Constitutional reform update

There have been three external reports commissioned over the last four years: Bosch (2016), Kirby (2018) and Slocombe (January 2019) with a view to creating a dynamic purpose driven Institute.

Updating the Institute’s Constitution has been identified as a priority in the three Reports. The intention was to achieve a number of key objectives and address some specific issues. The broad objectives are to:

  • Create a more contemporary, best practice governance framework;
  • Be compliant with the Corporations Act; and
  • Create a more flexible framework to allow the Institute to implement a number of reforms, especially for the membership.

A Board committee was formed of Genevieve Overell FAICD (Independent Director since 2016) and Richard Kirk LFRAIA Hon. AIA (Institute President 2017-18), with the management team of CEO, Julia Cambage, CFO and Company Secretary Barry Whitmore and strategic consultant, Jane Smith AM. The Board committee was tasked to identify key provisions of the Constitution that warranted amendment as soon as practicable.

The Board committee has now reviewed the Constitution and developed a scope of changes, proposed for approval by members at an EGM on 19 March 2020.

All of the changes below were endorsed by both the board and national council at a joint meeting in November 2019.

Agreed Scope of Constitution refinements

Key issues Constitution refinements
1. Nationally-elected Councillor Directors of the Board Two members to be directly elected to the Board by the membership.
2. Tenure of the Board Terms increased from one year to three years.
3. Membership A framework to simplify the membership process with details in regulation. The detail of current membership will no longer be an appendix to the Constitution. While classifications may change, voting rights will remain the same.
4. Diversity Remove gender equity provision. Stipulate in a new regulation, compliance with the People and Culture policy which incorporates equity, diversity and inclusion.
5. Disciplinary process Replace discipline of members clause with contemporary framework. Process to be articulated in regulation.
6. Errors Typographical and drafting errors to be corrected.

At earlier 2019 meetings, National Council approved:

  • A preamble to recognise the First Australians
  • That the purpose of the Institute is changed to:
    • To advance architecture
    • To advance education, culture and social or public welfare, through architecture
    • To advocate for the profession
    • To encourage education in architecture.
  • Appoint an independent Chairperson to the Board.

Minter Ellison has been appointed to assist with the re-drafting of the Institute’s Constitution.

There is a significant amount of work currently being done in the drafting process. We will keep you regularly updated.

If you have any questions, please email Jane Smith on