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Restorative Community

Restorative Community

Accessible Communities Submission
Read our Submission here >>

Click here for all submissions (Parliament House website).
Besides our VDD Studio submission being accepted and published, Saumya and I were invited to be involved in the subsequent public hearings process. The Melbourne public hearing was held at Victoria's state Parliament House.

Public Hearings Information here >

VDD Studio, Visionary Design Development Pty Ltd's in-house research unit, operates three 'research labs', being: Restorative Community, Housing, and Designing for Public Good. Activiities undertaken in these labs include exploratory research via architectural competition submissions and, as illustrated by this article, developing recommendations in response to government calls for public consultation in relevant areas. VDD Studio is currently finalising its intern (volunteer) program for 2018. Interested students (at any tertiary level) from any built environment, social science, or disability studies disciplines are welcome to get in touch.

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Wedge Wood House


The Wedge Wood House. Architect: Visionary Design Development Pty Ltd. Builder: Mick Pierce, Mitty and Price.

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To VDD Studio member Davis (Clarke, right ) who has completed his Bachelor of Architectural Design and is currently undertaking an internship with Visionary Design Development.

And to..... Project Services Manager, Fiona (Oates, left) who has completed her Masters of Transformational Development. Fiona’s practical experience and knowledge in ‘Aid and Development’ are a great asset to the team.

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'Thank you for the thorough report. ...... I look forward to working with you again sometime.'Case Manager, Care Provider Organisation

“It was not easy to find a consultant for this field so I’m glad we got to work together.
Your professional and timely approach was just what we were looking for. Many thanks.”
Senior Project Planner, ProfessionalConsultancy, Built Environments and Infrastructure (2016)

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Accessing Council


Visionary Design Development has recently been working with an inner-west city Council to ascertain possible resolutions and prioritisation of accessibility issues within Council Offices complex. We look forward to meeting with other Councils in the near future.

In conjunction with Council Offices access auditing, Visionary Design Development investigated inclusive local government. Literature reviewed indicates that Canada, at both state and local government levels and particularly within Ontario, is at the forefront of ‘Accessibility Design Standards’ (or similar) production.

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The Patch School

School DET


We continue to provide specialised Access Consulting Services to Education Facilities, ensuring that Schools are Accessible to All.

Project-specific Performance Solutions have been developed. Expert opinion regarding conformance with Councils’ Planning Scheme requirements has been given.

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WedgeWood House 2

WedgeWood House


Our various Alterations and Additions projects are progressing well. A big shout-out to our Builders, Mitty and Price, Stenny Constructions and Original Renovations,thank you all.


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Visionary Design Development has recently been working with an inner-west city Council to ascertain possible resolutions and prioritisation of accessibility issues within Council Offices complex. We look forward to meeting with other Councils in the near future.

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Under construction

Under construction


Our various Alterations and Additions projects are progressing well. A big shout-out to our Builders, Mitty and Price, Stenny Constructions and Original Renovations, thank you all!!

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As reported in our previous newsletter, Saumya (Kaushik) has been continuing her passions in the international development field. Saumya travelled to Bangladesh in January to work hands-on with Building Trust International on Cyclone Housing Design. Saumya recently shared her experience with the Team and guests including Nick Shearman (now Project Architect at Gray Puksand) and Leeanne Marshall (Shelter Delegate, International Red Cross Fiji post TC Winston, Ecuador post earthquake). Well done, Saumya.

Left: Saumya Kaushik relates her experiences in Bangladesh

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Roof Detailing class


Davis (Clarke) and Soledad (Maldonado) are currently participating in Visionary Design Development in-house Construction Detailing training program, designed and delivered by Managing Director, Mary Ann Jackson, Architect, Planner and Access Consultant. Topics covered to date include: foundations, footings, subfloor framing, floors, walls, and opening, windows and doors. Current area of investigation is ‘Roof Detailing’. The comprehensive program will run throughout the year.

