From the National President

Richard Kirk

National President, Richard Kirk. Photo by Toby Scott

30 Apr 2018

There is arguably no better way to sign off my final column as National President, than with the highly anticipated relaunch last week of the Institute’s Acumen Practice Notes product. The delivery of this new and vastly improved platform is the culmination of sustained and exemplary work by the Acumen Content Review Panel and Institute staff and I once again acknowledge and thank them for their tremendous efforts. Both the refreshed content and redesigned operating system provide members with a tool that is sophisticated, yet simple to use and that will have a multiplier effect in terms of the benefits it delivers to individual practitioners and the profession more broadly. The early feedback has certainly been positive and I would urge you to provide us your comments on your experience of the new platform. The Institute acknowledges the generous support of the Architects Registration Board of Victoria. If you haven’t had a chance yet to have a look I would urge you to do so.

The Acumen Practice Notes project highlights the multiple streams of benefit the Institute is geared to offer members, from high-impact advocacy on major policy issues to targeted support at the practice level. It’s also demonstrative of the Institute’s heightened capacity to deliver on the significant commitments made as part of our 2018-2020 Strategy. Production of this important strategic plan is another example of how much can be achieved through collaboration and leveraging the strengths from the transformative governance changes supported by our members.

And the time has come to turn our attention to the next suite of measures that members will vote on with notice of our next Annual General Meeting having now been issued for 12.30pm, Tuesday 15 May 2018. Not only will this provide an opportunity to review the Institute’s audited financial statements and other statutory business, we will be moving a special resolution to amend the Institute’s current Constitution including the full recognition of the International Chapter. The International Chapter is a very important step towards the Institute developing into a membership organisation that can serve our membership irrespective of where they are based – a recognition of the globalisation of the profession.

The Institute is now in a very strong and stable financial position and we’ve seen a 12 per cent increase in membership over the past two years. This significant turn-around is due to the incredible commitment of Institute staff and our members who volunteer much of their own professional and personal time. On behalf of the Institute I want to thank you for this generous contribution. We are becoming stronger and are growing our value offering as a partner in your practices and careers and through this program of renewal we expect this growth to continue.

Our profession’s largest gathering, the National Architecture Conference – edge, is taking place in just over a month (6-8 June). Featuring the celebrated Israeli Canadian American architect Moshe Safdie, French duo Nicolas Moreau and Hiroko Kusunoki, Borja Ferrater of Spain, Sarah Manning from the United Kingdom and Lek Mathar Bunnag from Thailand alongside local practitioners and academics – it is an event not to be missed with a truly global perspective. It’s not too late to register so visit the website now and I look forward to seeing many of you on the Gold Coast.

Last week, esteemed New Zealand architect David Mitchell passed away. David was a respected practitioner and an influential teacher, recognised with the 2005 NZIA Gold Medal. On behalf of our Institute I would like to offer our condolences to David’s partner, Julie Stout, their children, family and the NZ architecture community.

It has been a great privilege to serve as President during this incredibly productive period for the Institute as we have made significant strides down a path that will deliver a legacy of lasting benefit for the profession. In passing the presidency to Clare Cousins I offer my best wishes for the year ahead where the Board and National Council will continue to implement the reforms of the Institute in order to support our members and the profession more effectively. I also will take this opportunity to thank all members for your support throughout my tenure – your support has enabled us to achieve great outcomes and I have no doubt with the incoming leadership team they will continue to be delivered.


Richard Kirk
National President