Media Release

First CEO Appointed for the Alastair Swayn Foundation – Wednesday 22 November, 2017

The Alastair Swayn Foundation has moved a step closer to realising the dream of its creator, Canberra architect Alastair Swayn AO, who aspired to advance Australian design and architectural culture and education.

The Foundation’s Board Chairman, Tim Ryan today announced the appointment of an experienced, not-for-profit executive, Susan Wardle, as its inaugural CEO.

Mr Ryan said the appointment marks a significant and exciting step in both honouring and realising the vision of Alastair Swayn.

“Before his untimely death from brain cancer in August 2016, Alastair Swayn was widely recognised in Canberra as an esteemed and exceptional architect, committed to the professional education of architects and to a rich design culture in Australia.

“I believe that Alastair would be very pleased with the Board’s selection of CEO, and that Susan’s extensive experience in the strategic leadership and development of not-for-profit organisations will appropriately continue his legacy.

“Susan brings a wealth a knowledge and experience gained throughout more than twenty years’ experience in building the local, national and international reputations of large health and service organisations. Her most recent role was Executive Director – Strategy, Marketing and Business Development at Epworth HealthCare.

“The Board is eager to establish the strategy and focus on its goals of supporting research, education and scholarship across a wide range of architecture and design pursuits – including those in the workplace and in public and private housing,” Mr Ryan said.

Ms Wardle said she was delighted to be joining the Foundation, which brings together her corporate experience and love of architecture and design.

“I look forward to contributing to the important legacy of Alastair Swayn through my work with the Board at his Foundation. Being involved from the outset is an extraordinary opportunity to shape and lead the organisation into the future, ensuring its long-lasting impact on Australian design and architectural culture.  The Board has worked tirelessly to establish the Foundation and I relish the chance to play a role in these plans,” Ms Wardle said.

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Media Release


Twelve months ago, eminent Canberra architect Alastair Swayn AO died after a short illness, having generously bequeathed his estate to a foundation in his name to advance Australian design and architectural culture.

The Alastair Swayn Foundation supports research, education and scholarship across a wide range of architecture and design pursuits including for the work place and in public and private housing.

The Foundation also supports the collection, conservation and display of associated works and items generally through the Gallery of Australian Design (the GAD) of which Alastair Swayn was a founding sponsor and director.  In recognition of his outstanding and continuing contribution, the GAD board has agreed to rename the gallery as The Swayn: gallery of Australian design and to broaden the scope of its exhibition agenda and national audience reach.

The Foundation recently provided support to two proposals which will extend the study and appreciation of residential architecture and housing choice in Australia.  Each will have a broad public and professional reach that will stimulate public and professional conversations on housing design, diversity and affordability.

The directors of the Foundation remembered Alastair’s untimely death and remarkable life today with a moderate toast of single malt whisky – his favourite celebratory drink. 

Chairman Tim Ryan said, ‘All we directors knew Alastair as a friend and colleague for many years.  He selected each of us to serve on the Foundation and we are committed to making sure it grows and develops to match and realise his aspirations’.

Australian architecture and design already owes much to Alastair Swayn.  His Foundation is his legacy and will continue his initiative to make sure that the nation’s design talent and innovative spirit is progressed and is recognised.

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Meet the Board of Directors

Alastair hand-picked the Alastair Swayn Foundation Pty Ltd directors who are Tim Ryan (Chairman and Company Secretary), Brian Candler, Robin Dyke, Associate Professor Michael Jasper, Alisa Moss and Adjunct Professor Annabelle Pegrum AM. 


Robin Dyke

Robin Dyke is a Director and co-founder of Daryl Jackson Robin Dyke design firm, established in 1985.

Robin began his career with Ancher Mortlock Murray and Woolley, a high profile practice at the time. Sid Ancher was still active in the firm and Robin became his drafting assistant, a memorable privilege. The office culture and personalities in this period cemented his commitment to design and architecture.

In 1969  Robin moved to Harry Seidler and Associates. He remained here for the duration of his studies, graduating in 1974 with the University Medal. 

From 1976 until 1982 following an overseas trip Robin worked with a number of Sydney architects including Vivian Fraser on the initial works on Wharf 4-5 for the Sydney Theatre Company before establishing his own practice in 1979. However, after the recession in 1981 Robin was forced to reconsider this decision.

Daryl Jackson had set up an office in Sydney and Robin joined him in 1982 becoming the senior architect. The practice, Daryl Jackson Robin Dyke PL (DJRD) was established in 1985.

