The 2021 Sustainability Awards Winners – People

  •   9 December 2021

What is architecture and design without the people, the exemplary practitioners who champion sustainability and lead by example?

At the 2021 Sustainability Awards, architects and designers were celebrated through three very special awards and categories that included, Emerging Architect / Designer, Lifetime Achievement and Women in Sustainability.

While all entrants were indeed worthy of an accolade, the three winners for each of the three awards chosen by the jury are leaders and outstanding contributors to the sustainability community.


Emerging Architect / Designer

Supported by Cosentino, the Emerging Architect / Designer category winner was David Coates of Sustainable Building & Design Pty Ltd.

Coates is a passionate advocate of sustainability and has been delivering beautiful buildings that exceed requirement in both sustainability and practicality.

Specialising in mainly urban design, Coates has more than 25-years’ experience working in the building industry. He began his life’s work in the realm of building and design at 16 as an apprentice carpenter and in recent years has honed his craft to become a truly innovative sustainable designer.

At the beginning of his sustainability journey Coates initially focused on renovations however he now also creates brilliant new dwellings that have sustainability at their heart.

These days, David’s vision is all about efficiency of performance, reusing and up cycling and the result always exceeds both expectations and actual sustainability requirement.

Congratulations David.


Lifetime Achievement

The Lifetime Achievement award sponsored by BlueScope is the pinnacle of recognition and respect for a practitioner. This year the accolade was bestowed on a stalwart of the environment movement, Tone Wheeler of environa studio.

As a pioneer of sustainability in Australian architecture for 50 years, Wheeler has been an intrepid driver for better and more sustainable practice. As well as being at the forefront of research and development of new technologies, methodologies, policies and materials that are now taken for granted, he is generous with his time and expertise, educating, advocating and leading in sustainability and practice.

Wheeler is unafraid to speak his mind and has delivered more than 350 talks to architects, building Industry peers and the public.

This is a man who is intrinsic to sustainability in the Australian built environment sector and the Lifetime Achievement Award pays homage to his dedication and influence for a better more sustainable world.

Congratulations Tone.


The final award in the People section of the 2021 Sustainability Awards is Women in Sustainability.


This year Belinda Allwood and Dr Shaneen Fantin of POD (People Oriented Design) were the winners of the Women in Sustainability award. The category, supported by Siniat, recognises an outstanding contribution to the sustainability sector and both Allwood and Fantin are exemplar architects and scholars in this sphere.

POD, created in 2014, champions sustainability from a holistic perspective that includes social, cultural, environmental and economic pillars. They have worked with First Nations people for decades and have a deep respect and commitment for people, Country and the landscape.
Both practitioners are educators, delivering more than 25 seminars and workshops, they have also published six articles and book chapters relating to sustainable design and undertake two projects annually, on a pro-bono basis, for community, environmental and First Nations People.

Congratulations Belinda and Shaneen.