Russell Yelland

A commitment to lifelong learning and knowledge sharing has positioned the Russell & Yelland team as innovators, adaptive in the face of technical and social change.

Our People
John Held

John Held

Director

John believes all communities deserve access to transformative design. An indefatigable community advocate, he has maintained a particular focus on the architecture of learning environments for more than 40 years.

A clear communicator, John leverages rich conversations to solve complex social problems through design. Having learned the importance of leadership under the tutelage of renowned SA architect, Keith Neighbour, he has proven his commitment to industry advancement and mentorship. John is currently the National President of the Association of Consulting Architects (ACA), and Deputy Chair of the Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF). In these roles he advocates for all architects, agitating on issues like improved construction quality standards and equitable pay for architects and built environment professionals.

John joined R&Y in 1976, was promoted to Associate in 1979 and was made a Director in 1982. Now a Life Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects, in 2017 he was awarded the Sir James Irwin President’s Medal for collaborative and significant contributions to architecture.

Stewart Caldwell

Stewart Caldwell

Director

Stewart is adept at taking complex ideas and distilling them for those around him. This clarity of communication explains his good rapport with clients, and with the project teams who rely on his leadership.

Both technically proficient and an instinctive educator, Stewart has held an industry leadership role in the sharing of Building Information Management (BIM) systems knowledge since the early 2000s. In 2015, he formalised that responsibility, co-founding BuildSA – a company that runs an annual seminar series sharing methods that optimise work practices in the construction industry. Stewart has been a regular speaker at construction and technology conferences, and has also been a course coordinator in construction at the University of Adelaide since 2012.

Applying this deep knowledge of construction and contracts, Stewart is a confident project director and an approachable guide for R&Y staff. He maximises opportunities for collaboration with clients, closing knowledge gaps between the two parties with the industry’s ever-improving visualisation tools.

Michelle Wearn

Michelle Wearn

Office Manager

Michelle knows a generous and well-informed architecture practice thrives on efficient systems. Since joining R&Y in 2001, she has made it her mission to improve efficiencies and streamline administrative tasks to the benefit of both R&Y clients and project teams.

Improvements have ranged from fully digitising information management in the early days through to ensuring best practice use of real time project management and accounting software today.

A resourceful networker, Michelle helped drive the establishment of the practice managers’ group for the Association of Consulting Architects, and meets regularly with her industry peers to discuss the latest in interactive business and project management solutions.

With quality assurance front of mind, Michelle assists R&Y with regular compliance tasks. A valued senior member of staff, she is equally a crucial empathic bond for a very tight-knit team.

Hariklia Pontikinas

Hariklia Pontikinas

Architect

A solid all-rounder, but with a strong focus on interiors, Hariklia applies holistic design thinking during all architectural stages. She elevates simple materials by applying them in non-traditional ways, demonstrating design’s potency when beauty and practicality are in balance.

Prior to joining Russell & Yelland in 2015, Hariklia worked on educational, commercial and residential projects for reputable national and local architecture practices. Curious about the world, and about design for different contexts, she has travelled widely, completing various study and design tours throughout Europe and the USA.

Hariklia played a key role in the design of internal spaces for the Concordia College Administration and Science buildings. One of her favourite projects to date is a modest but elegant balcony addition to the Concordia College Chapel. The upgrade breathed new life into an already popular performance and worship space designed by R&Y Director, John Held, in the late 1980s.

Rhiana Bell

Rhiana Bell

Architect

Rhiana believes in the democratic power of good design. Her creativity at the concept stage and collaborative problem solving abilities during construction give Russell & Yelland clients faith that bold ideas are achievable.

A professional highlight at Russell & Yelland since joining the practice in 2015 was Rhiana’s design contribution to the Therese Sweeney Music Centre. Realised as a bold, contemporary form set within a sensitive, heritage campus context, the building received the Colorbond Award for Steel Architecture at the 2019 South Australian Architecture Awards.

Rhiana is a hands-on member of the SA design community, having been a guest critic and tutor in construction at the University of Adelaide, and a marketing and events support for BuildSA from 2014-2018. Throughout her studies she received various academic awards, including the University of Adelaide’s 2016 Philip Nayda Architecture Prize.

Scott Murdoch

Scott Murdoch

Graduate of Architecture

Passionate about strengthening community, Scott values Russell & Yelland’s dependable role as user advocate. He takes an end-to-end approach to design, seeing complex concepts through to fully coordinated, buildable solutions that improve lives and strengthen belonging.

Scott graduated from architectural studies at the University of Adelaide in 2017, joining Russell & Yelland in the same year. Since then he has been instrumental to the development and delivery of some of the practice’s larger education projects. These include successive facilities for St Joseph’s School in Port Lincoln: a recently completed Senior Centre, and the Early Learning Centre now in development.

With efficiency front-of-mind, Scott joined Stewart and Will in forming Russell & Yelland’s first BIM user group in 2020. Together, they explore technological innovations in 3D visualisation that allow the team to test a greater number of complex design ideas.

Bettina Koch

Bettina Koch

Graduate of Architecture

Approachable and attentive, Bettina shines in a team environment, driving compelling ideas through collaboration and delivering promised designs with care. Drawn to Russell & Yelland’s education and civic focus, she brings strong early experience in schools and municipal design.

