The tragic bushfires that have ravaged our country in recent times have caused many Australians to lose their lives, their homes and their livelihoods. We thank those dedicated volunteers and emergency services who continue to work tirelessly to give support to those in need.
This page focusses on the Institute’s ongoing response to these bushfire emergencies including government advocacy and the volunteering initiatives we’ll be developing in 2021.
We also encourage you to visit our Architects Assist site where members can register their interest in supporting the ongoing bushfire response effort.
This is not a short-term crisis and we encourage architects to take the lead in rebuilding these communities. The Institute will continue to work with all levels of government to support the structural and regulatory reform needed accelerate recovery efforts and enable those affected to build back better.
February 2021 marked more than one hundred days since the release of the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements’ final report.
As the timeline for a response from the Australian Governments is pushed further and further out, the Australian Institute of Architects continues to call for urgent implementation of the Royal Commission recommendations. We have again offered to work constructively with all levels of government to accelerate the recovery efforts and enable communities to build back better.
Read our media release from 5 February 2021 here
The Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements was established in response to the extreme bushfire season over the last 12+ months. The Commission examined the coordination, preparedness for, response to and recovery from fire, as well as ways to improve resilience, adapt to the changing climate and mitigate the impact of natural disasters.
With some 5,900 buildings destroyed in the 2019-20 bushfires and communities anxious to rebuild, governments have a limited window of time to effect reforms that will ensure a higher standard of more resilient construction. There is no time to waste, both in preparing for the next fire season and ensuring we build back better from the last one.
The Royal Commission’s report foreshadowed natural disasters becoming ‘more frequent and more severe’ and noted key evidence, including from the Institute, that would save lives and deliver a more resilient built environment that is better equipped to face future challenges.
The Institute accepts the science on climate change and the need for a proactive response and is actively working to support built environment professionals who have a critical role to play in improving the resilience and adaptation of Australian society to changing climatic conditions.
We need to holistically and urgently re-examine where and how we build, and how our regulatory environment operates in the context of a rapidly changing climate. A critical part of this is committing to net zero emissions in the built-environment by 2030.
We will continue our advocacy for the implementation of the Royal Commission recommendations and for the Australian Government to lead a reform agenda that will build a safer and more resilient future for our nation. The human and economic cost of inaction is far too high.
Read more about the role the Institute played in supporting the work of the Royal Commission and read our submission and response to the recommendations here.
The following resources and Acumen practice notes may be of assistance to you.
Architects Donate is our campaign to drive financial support from our 12,500 members and their communities and is designed to allow all members and colleagues to play their part.
You can donate as little or as much as you wish, with all funds gathered into the Institute’s Foundation, with 100% of these funds used to directly support the rebuild efforts aimed at Australian communities most in need. All donations above $2 will be tax-deductible.
To make Architects Donate as successful as possible, we’ve also created a suite of creative assets for you to use in raising awareness and donations with your own colleagues, friends and family as you see fit. Please share these far and wide so we can together, as the peak body for the Australian architectural community, support our country in the challenging times ahead.
One hundred days from the release of the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements’ final report, the Australian Institute of Architects is renewing its call for urgent implementation of
Media release: Bushfire Royal Commission recommendations need immediate action Final Report: Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements Institute Submission: Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements The Royal Commission
Jiri Lev is an Australian building and urban designer. He has been working with the Australian Institute of Architects on the Architects Assist program, a network set up for architects who wish to help affected Australians rebuild after the devastating summer bushfires. In this piece, Jiri details his recent visit to some of these communities in need.
We’ll also reach out to relevant local, state and federal government agencies to work through how and where we can best support those affected. We will keep you updated as these discussions progress. We encourage you to keep up to date on our dedicated website page which we will continue to update once further initiatives are developed.
This is a very distressing time for many in our community. For those experiencing the devastation first hand, for those responding to it, and for those witnessing the heartbreak and damage to the country and the people close to them. It is a time to band together, to support each other and to take extra care of each other’s welfare.
Thank you to all members who are already helping at this time, and thank you to our first responders and our firefighters for their heroic efforts.
Should you require additional support, contact your local Chapter and we can put you in touch with our dedicated confidential Assistance Portal, who can provide counselling and support to those who may be struggling throughout this ongoing crisis.
We will continue to keep you updated and encourage you to seek assistance from colleagues and your local Chapter.
There a number of national and state charities who are currently seeking donations to raise funds to support the victims of the bushfire crisis.
We are calling on our staff around the country to donate a day’s salary to charities including our own Foundation, which will be used to support various post-fire design and rebuild programs across many affected areas.
100% of funds raised to be used in post-fire design and related support efforts throughout the coming months.