From the CEO – June 2013

On behalf of the Institute, it is my pleasure to welcome Paul Berkemeier as the President of the Institute and champion for our members and the profession. I offer Paul my committed support through the course of the next 12 months.

Paul’s sentiments regarding the conference reflect my own. To share this energising and inspirational event with more than 1200 colleagues was a terrific experience. Thank you to all of those involved in its production, but also to those who attended and demonstrated their support for and commitment to the profession.

It is now time to meet again at the Built Environment Meets Parliament (BEMP) summit.  For 2013, in the lead up to the federal election, BEMP is focusing  on the clash of ideals, the policies, blueprints and priorities of the major political parties and industry groups.  It is a must attend event for built environment professionals with speakers such as Christine Milne, Leader of the Australian Greens, and the Hon Anthony Albanese, Minister for  Infrastructure and Transport, Minister for Regional Development and Local Government. For more information visit

The future of our urban environments will be at the heart of these discussions, informed by the latest ACIF Forecasts, which are now available on the ACIF website. These show a fragmented outlook for the industry, with prospects improving for the residential building sector, but little growth or even declines in some non-residential categories. The forecasts are the industry’s most reliable outlook for demand for the Industry over the next ten years. I encourage you to visit the ACIF site for the complete picture – and you can generate your own customised forecast covering 22 categories of construction in 18 cities.

The night before BEMP we will see the winners announced for the 2013 Australian Awards for Urban Design at the National Portrait Gallery. Many members have entered these awards and I look forward to seeing their work being featured on the night.  More info can be found here.

Late last month I travelled with Shelley Penn to visit our colleagues at the New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA) in Auckland. We had the pleasure of meeting new Chief Executive Teena Hale-Pennington, as well as attending their awards and the AGM. I also had the opportunity to present to council and received very positive comments about the quality and scope of our activities. In addition, Shelley spoke at a seminar for Women+Architecture on equity and diversity in architecture in Australia, and the research being undertaken through the ARC project.  Outcomes include the drafting of guidelines and policy to positively influence workplace culture in the profession. In all, it was a very inspiring trip and I am pleased to let you know that we will be working with NZIA, looking at ways in which we can develop even closer links between the two organisations. I will keep you informed as things progress.

I know many of you will be pleased that later this month, we launch our new website. It is straightforward to use and striking in its design. This marks the first phase of a long-term web assets and systems redevelopment. As with any upgrade, we do expect there may be some minor technical issues, but please bear with us.  There is some more information about the launch of the new site in the article here. We will let you know when the site is up and running and a big thank you to all involved in this important project.

The redevelopment of the website has come about in a large part due to ongoing member feedback. Member feedback is very important to us. Each year we ask our members to complete a membership survey that relates to our strategic objectives. We are actively reviewing your detailed comments and will provide a comprehensive response in next month’s E-news. Also, please take the time to peruse our Annual Report for 2012, published last month for the AGM. In particular, the Performance Indicator section measures and reports member and staff survey results against our strategic objectives. You can see quite clearly how we have performed over the past three years demonstrating how seriously we take your feedback and also how your views directly shape your Institute.

Kind Regards,

David Parken