In recent months National Council has been faced with rationalising aspects of our organisation. This has involved a range of difficult decisions and I appreciate that members are coming to terms with some of our recent announcements. Many members have contacted me with their genuine concerns and I have also received many messages of support and understanding and from both fronts I genuinely appreciate the passion that our members demonstrate for our organisation.
2016 will bring a period of continued change for the Institute with a focus on the strategic rationalisation of our operational model and a review of our governance structures. We are supported by a great team of talented and passionate staff and we look forward to the appointment of a new CEO in the new year with a fresh direction for the organisation. In the meantime, we have appointed Greg Ridder as interim CEO, who is lending his leadership and extensive expertise during this period of transition.
Despite recent challenges the Institute remained committed to delivering a robust program of activities this year and there were many highlights. In March, the Australian Achievement in Architecture Awards were announced, with the Gold Medal awarded to NSW-based architect Peter Stutchbury for his exceptional body of work which has been recognised internationally and his commitment to the profession across many levels.
In May, we held our sell out National Conference RISK in Melbourne under Creative Directors Hamish Lyon, Andrew Mackenzie and Donald Bates. Then, in July, PEOPLE – the Australasian Student Congress – was also held in Melbourne under creative team Mercedes Mambort, Tim Randall and Darcy Zelenko.
The program for the 2016 National Conference – How Soon is Now (Adelaide, 28-30 April) looks great. Speakers include Julie Eizenberg, Koning Eizenberg Architecture (USA), Sadie Morgan, dRMM (UK), Nasrine Seraji, Atelier Seraji Architects and Associates (France), Amica Dall, Assemble (UK) and Thomas Fisher, University of Minnesota (USA). More information at architecture.com.au/howsoonisnow/.
Venice International Architecture Biennale 2016 opens in June. Our Australian exhibition The Pool is a lens through which to explore Australian cultural identity. Visitors to the new DCM designed pavilion are invited to explore the pools of Australia in all their forms. For those of us who can’t make it to Venice, there are ways to engage with the exhibition closer to home. Keep an eye on the website architecture.com.au/venicebiennale for updates.
I would like to thank you all for your continued support with particular thanks to my fellow National Councillors and the team at the Institute. It has been a challenging year for us however as the year comes to a close, I feel optimistic about the future of our organisation and look forward to developing a more effective and accountable relationship with all of our members in 2016.
Have a safe and relaxing break and a very happy new year.