If you or your staff are interested in joining, please contact Mary Ann.

Left: Davis Clarke - Construction Detailing Program

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Introducing Fiona Oates

VDD is thrilled to announce the appointment of Fiona Oates to the position of Project Services Manager.

Fiona has over 35 years experience in a full range of services for the construction of domestic, community and religious buildings in Britain, Australia, East Africa and Tanzania as well as acting as advisory consultant on other projects.

Adding to her qualifications in Architecture and Social Science, Fiona is currently completing a Master's degree in Transformational Development.

Download VDD Statement of Capability here (PDF)



Statement of Capability
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MVCC cover page


MVCC Accessible Carparking

Continuing our work on accessible carparking, Visionary Design Development Pty Ltd has recently finalised a major review of on-street and off-street accessible parking for Moonee Valley City Council, full Report available here. Our Technical Report sits alongside the comprehensive stakeholder engagement report ‘Gathering the evidence. Improving our understanding of accessible parking challenges’ prepared by Carmel Boyce (MVCC). We thank Carmel for the opportunity to contribute to such a valuable project.

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Social Housing

Social Housing

We are pleased to announce that four 2 bedroom, social housing dwellings on two different sites, in the south-eastern suburbs are now complete and tenanted. Each corner-block site contains 2 x 2bedroom, single storey, detached houses with carport. Working within constraints of cost-effectiveness, orientation and lands levels, we have achieved: affordable to build, passive designed energy efficient, accessible housing. We thank Rex Hutchinson and Jacman Builders for their excellent workmanship and valued assistance in making the construction process as smooth as possible, and Ari Indra (DHHS) for his client-side project management efforts. We look forward to continuing collaborations with the Dept of Health & Human Services, Housing Organisations and Local Government.

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Floating +

Floating +

FLOATING + - Cambodia 2015

"It is of paramount importance that the issues threatening the wellbeing of the Tonle
Sap Lake and its communities are resolved now in order to safeguard both man and
nature in the region today and in the near future.
This is the foundation of this international ideas and design competition.
We seek a response to such problems through designs that challenge conventions
and help establish a program of support in the region. This comes in the form of:
health aid, ecological research and monitoring, and education aimed at the local
population. Furthermore, the design needs to cater for the transient nature of the
fl oating villages and as such needs to be able to move around the lake."

Our latest VDD Studio competition submission, with Davis (Clarke) at the helm, continues our work in ‘Designing for the Public Good’; a VDD Studio Research lab topic. Situated in Cambodia our submission, entitled ‘Floating +’, explores providing modular, sustainable, accessible medical, research and educational infrastructure as central hub and community focal point. Modular components can be utilised separately, or interlocked to create larger networks. Supported on anchored drums the project is designed to function in symbiosis with the Tonle Sap environment. The full submission can be viewed here.


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Dencity -
A design competition encouraging architects and planners to think about how to handle the growing problem of substandard housing.

How can accessibility be achieved in low-resource settings? What should be prioritised?
SMALL TIMES MANY EQUALS BIG - many small accessibility interventions will ultimately assist in making a more equitably accessible world.

"transform dencity - open accesscity", Visionary Design Development's entry in this competition, put together by Saumya Kaushik, Davis Clarke and Soledad Maldonado, explores the inherent complexities of providing housing in slum areas. People with physical and intellectual disabilities are the most disadvantaged group of people in these already severely marginalised communities. Read our full submission here....

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Symbiotic cities

A framework for developing self-sufficient habitats through a collaborative system based on RE-USE of land, RE-CYCLING of materials and RE-INTEGRATION of people.

Urban Transformations:
Designing the Symbiotic City

Restorative COMMUNITY_fitzroy

Read about our entry on the Symbiotic Cities Network


Without autonomy human development is stifled. Yet much autonomy depends on mobility across and through the built environment. There can be no equitable civic, economic or social inclusion when barriers to mobility obstruct autonomy of access. Access in this context means both physical access to the built environment as well as access to local services, access to engaging activities such as lifelong learning and access to differing generations points of view; ideally, within a socially accessible, intergenerational community.

