Learning Environments Australasia - Life Membership

23rd Jun 2022 • Enrichment

Awarded to Philip Idle

Below is a copy of the citation provided to Philip at the recent Learning Environments Conference held in Adelaide, South Australia. Acknowledging his outstanding commitment to Learning Environments Australasia and passion for learning environment design. This was a shared honour alongside Richard Leonard (2019).


Learning Environments Australasia bestows its highest honour, Life Membership to Philip Idle, in recognition of long and dedicated service to outstanding contribution to leadership.

Phil has committed many years of service to LEA.

Positions held plus year(s)

Joined CEFPI 1 August 2000

Fremantle WA 2002 - WA committee member

Brisbane QLD 2003 - WA committee member

Sydney NSW 2004 - WA committee member

Hobart TAS 2005 - WA committee member

Adelaide SA 2006 - WA committee member

Singapore 2007 - WA committee member

Melbourne VIC 2008 - Regional President

Darwin NT 2009 - 2010 Regional President/Chair (position name changed)

During Phil’s time as Chair, the Australian Chapter transitioned from a region controlled under the auspices of CEFPI in North America to an autonomous status as an affiliate with control over financial and organization structures, resulting in the establishment of CEFPI Australasia Ltd.

Nov AGM 2010 – 2011 – Past Chair, CEFPI Australasia Ltd

Nov AGM 2011 – 2012 – Past Chair

Nov AGM 2013 – International Director

Nov AGM 2014 – International Director

Nov AGM 2015 – International Director

Nov AGM 2016 – International Director (name change from CEFPI to Learning Environments Australasia)

Oct 2016 Chair-Elect for International Board of Directors (A4LE)

Oct 2017 – Oct 2018 Vice Chair, A4LE

Oct 2018 – Oct 2019 Chair, A4LE

Oct 2019 – Oct 2020 Past-Chair, A4LE

Phil was a founding member of the Australian Chapter Formed in 2000 in Adelaide.

In 2007 Phil travelled to Toronto CEPI conference and was part of the delegation supporting the creation of Australasia as an autonomous Region.

2008-2010 Regional President Role:

As President, Phil took up this leadership position at a pivotal point in the development of the Australasia Region, always looking ahead to become part of a professional global organization and working to provide the best educational environments.

Building on the experience of attending The Dallas Strategic Planning Workshop in 2008, he convened a Strategic Planning workshop in Melbourne in November 2008. This ultimately led to the formation of a new regional structure focusing more broadly on advocacy (federal and state governments, broader educational sectors including universities), research and innovation, communication (the first Regional Brochure), growth in local Chapters and in our Region (India and Singapore and possibly New Zealand) and our working relationship with the American founding organisation.

During this time Phil was awarded the CEFPI Presidents Award (2009). He served on a number of international committees within CEFPI including as a juror on the School Planning & Architectural Exhibition Annual Awards panel, committees on Governance and Innovation, and as part of the Strategic Planning Workshops in Dallas 2008 and Philadelphia 2010. Phil’s untiring work and commitment lead us to ultimately becoming a more independent organization when a memorandum of Understanding was signed in 2010 with the US establishing us as an Affiliate group.

2010 – As Regional President, Phil led the delegation to Philadelphia to finalise and execute the MoU which established AU as an affiliate. He also led the renamed ‘Mayfield Project’ (previous Young Professionals program) at the Perth conference in the same year.

In 2013 Phil and other architect/teacher members from Scotch College/SA/WA architectural practices spent 3 days in working in the village of Matipwili, Tanzania, working with the community to develop a brief for a facility that best meets the needs of the wider village community. Through a process of intense consultation with village leaders and investigations of daily life and building techniques, the visiting group was able to gain an insight into what was needed and what might be possible to construct. This initiative was born out of the Mayfield Project ‘Schools as Sanctuaries of Hope’ initiative that the WA team developed in 2012.


In 2015 Phil returned to Tanzania to lead a small group of CEFPI members and educators to work on construction of the new Trade Training Centre Facility.

2015 Honored as Director of the Year at the LearningScapes Conference held in San Diego.

2016 - 2017 Led the “Global” Taskforce of A4LE, representation from North America, AU and UK, to establish the foundation for a repositioning of A4LE as a global organisation.

2018 - 2019 As the first Chair of A4LE from outside North America, Phil led the association through the process of defining a structure for a global association, and a redefinition of the structure in North America. Phil demonstrated excellent leadership through several difficult and potentially divisive episodes as the Board grappled with this significant change, keeping the Board focused on the strategic objectives and epitomising “grace under pressure”.

‘Phil was very influential in bringing about the establishment of Learning Environments Australasia both within Australia and more particularly on the international scene. In doing so he has established a great rapport with our American colleagues and is well respected by them. As an architect working in the education sector, Phil has been involved in planning some outstanding schools and through his work, demonstrated his passion for and belief in the positive impact that learning environments can have upon learners of all ages. As a leader with Learning Environments Australasia Phil has shown himself to be strong advocate in promoting our vision’. Jeff Philips, Life Member LEA

‘Phil’s nineteen-year commitment to LEA as founding member in 2000 through to International Chair has been driven by his passion for excellence in educational design. He has been instrumental in uniting LEA into a global organization which has advanced educational design internationally, and has also inspired EIW Architects to continually pursue design excellence. His leadership of the Matipwilli Project is a legacy to EIW Architects, as much as it is to him, a project that we are proud to have been involved with and see first-hand how architecture and education can provide hope and future for students in developing countries. His involvement with LEA (and also being Director at EIW Architects) has enabled the synergies between theory and practice evolve into remarkable architectural outcomes. His passion continues to inspire all those involved in the procurement of excellent educational facilities.’ Tony D’Andrea (LEA Member) on behalf of EIW Architects.

This citation honours the significant contribution Phil Idle has made to Learning Environments Australasia.