Media Release: Churchill Trust seeks applicants to transform the Australian Property Landscape

5 Dec 2013

The Churchill Trust has announced that applications are now open for its $20,000 AV Jennings Churchill Fellowship, which funds overseas travel for recipients to undertake research in the field of domestic architecture, building and planning.

The announcement comes at a time when the Australian property market is steadfastly in the spotlight. Recent statistics indicate that the population of Australia will rise by 2.3 million over the next five years, and it can be assumed that a significant number will be looking for affordable and sustainable housing options.

First home buyers, upgraders, downsizers and investors alike are all looking for sustainable and affordable options in a market that is constantly evolving.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics November 2013 survey* of new housing finance shows demand is rising strongly. The value of loans taken out by investors is up by 21.9 per cent while the value of loans to owner-occupiers is up 14.2 per cent.

So how do savvy buyers, builders and investors need to evolve in order to keep up with the growing demand for a variety of viable housing options?

“It’s evident that there is strong demand for good quality housing in Australia, and it’s imperative that the industry is able to meet this requirement,” says Paul Tys, CEO of the Churchill Trust.

“Our AV Jennings Churchill Fellowship is designed to help find solutions, we award this Fellowship every year to someone who is passionate about researching and identifying new approaches to domestic architecture, building and planning in Australia.”

Mr Tys stated that the AV Jennings Churchill Fellowship was designed to address a number of issues in the property sector, not just demand for housing.

“Each year, the WCMT looks for applicants with a unique vision about how their research can contribute to the industry in a positive way,” he said.

Previous recipients include Galina Laurie, who in 2011 visited public housing renewal sites to examine the relevance of their approaches for Australia; and Helen Lochhead, who studied recent models of urban regeneration that demonstrate a holistic approach to climate change and sustainability in 2010.

The 2013 recipient, Mr Darcy Henderson, intends to focus his efforts on sustainable green construction.

"My aim as a Churchill fellow is to learn from sustainable development and construction throughout Europe,” Mr Henderson said.

“In particular, I’ll be focusing on green roof technology which has the potential to be very beneficial to Australia in the future, as responses to climate change and sustainability become more urgent.

“The Fellowship is a really fantastic opportunity for me to make a real contribution to the Australian property landscape- one that will benefit future generations,” he said.

“This Fellowship is really about pushing the boundaries and thinking outside the square, to see our Fellows transform the Australian property landscape in some way, shape or form.” Mr Tys said.

The AV Jennings Churchill Fellowship was funded by Jennings Industries Limited to mark the 90th birthday of its founder, Sir Albert Jennings, who is widely considered to be the father figure of the building industry in Australia.

The AV Jennings Churchill Fellowship is one of more than 100 on offer for 2014, across a diverse range of fields including the arts, professions and services, education and training, health and medicine and public service.

Applications are now open for the 2014 Churchill Fellowships until mid-February 2014, for travel between 1 September 2014 and 31 August 2015.

All Australian citizens aged over 18 are invited to apply. No prescribed qualifications are required and the subject of the project is limitless - provided a benefit to Australia is evident.

Further information and an application package can be obtained online from or via post by calling the Trust on 02 6247 8333.

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