Dr Noel Christie (Dec.)

Qualifications: BEd, BEcon, MSc, PhD

Noel was a founding member of the Australasian Region, with a longer connection with the association than most, having joined as a corporate member in 1986 when it was still known as CEFPI. Given his long association and personal knowledge of the value of membership to those professionals involved in school planning and design, it is not surprising that when endeavours were being made to establish CEFPI in Australia in the late 1990s, Noel banded together with other founding members to form the first Australasian Chapter.

Noel was also instrumental in the formation of the Queensland Chapter and growing membership throughout that state. He held a range of QLD positions including Chair-Elect and Chair, organised two successful Regional Conferences and a multitude of state events. His opinions and input have always been esteemed, resulting in numerous appointments as a Regional Awards judge.

Noel was a gentleman, in the true meaning of the word. He wasn’t the type to blow his own trumpet, so many people may not be aware of the depth and breadth of his experience and achievements at the forefront of learning space design and school planning. In the early 1990’s, he earned what was probably the first PhD in Australia specifically relating to education facilities, focusing on post occupancy evaluation of school facilities. He was also the first dedicated Director of Facilities for the QLD Education Department, having initially started as an economics, maths and science teacher, and having progressed to principal.

After 30 years, Noel left the Education Department and established a successful consultancy business that designed community and education facilities for state and private schools. One of his most recent projects was the $15m LINQ project at Sheldon College, which received many accolades from those CEFPI members who visited the school during the 2012 Gold Coast Regional Conference.

Noel passed away from cancer in 2017 and is sorely missed. Many will fondly remember Noel as an eternal optimist, enthusiastically approaching any endeavour, sure that all road-blocks could be overcome through convivial discussion. He was always a great communicator and networker, which came to the fore in just how successful Noel has been in gaining sponsorship for the association in the past.

As a fellow LEA member summarised: In all of this Noel was down to earth but dignified, respectful and respected, knowledgeable with sound opinions, sought out and able to get people on board for the greater good. A very good collaborator and great company too.

More than anything though Noel was an educator and innovator, passionate and committed to the notion that education needs to lead the planning and design processes. He was deeply proud of how the organisation has grown, and he would wish for LEA to continue its incredible work in making a real difference in learning environments.

Positions held:
• Corporate membership through Education Queensland 1986 – 1991
• Member of Australian/Australasian Chapter since 2001
• Qld committee member 2002 to present
• Organising committee for Qld conference 2003
• Organising committee for Gold Coast conference 2012
• Chair Elect Qld Chapter 2010/11
• Chair Qld Chapter 2012/13
• Immediate past chair Qld Chapter 2014/15
• Awards Juror: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015