2007 was the second year of operation of the International Area Committee (IAC) and it was very much a year of consolidating the goals set as part of the IAC’s initial implementation the year before.
The members of the current committee are distributed quite widely and we depend heavily on our regular teleconferences and our annual ‘face to face’ meeting to maintain the inertia required tolaunch events etc.
The IAC continues to broadcast events and networking opportunities through the regular bi-monthly RAIA International E-News, designed to give a a greater voice and an enhanced level of service to RAIA members residing offshore.
We have been able to progressively engage healthy numbers of our overseas membership through a series of events and functions - particularly in Asia.
Each of our committee members have striven to make connections with the leading Architectural professional affiliations in their countries with a view to sharing participation in events.
Of particular success in 2007 was the combined face to face meeting for our committee, with the annual awards function of PAM, the Malaysian Architects professional body and the annual UIA conference in Kuala Lumpur in June. Our committee member, John Koh, did an excellent job in organising our involvement in elements of these functions as well as hosting an informal get together with a number of long serving RAIA members.
As a typical example of our committee members activities, in Hong Kong, Kyran Sze and I have been attending regular ‘Support Australia Group’ meetings (as convened by the Australian Consul General’s office), as well as a number of functions with the Australian Chamber of Commerce, Engineers Australia, and particularly the American Institute of Architects - Hong Kong Chapter.
We held our inaugural informal get together for Hong Kong members in July which was very kindly sponsored by China Southern Glass.
Finally, I am pleased to report that in November the RAIA National Council approved continued financial support for the IAC. Together with the sponsorship we will be able to attract locally, I am confident that our profile will continue to grow and become more attractive for new membership.
The Year Ahead
We are very pleased that the RAIA has been able to secure the support of Virgin Atlantic Airlines - this enables the Gold Medal tour for 2008 to extend overseas (to Hong Kong) for the first time.
Other speakers have also indicated their interest in participating in events this year.
In March we will be commencing the Asian leg of the ‘Out from Under’ exhibition with the kind support of the AIA and local sponsors.
These activities will certainly further raise our profile - particularly in Asia and will establish an excellent base for the next committee to be elected in April.
David J Clarke RAIA