“Notwithstanding talk about de-regulation, practicing architecture in the 21st century becomes more complex, not less.
For over 10 years Fiona helped Cox manage and act on all those things that architects hate having to do.
She has shown incredible enthusiasm and devotion to the task that has not been easy due to the diversity of professional disciplines and the distribution of our office population throughout Australia and overseas.
Fiona has humour and resilience in dealing with difficult issues related to her work involving operations, compliance, practice management, HR, marketing, recruitment, production, training, staff and client relations.
Most importantly she set up our systems and ensured their operation.
She has shown particular adeptness in managing people and building our culture within difficult and often egocentric groups of people.
Fiona interfaced from Board level to student level and maintained a happy and socially adjusted group of people at all levels.
With lessons learnt at Cox Fiona will be invaluable to small and emerging practitioners.”
“Fiona was an invaluable resource to us at a time when we had experienced significant growth and lacked the in-house HR expertise we needed.
Fiona made a significant contribution to our business in supporting our performance and salary review processes.”
I've worked with Fiona through our mutual association with the Institute of Architects Large Practice HR Committee.
Fiona's participation on the Committee has been invaluable bringing a level of expertise and down to earth practicality in sharing and discussing complex practice and HR issues uniquely inherent to architecture and design.
Her knowledge and approach of addressing the complexities of working through the day to day issues of practice management are innovative, consultative and refreshing. Her tenacity is of benefit in all realms of professional, multi-disciplinary practice.”
“Being a small practice but with substantial residential projects Fiona was a great help providing advice on people management and compliance.
I found Fiona's approach, experience and advice invaluable as I moved from a sole practitioner to a small practice.
She led me through the intricacies of becoming an employer, bringing all the critical information to the table in a comprehensive and clear manner. It would have been a confusing process without her and I am now confident that I have the correct polices, safety and compliance checks in place if anything ever does go wrong.
Fiona provided all the necessary documentation for onboarding new staff. She gave sound salary packaging advice options and prepared employment and flexible working arrangement agreements and new company policies.
She is incredibly organised, efficient and easy to work with and I highly recommend her to any practice of any size in need of staff management and compliance assistance.”
“Since the formation of Mathieson in 2010, we have been fortunate to have the support and guidance of some key experts.
Fiona has been one of these invaluable people and has worked with us from the beginning, assisting us with the establishment of our policies and procedures, human resources, and work health and safety.
Fiona has assisted us, not only with compliance issues, but has also worked with us in a business-mentoring role. Fiona’s extensive experience in the architecture sector has enabled her to understand the nuances of our studio and her solutions have been appropriate to our needs and evolving business.
She is highly personable, and brings a keen focus to both day to day issues of management and high level business direction.”
"We have called on Fiona’s expertise on numerous occasions over the many years we have been in practice. She has unfailingly provided excellent and prompt advice thereby allowing us to avoid potentially complicated HR issues.
Given the scale of our practice these calls are made infrequently but this does not diminish the level of service provided to us.
Her experience speaks for itself however she has consistently surprised us with the volume and quality of information provided to us, always with good humour, unfailing professionalism and a great dash of understanding topped with practical advice.
We absolutely recommend her to any design professional requiring staffing, compliance and management advice."
"Fiona carried out a 3 mth contract caretaking role after our long term HR Manager left. With 125 staff her remit was to hold the fort and recruit and handover to a well suited replacement.
Fiona took such a load off, jumped in and become an instant member of the team, tackled a tricky position with such professionalism, and was such a pleasure to deal with and have around.
She is one of a kind and I so very much appreciate how she helped us out.”
“Fiona gets architects and architecture.
After initially advising on new Fair Work changes and reviewing our employment agreements Fiona has been on call to us for the last 10 years. She is always easily reached for the simplest business question and responds quickly.
Fiona is a great manager and knows her stuff. She is experienced, ethical and reliable.
Time is always against a small practice and Fiona has also helped us with some special project management tasks.
Her insight into they way architects and designers work helps her to bring a unique perspective to managing a design office.
Her own creativity and resourcefulness is a match with the way we work.”
”As a practice management specialist Fiona was invited to participate in the AIA NSW Chapter’s inaugural ‘Best in Practice’ Prize as a juror in 2019.
The ‘Best in Practice’ Prize recognises excellence in practice, with a focus on the development of supportive and inclusive workplaces and contributing to the overall success and elevation of a positive workplace culture in Architecture.
In association with the NSW AIA Practice Committee, Fiona developed the award criteria and co-ordinated the jury working group and liaised with the AIA in setting up the online questionnaire for entrants.”
Fiona is the Chair of the AIA NSW Large Practice HR Committee and has been a member for over 10 years.
The Group is a champion of equal opportunity, diversity + inclusion, gender equality and family friendly + safe workplace policies. Topics are set for discussion around recruitment and retention, reward + recognition, Fair Work Act, Architects Award, NES + WHS compliance, immigration/ visas, learning + development, performance management, remuneration, ARB Registration, flexibility, parental leave, physical and mental wellbeing and HR + CRM enterprise management systems. To name a few.
“I have worked with Fiona in my previous capacity as Registrar of the NSW Architects Registration Board.
Over the years Fiona has been a strong advocate and supporter of graduates attaining Registration and in particular encouraging female architects to Register and to sit as Examiners for the Board.
Fiona’s excellent networks in architectural practices meant that she was able to provide valuable input to the Board’s connections with architectural firms.
Fiona contributed practical advice from the employer’s perspective to the ARB’s Architecture Insights education initiative ‘Transition to Registration’ – a multi-media online resource designed to assist graduates to make the transition to Registration.”
“Fiona was invited to sit on a panel with Shaun Carter, Carter Williamson [moderator and past AIA President NSW] and Adam Haddow, Director SJB and alumni graduates at Sydney University’s EMBARK Student Conference.
In response to the topic ‘Plan Your Career’ the panel examined tangential and future career pathways and the changing practice of Architecture.”
“Fiona was invited to participate in the University’s ‘Media and Marketing Module’ as part of a series of double line up guest panel presentations and discussions.
These discussions gave students real life examples of architectural marketing and public relations in practice.
Fiona presented with Peter Kape of Hazledene Marketing on ‘Strategic Marketing for Architecture: Theory + Practice’.
Fiona’s presentation provided students with an understanding of how media + communications strategies, brand development, networking, strategic alliances and projecting a consistent message, go hand in hand with design and project delivery in the practice of architecture.”