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.

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.

Rhiana Bell

Rhiana Bell

Associate

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.

Will Harbison

Will Harbison

Senior 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.

Georgie Warren

Georgie Warren

Experienced Graduate 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 undertaking an internship with the practice in mid-2019.

Completing her final year of studies at the University of Adelaide in 2020, 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 scholar, her work was selected for display at the university’s ALL-IN annual exhibition for four consecutive years.

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.

Hariklia Pontikinas

Hariklia Pontikinas

Associate

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.

Linda Sawers

Linda Sawers

Office Manager

Building and maintaining thriving and cohesive teams has been Linda’s chief career motivation. With qualifications in psychology, human resource management and counselling, she plays a consultative and supportive role as Office Manager at R&Y.

Linda strengthens business performance by streamlining systems and processes where appropriate. She has specialised in supporting architecture, engineering, planning professionals and trades practices since 2005, building stakeholder trust and improving productivity in successive, long-term roles.

Community-minded, Linda regularly contributes to peer learning as a member of industry software user groups. Outside of work, she was the President of the Scandinavian Association in South Australia for several years.

Norwegian-born, Linda speaks five languages fluently. With a love of the outdoors, at the weekends she can usually be found adventuring with her family on their farm at Burra.

Jessica Weiland

Jessica Weiland

Senior Architect

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 Architects as two of her favourite architectural practices.

Tal Graham

Tal Graham

Digital Engineer

Tal has embraced the productivity mission of his apprenticeship since joining R&Y in early 2021, hastening and automating many of the practice’s previously tedious data management tasks.

A keen learner, he has familiarised himself with various digital platforms and regularly finds ways to improve data systems to maximise operational efficiencies. Visualising information sets quickly, Tal presents data in ways that are easy for clients and consultants to understand. This frees up the design team to do more of what they do best, and supports a healthy reliance on high quality BIM for consultants, clients and end users.

To support currency of learning for staff, Tal creates software video tutorials. His future goals include the management of BIM data across more complex R&Y projects, as well as developing automated workflows that will amplify the effectiveness of current documentation software.