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Celebrating Paul Trotter as he transitions to teaching role

Close to 50 staff, friends, family and special guests gathered at Fulton Trotter Architects on Friday, 22 March to celebrate Paul Trotter as he continues as a Practice Fellow at Fulton Trotter while transitioning to lecturer at Queensland University Technology (QUT).

Fulton Trotter’s former and current directors sitting on a wooden staircase at the Fulton Trotter Springhill office.

Fulton Trotter’s former and current directors.

Staff came together to mark the milestone with champagne and charcuterie, with Paul’s wife Mary, son Matt and daughter Clare, also joining the celebration.

Paul’s brother, Mark Trotter gave a heartfelt speech during the evening, thanking Paul for his contributions to the practice.

“Over 41 years since starting at our office, and 28 of those as my co-director, Paul has had a remarkable impact on our practice and the wider profession,” said Mark.

“His design philosophies around regional expression and respect for individuality significantly influenced my work and the whole practice.”

“It is not very often that two brothers have worked so closely together for such long and successful careers, building on each other’s strengths. I thank him for his counsel, collaboration, sense of humour, and wisdom over our 30 plus years, working together.”

Alongside his older brother Mark, Paul Trotter has been at the helm of Fulton Trotter Architects for 28 years, inheriting his architectural expertise from father, Stephen Trotter, who was also a Director at Fulton Trotter.

Working his way up the ranks, Paul initially started as a first-year architecture student in the early 80’s before following Stephen’s footsteps, and eventually leading the firm alongside Mark and other prominent directors.

“I started in ’83, I was a little grade oner, I came in and I did the prints, I ran messages, I tinkered with the archives and prints for Charlie Fulton,” said Paul.

Studying at Queensland Institute of Technology (QIT), now the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), the university holds a strong connection for Paul both personally and professionally.


“I’ve never been a person that can just delve into one thing and then just be happy there, the thrill of understanding the world through architecture has just been wonderful.”

Paul Trotter standing in a blue fishing shirt next to wife Mary, wearing a black blouse. The couple stand in front of a wooden staircase in the Fulton Trotter office.

Top: Paul Trotter and wife Mary
Left: Mark Trotter, Paul Trotter, Robert Wesener & Andrew Armstrong

Though his role in the business has dramatically shifted since developing architectural prints as a student, Paul said his passion for learning and teaching remains unchanged.

“The culture of the practice has always been a mentoring practice. I had amazing mentors, who taught me either directly by teaching me – “don’t do that Trotter,” marking up my drawings in red, – to just watching how they behave and interact with people, and by in large, were very keen to develop young architects,” he said.

Paul citied the transition to education as an exciting step in his career and said it was important to allow the next generation to lead.

“Training always exists in this practice. There was always a lot of younger people coming through. I wanted to give them the joy and freedom and experience of developing their own architecture, with some guidance by me, but not dictating it.”

“I see QUT as an extension of our way of doing that, which is a lot of fun and I love teaching.”

“Now, I’m teaching first and second year construction, so quite versatile, and I’ve worked to improve my teaching. I have done a fellowship in Indigenous knowledge, which provides indigenous perspectives to teaching.”

Paul’s education work has global reach too, with projects set in Brazil and South Africa, based on his subtropic studies, climate design and vast knowledge for urban design.

In a speech on the evening, Director Ryan Loveday thanked Paul for his continued contribution to education and encouraging the next generation of young architects.

“I think he’s had a habit of being a lifelong learner, and as a result, also a gentle educator of others and a willingness to share,” said Ryan.

Paul Trotter will remain in a part-time capacity at Fulton Trotter Architects while maintaining an academic role as a lecturer at QUT.