The Steve Ashton Scholarship for the Architectural Profession (SASAP) has been established because of a generous bequest by the late Stephen Ashton, and his family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances in his memory, the Ashton Nixon Bequest ( Steve died in 2016 as a result of mesothelioma.

The Ashton Nixon Bequest is administered by Australian Philanthropic Services (APS) as a Public Ancillary Fund.  The Bequest supports the Steve Ashton Scholarship for the Architectural Profession as well as medical research and the environment.

The SASAP will be advertised and promoted by The Victorian Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) in recognition of Steve’s contribution as a former Chapter President, an Honorary Life Member (Steve was a Life Fellow) and an AIA Gold Medal Recipient (2016).  In addition, Steve’s firm ARM Architecture has won a record six Victorian Architecture Medals. The winner of the scholarship (s) will usually be announced at the Annual Steve Ashton Address, organised by ARM around the time of Steve’s birthday on October 26.

Steve believed that completion of a Graduate Diploma of Business Administration at Swinburne University played a significant role in the success of Ashton Raggatt McDougall, the practice which he founded in 1988 with Howard Raggatt and Ian McDougall, and which became ARM Architecture. The practice now employs over 60 people and boasts a most impressive body of work, including the National Museum of Australia, Melbourne Recital Centre, Sumner Theatre, Perth Arena, Geelong Library as well as alterations to Storey Hall (RMIT University), Hamer Hall and the Shrine of Remembrance.

Purpose of the Scholarship

Given Steve’s strong belief in the importance of business education to the creation of successful architectural practices, the purpose of the SASAP is to enable qualified architects to gain skills which will aid their professional development, enhancing the practice of architecture in Victoria.

The type of professional development supported will not be confined to the acquisition of business skills: other professional skill areas such as leadership training may be considered, as long as the course provider has Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR Item 1) status and the skills are relevant to the enhancement of the profession.

Awarding of the Scholarship

The SASAP will be awarded according to the criteria and guidelines set out in the attached Application document. Please view the detailed guidelines for the scholarship application here.

PLEASE NOTE: The The deadline for the next round of scholarship applications will be due by midnight Sunday 20 September, 2020

In 2020 it is envisaged that approximately $30,000 will be available for the Scholarship, awarded as one (or more) scholarships at the discretion of the Ashton Nixon Bequest Advisory Committee, comprised of family members and external industry experts, depending upon the number and quality of the applications received.


Applicants for the Steve Ashton Scholarship for the Architectural Profession (SASAP) will have completed an accredited course in architecture recognised by the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia, which satisfies the academic requirement for registration as an architect in Australia. Applicants will also be a member of the RAIA. Applicants will be residents of Victoria registered on the Victorian electoral roll. All applications will be judged on merit. Successful applicants will usually not be permitted to apply again. Preference will be given to those under 45 years of age.

All institutions where the applicant wishes to undertake a course funded by the SASAP must have Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR Item 1) status.

For further information, please contact Rosemary Nixon, Ashton-Nixon Bequest on rosemarynixon[at]