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Centenary of Canberra - a legacy of good design

Official centenary gifts launched

The official set of uniquely designed high quality objects for the city's centenary has been launched. The objects commemorate the Centenary of Canberra and celebrate 100 years of Canberra as Australia's national capital.

See: The official set of unique objects designed by these artists.

Winners announced

Robyn Archer AO, Creative Director of the Centenary of Canberra officially announced the 5 winners of the Centenary of Canberra - a legacy of good design competition on Canberra Day, Monday 12 March 2012, at Canberra's 99th birthday celebrations.

"Quality craft and design have been a part of Canberra since its inception: the high standard of entries reflects this noble history. It was challenging to choose just five, but I think these works will make terrific souvenirs of the Centenary; and the competition itself will confirm the strength of the sector. Artists have deliberately connected with local industry and manufacturers: these new alliances are the legacy which 2013 leaves."
Robyn Archer AO, Creative Director, Centenary of Canberra

The winners were Sean Booth, Fiona Hooton, Megan Jackson, Dan Lorrimer and Mitchell Brooks, and Kate Ward.

Sean Booth
Sean Booth began his career as a metalsmith after completing undergraduate studies at Australian National University School of Art in the Gold and Silversmithing workshop in 2002. After graduating, Booth established a workshop in the Canberra region. His practice has continued to evolve and grow with experiences in private commissions, teaching and large public art. He continues to exhibit locally, nationally and internationally, and is an Accredited Professional Member of Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre.

"The Memorabilia project is a great opportunity to take my knowledge, skills and experience and put them into action. The final outcome being a scenario I've being working towards for some time now, and one that represents a strong progression of my practice. It's good to be making a contribution to the Centenary of Canberra."

Fiona Hooton
Fiona Hooton is an established Canberra based practitioner with 25 years of experience as a practicing artist, educator and arts administrator. She has produced several large-scale ephemeral and permanent public art commissions in the ACT region, with each work reflecting unique, site-specific aspects of Canberra's rural and urban environment. Over the past few years her practice has expanded to encompass the digital domain, producing photomontages from scanned historical film stills.

"For many years I have had an interest in the symbolic and design principles that have defined Canberra. Creating this product for the Centenary of Canberra has provided a great opportunity for me to explore these concepts in a broader dialogue with people of all ages in the ACT and beyond."

Megan Jackson
Textile designer Megan Jackson graduated with a Bachelor of Art (Visual) Textiles (Honours) from Australian National University School of Art in 2008. Since graduating Jackson has established her own small, independent textile business, completed an Interior Styling course at the International School of Colour and Design, and won a number of awards including an Emerging Artist Award Scheme residency at Megalo Print Studio + Gallery.

"I entered the Centenary of Canberra Memorabilia competition for the opportunity to develop an exciting new product which communicates the unique and often unnoticed character of Canberra. Being selected is a real opportunity to work with small Australian manufacturers to develop a product and expand my textile design practice."

Kate Ward
Kate Ward graduated from the Textiles workshop at the Canberra School of Art, Australian National University in 1998 and went on to obtain a Masters in Arts Management and Policy from London University, UK in 2008. Since graduating she has worked on a number of public artworks within the Canberra region, undertaken a residency at Megalo Print Studio, exhibited nationally and internationally, received a number of awards, and had work collected by both public and private collections in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

"I'm delighted that my screen printed tea towel designs have been selected to be on sale to celebrate the Centenary of Canberra and that I have the opportunity to work with local businesses to create my wares on a commercial scale."

Dan Lorrimer and Mitchell Brooks
Dan Lorrimer is an emerging artist whose work focuses on sculpture and product design. Lorrimer has a deep understanding of materials and processes. At the heart of his practice is an emphasis on creating new ways to expand and utilise technology. Since graduating from the Sculpture workshop at Australian National University School of Art in 2009, he has worked with many established local artists and designers including Richard Whiteley, Matthew Curtis and Robert Foster.

Mitchell Brooks studied Industrial Design at the University of Canberra, developing a passion for furniture design, an eye for detail, and an affinity for problem solving through design. During the course of his studies he was awarded a ten week internship with design consultancy D3 Design in Sydney. This internship led to his selection to direct the Industrial Design Graduating Exhibition which subsequently followed on to a design commission with Ybern Pty Ltd to design pay parking infrastructure.

Lorrimer and Brooks established their collaborative, MAKEOUT, in September 2011.

"We entered the Centenary of Canberra - a legacy of good design competition because it provided us with a great opportunity to collaborate, test our skills and realise ambitions in an exciting new way. We are aiming to use this experience as a beginning to what we hope will develop into a sustainable design and manufacturing business. This project has provided us with a real world situation to cut our teeth and envisage potential futures as individuals and collaborators."



Centenary of Canberra - a legacy of good design was a competition to design unique, high quality objects, to be produced and sold as memorabilia for the city's centenary in 2013.

An exhibition of the finalists' products will be held at Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre in 2013 to commemorate the Centenary of Canberra.

Finalists: Heather Aspinall, Sean Booth, Fiona Hooton, Megan Jackson, Dan Lorrimer and Mitchell Brooks, David MacLaren, Gilbert Riedelbauch, Julie Ryder and Kate Ward.

The Centenary of Canberra - a legacy of good design products will be commercially available from October 2012.
Enquiries contact Avi Amesbury, Executive Director, telephone (02) 6262 9333 or email avi.amesbury [at]

The aim of the project

The Canberra region has a vibrant and innovative community of artists and designers with a rich history of contribution to the Territory and the nation. The aim of this project was to call on ACT Region to create a product of memorabilia commemorating the Centenary of Canberra and celebrating 100 years of Canberra as Australia's national capital. This project aimed to:


Centenary of Canberra - a legacy of good design is a Centenary of Canberra project, presented by the ACT Government, with support from Business and Industry Development and administered by Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre.

About the competition

The competition was launched on Thursday 8 September by the Minister for the Arts, Ms Joy Burch at Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre. It was open to all Canberra and local region residents with 10 finalists, selected from the entries, each receiving $1,000 to develop their design concept into a prototype. The finalists were selected based on their concept, design and ability to manufacture the memorabilia. The competition closed on Friday 2 December 2011. The 10 finalists presented their prototype and the concept behind the design, to a panel of experts on 5 March 2012. From the initial 10 finalists 5 products (winners) were selected.

The Competition Guidelines outline the competition structure, eligibility, selection criteria, retail, marketing and distribution and key dates.

Download guidelines   File size: 672 kB

Selection panel

The competition was judged by a panel of experts in the areas of craft, design, product development and manufacturing. The selection panel members were:

Media releases

Email Hamilton Darroch, Project Manager, project [at] to be included on the project information email list.


Partners: Centenary of Canberra, Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre supported by ACT Government, The Visual Arts and Crafts Strategy, Australia Council for the Arts.