Remembering – Steve Ashton

Stephen Cameron Ashton AM B Arch, LFRAIA, Grad Dip Bus Admin died of mesothelioma on July 25, 2016, aged 61 years. Steve was a founding director of the internationally acclaimed architectural firm, ARM Architecture, formerly Ashton Raggatt McDougall, which was established in 1988. Their built work includes the St Kilda Library, the renovated Storey Hall at RMIT, the National Museum of Australia, the redevelopment at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, the Melbourne Recital Centre, the MTC Sumner Theatre, Perth Arena, the upgrade to Hamer Hall and the surrounding Southbank precinct, the Geelong Library and Arts West at the University of Melbourne. In 2016, Steve, together with his partners Ian McDougall and Howard Raggatt, were awarded the Royal Australian Institute of Architects’ Gold Medal. ARM has won a record 6 Victorian Architecture Medals.

Steve competed in car rallies as a driver for over four decades and was thought by experts to have been exposed to asbestos in brake pads in the 1970s, causing his mesothelioma. He also had a distinguished record in motorsport governance for over 20 years through the Australian Rally Commission (ARCOM) and founding the establishment of its commercial arm, Rallycorp, for which he was awarded life membership of the Confederation of Australian Motorsports (CAMS) in 2016.

Most importantly, Steve was the husband and life partner of Ro Nixon, a dermatologist, and the father of Louisa and Kate. Amazingly, both Ro and Steve (posthumously) were awarded membership of the Order of Australia in June 2017. Ro, Louisa and Kate are thrilled to support the establishment of Aftershock and really look forward to being part of this wonderful initiative. In addition, they have also established the Ashton Nixon Bequest to further Steve’s legacy, supporting architecture, medical research and the environment.