Watch the 2020 Steve Ashton Address with Dimity Reed: On a vespa to Utopia

“These are Virus Escapees Seeking Provincial Australia otherwise known as the VESPAs who are right now scootering up the M1 in search of a bit of a seachange…”

—Bernard Salt

The least anticipated outcome of 2020 has been that thousands of young families have started buying houses in country towns while dreaming of birdsong, and watching the sun rise and set over tree covered hills, while their kids walk to school on their own and the SUV sits in the garage.

Regional Victoria is about to undergo major changes. Dimity talks about how architects can contribute.

The Steve Ashton Address happens courtesy of the Ashton-Nixon Bequest. The Bequest also sponsors the Steve Ashton Scholarship for the Architectural Profession, for architects to study business skills.

Donate now to the Ashton-Nixon Bequest. 

About Dimity

Professor Dimity Reed AM is a retired architect who has had a lifelong concern with housing issues—access, homelessness and affordability. Along with a general interest in other aspects of how the world works, in 1972 she co-wrote The A to Z of Pregnancy with the late Professor Carl Wood, then some senior English texts with Judy Womersley.

While a Commissioner of the Housing Commission of Victoria, Dimity wrote the State Government’s White Paper on Housing, and as a trustee of the Shine of Remembrance she was closely involved with the development of ARM’s Galleries of Remembrance. She was Premier John Cain’s Advisor on Women’s Affairs and later President of the Victorian Chapter of the RAIA. She was a Board Member of Zoos Victoria, Energy Victoria, and the Urban Development Authority. She recently retired as a Director of Launch Housing. She writes spasmodically for newspapers when grumpy about an issue.

With an interest in film and music, Dimity produced four films in 2016, Wagner’s Ring: A Tale Told in Music, which were directed by her youngest son, Sam Reed.

Who was Steve Ashton?

Stephen Ashton was one of our Founding Directors—the A in ARM.

He was also President of the Australian Institute of Architects (1990–92) and an AIA Gold Medallist (2016). He was involved in some of Australia’s most celebrated contemporary buildings including RAC Arena, the Victorian Desalination Plant, the Hamer Hall and RMIT Storey Hall redevelopments, the National Museum of Australia and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.

Steve was an exceptional architectural all-rounder and, outside work, a rally driver of the highest skill and distinction.

He and his wife, Rosemary Nixon, established the philanthropic Ashton-Nixon Bequest to support architecture, medical research and the environment.

The Bequest sponsors the Steve Ashton Scholarship for the Architectural Profession, for architects to study business skills, and the annual Steve Ashton Address. Steve died in 2016.