Inaugural Ignite Awards celebrate people and values

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The annual Ignite Awards were introduced to celebrate outstanding individual excellence and achievement.

Ignite believes that people are its strength and a key contributor to the practice’s success in delivering innovative design solutions over the past three decades. As a result, the company has introduced the annual Ignite Awards to celebrate outstanding individual excellence and achievement.

The inaugural Awards saw more than 140 Ignite staff, from five studios across Australasia, being encouraged to nominate their colleagues or themselves in categories which comprised Living Our Values, Technical Excellence, Design Excellence, Project Team Leader Excellence and Leadership Excellence.

Ignite Managing Director, Jeremy Whelan, said the Awards reflected the company’s focus on people, as well as nurturing the practice’s strong culture. “This is an opportunity each year for our team to celebrate the successes of the many who contribute daily at the coalface, and to recognise our potential future leaders and champions within the business,” he said.

The Living Our Values Award honours employees who embody Ignite’s values in their day-to-day work, with the joint winners being Ashleigh Mugridge and Shara Paulo.   

Ashleigh was selected for consistently working with integrity, having a tenacious approach, a natural ability to help others at all levels and taking the time to develop strong relationships. Shara’s engaged, enthusiastic and proactive approach saw her achieve the joint honour. Along with establishing the Ignite Graduate Development Programme, Shara also played a key role in the Festival of Architecture visiting Tauranga and is valued for constantly looking for new opportunities.

The Technical Excellence Award acknowledges an employee who has shown an outstanding technical contribution to Ignite. Winner Siu-Wai Law has a technical skill set that bridges the gap between the architecture and technical worlds. He can be relied on to elevate the technical detail to the highest focal point in a design, ensuring the overall architectural vision is maintained into built form.

The Design Excellence Award celebrates design excellence and the iconic Star Mountain Plaza Project, which carefully marries Papua New Guinea’s unique cultural heritage with contemporary architectural features, was a clear winner for this category.

The Project Team Lead (PTL) Excellence Award recognises a stand-out leader that has shown excellent results achieved through adversity. Mark Crean was awarded this title for having an outstanding work ethic, organisational skills and willingness to continue pushing through a challenge.

The Leadership Excellence Award honours a leader that drives progress within Ignite. Winner Damian Simpson motivates and inspires people, and empowers them to take responsibility and supports them through this.

Nineteen employees were also honoured with Long Service Awards, recognising those with over five years and over 10 years of service, with special mention of Antony Wright who has been with Ignite for 23 years.

Ignite’s newly Registered Architects – Mazdak Irani, Andrew Staples, Leandri Hay, Sean Wijanto, Johnson Tong and Stirling Burrows – were also recognised at the Awards ceremony.

All category winners were in the running for The Bruce Penny Employee of the Year Award. In memory of Bruce Penny, this Award recognises individual contribution to Ignite and the industry. Additionally, it honours outstanding performance and a commitment to future leadership. The inaugural winner was Mark Crean.