Personal details

Dr Jeannie Sim
Senior Lecturer
Creative Industries Faculty,
School of Design Office
Visiting Fellow
Creative Industries Faculty,
School of Design Office
Discipline *
+61 7 3138 6830
View location details (QUT staff and student access only)

PhD (Queensland University of Technology), MA(Cons Stud) (University of York), GDipLandArch (Queensland Inst. of Technology), BArch (University of Queensland), BDesStd (University of Queensland)

Professional memberships
and associations
  • Australian Institute Landscape Architects (AILA)
  • Australian Garden History Society (AGHS)
  • Society of Architectural Historians in Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ)
  • National Trust of Queensland (NTQ)
  • Research Gate

garden history Queensland, Conservation of historic designed landscapes, Cultural Landscapes, landscape architecture

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008


Career history

  • 2018, 2019: resume part-time teaching (Landscape Horticulture unit)
  • 2006 – 2016: Full-time Senior Lecturer in landscape architecture at QUT; retired 2017.
  • 2006 – 2012; 2014-2015: Subject Area Coordinator (SAC) for Landscape Architecture, DE40 and DE42 Bachelor of Design
  • 1997 – 2006: Full-time Lecturer in landscape architecture at QUT
  • 2007 – 2012: Registered landscape architect (AILA)
  • 1994 – 2005: AAILA (membership through examination)
  • 1994 – 1999: Postgraduate studies at QUT (Doctorate): thesis “Designed landscapes in Queensland, 1859-1939: experimentation – adaptation – innovation”
  • 1989 – 1990: Postgraduate studies at University of York, UK (Masters in Conservation Studies): unpublished dissertation “Conservation of Historic Botanic Gardens”
  • 1986 – 1994: Landscape architect for Brisbane City Council (Parks and Gardens Branch)
  • 1980 – 1987: Architectural draftsperson for various private firms and government departments
  • 1991 – 1997: Part-time landscape architecture tutoring/lecturing at QUT
  • 1980 – 1984: Part-time architecture tutoring at Department of Architecture, University of Queensland
  • 1974 – 1979: Undergraduate studies (architecture) at University of Queensland.

Research theme:Design Within the fields of landscape architecture, garden history and cultural landscape studies, Dr Jeannie Sim has defined four main research areas

  • History of designed landscapes in Queensland
  • Sub/tropical landscape design
  • Conservation of historic landscapes
  • Tertiary level teaching practice

History of designed landscapes in Queensland

  • This area was the basis for Dr Sim’s doctoral research completed in 1999. Since then, numerous publications have expounded the findings and opened more avenues for exploration. Arguably the most exciting and proudest outcome thus far has been the collaboration with Richard Aitken and Michael Looker on the preparation of their Oxford Companion to Australian Gardens (2002). This is a groundbreaking history book of great scholarship, and details of which entries were written by Jeannie Sim are available under publications listed below.

Sub/tropical landscape design

  • An interest in warm climate landscape design is a merging of design practice and garden history research. Contemporary designers can find inspiration in the design experiences of the past. These opportunities have been revealed by Dr Sim in many ways including teaching design studios, giving public talks and publications. One exciting aspect of combining design and history was the recent Museum of Brisbane exhibition “Cultivating Eden” (2005-2006), which focused on the history of the Old Brisbane Botanic Gardens. Dr Sim provided expert curatorial advice for this project.

Conservation of historic landscapes

  • Undertaking the Masters in Conservation Studies at York University (1989-1990) was the basis for an ongoing professional interest in heritage practice back in Brisbane. Numerous Conservation Plans have been prepared since the 1990s, including studies on several of the most important public historic landscapes in Queensland: Brisbane Botanic Gardens and the Estate Grounds of Government House, Paddington. These experiences have been the source for extensive undergraduate teaching in this area as well.

Tertiary level teaching practice

  • Several efforts at publishing teaching materials for landscape students have been undertaken, including Landscape Design Theory Primer (2001) and Design Basics (2006). However, the scholarship of teaching is a new field of investigation beginning in a collaborative effort with Dr Thea Blackler in 2007. Personal learning in this field should result in further publications in tertiary level teaching scholarship.

Grants Dr Sim has received over $81,540 in research funding since 1996. Selected list of awarded grantsDr Jeannie Sim has received personally, or has been part of research teams that have been awarded, grants. Published reports resulting from these investigations are listed under publications.

