From the Victorian Chapter President

This is the time of the year when we all suddenly realise that it is almost Christmas. Sigh. Deep breath…



In April this year, we conducted our nation-wide Novation Survey, spearheaded by the Victorian Chapter through the Large Practice Forum. The survey sought input from members on both the pitfalls and positive outcomes of this procurement model.

The results of our Victorian-based analysis have just been released, the first of our comprehensive series which will provide dedicated analysis for each jurisdiction where novation is a frequent practice. Our national policy team is now working on the release of the full suite of reports to be rolled out across the country before the end of the year.

Based on results from 158 Victorian projects delivered between 2009 and 2019, the survey found that the growing prevalence of novation as a procurement model for how buildings are constructed is a contributing factor to deteriorating construction outcomes, with flow-on impacts to the community and consumers.

Follow the link here to the survey report.



The Victorian Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects in partnership with the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) and the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA), held a Novation Forum at Brickworks on 21 August.

The discussion centred around the survey results and highlighted the benefits of novation and some of the issues that are being raised in procurement that are affecting the safety and quality of our built environment.

A lively and long discussion unfolded supporting the importance of a transparent process and the need for reform.

The forum included a panel discussion between:

  • Client Representative – Peter Lochert, Secretary, Department of Parliamentary Services, Parliament of Victoria;
  • OVGA – Jill Garner, Government Architect;
  • Architect – Tim Leslie, Studio Director Bates Smart;
  • Legal Representation – Jeanette Barbaro, Partner MinterEllison; and
  • Contractor – Ben Brown, Head of Design and Project Management Lend Lease.

The forum was moderated by Amy Muir and we were joined by Australian Institute of Architects CEO Julia Cambage, Planning Institute of Australia Victorian President Laura Murray, the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects Victorian President Heath Gledhill, Wendy Poulton from Planned Cover and Bronwyn Weir co-author of the Shergold Weir Report.

Thank you to Brickworks for their generous support.



The survey results revealed that this is not simply speaking to a procurement method but rather highlighting the risks associated with unfair and inequitable contractual arrangements.

Work is currently being undertaken at a national level to understand what these contractual arrangements are and to highlight the detrimental impacts they are having on the effective procurement of our built environment.

The survey also highlighted the overwhelming support for a Code of Novation with 83 per cent of respondents requesting its introduction.

To define what form this might take, work has commenced with the ARBV, Planned Cover and the Large Practice Forum.

PIA, AILA and the Institute are meeting with Minister Wynne on 6 November to present a Code of Novation working document and to discuss our research into unfair and inequitable contractual arrangements.

This month we have met with:

  • The Victorian Chief Engineer Collette Burke, OPV;
  • The State Building Surveyor Andrew Cialini, VBA;
  • DELWP;
  • ACA;
  • ARBV;
  • Planned Cover;
  • OVGA; and
  • PIA and AILA.



The Australian Institute of Architects through the joint national collaboration with EmAGN (Emerging Architects and Graduates Network) announced the launch of the Hearing Architecture podcast series. The series is another means to showcase the variety of perspectives in the architecture profession,  advocate for improvements to the built environment and highlight how our work as architects is vitally important to Australia’s future development.

Congratulations to all involved and in particular to Daniel Moore from Open Creative Studio who has been leading the project and is the podcast’s presenter. Excellent work.

Follow the link here to access the current podcasts.



Federation Square has been added to the Victorian Heritage Register. The Australian Institute of Architects Victorian Chapter welcomes the Heritage Council’s decision that recognises, values and upholds the significance of this iconic site.

The Heritage Council of Victoria found ‘Federation Square is of cultural heritage significance to the State of Victoria and should be included in the register for its historical, aesthetic, technological and social significance.’ The council said in its decision that ‘Federation Square is significant as a notable example of a public square. It is highly intact, and its size, civic prominence and design illustrate the principal characteristics of a public square’.

There have been a number of active members engaging with the issue of Federation Square, including representation from many varying voices and opinions; however, it is important to recognise the tireless efforts of members such as Tania Davidge for her passionate advocacy surrounding the significant role Federation Square plays within our public realm.

You can read the determination here.



On 29 August, representatives from DELWP Tim Westcott, Annie McIntyre and Stuart Grigg held a public consultation at the Institute on the Better Apartments in Neighbourhoods discussion paper, as a part of the Building Better Apartments project.

Feedback is being sought on the proposed external amenity standards for apartment developments. We encourage constructive feedback and suggest where possible to provide photographic or drawn examples of unintended consequences based on current regulations. Submissions close Friday 27 September at 5.00pm. Have your say here.



The final leg of the Emerging Architect Prize was held on 5 September at 41X. 2018 national prize recipient, Monique Woodward shared her experiences through her talk ‘More front than Myer’. The prize celebrates emerging architects who are making exemplary contributions to architecture and the profession. As part of the prize, AWS provides the opportunity to create a “Perspective” video. You can see Monique’s video here.

Thank you to AWS for their significant contribution to the prize and for collaborating to host yet another great event.



This is an important one. Voting has opened for the ARBV board positions and we encourage all members to be engaged with the process.

As we are all aware, this is an incredibly important time to have strong representation within our industry and therefore these roles are integral in assisting with supporting considered guidance for change.

The Australian Electoral Commission will send voting instructions and password advice which will contain a link to the voting website. Voting will close on at 4pm (AEST) Wednesday 2 October 2019. You can find out more here.

Thank you to all of the members that are contributing their time to the many issues that our industry is currently faced with.

Strength in numbers. A collective voice.

Amy Muir
Victorian President

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