Who We Are

2015-2016 Committee

President - Tone Wheeler

AAA-TW

Tone Wheeler, Principal architect of his own practice Environa Studio and AAA Founding member, is also an author, educator and consultant with an abiding interest in environmentally sustainable design in the mid seventies.  At the University of Sydney he designed and coordinated and assisted in the construction of the "autonomous house", a working example of a low energy house constructed entirely from recycled materials.  Upon graduation he worked for the Australian Government in Canberra where he designed a range of low cost social housing that won the RAIA residential design award in 1980.  For the last twenty years he has worked as an architect in his own practice and has won numerous awards and competitions.  He has been on the faculty of three universities and is a frequent speaker at architectural conferences and seminars.

Vice-President - Ben Gerstel

AAA BG

Ben Gerstel is a registered architect. He completed his architectural studies in 1989 and started his own practice in 1997, after working in a variety of architectural offices. He brought to the AAA his architectural knowledge of Castlecrag in the form of two walking tours in this unique suburb. Ben is currently the vice president of the AAA. He is passionate about domestic architecture and the aim of the AAA, to bring architecture in the form of good design to the public.

Founding Director, Treasurer - Annette Dearing

AAA-ADAnnette Dearing is a business manager with extensive experience in project management within the corporate, not for profit, professional and sporting sectors of the market. Annette's passion for architecture started in 1978 when she worked as public relations officer for the Australian Institute of Architects (NSW) Chapter in the newly created Information Division, promoting architecture and architects. In 2003 Annette joined the AAA as a founding director. She is actively involved in all aspects of the AAA including tour development, volunteer management, media relations, finance, fund raising, talks and exhibitions.

Committee Member - Vincent Lam,  RAIA MPIA

AAA-VL

Vincent Lam is a Registered Architect and Certified Practising Planner. Vincent completed his architectural studies at UNSW in 1996 and started his own practice in 2001 after obtaining a Master of Urban Design and Development. He was a member of the Housing and Urban Design Committee of the AIA (NSW Chapter) from 2002 to 2006. In 2004, he joined AAA as a founding member and also volunteered to take part in the development of AAA's first walking tour. He led the very first Sydney City Walk and became the Chairman of the AAA Tour Leader's Group. Vincent has been a member of the AAA Committee since 2008.  Vincent believes architecture is not just for the elite, it is for everybody to understand, appreciate and enjoy.  Through working for the AAA, he wishes to broaden public understanding of architecture in Australia. 

Committee Member - Vanessa Couzens, MDIA

AAA-VCVanessa Couzens is a qualified designer and design educator who has worked in both architectural and interior design practice for over fifteen years. She is a dedicated advocate for promoting a greater understanding of how design can enrich the built environment. Vanessa has volunteered for the Australian Architecture Association since 2006. She has served on the AAA Committee since 2011. She is also the acting editor for the AAA's publication 'All About Architecture' and writes about design in it's monthly issue. Vanessa believes that the Australian Architecture Association plays a unique and important role in making design accessible to everyone. It is only through education, promoting understanding and encouraging discussion that you can empower people to make positive change.