The next phase of DJRD development secured some significant projects in Pyrmont with Lend Lease, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with the Government Architect, the Horden Pavilion and Music Books at Fox Studios, temporary facilities for the Sydney Olympics and number of Health related projects including the Master Plan for Prince of Wales and the Royal Hospital at John Hunter as part of the Newcastle Strategy for NSW Health. 

A personal connection to Thredbo led to many projects in the Village and adjacent alpine areas as well as Snowy Hydro and the National Parks Service. The office portfolio also included projects across a wide range of building types including multi storey residential, medical and research facilities, large scale retail facilities, daycare and schools. More recently DJRD was the executive architect for Frank Gehry’s Business School at UTS.

Robin’s relationship with Alastair Swayn was significant as he was a Director with equal status and Daryl’s counterpart in Canberra – the office having a similar structure to Sydney. The group was promoting the national profile and as a result Alastair and Robin exchanged staff, knowledge and experiences and consulted on a number of each other’s projects. This open and respectful relationship existed between them throughout their professional association.

Robin has now committed his time to ensure that the Foundation fulfills Alastair’s wishes and endures in perpetuity.

Timothy Ryan

Mr Tim Ryan is currently the chairman of the Alastair Swayn Foundation, a national not – for – profit entity which has been established to support and nurture the Australian architectural community by facilitating educational programs to promote architectural design and technology, as well as collecting and exhibiting drawings, models and photographs of Australian twentieth century housing and office designs.

Mr Ryan who is a Chartered Accountant is an expert in the travel and transport industries and has extensive experience in the maritime and shipping industry. Mr Ryan has also specialized in the field of architecture and has been an advisor to many national architectural firms for over twenty years.

Along with his extensive operational and design knowledge in the shipping industry, Mr Ryan is regarded as an authority on the cruise and passenger ferry industries and frequently presents papers and writes articles in various marine industry and naval related publications throughout Australia and the Asia Pacific region and on occasion is a guest speaker aboard visiting cruise ships.
Mr Ryan is also well known in his capacity as a Naval Historian and in 2011 conducted a memorial service aboard a cruise ship over the war grave site commemorating the 70th anniversary of the loss of the Royal Australian Navy cruiser HMAS Sydney in 1941.

Mr Ryan is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Melbourne. He is a registered company auditor and is also a former member of the Council of the University of Melbourne.

He was an Independent Non-Executive Director ASX listed Jetset Travelworld Limited (now Helloworld Travel Limited) from 2002 to 2008 and a founding member and office bearer of the Couta Boat Association, the governing body of the world’s largest wooden sailing boat heritage fleet.

Annabelle Pegrum

Annabelle Pegrum is a Life Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects and an Adjunct Professor in architecture at the University of Canberra. She is a director of Pegrum and Associates, a member of the ACT Architects Board and a member of the NSW Planning Assessment Commission. She has extensive experience in design and urban and landscape strategy, policy and planning in the private and public sectors and as an academic. For ten years she was the Chief Executive of the National Capital Authority, the Commonwealth agency responsible for the planning and development of Canberra as the National Capital. She has also held executive positions in the ACT Government and was the University Architect at the University of Canberra.

Annabelle is a former President of the ACT Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects and the recipient of a President’s Award. She has been a member of the Institute’s Venice Architecture Biennale Committee, National Education Committee, professional adviser to many design competitions and a member of numerous design juries including for the Institute’s National Awards and Gold Medal.

Annabelle was the Telstra ACT Business Woman of the Year in 1998, is an Honoured Friend of the Canberra Institute of Technology and received a Centenary Medal in 2001. In 2007 she was appointed as a Member in the Order of Australia for service to the planning, promotion, enhancement and development of Australia’s national capital, and to architecture, particularly as a mentor to women in the profession.

Brian Candler

Brian comes to the Foundation as a long standing personal friend Alastair and as co-executor of his estate.

He matriculated at University High School in Melbourne and studied Politics and Law at Monash University, where he was active in student politics.

After serving his Articles with Phillips, Fox & Masel, he completed his Masters at Southampton University in the UK.

Returning to Australia, he joined the Australian Public Service. After short periods in the Departments of Police & Customs and of Defence, he joined the Attorney-General’s Department. His career in Attorney General’s was predominantly in Freedom of Information and Human Rights.

Brian left Attorney-General’s in 1986, on promotion to the Senior Executive Service, to manage the Health Department’s legal area. Over time, he moved from the legal area into program management, especially health care financing.

Whilst in the APS, Brian was a member of the RAAF Specialist Legal Reserve and an active aviator.

He has been a member of the Canberra Aero Club, where he learnt to fly, since 1976.

