Architect Personal DetailsArchitectural works in South Australia
Firms or Professional PartnershipsBibliographic Sources

Architect Personal Details


Bolin (Carter)

First name

Beverley Louise







Beverley Bolin was the first woman to become a registered architect in South Australia in 1949.

Beverley Louise Bolin was born in Sydney, New South Wales on 23 January 1923. Her parents were Ernest William Bolin and Mabel Kathleen Bolin who had emigrated to Australia from England. Soon after her birth the family moved to Brighton, South Australia, before residing in Tranmere in a house named ‘Devon’ in Emerson Grove.

Beverley attended Wilderness School where she met Ruth Finlayson, whose grandfather was prominent Adelaide Architect Alfred Barham Black. Ruth was interested in pursuing an architectural calling and, although her father took some convincing, Beverley also chose architecture for her future career. After successfully completing her schooling at Wilderness in 1940, where she was made final year Head Prefect, Beverley enrolled to study architecture, as did her friend Ruth Finlayson (McDonough 2012).

Beverley completed the combined Engineering Degree in Architecture at the Adelaide University and Fellowship Diploma of Architecture at the South Australian School of Mines and Industries (now University of South Australia). While at university, Beverley was active in the Adelaide University Women’s Union as well as Wilderness Old Scholars for her former school (McDonough 2012). She was part the University Engineering Society and in 1946 Beverley, Ruth Finalyson and Elizabeth M. Woods were the only female members pictured in the Society’s photograph (‘Adelaide University Engineering Society 1946’).

On completion of her degree and diploma Beverley worked as an articled student for Gavin Lawson and Jack Cheesman. Following this she worked at the South Australian Housing Trust for six months, where the new town of Elizabeth was being designed (Carter interview 1983). In 1948 Beverley Bolin left Adelaide for England where, after passing a professional practice exam, she found there was much work for architects reconstructing Britain after the Second World War. Her mother, Mabel, moved back to England following the death of Beverley’s father in September 1949 (‘Family Notices’, 1949: 34).

Beverley Bolin joined the South Australian Institute of Architects as a student member in 1947 and on graduation in 1948 became an Associate member. She became an Associate member of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1949, maintaining this membership until 1960. Beverley became the first female registered architect in South Australia in 1949 (Lustri and Collins 2010: 53) and remained registered in South Australia until 1957. In 1955 she gained registration with the Architects Registration Council of the United Kingdom (McDonough 2012).

Beverley Bolin lived in London and worked for architect John Grey and partner in offices at 17 Buckingham Street, London, remaining with the same architectural practice for many years. In 1957 Beverley married a Mr Carter and they lived in London for a time before moving to Suffolk. In 1960, aged 37, Beverley had a son, Chris, taking leave from architecture until he was school age. Then she returned to work part-time for her former employer John Grey and partner (McDonough 2012). She returned to Adelaide at least once, in 1983, when she was interviewed by Anne Geddes for the ‘Women Pioneers Oral History Project’.

This biography is based on the 2012 research notes by Pauline McDonough for the Australian Women’s History Forum.

Julie Collins

Citation details
Collins, Julie, ‘Bolin, Beverley Louise’, Architecture Museum, University of South Australia, 2013, Architects of South Australia: []




Architectural works in South Australia

Name Suburb Year Designed

Firms or Professional Partnerships

Name Dates Worked
Lawson and Cheesman 1946 
South Australian Housing Trust 1947 
John Grey and partner (London) 1948-1960 
John Grey and partner (London) 1965- 

Bibliographic Sources


Lustri, S. and Collins, J., 2010, The Architects Board of South Australia, A History 1939-2009, Architects Board of South Australia: 53.

‘Family Notices’, Chronicle, 8 September 1949: 34.
‘Lady Kitty’s About People’, Advertiser, 10 October 1946: 10.
‘List of Candidates who receive Certificates’, Advertiser, 12 January 1939: 11.
‘Overseas Bound’, West Australian, 14 August 1948: 20.
‘Party for Bride’, Mail, 25 January 1947: 9.
‘Play Evenings at Lady Symon Hall’, Advertiser, 23 June 1942: 3.
‘Results of University Examinations’, Advertiser, 17 March 1942: 3.
‘Round the Town’, Advertiser, 21 September 1946: 9.
‘Social Pages’, Advertiser, 23 June 1942: 2.
‘Sports Dance at Refectory’, Advertiser, 24 November 1945: 7.
Shaw, Frank, 'He designed it' Louis Laybourne Smith, News, 25 April 1953: 5. (Mentions Beverley Bolin)

‘Associates of RIBA’, RIBA Journal, July 1949: 426.

Royal Australian Institute of Architects Yearbooks, 1947-1950, copies held at Architecture Museum, University of South Australia.
South Australian Government Gazette, Registered Architects, 9 February 1950: 345-6.
Royal Institute of British Architects Kalendar 1950-1959, selected copies held at Architecture Museum, University of South Australia.

‘Adelaide University Engineering Society 1946’ photocopy of photograph, Lawrence Wyman collection, S399/1/7, Architecture Museum, University of South Australia.

Coltheart, Lenore, Women with a Plan: Architects, Planners and Landscape Architects, 2012, Australian Women’s History Forum,

Oral History
Interview with Mrs. B. Carter (sound recording), Interviewer: Anne Geddes, recorded on 27 September 1983, PRG 727/2/6, State Library of South Australia.

McDonough, Pauline, 2012, Research Notes on Beverly Bolin compiled for Australian Women’s History Forum, provided to author.

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