Reciprocal partnership and relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
Caring for Country practices, including architecture and place-shaping, have existed on this continent since time immemorial
At the Institute, we are committed to advancing understanding with First Nations peoples in recognition of this enduring and ongoing connection to these lands and waters.
We recognise a professional commitment to engage and act meaningfully through reciprocal partnership and relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This is with acknowledgement and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Countries, Cultures and Communities, and their ways of being, knowing and doing.
Uluru Statement from the Heart
The Institute unequivocally supports the Uluru Statement from the Heart
The Statement is an invitation to the broader Australian population to create a better future and proposes some key reforms.
The Statement calls for three actions of Voice, Treaty and Truth addressed as follows in the Statement:
- Voice: We call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution.
- Treaty and Truth: We seek a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreements between governments and First Nations, and truth telling about our history.
The Institute supports Constitutional Recognition and the Voice to Parliament in the upcoming referendum.
We recognise that Constitutional Recognition of First Nations peoples is the right and just thing to do and is a critical step in righting many of the past wrongs that are deeply entrenched in our history.
The Voice to Parliament, The Voice to AUSTRALIAN Institute of Architects
The First Nations Advisory Committee (FNAC) supports the Uluru Statement from the Heart and commends it to the Institute as a whole.
Furthermore, the Australian Institute of Architects Board support the Statement and have permanently enshrined a voice within the Institute’s governance structure through the First Nations Advisory Committee.
The First Nations Advisory Committee strongly supports the enshrinement of First Nations peoples in the Constitution, and the yes campaign.
First Nations Resources Hub
First Nations Resources Hub
The First Nations Resources Hub is a platform designed to provide built environment professionals access to resources and information that pertain to First Nations Peoples.
This hub links various resources, including educational materials, architectural guidelines, cultural protocols, and funding sources. It aims to empower built environment professionals to engage in culturally appropriate and respectful practices when designing spaces and buildings.
Advancing this professional commitment
The Institute is working to advance this professional commitment and a greater shared understanding through our First Nations Advisory Committee and Cultural Reference Panel.
The Committee and Panel will scope, recommend and develop a range of actions that could be put in place to support and promote beneficial outcomes between First Nations peoples and the Institute including supporting the Institute to develop a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
The Committee with support from the Panel will also provide guidance on the inclusive involvement of First Nations peoples in both Architectural education and the Institute’s services, programs, activities and governance. As well as any other issue or activity the Committee, with advice from the Panel, identifies should be under consideration by the Institute.
As work by the Committee and the Panel develops key information will be outlined on this webpage including opportunities for the broader membership to provide input to the activities being undertaken.
Statement of recognition
The Annual General Meeting held on Tuesday 22 July 2020 included a membership vote on a number of changes to the Constitution of the Institute including the addition of a ‘Statement of Recognition’.
The First Nations Advisory Committee and Cultural Reference Panel developed the Statement of Recognition which was adopted following the membership vote, with 96% of members supporting the constitutional changes.
The Statement of Recognition reads:
The Australian Institute of Architects recognises the unceded sovereign lands and rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of these lands and waters.
This recognition generates acknowledgement and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Countries, Cultures and Communities, and their ways of being, knowing and doing.
Caring for Country practices including architecture and place shaping have existed on this continent since time immemorial.
The Institute recognises a professional commitment to engage and act meaningfully through reciprocal partnership and relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Together we will support and develop the emergence of new possibilities for our shared future.
First Nations Advisory Committee and Cultural Reference Panel
Get to know the members
The First Nations Advisory Committee and Cultural Reference Panel is co-chaired by Sarah Lynn Rees (Palawa) and Professor Paul Memmott AO.
- Dr Shaneen Fantin
- Bradley Kerr (Ngugi/Nunukul)
- Louis Anderson Mokak (Djugun)
- Alison Page (Walbanga/Wadi)
- Finn Pedersen
- Georgia Birks (Kamilaori/Dunghutti)
Cultural Reference Panel Members
- Carroll Go-Sam (Dyirrbal/Bama)
- Dillon Kombumerri (Yugembir)
- Jefa Greenaway (Wailwan/Kamilaroi)
- Michael Mossman (Kuku Yalanji)