Questions of Diaspora: Architecture and European Émigrés in Australasia / AAANZ 2023 Conference, Dec 8

Gold Coast / Dec 8

Questions of Diaspora: Architecture and European Émigrés in Australasia

Chairs: Isabel Rousset (University of Technology Sydney) and Philip Goad (University of Melbourne)

From the 1930s onwards, Australia and New Zealand experienced an influx of migrants from Central and Eastern Europe, many of whom sought to escape Nazi rule or flee the Eastern Bloc in the aftermath of World War Two. Émigrés who held professional degrees in architecture faced considerable challenges in their new country, including difficulty in getting their degrees recognized, overcoming cultural barriers, and experiencing xenophobia. Despite these challenges, many émigré architects ran successful firms, gained prestigious university appointments, or became influential public critics. Some émigrés, including Harry Seidler and Ernst Plischke, loom large in architectural history. Yet, there remain countless others whose contributions have been largely forgotten. 

Paper Titles and Presenters:

Alexander Neumann and the Problem of Absence
Andrew Leach

Jelinek on the Snowy: tunneler, designer, lover
Roger Benjamin

Vienna to Hobart: Edith Emery’s Architecture and Advocacy
Stuart King

Gert Sellheim: Conduit for Modern Graphic Design in Australia 1930-1947   
Nanette Carter

The émigré architects and artists of Queensland’s post-war religious buildings
Lisa Daunt

Not your average émigré
Don Watson

For more information and the full conference program see:

St Matthew’s Lutheran Church, Maryborough QLD (1968) designed by the Latvian-born Juris Voldemars Rubis (1922-2018).
Photographer: Lisa Daunt, 2018.

Queensland College of Art and Design, Griffith University, Gold Coast (Southport)

6 – 8 December 2023

Key Dates:
Call for Panels – 19 May 2023 (CLOSED)
Call for Papers – 25 August 2023 (CLOSED)
Early bird Registration Closes – 10 November 2023
Registration Closes – 1 December 2023

Conference Format

The 2023 AAANZ Conference is hosted by the Queensland College of Art and Design, Griffith University. It will be held at the Gold Coast Campus, Southport.

Please note that all conference events will be held in person this year.

For all enquiries please contact:

To join or renew your AAANZ membership please visit

Conference Committee

Professor Susan Best
Dr Laini Burton
Professor Elisabeth Findlay
Dr Chari Larsson
Dr Emily Poore

The Art Association of Australia and New Zealand is currently based in Darwin, Northern Territory.