Join Parlour, the ACA and the Champions of Change Architecture Group for the first event in the Stepping Up series. We start at the top – what are the roles and obligations of practice leaders? What does it mean to step up on equity?

Come along to the first in our series of lively, provocative and honest conversations with Monica Edwards of SJB, Neil Stonell of Grimshaw and Joe Agius of Cox. Book now!

Stepping up on listening, learning & leadersship

Cultural change works best when there is leadership from the top. This is well-established through decades of research and experience across many sectors. It co-exists with the fact that many leaders are the beneficiaries of existing systems and may not see a need for change. How do we navigate this uneasy tension? Why do some leaders work hard to improve equity? How can we encourage more to do so? What needs to be learned, and what must be unlearned?

The Champions of Change program challenges leaders to step up on gender equity. It provides the processes and systems to facilitate this, and the spaces to learn about the structural factors that prop up and sustain inequity. This is not always an easy or comfortable experience – change requires disruption and creates uncertainty.

“The strategy engages members as ‘champions’ not because they are perfect, but because they publicly commit to leading practical, constructive and disruptive actions to accelerate change.” – Champions of Change

This session introduces the Champion of Change Architecture Group and what they wish to share with the broader profession, with a focus on the ‘Listening and Learning’ process that is integral to creating and supporting change. As Monica Edwards explains, “this process allows for those stories and narratives that hover below the acceptable discourse of a group, to emerge. Through listening, the lived experience of life in a practice is revealed, which is often different to the stories we tell ourselves.”

Join Monica Edwards, Joe Agius and Neil Stonell as they canvas the opportunities and challenges for leaders in conversation with Justine Clark and Angelina Pillai.

When & where

Online. 12.30–1.30pm AEST, Monday 4 April

Our speakers

MONICA EDWARDS was part of the NSW Gender Equity Taskforce team that initiated the Champions of Change Architecture Group, and  has been integral to its development. As an Implementation Leader, she has also been at the coalface of change within two practices. She is currently a senior associate at SJB in Sydney. Read Monica and Shaun Carter on the origins of the group here.

JOE AGIUS was instrumental in establishing the Champions of Change Architecture Group in his former role as 2014 President of the NSW Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects. He was a founding member of the first NSW group of champions, and participated in the program from 2015–2021. Joe is a director of Cox in Sydney.

NEIL STONELL is a current member of the Champions of Change Architecture Group, and a founding member of the second National group, established in 2019. He is Melbourne Managing Partner of Grimshaw.

ANGELINA PILLAI is CEO of the Association of Consulting Architects and Head of Diversity, Culture and Inclusion at the Australian Council of Professions.

JUSTINE CLARK is co-founder and Director of Parlour.


One hour of formal CPD is available for each session, on completion of the CPD questions. A link to the questions will be sent the week before the session. See the learning objectives for the series as a whole.

Book now

Parlour Collective / ACA members – $25
General ticket – $40
Concession – $10 (students, part-timers and anyone else who needs it)

We operate on an honesty system. Please choose the ticket price that matches your circumstances. If you are not yet a part of the Parlour Collective, join here!

Any proceeds over and above the costs of delivering the Stepping Up program will be set aside for future equity projects led by Parlour.

Bookings are open for all sessions. If you would like to book multiple sessions, select the first session and head to the checkout. Then, in the pop-up window, select ‘Buy more tickets’ to add more sessions before making payment.