SAHANZ annually offers the David Saunders founder’s grant in memory of the founder of the Society, to support research by emerging researchers in the disciplines of architectural history and theory. Applications can be made to apply for funds to assist in field-work, archival assistance, printing and reproduction costs in preparation for publication. The award cannot be used to fund conference travel or registration. The Grant amount is AUD $3000.

The deadline for applications is Friday 19 July 2024.

To apply, download the application form:

Completed application forms should be emailed to the Society’s Secretary at .

David Saunders (1928-1986)

David Saunders, the Society’s Initiator and Inaugural President.
Source: Architecture Australia, 75,7 (November 1986): 29.

David Saunders was instrumental in forming SAHANZ and as foundation President he registered the Society in South Australia on 12 September 1985. He was Professor of Architecture at the University of Adelaide and also President of SAHANZ when he prematurely passed away the following year.

Professor Saunders was educated at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and at the University of Melbourne, where he also later completed his Master’s degree on the architecture of 19th-century Melbourne architect Joseph Reed. He was a lecturer, then senior lecturer, at the University of Melbourne between 1956 and 1968, where he became the first academic in Victoria to specialise in Australian architectural history. Professor Saunders was also editor of the pithy and incisive architecture broadsheet Cross Section from 1955 to 1961. As an architect, Professor Saunders designed his own house in Parkville in 1962 after his return from the United Kingdom as part of a Nuffield Fellowship. The exposed materials and strident honesty of this post-war interpretation of the terrace house startled many and paralleled interstate experiments in New Brutalism.

In 1968 the Saunders family moved to Sydney where Professor Saunders took up the position of senior lecturer at the Power Institute of Fine Arts at the University of Sydney. In 1977 he was then appointed to the Chair of Architecture at the University of Adelaide where took a decisive role in redirecting that school’s curriculum.

Professor Saunders’s contribution to architectural history in Australia is substantial. He was the author of several texts including the important Historic Buildings of Victoria (1966). He gave considerable service to the National Trust and the South Australian Heritage Committee. He was also the first Australian President of ICOMOS, the international professional conservation organisation.

Judith Brine observed of Professor Saunders in 1986:

His career was one of dedicated service to the conviction that Australian art and architectural history was of great importance and interest. He not only demonstrated its academic potential in his own work but … provided the tools for others to work in the same field. His contribution as a teacher in training others, several of whom in their turn are now also eminent architectural historians, cannot be overestimated.

Former Recipients of the Saunders Grant

  • 2022: Loren Adams, Vic: ‘Fun in the Sun with Other People’s Funds: The Socio-Spatial Exploits of Alan Bond’
  • 2021: Jasper Ludewig, NSW: ‘Mapping the Global Moravian Network, 1720-1920’
  • 2020: Andrew Murray, Vic: ‘PhiAedicule and Aspect: The Journals of the Architectural Students Association of Western Australia 1950-1960’
  • 2019: Macarena de la Vega de Leon, Qld: ‘The Mental Life of the Architectural Historians of Australia and New Zealand’
  • 2018: Lisa Marie Daunt, Qld: ‘Communities of Faith: Far North Queensland’s Innovative Modern Post-war Church Architectures’
  • 2017: Joshua Nash, NSW: ‘Connecting Pitcairn Island and Norfolk Island Through Architecture: Islands, architecture, and language’
  • 2016: Renee Miller-Yeaman, Vic: ‘Domestic projections of hospitality in Australia’s migrant hostels in the 1960s’
  • 2015: Kirsty Volz, Qld: ‘Digital Archive of Nellie McCredie’s architectural work’
  • 2014: No award.
  • 2013: Fiona Gray, Vic: ‘Shack-ri-la: the history, heritage and simple pleasures of Campbell’s Cove’s humble hideaways’
  • 2012: Emily Juckes and Kelly Greenop, Qld: ‘Aboriginal and European histories of Peel Island’ [Research awarded best paper award at SAHANZ conference 2013]
  • 2011: Tanya Poppelreuter, NZ: ‘The Influx of Modernism to New Zealand: Refugee Architects before 1940’
  • 2010: Jared Bird and Susan Holden, Qld: ‘Animated Nets: Trajectories of Post-war European Urbanism, Two Brisbane Case Studies’
  • 2009: Anne Watson: ‘Peter Hall and the Sydney Opera House: the lost years 1966-69’
  • 2008: Anuradha Chatterjee, NSW: ‘Touching the Surace, Looking for Substance – The Role of the Surface in Australian Architecture form 1990-2008’
  • 2007: Louise Bird: ‘Architect Designed: The Role of the Architect in Designing the Adelaide Inter-war Garden’
  • 2006: Nicole van Ruler, NZ: ‘M.H. Wevers: Architectuur New Zealand’
  • 2005: Julia Gatley, NZ: ‘”Success of New Zealand Lady Architect” Revisited: Alison Shepherd, ARIBA’
  • 2004: Jeanette Budgett, NZ: ‘Mission Period Architecture, Mangaia, Cook Islands’
  • 2003: Igea Troiani, Qld: ‘The architecture of Stuart McIntosh, 1950-1970’ and Ellen Andersen, NZ: ‘Maori Architectural Artefacts on Display Outside New Zealand’
  • 2002: Don Roderick, Qld: ‘Queensland Vernacular Architecture’
  • 2001: No award.
  • 2000: Catherine Townsend, Vic: ‘Émigré Architects in Australia’
  • 1999: Katrina Place, Vic: ‘Country Estates and Commissions of Walter Butler’
  • 1998: Paul Hogben, NSW: ‘Hotel Architecture of the 1950s’