Inspiring Australia’s future designers

Garth Barnett

Design great Garth Barnett’s legacy to continue with UTS

For UTS’s design community, Garth Barnett requires no introduction. As principal of a well-established boutique agency, the celebrated interior designer was a mentor to countless UTS students during the later stages of his career.

Tragically, Barnett passed away in October 2015. But a close-knit circle of friends, and those who understood the importance of those experiences to him, have established a trust in his name – the Garth Barnett Scholarship Trust.

"Garth was very passionate about his work and wanted to encourage and help future students to start a career in design or architecture,” said long-time friend and colleague, Jean Wright.

“His experience working with students really highlighted to him how important a university education is, so our special way to honour his memory is by setting up a trust for students who would otherwise not be able to go to uni."

Barnett’s friends will be selling 65 items from his private collection of artwork, furniture and objects, including a Sidney Nolan painting, with all proceeds going to the trust.

The trust will fund six annual scholarships valued up to $108,000 for students enrolling in Interior and Spatial Design or Architecture degree at UTS, plus prizes to the value of $25,000. The inaugural prize recipient will be announced at the auction, and will receive a cash prize of $20,000, in recognition of their portfolio of work of unique and innovative excellence.

"Before his untimely death, Garth had employed some of our students who had really impressed him and also inspired him to become an education philanthropist – he’s certainly one of DAB’s most generous financial benefactors,” says UTS Professor Desley Luscombe, who help set up the trust. “The fact that his dear friends have allowed for his wishes to come to fruition during a time of deep sorrow is very heart-warming and a real honour."