Vale Gary Edwards

9 February 2022

The ACA sadly advises that longtime VIC/TAS Committee member and dear friend Gary Edwards OAM passed away on 13 January 2022. He will be sorely missed.

Gary Edwards was a valued member of the ACA Committee in Victoria for many years, providing professional practice advice to architects and architectural businesses. His time with the ACA followed many decades of service to the Australian architecture profession, including years of active involvement with the [Royal] Australian Institute of Architects, including as Victorian Chapter Councillor; more than 32 years as an examiner of Architectural Practice on behalf of the Architects’ Registration Board of Victoria; and time as a Senior Lecturer in Professional Practice at RMIT.

Gary was an Associate and Senior Health Facility Planner of Stephenson and Turner, with responsibility for many major health facility projects throughout Australia and internationally. Some of his projects included the planning, documentation, contract administration and commissioning of major developments for The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital; St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne; Ballarat Base Hospital; the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, including its Baker Medical Research Institute, Monash Medical School and other facilities; the Melbourne Clinic; St John’s Park Nursing Home, Hobart; Grace McKellar Rehabilitation and Aged Care Centre, Geelong; and for many other interstate and overseas hospitals and aged care facilities.

Gary was a Partner and Director of the architectural firms Health Facilities Consultant Architects, Health Planners Australia Pty Ltd and ArcHealth Pty Ltd, all specialising in health, education and other institutional projects across Australia and Internationally. Gary’s health facilities design work included the development of health facility models for optimum functionality, quality of care and cost effectiveness. Projects directed, planned and undertaken by Gary include the HMAS Cerberus Navy Hospital, Dental and Medical Centre; and the Royal Children’s Hospital’s Emergency and Ambulatory Paediatrics Departments, among many others.

Gary was enthusiastic and knowledgeable, with a long list of achievements and a lifetime of service to the architecture profession and other community groups. Retirement from practice didn’t slow him down, with many years of honorary charity and community work to follow. In 2020, Gary and his wife Kay were both awarded Order of Australia medals for service to the community through a range of organisations.

Several of Gary’s friends at the ACA had the following comments to make:

Gary was not only a valued colleague and friend but someone we considered an elder statesman of the profession. His knowledge, passion and enthusiasm for the architecture profession were contagious and he was a valued member of the ACA Vic/Tas Committee. One of his last legacies was the introduction of the ‘Retired Architect’ category to the ACA constitution. Gary sought to ensure that architects at any stage of their career could retain the ability to stay involved and contribute to both a better profession and community. He was a man that contributed to the profession and society in general in such a quiet and humble manner but with a wonderful sense of humour.
— Paul Viney (ACA Vic/Tas President)

To echo Paul’s heartfelt words, Gary was indeed a remarkable, generous and charming man. On a personal level, I fondly recall his encouragement and support when I first joined the ACA and his ongoing commitment to ensure an inclusive and vibrant profession. We will be sure to continue that vision. – Angelina Pillai (ACA CEO)

Gary’s friendliness, smile and enthusiasm were omnipresent over the three decades that I knew him. Having worked briefly with him many years ago, I was always impressed by his attention to detail and the manner in which he articulated reasoning, relationships and background to any architectural disposition. Reconnecting with him again in recent years on the ACA Victoria/Tasmania committee, I saw another aspect to Gary, in his deep knowledge and experience across professional organisations, often in foundational roles, whether it be at the Institute of Architects or Registration Board, or of late at the ACA table, passing on the benefit of his vast experience to committee members largely a generation younger. Gary’s wisdom and experience will be greatly missed, but more so his warm handshake, bonhomie and genuine encouragement to his colleagues and friends. — David Wagner (ACA Vic/Tas Secretary)

Gary was a very kind, gentle man with an extraordinary knowledge and memory.  He was incredibly easy to be around, and always made everyone feel welcome. – Michelle Eades (former ACA Vic/Tas Executive Officer)