Travel changed my father’s life. He was just a young architecture student when he won a £800 Morawetz Prize. This was 1961, the time of his graduation from Perth Technical College. The award allowed him to travel to London and Europe. It changed his view of architecture and the world.
Dad went on to become an awarded Perth Architect and Chairman of his own practice Peter Hunt Architect until his passing in 2014. He never forgot the way that prize had changed his life. He wanted to give the same opportunity to other young architecture students. In 2000 he set up a travel award based on the attributes of the Morawetz Prize, which included high university grades, contribution to the profession, contribution to the community and an interview.
I’m now the Chairperson of the Peter Hunt Travel Prize. It’s worth $12,000 a year and it’s the biggest architectural prize in Western Australia. For the last two years I’ve judged and presented it.
The award is judged against strict criteria by three representatives of the profession – myself as Chair of the Peter Hunt Travel Prize, the President of the Australian Institute of Architects (WA chapter), and a representative from Curtin University’s School of Built Environment.
This year’s prize was awarded to a former primary school teacher who switched careers to focus on his passion for architecture. Brad Wetherall, Curtin University architecture graduate and masters student, will use the Peter Hunt Travel Prize to visit cities in Australia, the United States, North Africa and Europe.
I’m thrilled for Brad and I know my father would be so pleased to be giving him the opportunity to travel. It’s moving for me to be involved in the award and meet the people who benefit from it. Travel does change lives. It opens people up to possibilities. They in turn enrich our profession and our community.