This is Public – An Opening Celebration

Posted Fri 2nd Jul 2021 | Helen Sweatman

We’re launching the 2021 July Weekend program with This Is Public — an online speaker series.  

Join us as we look to new ways to reconnect and transform the ways in which we live and work together. This Is Public will host speakers with different backgrounds and perspectives and seeks to answer big questions about the role of policy, climate change and architecture in the future of cities, amongst other thought-provoking topics.  

Focusing on the central theme, Reconnect, this year OHM asks us to reconsider the way we will occupy our city and to envisage new ways of designing and adapting our buildings and infrastructure as we emerge from the impact of the COVID era.    

Guests can expect a series of thought provoking and insightful presentations beginning with an address from Lord Mayor Sally Capp, and an introduction to the OHM 2021 theme, Reconnect. 

This Is Public
23 July 2021



Speakers include: Jefa Greenaway and Tristan Wong – INBETWEEN  

INBETWEEN presents a series of architectural projects, through a film compilation to show how architects, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous are working with First-Nations peoples as a way of embedding cultural authenticity into our built environment. The works were originally conceived for exhibition in Australia’s pavilion on the Giardini in Venice and has been reimagined as a film that presents a powerful set of works from across Australia and the Pacific. The works demonstrate architecture’s capacity to strengthen cultural connections and understanding between non-Indigenous and First Nations peoples. 


Jill Garner, Victorian Government Architect (OVGA) – Designing Policy for People 

Jill Garner took the helm of the Office of the Victorian Government Architect in 2015, stepping into the role as a public advocate for architecture and design after more than twenty years in practice. As an architect, her practice – Garner Davis – has received numerous industry awards for delivering sensitive, crafted public and private work. As a design advisor and advocate in government, she strongly promotes the value of contextual, integrated design thinking and a collaborative approach across design disciplines. Jill Garner will further explore these issues with Hamish Lyon, Director of NH Architecture, in a following guided walking tour 


Nicole Kalms, XYX Lab– Your Ground: Towards a Safer and More Accessible City  

Your Ground is a digital mapping platform that aims to advance knowledge of safety in public spaces. In the context of social changes brought about by COVID-19, Your Ground is backed by research and seeks allow women and gender-diverse people to call out safe and unsafe experiences and geographically identify spaces where they have been made to feel unsafe, scared or even safe and happy. The project seeks to empower women and gender-diverse people to advocate for change through their lived experiences.  

YourGround, image courtesy XYX Lab.

Liam Young with Ewan McEoin The Making of Planet City 

Planet City is a film exploring the productive potential of extreme densification. The project – commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria – imagines a future where humanity exists in one hyper dense metropolis, leaving the rest of the planet to thrive in wilderness. Liam Young, author, filmmaker and architect is joined by Ewan McEoin, the Hugh Williamson Senior Curator of Contemporary Design and Architecture at the National Gallery of Victoria to discuss the future of city existence. Liam joins This Is Public courtesy of the Living Cities Forum and the Naomi Milgrom Foundation where he has curated a film series as part of the OHM X Living Cities satellite program.  


James Brearley and Justine Dalla Riva (CEO) – Building Pride

Five years in the making the Victorian Pride Centre is a place of belonging, support and pride for LGBTIQ+ communities. As Australia’s first purpose-built pride centre, this is where everyone can come together, honour the past, celebrate the present, and work towards a more inclusive future. The Centre is home to important resident organisations, engaging cultural programs, vital health services and inspiring social spaces.  In January 2018 BAU (Brearley Architects and Urbanists) and GAA (Grant Amon Architects) were selected winners of a two-stage design competition. Inaugural CEO Justine Dalla Riva, proud Lesbian and mother of two will be joined by architect James Brearley to discuss what it takes to create inclusive spaces that respect our individual and collective vision to belong. 

The Victorian Pride Centre, Brearley Architects & Urbanists (BAU) and Grant Amon Architects, photo credit: Luke David Photography.


Beau de Belle, Christine Phillips and Jock Gilbert – Designing On Country 

 Gamilaraay architect Beau de Belle and non-Indigenous design academics, Christine Phillips and Jock Gilbert consider the question: What will Melbourne look like in the future when we embrace design as an act of reconciliation? Beau, Jock and Christine’s discussion for This Is Public will set the scene for an expanded event the following evening – also at The Capitol – with Boon Wurrong elder N’Arweet Dr Carolyn Briggs AM  that explores these questions in further depth.  


We hope you’ll join us as we find new ways to reconnect and transform the ways in which we live and work together. 

The live event will kick-off the 14th annual Open House Melbourne Weekend program, which takes place across Melbourne from 24 + 25 July 2021

In the meantime, we encourage you to re-visit past episodes of the This is Public podcast here.


This Is Public
23 July 2021


This Is Public is co-presented with The Capitol. This edition is supported by RMIT Architecture & Urban Design, RMIT University and media partner Assemble Papers.  

This event forms part of the satellite program for the 2021 Living Cities Forum presented by Naomi Milgrom Foundation.

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