Empowering the next generation through S9 Equip


In a new approach to knowledge sharing and staff development, last year we launched a new program, S9 Equip, an initiative designed to equip our next generation of staff with the essential skills for successful development.

Born out of a desire to create a wider discussion around past experiences and lessons learned, S9 Equip is a staff-led initiative that was established to facilitate the transfer of expertise from our senior staff to our junior team members. Initially targeted towards our architectural graduates, the program quickly evolved into a comprehensive platform benefiting the progressive development of the entire studio.

Led by Graduate of Architecture Thomas Milochis, Architect Anthea Perkas and Senior Architect Daniel Schumann, the three shared a desire to assist in developing junior staff.

The concept originated during Thomas' mentor catch-ups early last year, wanting to gain insights from senior team members and serve as a representative for the studio's graduates. Dan, enthusiastic about enhancing junior staff training, was eager to be part of developing a program he wished had been available at the start of his career.

The idea resonated with Anthea who has experience in university mentoring and knowledge sharing in schools through ArchiEd — an initiative she co-founded with the Institute of Architects SA Chapter to share a love for design and encourage an appreciation of architecture and the built environment in school students and the wider community. "S9 Equip is the perfect platform to create a safe and nurturing environment for the younger staff to break down information and ask the 'silly questions'. In turn, this has also drawn in senior staff to share their own experiences which is fantastic to see this initiative becoming practice-wide", she says.

S9 Equip Session

Launched in June last year, forums are run fortnightly, focusing on key topics that will bridge knowledge and skill gaps and strengthen the team.

Feedback from the studio has been overwhelmingly positive, with participants appreciating the platform's focus on immediate needs, covering overarching topics such as documentation, designing to code and architecture and interior design collaboration, and specialist topics such as rebate detailing, roofing, fireproofing and paint specifications presented by senior leaders in the studio.

“It hasn’t just been internal knowledge sharing either, when Jaana (Bithell, Associate Interior Designer) presented paint specifications we brought in Grant Melville from Dulux to offer external insights and assist us as Architects and Designers in collaborating more effectively”, says Dan.

Whole studio site visits have also continued now as part of the program, with recent visits to the landmark Coopers Brewery Visitors Centre due for completion in the coming months, and a walk-through with builders Centina at our mixed-use office development at 68 King William Road Kent Town.

As the program continues to evolve, this year S9 Equip will refocus predominantly on the studio’s graduates, offering specialised sessions that accommodate their development.

“Seeing graduates bring things they are working on to the sessions and working through solutions with others that they may not have had the opportunity to work with and learn from has been great. We want to continue to create an environment where the graduates have the confidence to bring questions to the table and have a one-on-one dialogue”, says Thomas.

Proving to be a valuable initiative for the studio, S9 Equip will continue to run sessions as an open dialogue forum for all staff to participate, ask questions and learn from one another, fostering a culture of collaboration and knowledge sharing within our studio.

S9 Equip 1st Session BW2