Who we are


Jill Garner

Victorian Government Architect

Jill Garner is the co-founder of Garner Davis Architects, a St Kilda based architecture studio. In 1995, Garner Davis won the international design competition for the Wagga Wagga Civic Centre. Garner Davis continue to demonstrate their architectural credentials through considered, articulate and timeless public buildings and private works.

Jill has taught at RMIT and Melbourne Universities in design, architectural history and contemporary theory. She is a regular contributor to architectural events, awards juries, publications and journals, seminars and local and interstate lectures.

Kate Mallyon

Office Manager + Senior Executive Assistant

Prior to joining OVGA in 2008, Kate Mallyon accumulated over ten years of management experience in the retail sector, event management and music and recording industries. Since joining OVGA she has developed a keen interest and appreciation of the built environment and the value of design excellence.

Sophie Patitsas

Principal Adviser, Urban Design + Architecture

Sophie Patitsas brings over twenty years of urban design and architecture experience in government and the private sector to OVGA. She has spent a significant part of that time providing design review and advice on major public and private sector projects.

Sophie has practised urban design and architecture both locally and overseas, has served on selection panels and design advisory committees and regularly attends urban design and architecture critique sessions at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Sophie is a passionate advocate for design excellence in Victorian towns and cities.

David Islip

Principal Adviser, Urban Design + Architecture

David Islip is an architect with experience in urban design, education and heritage. His experience has covered both the private and public sector with a focus on promoting design excellence. David has acted as an expert witness at VCAT on urban design and heritage matters. He has provided urban design advice on major local government projects and authored urban design studies.

David is a Board member of the Architects Registration Board of Victoria (ARBV), the Victorian Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Council of Educational Facilities Planners International (CEFPI). He has served on selection panels, awards juries and contributes to architectural journals and publications. David has taught and participated in urban design and architectural critique sessions at Melbourne University, RMIT, Deakin University, Monash University and the Robin Boyd Design Studios.

Thomas Alves

Senior Adviser, Urban Design + Architecture

Tom Alves has fourteen years' experience in architectural practice in Sydney and Melbourne, where he has designed and overseen the construction of houses and community facilities. He was the recipient of both an APA(I) and AHURI Top-Up Scholarship for his PhD, Managing Medium Density Housing Development: A Municipal Case Study, which considered issues surrounding medium density housing in metropolitan Melbourne through a case study of the process in an inner/middle ring municipality.

Tom is interested in how the governance of the built environment affects design quality outcomes and since commencing at the OVGA in 2009, has provided policy advice in the fields of built environment design, housing provision and urban development.

Emma Appleton 

Director, Victorian Design Review Panel

Emma Appleton is a registered landscape architect and urban designer and brings twenty years of experience, including roles in both design consultancy and the public sector in Australia and the UK to her role. Previously the Director of Urban Design for regeneration projects at VicUrban, Emma was advisor and Head of Urban Design and Housing at the Commission of Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) in London, which provided procurement and design advice to over 300 housing renewal and growth projects across England. At CABE, she co-authored 'Creating Successful Neighbourhoods', and contributed to 'Creating Successful Masterplans'. Emma sits on the Board for Urban Places in Queensland, and chairs the Urban Design Advisory Board at Melbourne University. She is a Churchill Fellow, with a focus on the revitalisation of post-industrial contexts in Germany and the Netherlands.

Lauren Beattie

Coordinator, Victorian Design Review Panel

Lauren Beattie arrives at the OVGA following five years at the Department of Planning and Community Development where she worked on the planning and delivery of major sport infrastructure projects. Prior to that Lauren worked in planning and operational roles for a number of major events including the Asian Games in Doha, Qatar and the Melbourne Commonwealth Games. Lauren's experience also extends to recreational planning at the local government level. She has recently completed a Master of Planning with a specialisation in Urban Design and is a full member of the Planning Institute of Australia. 

Cara Wiseman

Adviser, Victorian Design Review Panel

Cara Wiseman is a graduate architect with wide-ranging experience across the built environment sector. Her Victorian experience in award-winning architecture firms and six years as a Building Estimator is complemented by roles at the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) in the UK and teaching roles at universities across Germany.

While at university Cara was the national Vice President of the national Student Organised Network for Architecture (SONA), sat on the Victorian Chapter Council of the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) and was awarded the Student Prize for the Advancement of Architecture by the AIA in 2002.




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