  • 1994-95: National Estate Grants Program. Inventory of Historic Cultural Landscapes in Queensland (IHCLQ) The IHCLQ project was carried out with the assistance of funds made available by the Commonwealth of Australia under the Queensland component of the National Estate Grants Program. Dr Sim was the principal investigator and project coordinator, with Jan Seto as co-investigator, and two research assistants were employed. Dr Sim managed the research tasks and the appointments, etc. This project was allied to the national research project on historic designed landscapes coordinated by Richard Aitken. Grant Allocation: $17,440; administered through QUT as the ‘sponsor’ for the Australian Garden History Society, Queensland Branch. Completed: June 1996.
  • 1994-95: Theoretical Framework For Designed Landscapes (TFDL) – Northern Territory component The TFDL project was carried out with the assistance of funds made available by the Commonwealth of Australia under the national component of the National Estate Grants Program, with the Northern Territory component as part of a multiple section project (covering all Australian States) and coordinated by Richard Aitken and Michael Looker. This is another project of a national research initiative of the Australian Garden History Society. Dr Sim was the principal investigator with Jan Seto as co-investigator. Grant Allocation: $3,600; administered through The University of Melbourne – Victorian College of Agriculture and Horticulture, Burnley, Victoria. Completed: The Final Stage was completed in August 1996.
  • Database on Australian Gardens and Horticulture (DAGAH) Project This was a long-term research project that was allied to and supplemented the previous projects (TFDLA and IHCLQ) without specific funding. Coordinator Richard Aitken began collating raw data on garden history in Australia onto a computer database system, and Dr Sim was a willing contributor to this compilation. With student’s approval, Dr Sim made use of the student research work within her Conservation Theory/Management units. The data gathered in this project was used in the preparation of Aitken’s Oxford Companion to Australian Gardens publication (2002). Grant Allocation: No special funding allocated for Dr Sim’s contribution.
  • 1999: Creative Works in Design and the Arts Program (QUT) Program. Planting Design and Sustainability Project This project was funded through the Creative Works in Design and the Arts Program (QUT). Apart from individual investigations, the project team hosted design workshops that examined emerging theoretical frameworks that supported a sustainable approach to landscape design. Apart from literature reviews and examinations, the project team held two design workshops to develop new planting design paradigms and then to reflect on them. The team’s results showed no one clear path is appropriate and that there is a need for further research to find a successful design paradigm to support sustainable landscape and planting design.  Dr Sim’s role was second researcher, along with colleagues (School of DBE) Glenn Thomas (principal investigator) and Delwynn Poulton. Grant Allocation: $18,500
  • 1997-1999: ARC-SPIRT grant program. Investigating Queensland’s Cultural Landscapes: Contested Terrains This project was funded by ARC-SPIRT grant. The participants included members of the Cultural Landscape Research Unit (CLRU) at QUT with the industry partner being the Queensland Government’s Environmental Protection Agency (Cultural Heritage Branch). Dr Sim was co-researcher and edited the final four reports to varying degrees. Principal Researcher: Professor Helen Armstrong. Total Funding: $42,000
  • 2002: Merit Award, Research and Communication (1) From the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) (National Award Program). Citation reads: To the Landscape Architecture Program, QUT [sic.] for “Investigating Queensland’s Cultural Landscapes as Contested Terrains.” From the award citation: “This project is an important contribution to the scholarship of the profession. The creative application of a variety of theories and methods to the state’s many and varied landscapes enabled a new vision of their meaning to be elucidated and inform future decision-making. A substantial methodological contribution and a pioneering collaboration between the academy and state government, funded through the Australian Research Council.”

Awards and recognitions

  • 1987: Karl Langer Award for the student in the GDLA course at QIT who shows marked potential for the practice of Landscape Architecture
  • 1988: Paddy Behan Memorial Prize – Design in Landscape Architecture
  • 2000: Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering Teaching Excellence Award
  • 2001: Merit Award, Research and Communication (AILA National Awards Program) for the research project by Professor Helen Armstrong and team at QUT called “Investigating Queensland’s Cultural Landscapes as Contested Terrains”.
This information has been contributed by Dr Jeannie Sim.


Dr Sim previously taught these undergraduate units:

  • DLB525 History and Criticism of Landscape Design
  • DEB202  Introducing Design History
  • DLB320 Landscape Horticulture (formerly DLB230)
  • DLB500 Landscape Design 5 (for 2016)

Undergraduate teaching experience covers:

  • Landscape design studios
  • Place theory and environment psychology for landscape designers
  • Conservation theory and practice, especially cultural heritage
  • DEB100 Design and Sustainability
  • Planting design & sustainable horticultural practice.
This information has been contributed by Dr Jeannie Sim.


Interests and community service

  • 2015: Founding Director of the community group Friends of Brisbane Botanic Gardens and Sherwood Arboretum Ltd.
  • 2013-present: Membership of the Lord Mayor’s Parks and Botanic Gardens Advisory Committee of Brisbane City Council.
  • 1996-2007:  Membership of Heritage Register Advisory Committee, subcommittee of Queensland Heritage Council (Environmental Protection Agency, Cultural Heritage Branch).
This information has been contributed by Dr Jeannie Sim.


For more publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.


Awards and recognition

Advisor/Consultant for Community
Reference year
Heritage Consultancy: Review of Conservation Plan for Old Brisbane Botanic Gardens for City Design/Recreation and Parks Section, BCC.
Curatorial role (head curator, membership of curatorial board) of a prestigious event
Reference year
Acted as expert consultant to Museum of Brisbane Curators of exhibition "Cultivating Eden: 150 Years of the Old Brisbane Botanic Gardens," 2 Sept 2005 until 29 Jan 2006.
Advisor/Consultant for Community
Reference year
Heritage Consultancy: Review of Conservation Plan for Government House [Bardon], Estate Grounds for Qld Dept of Works, Project Services.
Keynote Speaker/Expert Panel Member/Invited Speaker for a Conference
Reference year
Keynote speaker for proposed AGHS Maryborough Conference (August 2011). Proposed publication of paper in special issue of Queensland Review.
Keynote Speaker/Expert Panel Member/Invited Speaker for a Conference
Reference year
Keynote speaker for 2003 AGHS National Conference: my paper published among proceedings here: 2003 Tropical Pleasures': A Focus on Queensland Gardens Proceedings of the 24th Annual National Conference Brisbane 11-13 July 2003. Printed in the special issue of the Queensland Review, UQP (2004)