With diligence and an eye for detail, Bettina relishes every opportunity to deepen her knowledge base and to pursue a keen interest in design for learning environments. In recent years, she has pursued a rounded competency, furnishing her construction knowledge through the administration of complex projects.

A dedicated team player with a motivated approach to her work, she enjoys the collaboration and exchange aspects of working with colleagues and clients. In her previous workplaces, Bettina proved an aptitude for clear communication managing additional duties writing for practice newsletters and awards submissions.

Alistair McHenry

Alistair McHenry

Director

Alistair’s calm presence in the office and measured approach to leadership is as reliable as it is resolute. A pursuit of elegant gestures is balanced with a keen eye for feasibility, and he takes great care to ensure teams remain attentive to cost plans throughout the project life cycle.

Alistair joined Russell & Yelland in 1981 after working on a number of private commissions and with several reputable Adelaide architecture practices. In his early days at R&Y, Alistair managed residential projects, but transitioned quickly to more complex health, education and commercial commissions as the practice expanded its community portfolio in the 90s. He joined John Held as a Director in 2000 and has since cultivated an industry-wide reputation for construction and contracts knowledge, particularly in the highly technical field of health facilities design.

From 2009 to 2017 Alistair was an independent member of the Adelaide Hills Council Development Assessment Panel. Out of hours, he relishes building, renovating and making projects, which have informed a holistic appreciation for design and construction over almost 40 years in architecture.

Lauren Knight

Lauren Knight

Associate

Lauren knows what it takes to move a design from paper to finished product. Paying early and acute attention to detail, and understanding the consequences of sequencing decisions, she anticipates the difficulties that can arise in construction.

One of the practice’s longest serving team members, Lauren joined R&Y in 2006, showing strong early aptitude, and awarded her architectural registration after two years of service. A diligent worker, she was appointed Associate just three years later, quickly proving a pivotal support for the Directors and broader staff.

With strong company knowledge and a keen understanding of systems and procedures, Lauren’s role as resident problem solver and as the lead on various key projects cannot be understated. She has been a sessional tutor at her alma mater, the University of SA, where she is also a member of the Golden Key Honour Society.

Vouch Lim

Vouch Lim

Architect

Clients and colleagues attest to the infectiousness of Vouch’s positive attitude. But beneath an upbeat exterior lies a deep sense of vocation. “I feel privileged to be an architect. Seeing your designs come to fruition and change people’s lives on a daily basis is incredibly rewarding.”

Vouch manages an open and pragmatic approach to design and project coordination, solving problems with ease through all project stages. A keen interest in buildability shines through on the building site, where Vouch regularly proves her dedication for finding efficiencies. One of her favourite R&Y projects was the St Joseph’s School Port Lincoln Boarding House – where modularity and prefabrication solutions were deployed to maximise budget and facilitate ease of site movement.

A tactile learner, Vouch is also known for her cooking prowess, and has run the popular “Vouch’s Kitchen” cooking class annually at R&Y since 2009.

Will Harbison

Will Harbison

Architect

Most energised when uncovering solutions that stand to benefit teams, Will is well known for his pursuit of the technical developments that drive R&Y project efficiencies. From expanding the practice’s VR capability to sharing software advances that minimise repetitive tasks, his focus is on optimising design practice-wide for efficacy and for client impact.

After several years working for internationally renowned architecture practices in London, Will returned to his hometown of Adelaide, joining R&Y in 2015. His expertise in BIM coordination has proven a key asset, particularly in the documentation and 3D modelling of complex health, aged care and education projects.

Skilled in both digital and hand-drawn design, Will was a tutor’s assistant for five years at the University of Adelaide. He spoke on 3D modelling and team coordination at the 2018 BILT ANZ conference and graciously manages unofficial duties as “IT helpdesk” for R&Y staff.

Jessica Weiland

Jessica Weiland

Graduate of Architecture

Jessica always looks to uncover how a space will best serve its users. She wonders how a building might orient and enliven the people who frequent it? Particularly adept during the interiors phase, Jessica pursues a pragmatic approach to design, considering ease of visitor experience over what might be deemed “on trend”.

Since joining Russell & Yelland she has proved her efficiency in design documentation and construction phases, supporting a growing list of government and independent education and health projects. Jessica’s contributions include St Joseph’s School, Port Lincoln, Cabra Dominican College Gym at Cumberland Park, and aged care facilities in Whyalla.

With lightness in detailing and ease of movement through space her design priorities, it’s little wonder Jessica lists SANAA and RCR Arquitectes as two of her favourite architectural practices.

Georgie Warren

Georgie Warren

Student of Architecture

Maintaining twin fascinations with art and engineering, Georgie views architecture as the perfect bridge between these two worlds. She enjoys the freedom design affords, but is most satisfied when unlocking how to make concepts work for live environments.

Georgie has been a welcome contributor to Russell & Yelland’s education projects since completing an internship with the practice in mid-2019. Now in her final year of studies at the University of Adelaide, she has developed a keen interest in the evolution of building information modelling (BIM), and how such tools will shape efficiencies for architecture in the future. A keen student, her work has been selected for display at the university’s ALL-IN annual exhibition for four consecutive years.