Support the rehiring of UON's beloved Professors of Practice

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If you hadn't checked Blackboard in the last weeks of 2019, you might not have been aware that our beloved professors have been removed from their positions within the School of Architecture. 

For some of us, the relationships with Richard LePlastrier, Peter Stutchbury, Lindsay + Kerry Clare, Brit Andresen and others are THE NO.1 REASON we chose to study at this school in the first place. The lack of transparency with the decision-making process has shown a huge disrespect for current staff and students, and ignores the huge contribution these professors make to student life and mentoring every year. 

The School of Architecture at the University of Newcastle represents more than just a place to achieve an architectural qualification. It is a tight-knit community of students and professors who place social advocacy, environmental consciousness and hands-on experience above commercial value. We owe those values to our forebears - world-reknown architects who have worked tirelessly to communicate their lifetimes worth of wisdom to the next generation of Australian architects.

Students graduating from our school have gone on to achieve remarkable things, and remain some of the country's most respected and sought-after graduates. We have consistently out-performed other universities in our state in competitions and awards including (but not limited to) -

NSW Graduate Design Medal 2013 : Anthony Parsons (winner) & Chris Mullaney (runner up)
NSW Undergraduate Prize 2013 : Angus Vinden
NSW Architects Medallion 2014 : Sacha Parkinson
NSW Graduate Design Medal 2017 : James Ellis (winner) & Brendan Boyle (runner up) 
NSW Graduate Design Medal 2018 : Andrew Hannah-Davies (winner) & Kalyna Sparks (runner up)
Student Prize for the Advancement of Architecture 2019 : Bobby Bailey & Owen Kelly

These successes are due in large part to the ongoing support, encouragement, advocacy and critique of the Gold Medallion holding architects who have worked along side us for many years. 
Removing these key mentors from the school calls into question what this school of architecture stands for and what kind of school it will be once they're gone.

If you are a current or former student of the University of Newcastle who feels the school will be losing a key part of its identity with the loss of these Professors, I urge you to do the following:
1. Sign the petition
2. In the comments, tell us of your experience studying here under these professors, and tell us why you believe they should be asked to stay
3. Help spread the word on social media or in your workplace - we would like the written support of anyone who has been at the school, or been in contact with the Professors and learned from them. 

Thank you for reading right to the end! And please please help us communicate this loud and clear to the Head of School. We really hope we can continue to foster close relationships with these wonderful Professors of Practice in 2020 and beyond - for as long as they will have us.