Naomi Stead, Alison Cleary, Gill Matthewson, Susie Ashworth, Justine Clark, Julie Willis, Sarah Lynn Rees. Photograph: Peter Bennetts.

Parlour is a research-based  advocacy organisation working to improve gender equity in architecture and the built environment professions. As activists and advocates we aim to generate debate and discussion. As researchers and scholars we provide serious analysis and a firm evidence base for change. As active participants in Australian architecture we seek to open up opportunities and broaden definitions of what architectural activity might be.

Parlour is an Incorporated Association and operates with the following aims:

  1. To promote gender equity in architecture
  2. To develop advocacy programs and resources based in independent, rigorous research
  3. To provide a vital space for the discussion of gender equity in architecture and publish informed opinion and generate debate and discussion.
  4. To develop and strengthen networks and communities of interest around the issue of gender equity in Australian architecture.
  5. To celebrate women active in the architecture profession, and to provide opportunity and profile for the many women working successfully in architecture.

Parlour office holders are Justine Clark (President), Naomi Stead (Vice-President), Susie Ashworth (Secretary), Gill Matthewson (Treasurer) and Julie Willis, Alison Cleary and Sarah Lynn Rees (committee).

The Parlour website is edited by Susie Ashworth and Justine Clark. It is archived by Pandora, the National Library of Australia’s web archive.

Parlour collaborates with associates around Australia. Sarah Mair works with Justine to support Parlour’s entire event program. In Adelaide, Alison McFadyen leads the Parlour Seasonal Salons. In Hobart, the Salon program is run in collaboration with Bek Verrier and Sophie Bence of The Findlay Project. Kirsty Volz supports the work of Parlour in Brisbane.  The WikiD program is run by Justine Clark, Charity Edwards, Alysia Bennett and Virginia Mannering. Many other people offer advice and input. We are grateful to them all.

Parlour’s work is financially supported by Parlour Partners and Parlour Friends.

Background

Parlour was initiated as part of the Australian Research Council-funded research project Equity and Diversity in the Australian Architecture Profession: Women, Work, and Leadership. Led by Naomi Stead, researchers on this project were Justine Clark, Gill Matthewson, Karen Burns, Amanda Roan, Gillian Whitehouse and Sandra Kaji-O’Grady.

The Parlour website was established by Justine Clark and launched in 2012, as a site for active exchange and discussion. The intent was to bring together research, informed opinion and resources on women, equity and architecture in Australia, and to expand the spaces and opportunities available to women while also revealing the many women who already contribute in diverse ways.

Parlour became an incorporated association on 24 April 2015. Co-founders were Justine Clark, Naomi Stead, Gill Matthewson, Susie Ashworth, Julie Willis and Karen Burns. Karen Burns left the association in early 2019, and Alison Cleary and Sarah Lynn Rees joined in November 2019.