Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture

Catherine Evans – Region 8 Director Candidate

CELA (Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture)

Catherine Evans – Region 8 Director Candidate

Catherine is currently the Chair for the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects National Education Committee. She is a member of the Steering Committee for the Sustainable Cities and Landscapes Hub of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, and a co-convener for the Transitions in Urban Waterfronts Working Group within the hub. Catherine served as Director of the Landscape Architecture program at BE UNSW Sydney for a total of 6.5 years from 2004-2006 and 2015-2018. In that capacity, Catherine led the development of a new coursework Master of Landscape Architecture program, a substantive review of the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture program at UNSW and recruited four new staff. She also spearheaded initiatives to introduce innovative learning and teaching into the curriculum. She has served the Faculty of the Built Environment at UNSW on a range of committees, including Education, Promotion, Recruitment, Mentoring and Equity, Diversity Inclusion. She participated in the UNSW Women in Leadership program and has served as an external reviewer for RMIT in Melbourne, Victoria University in Wellington NZ, the Hong Kong Research Policy Scheme, and the NSW Government Architects Office. She has contributed to the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects through participation in external juries, the organisation of international conferences, invited presentations and is the current Chair of AILA National Education Committee. Her current research focuses on state directed transformation of post-industrial sites to urban parks in Sydney and landscape performance. She teaches across the curriculum in design studios, theory and research courses and environmental management courses and is a member of the Urban Typologies Research Cluster at BE UNSW Sydney. Catherine studied urban history and art history at Vassar College in New York and earned her Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. Before joining the Faculty of the Built Environment at UNSW, Catherine worked for the US National Park Service at the Olmsted Centre for Landscape Preservation in Brookline Massachusetts.
Statement of interest and intent for the role: By way of introduction, I am a US citizen and permanent resident of Australia. I have held an academic appointment at UNSW Sydney since January 2000. Over the years I have taught across design, environmental management, and history and theory courses, and across all educational levels. As above, I have served on many committees at the faculty level, and I have attended and presented at CELA Conferences when circumstances have allowed.

Qualifications: Senior Lecturer, Landscape Architecture Faculty of the Built Environment UNSW Sydney 2052 Australia
Education: BA Vassar College 1983 Master of Landscape Architecture, University of Pennsylvania 1991 Phd Candidate, UNSW Sydney, anticipated completion 2021
The CELA Regional Director role aligns well with my recent experience, my current activities and my plans for the next few years. A key factor behind my interest in the role is my experience as Discipline Director for Landscape Architecture at UNSW Sydney. During my tenure from January 2015 through July 2018, the enrolment of international students rose from approximately 30% to 55% within a cohort of just under 300 students in total. (The overall enrolment of international students at UNSW is closer to 30%). This demographic and cultural shift in our program provided me with a first-hand opportunity of working closely with international students, mostly from China, in a range of circumstances to assist them in forging successful pathways for themselves—educational, professional and personal–at UNSW and in Sydney. Another key outcome was that I gained insight into how the issues driving rapid urban and cultural change across the Asia-Pacific region are affecting the aspirations of students, and most important here, how these issues might shape the future of education and the profession across the region.

Since 2017 I have had the privilege of travelling and interacting regularly with colleagues across the Pacific region primarily through the Sustainable Landscapes and Cities Hub (SCL) of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU). With a view to extending and strengthening the working relationships formed within APRU, I have recently taken on the responsibility of serving as the UNSW representative to the Steering Committee for the SCL Hub. My participation in three consecutive APRU SCL Conferences (2017, 2018, and as host/co-organiser for 2019) along with the 2018 IFLA Conference in Singapore, have highlighted to me the diverse opportunities to strengthen relationships amongst landscape educators across the region. I also note that although many of the Australian landscape architecture programs have high international enrolments, they carry a low profile within the international organisational context of ECLAS, IFLA and CELA. This is additional evidence of the opportunity to cultivate working relationships amongst educators across the region. The APRU SCL Hub provides an excellent model and platform for this ambition, especially given that several APRU SCL participants are also regular participants in CELA activities.

In my current role as Chair of National Education Committee for the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects I am responsible for overseeing the accreditation of all landscape architecture programs in Australia. I am also currently working with the NEC to review and revise the Accreditation Policy and Procedure for the AILA. A particularly interesting dimension to this revision is the question of how to best integrate concerns for equity, diversity and inclusion into the Australian programs in Australia. The NEC is also addressing questions of how to support research, continuing professional development and online delivery within and across the education programs. Over the last eighteen months, this work has given me a unique perspective on the diverse issues and challenges facing educators in landscape architecture across Australia; if appointed a Regional Director for CELA I would be in a unique position to strengthen the links between Australian landscape architecture programs and those around the region. In summary, at this stage of my academic career, I consider the role of Regional Director for Region 8 of CELA as an ideal opportunity to apply and extend my knowledge and skills in academic administration, curriculum design and research to the broader, more complex realm of landscape architecture programs across the Asia-Pacific region. As per the job description for the role, I would approach communication amongst all programs in the Region as the key to successful cultivation of cross-institutional teaching and research endeavours. The 2017 CELA Conference in Beijing was a terrific initiative, and I would aim to build on this by establishing regular and diverse fora for academic colleagues to engage with one another throughout Asia and fortify the network of the programs throughout the region. I would enlist the support within my own faculty, particularly the Associate Deans International, especially in efforts to establish regular contact with all programs in the region. I would also draw on and connect with the APRU network as well as UNSW Landscape Architecture program’s large number of alumni and colleagues in the region. Finally, I acknowledge the requirement and support offered to attend CELA Board Meetings and Annual Conferences as well as the requirement to participate in conference calls and networking across the region.


The UNSW Landscape Architecture Program is very pleased to support Catherine in going for the position of the Region 8 Regional Director position and know she will be committed to representing the programs in this part of the world. She is an outstanding landscape architecture academic. She has twice been the Program Director here and has been actively involved in Program revision and renewal over her almost 20 years of teaching. Further, her experience chairing the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects’ National Education Committee has extended her perspective on the challenges of university education in this country.

If you have any questions or would like additional information to support Catherine’s nomination, please don’t hesitate to contact me, or Dr Kate Bishop (


Best wishes

Prof Linda Corkery  FAILA RLA ASLA(Intl)

Landscape Architecture | Built Environment

UNSW Sydney

NSW 2052 Australia