It has been three weeks since I commenced in the role of CEO and already it has been an inspiring journey. Beginning at the Annual General Meeting in Melbourne on 13 May where I was fortunate enough to witness first-hand the engagement and passion of members either by attending in person or through proxy submissions and having their say on the matters affecting the organisation. This interest and involvement extended throughout my visits to a number of chapters over the past few weeks, where I had the opportunity to meet staff, members and councillors and hear different perspectives on the organisation, the profession, the broader industry and our role in advancing Australia’s communities.
These initial conversations have covered concerns and optimisms, challenges and opportunities, weaknesses and strengths and I am grateful to all who shared their thoughts and insights, they are invaluable contributions to our evolution as an organisation.
Some of the consistent themes were awards and recognition, CPD and education programs, standing committees (watch this space for more information) and advocacy.
Just over a week ago Australia’s exhibition, The Pool by Aileen Sage Architects (Isabelle Toland and Amelia Holliday) with Michelle Tabet, launched at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice and had more than 6,000 visitors during the two preview days of the Vernissage. Australia’s presence at La Biennale di Venezia has been a key program of the Institute’s since 2006 and our 2016 contribution has been exceptionally well-received on the competitive world stage. It is a fantastic example of Australia’s architectural talent and the team have captured the attention of architects and non-architects alike through their multi-sensory approach and the stories they share. Media, both internationally and locally, have been particularly interested in the multi-faceted exhibition with in-depth coverage in international outlets including New York Times, CNN Style, Financial Times Weekend, Wallpaper and Dezeen and locally in The Australian, Australian Financial Review, The Age and ABC Radio National. For more details about the exhibition visit the dedicated The Pool website.
Our involvement in Venice is just one of the many great events and programs the Institute delivers around the country and internationally throughout the year. I am looking forward to experiencing many more over the coming months, especially the upcoming Chapter Architecture Awards.
Advocacy is one of the Institute’s new pillars and with the upcoming Federal Election on 2 July, we will be working hard to have the country’s decision makers aware of the Institute’s key policies. National President Ken Maher will be leading our campaign and there are opportunities for all members to be involved. Keep an eye out for more information soon to hit letterboxes and inboxes and on our website and join the conversation for Australia’s future.
I look forward to meeting many more of you as I continue with my engagement with all chapters and as we work together to create a stronger Institute.