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Sarah Lynn Rees


BA Environments (Maj. Architecture), University of Melbourne, Australia

Kings College, Cambridge

Charlie Perkins Scholar -

Research Interests



Since the European invasion, Australia’s First Nations People have been subject to missions, concentration camps, and countless political agendas that have seen the removal of their children and their land. Nowadays, piece by piece, certain tracks of land are being returned to their rightful owners. However, the enforced western economic climate segregates the remote Indigenous population from the mainstream economy, resulting in a welfare dependent nation.

The majority of Indigenous people are renting their houses, some of which have been created under various Government schemes like the current one NPARIH. This $5.5 Billion AUD scheme endeavors to construct over 4000 new homes and over 4000 refurbishments across a ten year period. The unfortunate side to these schemes is that they add, replace, and refurbish housing stock that does not suit the socio-spatial requirements of Indigenous domiciliary units. They produce western style housing that comes with inherent expectations of a western style of living. Construction standards are often sub-par and many houses require maintenance before the tenants have even moved in. Issues ranging from health hardware failure to structural failure, fuel overcrowding and governmental distrust.

This thesis identifies the socio-spatial requirements of the varying Indigenous domiciliary units, and proposes alternatives to the design, construction and consultation processes.