Narelle Townsend

CHEC UN Representative
Narelle Townsend, CHEC UN Representative, Commonwealth Human Ecology Council (CHEC)

Narelle Townsend is the first female architect to graduate from the College of Sydney (now called University of NSW). She has been a trailblazer throughout her working life.

After working in Spain, Saudi Arabia and establishing UN headquarters in Thailand and Kenya, she settled in New York. She designed and coordinated building of UN buildings in the USA. Narelle considers she was in the right place at the right time, to be successful in unique work in Housing and Sustainable Cities, within the United Nations. Narelle continued to work there for 40 years, again trailblazing where few women had previously gone. Her vision was for ‘housing the world’ encompassing the right to shelter and designing better communities. She was the Chair of the Global Housing Foundation and Chair for the UN Habitat NGOs and remains as Patron for Commonwealth Human Ecology Council.