Restorative Community: Inner Melbourne presents a way forward to achieving socially accessible, intergenerational communities for people with social or economic vulnerability; minority groups that form a significant cohort of our society. This cohort includes people who are disadvantaged due to, for example: disability, homelessness, age, cultural background and non-resident status. Restorative Community: Inner Melbourne provides a framework for a sustainable and resilient habitat based on a collaborative system where re-use of land, re-cycling of materials and re-integration of people are the strength of the project.


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Transportable House

A House For......

VDD's response to the Open Gap competition. A (transportable) House for a Waste Picker....

Demonstrating the universality, flexibility and accessibility of our previous competition entry 'Wet + Dry House', the transportable house provides accommodation for the itinerant poor - those who eke their living from scouring waste dumps.

Wastepicker 2

Providing sufficient quantity of affordable, accessible housing anywhere remains one of the world's greatest unresolved problems. Providing housing to waste picker communities is inherently complex. Issues including access to land, tenure of occupancy and lack of capital make it nearly impossible for developing countries' governments and NGO/NfPs to provide sustainable solutions.

Nonetheless, we hope that our Transportable House for .....Waste Picker will, in some small way, benefit its future inhabitants.


City of Melbourne - Homes for People

Housing plays a big part in our quality of life. Our draft housing strategy, Homes for People, aims to improve the affordability and design of housing to meet the diverse needs of our residents.

Our Homes for People housing strategy will be presented to the Future Melbourne Committee for endorsement on Tuesday 18 November 2014 at 5.30pm.


Read VDD Studio response to the Draft Housing Strategy.


Port Phillip graphic

sarah and ali


Port Phillip Accessible Carparking Review

Visionary Design Development is currently carrying out a review of approximately 200 accessible car parking spaces in the City of Port Phillip council area to determine their compliance with AS 2890.5.

The review, among other topics, covers parking space size, accessibility, obstructions and barriers. It is being carried out by on-the-spot site assessors who visit each site, collecting over 40 separate elements of information and photographing the parking bay.

The information is collated in a custom-built database which assesses each individual parking bay against the relevant Australian Standard which specifies varying dimensions for parallel and angle parking.

VDD will also provide recommendations and options for rectifying non-compliant parking bays as well as exploring relocation possibilities. An extensive community consultation process is also being undertaken concurrently


Left: Site Assessors Ali, Maria and Dennisse (bottom)

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Accessible care


Moved to Care - Accessible Community Care

Building Trust International has announced their latest Design Competition "Moved to Care". The challenge is to design a health facility that can easily be relocated. This could be in response to a natural disaster, or to inoculate and educate in areas with specific medical emergencies or outbreaks, it will also help aid agencies that don’t have the funds or means to purchase land, offering short term leasing opportunities.

In its competition entry Visionary Design Development Pty Ltd proposes a relocatable eye clinic. View the full competition entry here »

"It is estimated that in Cambodia (pop.14 million) that 1.4 million people have impaired distance vision. Of these approx 40% or over half a million are vision impaired due to uncorrected refractive error. Additionally most of the population over 50 years of age (about 1.5 million) will require reading spectacles for near vision. In total as many as 2 million would benefit immediately from eye examinations and a pair of spectacles costing as little as $5."

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Good access is invisible

"Good Access is Invisible"

Published in the 2014 Autumn edition of Achitect Victoria, this article by Ralph Green and Mary Ann Jackson explores the economic, environmental and social links between Universal Design and Sustainability, which might not be readily apparent to the casual observer.

"To provide equitable access designers should be familiar with the knowledge practice of UD and should perceive people with disabilities through the lens of the social model. Achieving a community of such design professionals will require educational institutions to include UD as a core subject within undergraduate degree courses." Read More»

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Affordable submission

Affordable housing

On 12 December 2013, the Senate referred an inquiry into affordable housing to the Senate Economics References Committee for inquiry and report.