In the 1980s, he was the founding Secretary and second President of the Australian Warbirds Association Ltd. He has also been a director of several aviation businesses ranging from aircraft importation, sales and leasing to hangar development and construction.

On leaving the APS in 1996, he purchased and managed McGee Aerial Services at Canberra Airport, a flying school and charter operator

Brindabella Airlines took over McGees in 2000 and Brian became Brindabella’s Chief Flying Instructor. He was delegated an independent CASA Approved Testing Officer.

In 2004, Brian resigned from Brindabella to be appointed CEO of the Regional Aviation Association of Australia.

Brian retired from the RAAA in 2006 to undertake casual flying instruction and flight testing. Now, semi-retired, he has continues these activities.

Alisa Moss

Alisa Moss is a Director of Daryl Jackson Alastair Swayn (DJAS) a design firm co-founded by Alastair Swayn in 1987. Alisa is responsible for the design and the construction of interior architecture, and in particular the design of sustainable and agile workplaces. Alisa has received awards for her contribution from the Australian Institute of Architects, the Master Builders Association and National Association of Women in Construction.

As a strong advocate for improving the design, quality and sustainability of indoor workplaces, Alisa was awarded the 2007 AV Jennings Churchill Fellowship. The Fellowship enabled her to research and continue her professional development in the design aspects related to indoor environment quality and healthy buildings.
A notable practical application of these studies was her design for the interior workplace for the Australian Research Council. This design was recognised as one of the first fitouts in Australia to be accredited by the Green Building Council of Australia.

In 2009 Alisa was awarded a second international fellowship through the International Specialised Skills Institute in best workplace practices which also enabled her to visit a number of design studios and research institutes in United States of America. In 2014 Alisa was awarded the ‘Outstanding in Design Award ‘by the National Association of Women in Construction.

Alisa’s practice is committed to encouraging the participation of women in the construction industry. She is an advocate for establishing flexible community friendly working arrangements within the industry and she supports a number of organisations in facilitating the development of positive, diverse and supportive work environments.
Alisa was also actively involved with Alastair Swayn’s ‘Final Project’ with the production of the Alastair Swayn Book, Light Colour Humanity and Alastair’s final interview and video production.

Michael Jasper

Michael Jasper is an architect, educator, and scholar based in Australia. He is currently Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Canberra where he directs the Master of Architecture course and teaches in the major projects studio and advanced architectural analysis streams. Immediately prior to joining the University, Dr Jasper was a Partner in Cooper Robertson & Partners (2002-2011), a prominent New York architecture and urban design firm.

While at Cooper Robertson he held executive leadership roles in corporate management and marketing. In addition, Jasper directed many of the firm’s major institutional and urban scale projects, his clients including Yale University, Johns Hopkins, California Institute of Technology, City of Baltimore Development Corporation, City of Miami, Georgetown University, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and the University of Miami.

Dr Jasper is broadly engaged with higher education and the architecture profession locally, nationally, and internationally. He serves on standing and ad hoc committees for the University of Canberra and across the Faculty of Arts and Design. He is an associate member of the Faculty’s Centre for Creative and Cultural Research. He is Deputy Chair of the Australian Institute of Architect’s National Education Committee, the peak national advisory body on architecture education policies and professional accreditation procedures.

Dr Jasper’s teaching practice is delivered in advanced architecture studios, major project urban-scale studios, and postgraduate seminars. Jasper’s teaching develops translational knowledge across three domains: form generation, architectural history-theory, and complex architectural and urban-scale project design. He was Visiting Scholar (2015) at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation, and Visiting Scholar (2013) at the American Academy in Rome. He is the author of Architectural Aesthetic Speculations and Deleuze on Art.

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The Alastair Swayn Foundation

The Alastair Swayn Foundation is a ‘start-up’ not-for-profit established by the late Alastair Swayn AO to advance Australian design and architectural culture and education.

Alastair Swayn was a Canberra architect and founding partner of the multi-award winning architectural practice Daryl Jackson Alastair Swayn. He was the inaugural ACT Government Architect, a Professorial Fellow at the University of Canberra and a founding sponsor and Director of the Gallery of Australian Design (now renamed The Swayn in his honour). Above all he was a generous person who committed himself to design and education in the interests of social prosperity and culture. The Foundation is his legacy.

In 2017 Alastair Swayn was appointed as an Officer in the Order of Australia ‘for distinguished service to architecture in the Australian Capital Territory, through executive roles with professional architectural institutes, and to the community’.


Alastair Swayn Foundation Website –

The Swayn Gallery of Australian Design Website –


Media Contact:

Susan Wardle, CEO.

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