Robert Goodliffe Retirement

11 October 2021

Robert Goodliffe, Managing Partner from ClarkeHopkinsClarke Architects, retired in September 2021 after 40 years as a designer, practice leader and influential advocate for ethical business and climate action. The ACA celebrates the milestone and wishes Robert well in all future endeavours.

Under Robert’s stewardship ClarkeHopkinsClarke expanded into eight diverse sectors, grew by 400%, won more than 60 industry awards for projects with positive community impact, took active roles in industry organisations including the ACA, AIA, Architects Declare and the Design Futures Council, certified as carbon neutral, partnered with Deakin University on an Indigenous Pathways Scholarship, became one of the world’s largest architectural BCorps, entered the Top 5 of BCorps globally against diverse measures including diversity and transparency, and this year become the first Australian architecture practice to certify as Climate Active.

ACA CEO Angelina Pillai says, “His passion for outstanding design and inclusive leadership coupled with gentle yet firm reminders on the importance of social responsibility in architecture have resonated across our industry. As a leader he taught this profession how a holistic approach to business can build a vibrant and productive culture internally to create a resilient operational model.”

“I’ve learned that being part of the solution, not part of the problem, is a real point of difference in our industry,” Robert says. “I inherited a good way of going about things, and I enjoy exploring the levers of business – what you can do to build a strong, resilient business founded on good business practice. Profitability allows you to make choices about how you want a business to grow, the things you want to invest your time in, and the culture and values that the company can espouse.

“I think the impact I’ve had is about being able to look beyond the screen in front of you, the project you’re working on, to what else is possible. I’ve really enjoyed exploring that, and fortunately the company has allowed me to grow along that path. I’m also a big believer in employing people who are better than you,” he quips. “They make you look better than you are.”

The practice marked the significant milestone with the launch of the inaugural 2022 ClarkeHopkinsClarke Robert Goodliffe Impact tomorrow Award, which will celebrate and support the advocacy of a team member making meaningful change in their sphere of influence.

Practice Director Courtney Smith says, “Robert’s industry impact, advocacy and mentoring have shaped our practice and industry so profoundly, it’s going to take all of us to continue his legacy. We see this award as a powerful vehicle for future changemakers.”

For more on Robert’s work, see his article on the Social Conscience of Architecture.