Read the VDD submission:

• Parliament of Australia website - submission No. 154    OR
Direct link to both sections of submission

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Wet+Dry House

Wet + Dry House
Winner, Cambodia Sustainable Housing Competition,
now completed

Visionary Design Development Pty Ltd is humbled to announce that our winning Cambodia Sustainable Housing Competition entry, the ‘WET + DRY HOUSE’ (Lead Project Designer, Muhammad Kamil) is now completed and home to a widowed mother of 5 operating a shop to provide for her family.

From our (designer’s) point of view, it is absolutely fabulous to see the Wet + Dry House being used as designed (as a shophouse). Once again we must congratulate Building Trust International, Habitat for Humanity, Karuna Cambodia and all other partners for their extraordinary efforts in making this happen.

We also wish to acknowledge Building Trust International’s exceptional commitment to raising awareness of humanitarian architecture projects and issues in the international arena.

Support family
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Emergency shelter

Emergency Shelter, the CAT, aka MeowHaus, in conjunction with Here Studio

Exhibited: ArchiTeam Awards Exhibition, Nov/Dec 2013
Finalist: Installation Design – Exhibit, Melbourne Design Awards, Sep 2013
Published: Emotional Shelter, Architect Victoria, Winter 2013
Exhibited: de/Develop National Architecture Conference, Fracture Gallery, June 2013 Selected: Emergency Shelter Exhibition, Fed Sq May 2013

Beyond the needs of housing, food and water, some of the more fuzzy aspects of crises remain under-considered. Crises such as natural and man-made disasters and other emergencies can be enormously distressing, sad, and destabilising. They are often associated with real and felt loss and separation - days, months and years after. However, through resilience, “disasters” can be transformed into manageable “extreme events”.

Our proposition is that a missing link to achieving resilience is the provision of psychological support - support that bestows comfort, reassurance and love to all of the community.

Therefore, instead of only thinking of relief we considered: the before, the during and the after of a Crisis. What is the role of architecture in this cyclic process? Can design provide emotional support? Can a simple architecture, a scaffold, not merely provide relief but also build community resilience?

For us, the positivity and social connections of fun, the everyday play of children, the gathering together of the community and the facilitation of spontaneous performance are the best catalysts to do this.



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public space


public space

Restorative Community
Download full presentation pdf

Published: Self Sufficient Habitat international competition, book, 2014
Published: Architecture of Necessity international competition, book, 2013
Exhibited: finalist, Architecture of Necessity international competition exhibition, WOOD Virserum Art Musuem, Sweden, 2013
Awarded: Highly Commended, ArchiTeam Awards, Unbuilt Category, 2012
Shortlisted: HOME international competition, 2012

Visionary Design Development Pty Ltd is very honoured to announce that the latest iteration of our Restorative Community concept has been selected for publication in a book showcasing the best submissions entered in the international competition, Self Sufficient Habitat, organised by the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia. Excellent work by the competition team: Claudia Sepulveda, Narval Ansaldo, Camila Loader and Alex Concha, all Chilean students studying in Melbourne.

REstorative COmmunity by R-Eco Amoeba
A framework for developing self-sufficient habitats through a collaborative system based on Re-use of land, Re-cycling of materials and Re-integration of people.

Re-using, Re-cycling, Re-integrating
REstorative COmmunity by R-Eco Amoeba responsibly develops sites into socially accessible neighbourhoods using a collaborative, ‘lent land’ system. Main structural elements, recycled timber pallets and modified shipping containers, are affordable and easy to acquire. People who are homeless and/or unemployed, people with disabilities and asylum seekers can re-integrate into local communities.

