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Media Release - July 2019

New partners and senior leaders at ClarkeHopkinsClarke

Architects Cath Muhlebach and James Kelly have been appointed Partners at ClarkeHopkinsClarke, one of Australia’s largest multi-sector architecture and urban design practices and, quite possibly, the only one founded and still managed, 60 years later, as a partnership rather than a company. Managing Partner Robert Goodliffe said the elevation of Cath and James to the existing partnership of seven would bring a strong focus to stakeholder-centric health projects and progressive senior living and care based on a richer quality of life and connection to local communities.

“We’re in a pretty unique position welcoming in our third generation of practice partners,” Robert said. “Right from the start we’ve focussed on work that strengthens communities and has tangible social impact. We design diverse communities – hospitals, schools, mixed use developments, future cities – but they’re always strongly integrated into their broader community. The practice operates in much the same way. Multiple sectors, diverse projects, but always a common purpose. And we nurture in-house talent. Every partner started as an employee, many as graduates. They’ve all grown with the practice. Its values are in their DNA.”

ClarkeHopkinsClarke Architects is a registered B-Corporation with health, seniors living and care, multi-residential, retail and mixed use, urban planning, education, commercial, community and interiors sectors. In May the Melbourne-based architects launched a Sydney office on the back of strong cross-sector growth, Australia’s most ambitious future cities project, and a national mission to create healthier, more liveable communities beyond our inner cities.

Partner Justin Littlefield, head of Health at ClarkeHopkinsClarke, says Cath and James are exciting appointments with contrasting personal styles. “James is high energy, high achieving, a real go-getter,” he said. “In five years he’s refocussed his sector and rethought quality of life with innovative developments like Baptcare’s Wattle Grove and YMCA’s Lincoln on the Bellarine, prioritising activity, intergenerational relationships and integration with local communities. That’s a fresh approach to design for this sector. Cath is astute, strategic, considered, and just so good at getting to the heart of what people need. She’s been with us 18 years, established our in-house mentoring program, and carved out specialities in stakeholder engagement and mental health. I’m excited because I know her focus on patient-centric design will take our sector into really interesting new territory.”

James credits his success to his enthusiasm and passion for the Seniors Living and Care industry and what it does. 

“Hopefully I’ve proven my worth to the practice by bringing a creative, forward-thinking approach to a sector catering to new needs in an industry that’s changing rapidly,” 

James Kelly, Partner, Senior Living & Care

Cath says her very different perspectives and client relationships bring fresh thinking to the partnership about growth and evolution. 

“I’m very conscious that how we’ve delivered projects over the last 20 years has changed greatly. There’s a whole new wave to ride in terms of delivering projects and providing client service.”

Cath Muhlebach, Partner, Health

In addition to Cath and James, six other leading staff across four sectors have been promoted to senior roles at ClarkeHopkinsClarke. Jonathan Curran (Health) and Daniel Taranto (Mixed Use) have become Senior Associates. Michelle Cavicchiolo (Interiors), Stephanie Wan (Education), Gaston Nogues (Urban Design) and Tim Hargreaves (Mixed Use) have been appointed Associates.


July, 2019