Phil Idle

Learning Environments Australasia bestows its highest honour, Life Membership to Philip Idle, in recognition of long and dedicated service and outstanding contribution to leadership.

Phil Idle is a Director of Edgar Idle Wade (EIW) Architects with expertise in the planning and design of educational facilities. His work encompasses both the private and government sectors in Western Australia and has been recognised internationally.

Phil has committed many years of service to LEA. Phil was a founding member of the Australian Chapter formed in 2000 in Adelaide. He served on the WA Chapter committee including the role of Chair before moving to the CEFPI Executive. 

In 2007 Phil travelled to Toronto CEFPI conference and was part of the delegation supporting the creation of Australasia as an autonomous Region.

He was Regional President of CEFPI from 2008 – 2010. As President, Phil took up this leadership position at a pivotal point in the development of the Australasia Region, always looking ahead to become part of a professional global organisation and working to provide the best educational environments.

Building on the experience of attending The Dallas Strategic Planning Workshop in 2008, Phil convened a Strategic Planning workshop in Melbourne in November 2008. This ultimately led to the formation of a new regional structure focussing more broadly on advocacy (federal and state governments, broader educational sectors including universities), research and innovation, communication (the first Regional Brochure), growth in local Chapters and in our Region (India and Singapore and possibly New Zealand) and our working relationship with the American founding organisation.

During this time Phil was awarded the CEFPI President’s Award (2009).

He served on international committees within CEFPI including as a juror on the School Planning & Architectural Exhibition Annual Awards panel, committees on Governance and Innovation, and as part of the Strategic Planning Workshop in Philadelphia 2010.

Phil’s untiring work and commitment led CEFPI to ultimately becoming a more independent organisation when a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in 2010 with the US establishing us as an Affiliate group. He also led the renamed ‘Mayfield Project’ (previous Young Professionals program) at the Perth conference in the same year.

In 2013 Phil and other architect/teacher members from Scotch College/SA/WA architectural practices, spent 3 days working in the village of Matipwili, Tanzania, working with the community to develop a brief for a facility that best met the needs of the wider village community. Through a process of intense consultation with village leaders and investigations of daily life and building techniques, the visiting group was able to gain an insight into what was needed and what might be possible to construct. This initiative was born out of the Mayfield Project ‘Schools as Sanctuaries of Hope’ that the WA team developed in 2012.

In 2015 Phil returned to Tanzania to lead a small group of CEFPI members and educators to work on the construction of the new Trade Training Centre facility.

In the same year, Phil was honoured as Director of the Year at the LearningScapes Conference held in San Diego.

Between 2016 and 17, Phil led the “Global” Taskforce of A4LE, with representation from North America, AU and UK, to establish the foundation for a repositioning of A4LE as a truly global organization.

As the first Chair of A4LE from outside North America in 2018 – 19, Phil led the association through the process of defining a structure for a global association, and a redefinition of the structure in North America.  Phil demonstrated excellent leadership keeping the Board focused on the strategic objectives and epitomising “grace under pressure” during many difficult conversations.

In 2020, Phil remains on the A4LE Board as Past-Chair.

As a leader within Leaning Environments Australasia, Phil has shown himself to be strong advocate in promoting our vision.

This citation honours the significant contribution Phil Idle has made to Learning Environments Australasia.