Melbourne’s global reputation as a ‘design city’ has never been more important. Co-existing with and emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic, the City of Melbourne remains committed to maintaining Melbourne’s status as a highly competitive, attractive, and liveable city.

To support the City of Melbourne’s commitment to the high quality design of the built environment it has launched the Design Excellence Advisory Committee (DEAC) and the Melbourne Design Review Panel (MDRP).

The DEAC and the MDRP are key components of the Design Excellence Program (PDF 2.78 MB) which aims to champion both high quality development and public realm design, applying design leadership and a range of innovative processes.

The new Design Excellence Advisory Committee and Melbourne Design Review Panel were endorsed by councillors 5 October 2021. Members of the two new peak bodies include:
  • Georgia Birks – Graduate of Architecture and Associate Editor at Architecture Media
  • Romily Madew AO – CEO Infrastructure Australia, former CEO Green Building Council of Australia
  • Daniel Ong – Intelligence Analyst IBAC, Residents 3000 Committee Member
  • Karl Fender – Technical Adviser, Founder Fender Katsalidis
  • Shelley Penn AM – Former Associate Vic Govt Architect, current Monash University Architect
  • Mark Jacques – Professor of Architecture (Urbanism), RMIT University, Director of Openwork
  • Rory Hyde – Associate Professor in Architecture, University of Melbourne, Design Advocate for the Mayor of London
  • Vanessa Bird – Co-founder and principal Bird de la Coeur Architects, past AIA Victoria Chapter President, National Councillor and Board Director
  • Shane Murray – Dean of Art, Design and Architecture, Monash University
  • Sarah Slattery – Technical expert, development feasibility
  • Anne-Marie Pisani – Technical expert, Indigenous engagement
  • Johanna Trickett – Technical expert, sustainability



  • Timeline item 1 - complete

    Targeted stakeholder consultation

    Until October 2020

  • Timeline item 2 - complete

    Future Melbourne Committee Meeting

    To seek approval of the Terms of Reference for the City of Melbourne Design Review Panel and Design Excellence Advisory Committee.

    6 July 2021

  • Timeline item 3 - complete

    Request for applications

    28 July 2021

  • Timeline item 4 - complete

    Applications close

    11.59pm on Wednesday 25 August 2021

  • Timeline item 5 - complete

    Applicant shortlisting and interviews

  • Timeline item 6 - complete

    Commence meetings

    October/November 2021

Consultation closed

Program overview

Learn more about the Design Excellence Program.

Banner image: Garden Building by NMBW Architects for RMIT University. Built by Lendlease. Photo by Peter Bennetts.

Design Excellence Advisory Committee image: QVM Munro by Bates Smart. Image Credit: Bates Smart

Melbourne Design Review Panel image: Whitlam Place by Freadman White and Anon Studio for Marcelo Donati. Built by Visioneer. Awarded the AIA VIC Multiple Residential Award in 2019. Photo: Tom Ross

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