Updated: Dec 10, 2019
Article written by Margaret Hooker
Member: Peter Searle
Branch: Gold Coast
Charming, handsome family man, Peter Searle, finds it more difficult than most of us to run his Gold Coast building design practice because Peter is profoundly deaf and verbally challenged. This does not stop Peter from attending branch meetings where he “hears” the presenters by skillfully lip reading and following his talented sign language interpreter.
Prior to moving to QLD two years ago, Peter was a member of the Building Designers’ Association of Victoria (now “Design Matters”) where his first submission into a design awards competition made him a winner in the Multi Residential Design Awards category. Other awards followed, including being included as a finalist in the top ten Australian designers in the James Hardie Design Awards, and these wins were instrumental in helping Peter to gain personal and business recognition among his peers and in the industry.
Clients select Peter on his skills displayed in previous projects but nevertheless there is still some hesitation when a prospective client realises that Peter is hearing-impaired. However, once clients realise Peter’s skills lie in his design and drawings, the hearing aspect no longer remains such an issue. Peter requires an interpreter for all initial meetings as well as in his many challenging journeys in areas such as Town Planning, Heritage overlay, Noise Control etc.
It is inspiring and motivating to see Peter meeting the challenges, not only of the every-day pursuits in a modern office and at home, but of socialising and networking at meetings – challenges that to many of us go unnoticed but are so real in Peter’s world.
Want to find out more about Peter and his work? Visit his website: www.petersearledesign.com.au