Cowlishaw Named to Lead HDR’s Australia Architecture Practice

Cate Cowlishaw
Cate Cowlishaw

Cate Cowlishaw has been named managing principal for HDR's architecture practice in Australia. She brings two decades of experience serving in leadership roles with global, national and boutique architectural practices. Cowlishaw says she is looking forward to elevating and growing HDR’s business in Australia by further uniting the expertise and talents of the Australian team with the know-how of the firm’s global design organisation.

“I am passionate about growing architectural practices and helping them to achieve their potential,” Cowlishaw said. “This includes pursuing and winning key projects, building profile and brand position, building capability in new sectors, winning design awards and growing the team. The opportunities to help grow HDR’s Australian architecture and design practice towards even greater success are exciting and limitless.”

Cowlishaw began her career as a design architect, but much of her career since then has been focused on business development and practice leadership. She is especially well-known for her ability to understand how design can fulfill client needs. She has a deep bench of knowledge and extensive client networks across all the markets that HDR does work in Australia, including health, science, education, urban design and workplace. Before joining HDR, Cowlishaw was previously employed at Bates Smart as a studio director and national head of business development. As a member of the leadership team, she was also involved with broader management and strategic direction of the practice.

Based in HDR’s Sydney office, Cowlishaw is a registered architect in New South Wales, and a member of the Australian Institute of Architects where she belongs to the NSW chapter’s Gender Equity Taskforce. She says that some of the career achievements she has found most rewarding have been mentoring and helping people build their careers. To that end, Cowlishaw has been involved with student conferences and mentoring programs at the University of New South Wales and University of Sydney. She has also presented at WIDAC (Women in Design and Construction) events and has been published in Architectural Review.