Image courtesy of Björn Rust
Heidelberg West Placemaking 2019, image courtesy of Björn Rust
Flotilla Whau 2017. image courtesy of Brian Marsom
(Co)Create x GLaWAC 2023, image courtesy of Spencer Mu
(Co)Create x GLaWAC 2023, image courtesy of Spencer Mu
Airforce Hill (L-R) Brynna Marley Marita Perdjert Heather MacRae Bridget Perdjert Little Margaret Hayley Randall Annabel Low, image courtesy of Kieran Wong
Wadeye Community Visioning Workshops, Kieran Wong

Participation in Action

Presented by Equity Office


Thu 23 May 10:00am - 5:00pm
Thu 23 May 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Practitioners in Conversation launch event
Fri 24 May 10:00am - 5:00pm
Mon 27 May 10:00am - 5:00pm
Tue 28 May 10:00am - 5:00pm
Wed 29 May 10:00am - 5:00pm
Thu 30 May 10:00am - 5:00pm
Fri 31 May 10:00am - 5:00pm


Free, Booking Required


Level 1 Building G foyer, MADA (Monash Art, Design & Architecture)
900 Dandenong Rd, Caulfield East VIC 3145, Australia


Accessible bathroom, All gender bathroom, Assistance animals welcome, Low sensory / relaxed, Seating available, Wheelchair accessible

The power of participation in co-realising unique ideas for places, spaces and programs highlights how design and creative practices enable us to come together to make decisions and shape our future. This showcase of photography, film and drawing shines a light on four recent projects developed in collaboration with diverse communities across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. Leading up to the show, join the creative practitioners behind these projects at MADA, for an evening of discussion where they will share insights on their praxis and works.

For DIA Accredited Designers and ARBV registered architects, attendance at this event is worth 1 informal CPD Point.


Robert Lees

Robert Lees is an architectural graduate, working across practice, research and education who currently holds a Research Officer position in the Codesign for Placemaking lab, Fire to Flourish & the Constructing Communities on Country project, University of Melbourne. Lees’ approach to architecture focuses on how participatory engagement can democratise architectural processes. Lees’ projects to date have foregrounded disaster recovery and community development, including contributing to the Olkola Cultural Knowledge Centre in Cape York. His most recent work involved project design and documentation of the Wangun Amphitheatre cultural performance space.

Nikhila Madabhushi

Nikhila Madabhushi is an architect, researcher and educator. Her research-based practice, Equity Office, foregrounds decolonising and participatory design methods for the built environment. Nikhila’s work has been supported by various recognitions, enabling her to gain diverse knowledge(s) on the confluence of Country, disasters and place. Her recent work includes advancing a participatory engagement process with Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC). This research resulted in her practice being awarded the full design and documentation scope of the recently completed Wangun Amphitheatre cultural performance space, in East Gippsland. She is currently a Research Fellow within the Codesign for Placemaking lab, Fire to Flourish.

Professor Mel Dodd

Mel Dodd is an experienced and award-winning architect focussing on creating inclusive urban environments through constructed urban landscapes and public realm strategies. Her research interests are focused on socially engaged design process, and social, environmental and cultural sustainability. Mel has extensive experience in building innovative funded partnerships between the university, government, external agencies and communities. Her most recent book is Spatial Practices: Modes of Action and Engagement with the City. She is currently the Research Lead of the Codesign for Placemaking lab, Fire to Flourish and Interim Dean of Monash Art, Design and Architecture (MADA).

Associate Professor Kathy Waghorn

Hailing from Aotearoa New Zealand, Dr Kathy Waghorn is co-director of HOOPLA, a Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) based ‘ultra-local’ practice carrying out urban research for place advocacy. HOOPLA are engaged with how people know, use and value places, and how places can be re-imagined and re-purposed. This work has been recognised through awards including the 2023 Architecture + Women New Zealand Munro Award for diversity in architectural practice. Kathy is an Associate Professor in the Urban Lab at Monash University.

Heather MacRae

Heather is an Associate and registered architect at The Fulcrum Agency with experience delivering complex projects in regional and remote communities across Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Heather believes in the potential of design to enhance lives and empower communities. Through her leadership on a series of innovative housing and community infrastructure projects on Groote Eylandt in the NT, Heather has developed skills in consulting with diverse stakeholders and complex multi-disciplinary teams. She is currently co-leading a master plan for the Traditional Owners in Wadeye, NT.