Biomimicry and Urban Metabolism, Nature’s models for solving human problems
R-Eco Amoeba is a living organism that metabolises under-utilised land and waste materials to transform all before it into an ecologically healthy and sustainable living environment. It establishes a symbiotic relationshop with the existing urban fabric and community and revives social integration. R-Eco Amoeba seeks out host sites and establishes itself by adapting its basic elements to the context.

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Cambodia Sustainable Housing Compeition: Winner

VDD is happy to announce as a co-winner of Cambodia Sustainable Housing Competition. The competition brings new life to housing design and delivery for low income families living in Cambodia. All winning projects will be built later this year. Run by Building Trust International, Habitat for Humanity and Karuna Cambodia, the competition had over 600 registered entrants from architectural practices around the world. The other two winners were British and US architects. Once constructed, Visionary Design Development’s ‘WET + DRY HOUSE’ will be home to a widowed mother of 5 wanting to open a shop to provide for her family. The design of her new house will easily allow her to do accomplish this.

We will upload our full entry in the near future. In the mean time, check out this release by Habitat for Humanity and a lovely press at Phnom Penh Post.

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Emergency Shelter Exhibition 2013: Selected Entry

VDD, in collaboration with Soledad Maldonado, Katherine Sampson, Nicole Mechkaroff, Marjan Sangari, and our friends at Here Studio, is excited to announce that our entry has been selected as a part of the Emergency Shelter Exhibition at Federation Square in May 2013.

We approached the issue by questioning the nature of the provision of "emergency shelter": that is, beyond answering the pragmatic needs of people in an emergency, how + what can we do collectively to nurture resilience and uplift the spirit?

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Architeam Awards 2012: Highly Commended for Unbuilt Project: Restorative Community

We are happy to announce that VDD's Restorative Community project has received Highly Commended for the Unbuilt Project category at the Architeam Awards 2012.

Restorative Community is a shortlisted submission for Building Trust International's HOME competition, dealing with the issue of homelessness in the context of developed countries.

With the aim of taking this project forward, we are currently establishing a ‘Working Group’ in conjunction with Housing Resource and Support Services (HR&SS). We are talking with Government (state and local), housing organisations, disabled peoples organisations, funding bodies, not-for-profits, development agencies, individuals and other interested parties. If you want to find out more or contribute to the Working Group, please feel free to contact Nick or Kamil.

Watch this space for more detailed info of the project!

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Upgrading Apartments - Improving Existing Building Stock

VDD is currently completing an extensive external upgrade to a 14 unit, two level, apartment block in Moonee Ponds. Like many of its age, the block was ripe for an extensive overhaul to obviate amenity and safety impacts for both owners and visitors. We look forward to reporting the resultant metamorphosis.

Highlights include: Total roof replacement to preclude future storm damage; upgrades to fire services; compliant balustrading; balcony waterproofing resurfacing; insulation to reduce energy costs; window repairs and replacement; and rendering of all external walls. A carefully selected, gradated, neutral colour palette has further improved the external appearance. All paths, fences and landscaping will be replaced and/or upgraded to improve both appearance and safety for residents. New outdoor shelters and external lighting will provide safe access and enhanced communal spaces. Durable and low maintenance materials will reduce the need for frequent maintenance and ensure long-lived enjoyment of the transformed property.

If you manage, or live in, a similar development requiring: maintenance and/or aesthetic upgrading and/or energy efficiency measures, please feel free to discuss how we can assist. Please contact Nick or Mary Ann.

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Equitable Housing: An Ongoing Journey of Discovery

Over the years we have been immersing ourselves in an ongoing research and implementation of "equitable housing". Started in 2004 as what we termed as The Affordable Australian, we implemented the core concept as a our response to the 2009 Affordable Bushfire Rebuild challenge, of which we received the Design and Construction Competition prize. In 2010, we looked further into integrating this concept as part of a larger masterplan for a compettion Darwin. And finally this year this concept is implemented in our recently built Social Housing for the Department of Human Services.

