Tony Arnel



Bachelor of Architecture


Geelong Waurn Ponds

Graduation year


Current position

Industry Professor, Deakin University
Chair of the Engineering Advisory Board, Deakin University
Chair, ARBS Exhibitions Ltd
Director, Forest and Wood Products Australia
Immediate Past-President, Energy Efficiency Council


Tony Arnel is Industry Professor at Deakin University. He is an expert in the built environment and has been a sustainability advocate for more than three decades. He was one of the first architecture graduates at Deakin and now divides his time between the university, various boards and a consulting practice.

Career path and highlights

Over his distinguished career, he has worked in a variety of positions in state government, capital city government, the private sector and academia.

For nearly a decade, he was the Global Director of Sustainability at engineering company Norman, Disney and Young, working across the companies worldwide network. Before Norman, Disney and Young, he was the Victorian Building Commissioner for over 10 years. He was also a director at the City of Melbourne in the late 90s.

Tony was one of the early graduates of architecture from Deakin University in the late 1970s. He recalls the fledgling Waurn Ponds campus back in the early days which consisted of only a few buildings and lots of sheep in windswept paddocks.

'It’s a far cry from the modern, vibrant campus which exists today. It’s a surprising and happy coincidence that I spend quite a bit of my time these days at the same campus I walked into 40 years ago.'

Tony has been a long-term global leader in sustainable building and has received many awards and accolades including:

  • 2014 Chairman's Award from the World Green Building Council
  • 2011 Melbourne Award for Contribution to Sustainability
  • 2010 Australian Institute of Architects inaugural Leadership in Sustainability Award
  • 2008 Australian Financial Review True Leadership Award
  • 1997 Prime Minister’s Prize for Leadership in the Public Sector.

He is a Life Fellow of both Australian Institute of Architects and the Green Building Council of Australia and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Tony was instrumental in establishing the Green Building Council of Australia in the early 2000s and was chair between 2007–2012. He was also a key figure in setting up the World Green Building Council and chaired the council between 2008–2011.

In recent times he has chaired the Deakin University School of Engineering Advisory Board, the School of Architecture and Building Board.