often converging) prisms. One was Australia’s need to tell its own story to itself and to the world. The other was London’s ongoing story.


A landmark building, it is Australia’s first diplomatic mission and is London’s first purpose-built foreign legation. Being London’s first Dominion embassy building, it led and inspired the other Dominions which would later follow its example. A model for London, it defined London as an Imperial capital. 


Eileen Chanin is a Research Associate of the Australian Studies Institute at the Australian National University.  She has recently been Senior Visiting Research Fellow, Menzies Institute for Australian Studies, King’s College London (2016-2017), where she was also Menzies Foundation Fellow (2015) and Rydon Fellow (2014). Books that Eileen has written recently include:

  • Capital Designs, Australia House and Visions of an Imperial London (2018)

  • Awakening, Four Lives in Art (2015)

  • Limbang Rebellion, 7 Days in December 1962 (2013)


Awards that Eileen’s books have received include the Royal Marines Historical Society Literary Award (United Kingdom), and the Australian History Prize, New South Wales History Awards. Her books have also been shortlisted for the Australian Historical Association Magarey Medal for Biography; the Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) Waverley Library Award for Literature; and the Vance and Nettie Palmer Prize for Non-Fiction, Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards.

Australia House, London

Places are limited. To attend either one or more of these seminars, please book by emailing

Peter Elliot.png

Tuesday 14 May, 1-2pm


Presented by Adjunct Professor Peter Elliott AM


Peter Elliott Architecture & Urban Design

Peter Elliot

Delicately grafted into the garden setting of Victoria’s Parliament House, the new annexe for members’ offices realises a long anticipated extension to one of Melbourne’s most prominent civic landmarks.


Parliament House was built in several stages from 1856 through to 1893 and the land crash when the money ran out and all work stopped. Designed by John George Knight and Peter Kerr, Parliament House has been described as an unfinished masterpiece. After a century and a half of makeshift and inadequate members’ offices and numerous failed schemes, the annexe finally solves a long-term accommodation problem.


The new annexe has been conceived as a building in a garden with a large central courtyard and walkable roof garden. This seminar will provide insights into the history of the Parliamentary Precinct and the architectural ideas behind the development of a new contemporary building within an historic setting.


Peter Elliott is a Melbourne architect and recipient of the 2017 Gold Medal from the Australian Institute of Architects. He is currently an Adjunct Professor of Architecture at the Faculty of Art Design & Architecture at Monash University. In 2015 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Architecture by the University of Melbourne. He has a special interest in the design of the public realm, and has lectured and written extensively on contemporary architecture and urban design. In 2015 he authored a monograph book titled 'Episodic Urbanism – RMIT Urban Spaces Project 1996 – 2015’ published by URO Publications. See also

Places are limited. To attend either one or more of these seminars, please book by emailing

Peter Lovell.jpg

Wednesday 29 May, 1-2pm


Presented by Peter Lovell

Director and Founding Principal

Lovell Chen


Flinders Street Station is one of Melbourne’s most recognisable landmarks and an imposing presence in Flinders Street, where it spans almost two city blocks. The main building is currently the subject of an ongoing revitalisation project by Development Victoria, funded by the Victorian State Government, and in 2018 Lovell Chen completed the first phase — conserving and refurbishing the fabric. 


Peter Lovell’s enduring interest in the analysis and re-use of older buildings and sites began during his studies at Melbourne University, where he followed a Bachelor of Building degree with post-graduate research on the decay and preservation of materials. He founded Lovell Chen Architects & Heritage Consultants — originally as Allom Lovell & Associates — in 1981. The practice is now a leader in design and management associated with heritage places. Major early projects, such as the restoration of Melbourne’s mid-19th Century Windsor Hotel, were significant to Australia’s growing passion for rediscovery of its architectural heritage — a movement with which Peter is proud to be associated. He has since been involved in the continued and contemporary life of many the nation’s iconic 19th and 20th Century buildings.


The primary focus of his current work is the development of strategies to address the complexities that arise with the design and development of new schemes in heritage contexts.

Places are limited. To attend either one or more of these seminars, please book by emailing

bottom of page