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Ross Jackson Awarded Life Membership

Posted 07 11 2019

in News

NZILA President Brad Coombs presents Ross Jackson with his life membership.
NZILA President Brad Coombs presents Ross Jackson with his life membership.


The 2019 NZILA Firth Conference opened last night in Ōtautahi Christchurch. This year’s theme is DISRUPTION and over the next two days the conference will examine the relationship between design and disruption.

The conference finishes Friday night with the Resene New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architecture Awards 2019 presentation.

One of the first orders of business last night at Tūranga, Christchurch Central Library was to bestow life membership to the NZILA on renowned landscape architect Ross Jackson.

As NZILA President Brad Coombs notes, Ross has made an extraordinary contribution to both the Institute and the profession over more than 40 years. “Ross has expanded the boundaries of landscape architecture in New Zealand and his contribution and service is fully deserving of a life membership of the NZILA Tuia Pito Ora.”

Ross Jackson says he’s “quite overwhelmed, greatly honoured and hugely humbled with the recognition.

“Our profession has always had very committed and passionate members. When I reflect on our humble beginnings and consider where the institute is today, I am in awe of some of the outstanding work that is carried out and well recognised nationally and internationally, I feel exceedingly proud to have contributed in some small way to the development and recognition of landscape architecture and to receive this acknowledgement from my peers.“

It’s difficult to sum up Ross’ career in a few short paragraphs and you can see his entire life membership citation here but it all began at Lincoln in 1971 where he completed a Certificate in Landscape Design after working for some years in the horticulture industry.

It was then to Canada where he studied Landscape Architecture at the University of British Columbia while also working at a landscape architecture firm. In 1977 he returned home to work for the Upper Hutt City Council. It was then he became an associate member of the NZILA.

Then followed stints with the Ministry of Works and Development, DoC, a placement and further study in the UK and ongoing work with the NZILA including a stint as chair of the Wellington branch in 1988.

Later that year Ross took a role at the Wellington Regional Council where he remained until his retirement in 2013. But he’s still involved in the profession - supporting the Greater Wellington’s Flood Protection Division.

But it’s not been all work. Ross is a successful sportsman, winning the 1976 Vancouver Marathon in a time of two hours 22 minutes and to this day continues his membership of both the Wellington Harrier Club and the Wellington Cycling Club.

As his life membership citation notes, “Ross’s career has been of extraordinary length, depth and significance to the profession of landscape architecture, to the NZILA Tuia Pito Ora and to the land, waters and people of the Wellington region.”

Read more

View full citation here


Life Membership:
The election criteria for a Life Member is defined as; A person who in the opinion of the Committee has made a unique and outstanding contribution to the advancement of the profession in New Zealand, provided that a person should not be elected to this grade of membership unless he/she is, or has been, qualified to be recognised as a Fellow of the Institute.

View NZILA Life Members here