From the National President

Clare Cousins


17 Sep 2018


Interim CEO appointment
I’m very pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Judith Slocombe AM to the role of Interim CEO, commencing Tuesday 18 September. Judith brings a wealth of senior executive experience to help lead the organisation as we progress with the delivery of the transformative projects currently underway.

Recipient of the Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year in 2001, Judith joins us having recently undertaken a similar role with an educational provider. Her previous roles in both the corporate and non-for-profit sectors have provided her with a deep knowledge of governance, people and culture, project management, risk management, strategy development and digital transformation. She has held a portfolio of non-executive directorships in various business sectors for over 15 years, and consults on business growth, digital transformation, innovation and organisational culture, making her an excellent asset to our organisation at this time.

Judith will be based at 41X in Melbourne and I will be providing her with a comprehensive handover this week along with support as I resume my role as National President. Please join me in welcoming Judith to the Institute.

I am very grateful to all the staff at the Institute and thank them for their support and encouragement over the past six weeks. It has been a valuable experience working closely with many of them and an opportunity to better appreciate the incredible work taking place around the country as we deliver on our strategic plan and strengthen our Institute and the profession.

The permanent CEO recruitment process is already underway. We will be appointing an executive recruitment agency this week to undertake an extensive, national search. We will update you as the search progresses.


Droga Architecture Residency
The Australian Institute of Architects’ Foundation was established in 2013 and since its inception has delivered a variety of cultural programs fostering and promoting the art and creativity of architecture for the benefit of the Australian community.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all members of the Foundation Board for their tireless efforts during this time. We are fortunate to have such incredible expertise to help drive our philanthropic activities. Our current Board is chaired by Alec Tzannes AM and comprises The Hon Ted Baillieu, Karl Fender OAM, Janet Holmes à Court AC, Prof Helen Lochhead, Robert Nation AM, Penelope Seidler AM and Brian Zulaikha.

The Foundation’s inaugural program, the Droga Architect in Residence launched in 2014 and was the first of its kind in Australia. During this time, eight international architects and practices have engaged, educated and enamoured Australian audiences throughout their three-month residency – from grass-roots social innovator Liz Ogbu (USA) to renowned architect and philosopher Juhani Pallasmaa (Finland).
The Droga Architect in Residence program was made possible with the generous support of our many Patrons and founding Patrons, Daniel and Lyndell Droga, who gifted the use of their award-winning Durbach Block-designed apartment in Sydney for the residency. The Droga’s were instrumental in the work of the Foundation since before its inception.

With our new three-year strategy well underway, we are taking the opportunity to review our philanthropic strategy in an effort to maximise our advocacy and education initiatives. As part of this refocus, which we aim to launch in 2019, we are looking to elevate the profile of the residency and are exploring a program of national tours. We would like to thank Daniel and Lyndell Droga for their extraordinary patronage and the use of their remarkable apartment over the past five years.

Daniel and Lyndell have generously offered to provide strategic input into our new philanthropic strategy, advice we gratefully appreciate given their extensive experience. As a token of our gratitude for their patronage over the past five years, I am pleased to present Daniel and Lyndell with Honorary Memberships to the Institute.

I look forward to sharing further details as we strengthen our philanthropic endeavours for the benefit of the profession and our communities.


National Architecture Awards
Finally, I would like to add my congratulations to all those shortlisted for the National Architecture Awards. I look forward to celebrating with you all in Melbourne on 1 November.


Clare Cousins
Acting Chief Executive Officer