Students at the University of Sydney

Early women students

Leonore (Lorna) Rennick Lukin

Leonore (Lorna) Rennick Lukin was one of the first eight graduates of the Faculty of Architecture and one of its first three women graduates, graduating Bachelor of Architecture in August 1922.


Her early years

Leonore Rennick Lukin's parents married in Brisbane on 9 September 1893. Her father was Lionel Oscar Lukin (1868-1944), a judge. Her mother was Catherine Alicia Rennick, MA Melb, English mistress at the Brisbane Girls' Grammar School.

After their marriage they made their home in 'Instice" in Hendra, Brisbane until the late 1920s when Mr Justice Lukin was appointed to the Bench in Melbourne. Mrs Lukin accompanied her husband to Melbourne, but returned each year to spend the winter months at their Queensland home.

Her student days at the University of Sydney

Lorna enrolled in the newly established Department of Architecture in the Faculty of Science at the University of Sydney with the first group of students in 1918. This became a separate Faculty of Architecture in 1920, and she graduated Bachelor of Architecture in absentia in August 1922.

She would spend University vacations with her parents at their home in Queensland.

Her career

One of the first women architects in Australia to practise on her own, she was an architect in Melbourne for a year after graduating. She then married Philip David Phillips, a barrister and solicitor, in December 1923 and they had two daughters.

After her marriage she maintained her interest in architecture, and as honorary architect to the Melbourne Lyceum Club she designed the new premises for that organisation. She was an associate member of the Royal Victorian Institute of Architects.

Her mother died in Queensland in 1934, her father in Melbourne in 1944.

Lorna and Phillips divorced on 1 December 1949.


Information sources
  • National Library of Australia historic newspapers
  • Australian Dictionary of Biography