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Photo by Kelly Pilgrim-Byrne.
  • Began working life in law and accounting
  • Studied architecture in 2006
  • A love for creativity drove Ms Anghie to residential architecture

Sandy Anghie always had her sights set on architecture but when it came time to enrol at university in the early nineties, times weren’t conducive to the profession.

So, instead, Ms Anghie studied law and commerce at the University of Western Australia.

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Graduation address on Sandy Anghie’s career journey at the March 2021 UWA Business and Education students graduation ceremony. Photo courtesy of UWA.

She worked in law and accounting firms for close to a decade before deciding to pursue her passion, returning to university in 2006 as a mature age student to study architecture.

Praktikos

Some qualities are learnt, others are simply reflective of a person’s character. There is considerable practicality in the way Ms Anghie approaches architecture. She considers the innumerable factors and elements at play – and the magnitude too.

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Construction site for a recently completed residential project in WA’s south west. Image: Supplied.

“I’m always mindful a home is often a person’s largest investment in life, and they’re going to take out a mortgage for their new build, renovation or extension. I want to do as much as I can for their budget, and not spend money that they don’t need to, or which would add little extra value, because that will be an additional financial burden for them.”

“I love a bargain,” Ms Anghie said, “For me, I enjoy the challenge of doing more with less. It’s not about glitz and glamour but rather heart and soul.”

Whether practicality is just the way Ms Anghie’s brain works or whether it was her legal training, she couldn’t pinpoint, but this was her approach from the outset.

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2012 renderings of concept designs for the WA Museum and Perth Cultural Centre, forming part of Sandy Anghie’s 2012 Masters of Architecture thesis.

Even in design studios in architecture school, “when there was no budget or constraints, her designs “still ended up being very practical and mindful of function.”

One example was her 2012 honours thesis, taking on the real-life project of designing the new WA Museum and redesigning the Perth Cultural Centre precinct.

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One of the central ideas was to bring major cultural institutions out onto the street.

Residential

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Photo by Dion Robeson

“I love the creative part of architecture,” said Ms Anghie, and that was the driving force behind going into residential architecture.

She added that “Working in a larger firm as you progress through the ranks your role ends up being manager of people, whereas the reason I studied architecture was to do the creative part. In sole practice, I can enjoy the design aspect of architecture.”

Pinterest House 01
Photo by Dion Robeson

Making a difference

“My career has just seemed to evolve with my interests. Opportunities arise to contribute and I take them on,” Ms Anghie said, “I don’t know what I will do next. For me, it’s not about climbing the corporate ladder but making a contribution.

“I’m passionate about Perth and this is what drives me in my architecture advocacy work and now my role as City of Perth Deputy Lord Mayor.”

Considering her wide range of engagements and the leadership roles she has held over the years, two themes emerged: service and Perth. Ms Anghie agreed, adding family to the list.

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The themes of service and Perth will be further explored in parts two and three of this series of interviews.

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