There is a set of parameters that may be adapted and implemented in various context. Please download the pdf for more information.

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Social Housing Completed

Visionary Design Development Pty Ltd’s recently completed Social Housing project in Melbourne. 2 x 2bedroom houses and 3 x 1bedroom units, on time and within budget. All dwellings continue themes that we consider imperative to housing provision: accessibility, sustainability, affordability, indoor/ outdoor connectivity and an enhanced spatial experience.

Wet areas accessibility features include: wide doors with lever handles, 1200 x 1200 level entry shower (glass screen can be easily removed), projecting basin can be accessed by a wheelchair user, dividing wall between toilet and bathroom can easily be removed and anti-slip flooring. External accessibility features include: gently sloping paths, covered entry, level entry (at all doors) and wide doors. External sustainability features include: water tank, lagged hot water piping, 75mm thick slabedge insulation and wide eaves. Other ‘architectural’ features include: robust materials, simple shapes, winter sun-capturing wide hallways and living areas, private courtyards or balconies, light, bright and airy interiors, plenty of storage and well-appointed kitchens.

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Senofi Aventis New Facilities Completed

VDD has recently completed various new facilities for Senofi Aventis: staff café and facilities, pharmaceutical laboratories and production. The departure point of the design is the investigation of the connection between the interior (work/controlled) and the exterior (open/free). More pictures coming soon.

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School4Burma Competition Result

VDD is pleased to be selected as part of the "best entries" in the competition that attracted over 800 submissions worldwide.

Our entry is part of proposals that are deemed to be of "high level of thought, ingenuity and clarity in there presentation and design." We look into adaptability and modularity as our main concepts, due to the consideration of easy assemblage of locally available materials by a minimum number of human and technical resources required for construction.

Well done to Nick and the team. See one of our presentation boards here. Full set of the submission will be uploaded online in the future.

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Watu na Nuru

Watu na Nuru, January 2012

Here is a January 2012 newsletter from the Anglican Church of Tanzania, detailing their Watu na Nuru project's progress.

Watu na Nuru is an Australian government funded program of promotion and sale of solar powered lamps.

You can download the newsletter here.

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Finalist - BPN Sustainability Awards

Visionary Design Development's Two Townhouses project has reached the list of finalists in the 2010 BPN Sustainability Awards.

Presentation of the awards will take place in Sydney on 13 October 2010.

Now in its fourth year, the 2010 BPN Sustainability Awards rewards designers, builders and manufacturers for best practice in sustainability.

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Affordable Housing in Bushfire Affected Areas

The Victorian Bushfire Recovery and Reconstruction Authority, the Department of Human Services and the Office of the Victorian Government Architect ran a competition in which Victorian builders and architects were invited to submit tenders for the design and construction of three-bedroom homes there were six-star energy rated and BAL 40 bushfire compliant.

Winning team of builder, Wheeler Design & Construction and architect, Visionary Design Development are presently constructing a demonstration home at 58 Falls Road, Marysville.

View the full presentations at the Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction Authority

Join Visionary Design Development on Facebook to follow Coco's progress.

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August 5 2010 - Fiji Site Visit

During a productive trip to Suva in early August, Mary Ann took the opportunity to review accessibility requirements at the new Pacific Eye Institute which is currently under construction.

PEI's 2011 programs will take place in this brand new, state of the art building which will house a fully-equipped eye clinic, classrooms and resource centre.

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Yarra Sustainability award

Yarra Sustainability Awards

Announced 8 June 2010. VDD project Permit Zone receives Highly Commended award in City of Yarra’s inaugral Sustainability Awards in category Innovation in Sustainable Building Design. Congratulations to all the VDD team, clients and Builder, Original Renovations.

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Fiji 2

Update: Fiji Access Consulting
On-site, 8 April 2010

L to R, Ralph (VDD), Losalini (General Manager, Pacific Eye Institute), Dickson (representing Alfonso Margarit Associates, Architects), Glenn (Site Construction Manager, Pacific Building Solutions), photo taken by Mary Ann (VDD).

