First published 9 June 2022

QUT’s Campus to Country strategy has been awarded the 2022 Minister’s Award for Urban Design.

The award comes after the strategy won The Karl Langer Award in the 2021 Queensland Architecture Awards in the Urban Design category and receiving a ‘national commendation’ at the National Architecture Awards.

The strategy, which aims to connect its campuses to place, both physically and through its engagement with Indigenous Australian, was created to highlight the significance of the land on which QUT sits.

The Minister’s Award is an initiative of the Queensland Department of Energy and Public Works which recognises contemporary Queensland urban design projects of the highest quality and encourages cities, towns and communities across Queensland to strive for best practice in all projects.

The Campus to Country strategy outlines the importance of connecting to Country and provides guidelines for planning and designing culturally sensitive buildings, spaces and places that reflect local context and respond to the current needs of the campus community.



Several pilot projects have already been completed or commenced including:

  • Oodgeroo Student Unit redevelopment (Kelvin Grove campus)
  • Oodgeroo Student Unit redevelopment (Garden Point campus)
  • Carumba Research Institute development (Gardens Point campus)
  • Welcome to Country artwork at the entrance walkway of the QUT College (Kelvin Grove campus)

QUT Pro Vice-Chancellor (indigenous) Angela Barney-Leitch said the strategy provided a framework for future engagement, decision making, project delivery and built environment outcomes.

“Helping create the Campus to Country strategy and winning the 2022 Minster’s Award for Urban Design makes me proud to be a part of the QUT community,” Ms Barney-Leitch said.

“This strategy fosters a greater recognition and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and shapes our campuses to reflect the culture and history of Indigenous Australians.”


QUT Pro Vice-Chancellor (indigenous) Angela Barney-Leitch.


In awarding QUT, the judges said the project showed exemplary work of engagement with Aboriginal people and places.

“The project is considered an important benchmark in its quality, vision and clarity in an emerging area of design practice,” the jury said.

“The consultants and QUT have demonstrated how connection to and engagement with Aboriginal culture and knowledge can be deepened through the design of places, in this instance showing this knowledge can be embedded in daily campus experience.”

The jury also said they were impressed by the clear translation of Aboriginal culture and knowledge into tangible design strategies for campus places.

The strategy was a collaboration between the QUT Facilities Management, the Office of the PVC (Indigenous Strategy); BVN Architecture Principal Kevin O’Brien; and Urban Planning and Design Consultant Simone Wise.



Media contact:
Madeline Healy, QUT Media, 0407 625 870,