Greater Shepparton City Council invites expressions of interest for the first stage of a design competition for the new Shepparton Art Museum (SAM).


Stage 1 of the competition seeks submissions from a diverse range of suitably qualified and experienced architects – including practices led by women – to design an “exciting, best-practice contemporary museum architecture on a remarkable site in regional Victoria”. Shortlisted practices will then be invited to submit concept designs for stage 2 of the competition.

SAM has an ambitious curatorial program that engages with its local context, while exploring contemporary themes and ideas that are global in their scope and ambition. The museum is noted for its ceramics collections, and holds significant collections of Indigenous art from around Australia, signature historic paintings and a growing collection by leading contemporary artists.

The competition seeks an outstanding design that will help attract new audiences and facilitate the museum’s curatorial and community/cultural programming. It should include a strong landscape component and become an important element within Victoria Park Lake, as well as contributing to Shepparton’s urban environs.

The project is seen as an opportunity “to celebrate and enhance the rich and diverse Shepparton community, which includes the largest Aboriginal community in Victoria and people from many parts of the world”.

Competition jury
  • Shelley Penn (chair), Manager, City Design Studio, City of Melbourne
  • Professor Donald Bates, University of Melbourne and Director, Lab Architecture Studio
  • Rueben Berg, Executive Director, Indigenous Architecture and Design Victoria.
  • Dr Rebecca Coates, Director, Shepparton Art Museum
  • Doug Hall, AM, writer and curator. Director, Queensland Art GalleryǀGOMA (1987–2007), Australia Commissioner, Venice Biennale 2009 and 2011
  • Carillo Gantner AO, philanthropist
  • Jill Garner, Victorian Government Architect

The two-stage competition is endorsed by the Australian Institute of Architects. Full details are available on the competition website.

View from the SAM site looking over Victoria Park Lake.

View from the SAM site looking over Victoria Park Lake.


Note: Justine Clark, founding editor of Parlour, is Competition Adviser.