Andrew Lane

You can count on one hand how many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are registered Architects.

Andrew Lane, who is in business with his wife Francoise, own and operate Indij Design in Gordonvale a small but growing suburb South of Cairns, Far North Qld.

Andrew grew up with his family in Darwin but moved to Brisbane to live shortly after Tropical Cyclone Tracy hit and devastated Darwin in 1974.

As a child Andrew was fascinated by architecture and building design leading to a career gaining extensive experience working with remote Indigenous communities.

"I remember, when as a young Darwin boy, catching the train into the Sydney CBD when visiting my father's family and being in awe of the size of the city and the buildings," Andrew said.

At school he said he did well at Technical Drawing and that led him to pursue a career in architectural design.

His early work as a trainee architect in Brisbane included designing multi-residential apartment units.

He also worked on the Optus Playhouse Theatre in Brisbane, whilst working for noted architect Robin Gibson, whose work included the Belconnen Library in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.

Andrew joined the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing Design Unit with the Queensland Government in 1994, and has continued to focus his career on the delivery of housing and infrastructure in remote Aboriginal communities.

Working for the Centre for Appropriate Technology in Alice Springs, and Arup in Cairns, has allowed Andrew to continue working for communities in Queensland, the Torres Strait, Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia.

Andrew developed concepts for the Yuendumu Art Centre extension whilst working for Centre for Appropriate Technology (CAT) and the master planning of a community hub for Lockhart River whilst working for Arup Engineers and Project Managers.

Andrew was a member of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA) Indigenous Housing Taskforce and was one of the coordinators of the 'Which Way' National Indigenous Housing Conference held in Alice Springs, 2007.

Andrew is a true inspiration for an area so few Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people pursue and so his advice is; 'If it's what you want to do, then don't be afraid to do it!'

DESCRIPTION: Photo courtesy of Nathan Williams