Introducing Laura, Zoe, Stephen and Ilianna
Laura Dalgety – Corporate Services Officer, Brisbane
Previously based in Melbourne with experience in Administrative Support and as an Executive Assistant, Laura has recently moved to Brisbane and started her journey with Architecture & Access as a Corporate Services Officer supporting the Brisbane office.
“Being part of the close-knit team in Brisbane has been a fantastic learning experience and has opened my eyes to the integral role Architecture & Access plays in making a positive impact on people’s lives by making the world a more accessible place, one project at a time”, explains Laura.
In her spare time, Laura enjoys spending time with her family, going for walks with her dogs and camping. Laura and her family recently completed their biggest trip to date being 6-months travelling Australia in their caravan, prior to moving to Brisbane.
Zoe Phelan – Access Consultant, Melbourne
Zoe is a graduate of Design (Interior Architecture), with Honours. She also holds a Diploma of Design.
Prior to working at Architecture & Access, Zoe worked as an interior designer and freelance graphic designer. Coming from a family of prep-12 and specialist developmental teachers, Zoe was searching to find work that would allow her to use her skills and professional experience in a way that would have a positive impact on the community.
Zoe is passionate about accessibility in the built environment. She is eager to contribute to the creation of accessible landscapes and interiors through universal design principals without compromising on innovative design and aesthetics. Working as an Access Consultant allows Zoe to honour her values, put into practice her university degree/s learnings and have job satisfaction.
In her free time, Zoe enjoys trivia nights with friends, playing squash and spending long weekends at the beach. However, most of the time you will find her at home and cosy with her dog, Lucky.
Stephen Walmsley – Access Consultant, Brisbane
Arriving in Australia from the UK in 1999 with an Honours degree in engineering, Stephen embarked upon a career in the rollingstock industry with Queensland Rail (QR). During a 20+ year career in the rollingstock industry, Stephen’s role developed from electrical engineer to project engineer and to project and program manager. During this time, he gained exposure to projects including suburban trains, diesel electric locomotives imported from Germany, coal wagons imported from China and the overhaul of regional trains such as QR’s Diesel Tilt Train, Kuranda Scenic Rail and the iconic Gulflander.
“It was managing rollingstock overhaul projects with public transport accessibility scope requirements (DSAPT) that sparked my passion for accessibility”, explains Stephen.
Stephen realised the huge difference that improved accessibility can make to people’s lives and the social justice of this resonated with his personal values. With this realisation Stephen pursued a career as an access consultant.
“I am energised and proud to be working in an industry that makes a positive difference to the world and people’s lives that would otherwise be limited. Outside of work I am a keen runner and a big fan and advocate of parkrun. If you aren’t familiar with parkrun, I encourage you to find your closest event and get involved as a walker, volunteer or runner whenever you can. It just might change your life.”
Ilianna Ginnis – Access Consultant, Melbourne
With a background as an interior architectural designer, Ilianna brings a unique perspective to the field of accessibility. Her previous experience includes designing healthcare and medical spaces, as well as commercial spaces, with a special focus on catering to the sensory needs of non-verbal communicators and individuals with intellectual developmental disabilities and autism.
Ilianna has a personal connection in understanding accessibility. Her younger sister, Michelle, is a non-verbal communicator with an intellectual disability, this has fuelled Ilianna’s dedication to exercise agency and help make the built environment more inclusive for everyone.
Currently pursuing her PhD at Monash University, Ilianna’s research delves into communication access in the built environment. Her aim is to develop adaptable design guidelines that promote the inclusion and participation of non-verbal communicators in the design process and outcomes. Ilianna’s PhD research involves co-designing these guidelines with non-verbal communicators, their support networks, built environment practitioners, and clinicians. This holistic approach ensures that the guidelines cater to the specific needs and desires of non-verbal communicators, allowing them to be active participants in shaping their environments.
Ilianna brings a diverse lens to the field of accessibility by exploring sensory preferences, cognitive processing, and communication rights to the assessment of the built environment. Ilianna has contributed to a range of projects and workshops designed to build empathy in design as well as ensure people who are non-verbal with diverse cognition are heard. Ilianna says, “just because someone can’t speak, does not mean they do not have something to say” emphasising the need for the build environment to consider diverse neurological needs.