Although being hindered by rain this week, construction of the new Eye Clinic for the Pacific Eye Institute is now underway and expected to be completed by December 2010. Ralph and Mary Ann are currently in Fiji to understand first-hand the mobility issues that persons with a disability face when accessing the existing hospital and the new clinic.
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February 2010
Projects Under Construction

Compare a new, two unit development in the inner north with an eclectic rear-of-house addition in the city's west. Both projects near completion, each reflecting the specific needs of the client in contrasting approaches. More......»

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Gerardo MAJ

VDD Donates $US1500 to Argentinian medical NGO
Pilotos Solidarios

Dr Gerardo Sola C.E.O. of Fundación Pilotos Solidarios thanks Mary Ann Jackson for Visionary Design Development’s donation. Ralph and Mary Ann have a previous association with this Argentine NGO through being intermediatries for the Ducati Owners Club of Victoria when the club donated two motorcycles to Pilotos Solidarios during 2005. Small motorcycles with off road capabilit are the most effective way to deliver medical supplies and transport patients on ‘roads’ often impassible to 4WDs.

The organisation works in remote areas of Argentina where communities with low income suffer from many chronic health problems such as Chagas Disease and contamination of the water supply with arsenic. All medical personel, GPs nurses, surgeons, specialist physicians and dentists, donate their time and supply much needed medications often at their own personal cost. As well as wide range of medcial care they make use of other interventions such as bed nets (to stop transmission of Chagas – which causes heart failure) and filtration devices to remove arsenic.

Gerardo writes from Buenos Aires …

Hola Ralph!!
Sí la donación llegó sin problemas!!
Pudimos hacer los trámites muy bien, y ese dinero sirvió para pagar los seguros, las patentes y los arreglos y el mantenimiento de las motos.
Muchísimas gracias!

Hello Ralph!!
Yes the donation arrived without problems!!
We can proceed now as that money allowed us to pay insurances, taxes and maintenance and repair of the motorcycles.
A million thanks!

Gerardo Sola
Fundación Pilotos Solidarios

Read more about DOCV Motorcycle donation to Pilotos Solidarios........»

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September 2009


In late September, Ralph Green and Mary Ann Jackson, Directors of Visionary Design Development Pty Ltd, were delighted to spend two days with seven participants from Timor-Leste delivering VDD’s short course, An Accessible Built Environment. The course was part of the program, Developing Disability-Inclusive Water and Sanitation Policy and Practice in Timor-Leste, being provided by the CBM - Nossal Institute Partnership for Disability Inclusive Development.

“Access to clean water and adequate sanitation are basic necessities for survival, and fundamental human rights. However, people with disabilities are often excluded from water and sanitation development activities, resulting in a higher incidence of illness and secondary disability; and the reinforcement of dependency and poverty. In Timor-Leste, people with disabilities are generally excluded from water and sanitation programs due to the limited technical capacity to plan and implement disability-inclusive water and sanitation activities.

This program will bring together key stakeholders from the NGO sector and Disabled Persons Organisations to strengthen individual and organisational knowledge in disability-inclusive development, enhance technical skills in disability-inclusive water and sanitation planning, and strengthen cross-sectoral networks within Timor-Leste.” (CBM - Nossal Institute Partnership for Disability Inclusive Development.)

Visionary Design Development Pty Ltd would like to thank the CBM - Nossal Institute Partnership for the opportunity to be involved and would also like to specially thank our invited guests: Chris Porter, Architect and Access Consultant; Francesca Davenport, Architect and Access Consultant; Vickie Feretopoulos, Senior Social Planner, Access and Inclusion, City of Melbourne; Annie McIntyre, Senior Project Manager, Housing and Building Policy, Department of Planning and Community Development; Matthew Bond, Engineer, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, and Rural Energy, for their valuable assistance.

