Perched on a cinematic headland along the South Coast of NSW, Gerringong is in possession of both beautiful beaches and rich countryside. Enjoy chamring views of the ocean, rolling farmlands, vineyards, and the rugged escarpment stretching north to south.

The office retreat is a major milestone in the rhythm of our year, a chance to get to know each other better so we work for effectively as a unified team and a time to reaffirm the values. An underlying principle with the retreat is to develop leadership skills and the retreat team leaders were selected recognising their potential to develop skills and contribute to the growth of the firm.

This year, Art + Architecture was the theme. We focused on the inspirational aspect of our purpose to reinforce the fact that ‘art’ is not only fundamental to the environments we create but also intrinsic to the process of design and the way we communicate with our clients, the community and authorities. Robin Boyd referred to architecture as “a social art, art tied to the people and life that engages with the way people live”.



Team Leaders Preparation.


Team Jaesaeng (which means ‘regeneration’ in Korean)

Team Leader – Junsu

Adam | Ben | Margie | Terry | Vera


Team Forgotten Dreams

Team Leader – Emanuele

Graham | Leo | Lesley | Luke | Renee


Team Arti-Texture Collective

Team Leader – Rene

Dorelia | Keiya | Lily | Stuart | Zoran


Team Enigma

Team Leader – Meagan

Amber | Gabe | Heather | Lucia | Martin



Purpose – to discover how, as architects, we can influence positive change to our culture.

What was the workshop?

Prior to the big day, each team had to have at least one team member learn how to use a Miro board. Then on the day, each team was provided with the same brief ‘how to use art and architecture to address any one (or more) demographic issues being experienced in Nowra’. Once each team had collaborated and agreed on an issue and a solution, they had to produce a brief presentation to explain their ideas. This included on what grounds they had prioritised their suggestions and discussed how architects can positively influence culture. These ‘pitches’ were then presented using slides form the Miro board to the whole team.

Key takeaway – how can we use art and architecture to influence positive change to culture.

Presented by Team Jaesaeng


Purpose – to reawaken artistic experiences and creativity through the art of storytelling.

What was the workshop?

Prior to the day, everyone recorded a short two-minute story sharing thoughts about the last six months. These audio clips were then shared among the teams. Then on the day, the teams decided to either pick just one story or a selection of stories to produce a collaborative video story. By summarising the story through childlike drawings and words, the ‘presentations’ were shared with the whole team.

Key takeaway – the art of being creative, by using simple materials (drawings and words) to tell a story.

Presented by Team Forgotten Dreams


Purpose – to recognise and appreciate individual skills and their roles within a collective team, and that art is in the deign process as well as the outcome.

What was the workshop?

Working in their respective teams, Mentimeter was used to ask fun random questions about EJ and individual team members. The team with the most correct answers and the fastest time ‘won’ the game and the prize. Throughout the quiz, after each question was answered, a piece of a jigsaw was revealed on the screen. At the end of the quiz, the whole image was shown. Each team was then asked to discuss what ideas or key phrases they interpreted from that image. These phrases were shared and compared with the whole group.

Key takeaway – appreciating others and our own value will result in a better project outcome and job satisfaction.

Presented by Team Arti-Texture Collective


Purpose – to explore the creative process and how individuals work differently.

What was the workshop?

Before the workshop, teams had to discuss and agree on how they would decorate a cake to represent how they felt the last six months had been. A list of ingredients was provided ahead of the day so that the teams were prepared to decorate their cakes in the 15 minutes timeframe allowed. The second part of the challenge saw the teams then asked to decorate another cake with ingredients provided to them, to demonstrate their dreams for the rest of the year. Unlike the first task, this was unplanned and unprepared for. Individuals were asked how they felt about the two different methods to highlight we all work, design and create in different ways and find our comfort zones are not always in the same place.

Key takeaway – highlighting individualism and be conscious of how our own creative processes differ from others.

Presented by Team Enigma


Past Retreats.

Hers are some highlights of the past EJ retreats. Our adventures are worth a revisit.

EJ 2019.

A Trans-Tasman trip where we were immersed in the culture of our neighbours, learning a little more about ourselves and each other.


EJ 2018.

A reclusive location that helped us bond and focus our projects on leadership.


EJ 2017.

An amazing experience that allowed a spiritual awakening in a unique environment.


EJ 2016.

A team getaway with some intense workshops and thoughtful insights on the collaborative process.