I would like to welcome all Victorian members to the new year. I trust you enjoyed some rejuvenation over the holiday period as we all look forward to an active and exciting year ahead. I would encourage all members to engage with the Institute at a physical and virtual level this year to get the most out of your membership and through involvement to collectively make both our institute and our profession stronger.
A key aspect of institute involvement is engaging in the Institute’s array of continuing professional development from formal CPD to in-person forums and virtual webinars. For those not already involved, the Institute hosts a series of practice forums designed to enhance the way we practice including the Small Practice Forum, Medium Practice Forum, Large Practice Forum, Regional Practice Forum and Sustainable Architecture Forum. I would encourage all practices to participate in the forum that best suits them. If your practice is not currently involved, please contact our Chapter Coordinator, Justine McMahon at firstname.lastname@example.org or your Chapter Councilor to engage.
The Victorian Chapter this year is running monthly ESD webinars, free to members and designed to improve our knowledge base on sustainable practice with a particular focus on the technical aspects of sustainability to assist in everyday practice. This Wednesday lunchtime is our first session where Gabrielle Pelletier and Jamileh Jahangiri explain and examine the Sustainability Questionnaire they co-authored which has become a mandatory part of the National Awards programme. This lean-in has proved more popular than any previous lean-in, and reached maximum numbers a week before the event. In response the Institute has now upgraded the capacity of webinar lean-ins to facilitate greater numbers, so it is again possible to book in for this not-to-be missed webinar.
A paper entitled ‘Systemic Risks in the Australian Architecture Sector’ https://www.vic.gov.au/systemic-risks-australian-architecture-sector was publicly released on Christmas eve. Prepared by the Architects Registration Board of Victoria together with the NSW Architects Registration Board, this 91 page document does raise some interesting points amongst other well known, self-evident or contentious points and relates the effect these are having on the consumer. This is mandatory reading for all architects, graduates and students.
Coming on the heels of DELWP’s Building, Planning and Heritage Amendment (Administration and Other Matters) Bill 2022, DELWP’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and the ACCC filing, there is a clear message to our profession that we must do all we can to raise standards where appropriate and work harder than ever to communicate to the community the enormous benefit that architects bring to the built environment To assist with its understanding, the ARBV has organised for Dr Dariel de Sousa, Director of Dart Legal & Consulting, who facilitated preparation of the report, to present the report at a webinar on Wednesday 15 February 12-1pm and I encourage all members to watch.
Finally, the State Government has introduced the Building and Planning Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 https://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/bills/building-and-planning-legislation-amendment-bill-2022 Covering some of the territory of the legislation brought to the Legislative Assembly last July, this bill does not propose revising the Registration Board, although there are some minor changes to the Architects Act with regard to mutual recognition and registration penalties that the Institute are having a closer look at.
There lots happening, so get involved – benefit from professional development, enjoy the collegiality and contribute to a stronger profession.
David Wagner FRAIA
President of Victorian Chapter