Government organisations, DPOs or NGOs interested in An Accessible Built Environment contact Mary Ann Jackson, Managing Director, Visionary Design Development Pty Ltd.

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South America Trade Mission May 2009


While many developed-world countries are struggling with the demands of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), the global crisis doesn't seem to have affected direct foreign investments in Latin America and the Caribbean. These investments are showing a significant resistance to economic meltdown and in 2008 reached a record US$139 billion up 9.4% from the previous year according to the United Nations Conference on trade and Development.

Together Argentina, 40 million, and Brazil, 190 million, accommodate approximately 230 million people. These two countries also contain three of the top twenty five mega-cities, namely in descending order Sao Paulo (approx 21 million), Buenos Aires (approx 14 million) and Rio de Janeiro (approx 12.5 million). Such numbers indicate the scale of urbanisationand attendant challenges in South America. Victoria’s Construction and Related Industries expertise, experience and innovation have helped create Victoria’s great quality of life and Melbourne one of the world’s most liveabe cities. Therefore, improving commercial and cultural exchange between Victoria and South America in relation to sustainable development will definitely benefit both sides. Tremendous opportunities exist for Victoria to export its sustainable development expertise, technologies, products and services particularly in the fields of; urban planning, architecture, environmental technologies, engineering and ESD.  Specific sectors of the Construction and Related Industries where opportunities lie include:

* Waterfront and Docklands redevelopment
* City rejuvenation
* Sports and events Stadia
* Petrochemical and
* Transportation.

For more information about Construction and Related Industries opportunities in Latin America, contact Mary Ann Jackson, Managing Director, Visionary Design Development Pty Ltd.


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1 August 2009

Fiji Access Consulting

Fred Hollows Foundation New Zealand (FHNZ), supported by NZ Aid and AusAID, will be constructing a new Eye Clinic and upgrading an existing diabetic retinopathy clinic, in Suva Fiji. FHNZ have appointed Visionary Design Development Pty Ltd as the Access Consultant. All parties are committed to the provision of a world class eyecare facility. In accordance with AusAID’s Development for All: Towards a Disability-Inclusive Australian Aid Program 2009-2014 it is intended that the project also provide a model of accessibility for the region.


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31 July 2009

Sustainability Assessment Training

Mary Ann Jackson, Managing Director, achieves Accredited Home Sustainability Assessor Trainer. Home Sustainability Assessors have a working knowledge of how to affordably improve a home’s environmental performance, heating and cooling, energy consumption and water use making homes more comfortable, saving householder’s money and the environment. Assessor training requires attendance at an intensive 4 day course. The Home Sustainability Assessment Scheme program is supported by the Australian Government Department of Environment, Heritage, Water and the Arts.


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15 July 2009

ArtAbility returns to Fed Square in 2009

From 26 November 2008, thousands of visitors to The Atrium, Federation Square, viewed a magnificent collection of over 120 artworks created by 60 ethnic artists with a disability. Over half the works were sold, garnering income and recognition for the artists.
This highly visible and prestigious venue will once again house the ADEC ArtAbility exhibition from 25 November - 1 December 2009.

Expressions of interest are sought from individuals, groups and organisations who would like to submit works for exhibition. Artists must be persons with a disability and come from an ethnic background. More Information»

pdfDownload - ArtAbility 2009 Expression of Interest Form


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Permit Zone


June 2009

To create an inner city home to which the owners will retire. The living areas are to be on one level with the main bedroom suite to be added above. Lifestyle is the driving parameter.

The new work, fittings and finishes are to flow with the character of the existing house and adhere to the principles of the Heritage overlay. Storage space is to be maximised, as is outdoor living space. An off-street car park is required.

Resources minimisation
Space maximisation
Spatial impact
Energy Efficiency
External/internal connectivity
....More Architecture/Planning»

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ADECRe ArtAbility 2009 Permit Zone Ceiling