|Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency|
In response to a proposal by the Royal Australian Institute of Architects in early 2005, the Minister for Planning, Rob Hulls, appointed renowned Melbourne architect John Denton as the first Victorian Government Architect on 16 December 2005. He commenced work in 2006 in the Department of Premier and Cabinet.
After the expiration of his term in 2008, Denton was succeeded by former Western Australian government architect Geoffrey London.
The Office of the Victorian Government Architect (OVGA) (VA 5008) appeared in the annual report of the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) (VA 1039) from 2005-2006 as part of the Sector Improvement Group, but was not formally established as an independent administrative unit until 24 October 2011, when it was established by Order in Council under section 11 of the Public Administration Act 2004 as an administrative office of the DPC with the Premier Ted Baillieu as the responsible minister (Victorian Government Gazette No. G 42, 20 October 2011).
While having no specific statutory responsibilities in relation to either the planning system or procurement processes for State-funded buildings and infrastructure, the OVGA sought to provide leadership in both spheres. The purpose of the OVGA as outlined on their website was to provide architectural advice, advocacy and collaborative services to the Victorian community by providing strategic advice to government about architecture and urban design and by promoting an awareness of good design to achieve better outcomes in the built environment. Shortly after its formal establishment in 2011, the OVGA established a panel of design and technical specialists known as the Victorian Design Review Panel (VDRP) which was launched by Premier Ted Baillieu in a media release on 25 October 2011. The VDRP was to be run by the OVGA to assist with its advisory role.
On 9 April 2013 a restructure announced by the new Premier the Hon Dr Denis Napthine transferred the OVGA from DPC to the new Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure (VA 5003), with effect from 1 July 2013.